Best Outdoor Climbers For Kids And Toddlers: From Dome Climbers To Climbing Playsets

Kids will be kids. No matter what you do, they just can’t contain their energy. They are always on the go and sooner, you’ll need bigger toys that they can play with.

Why not consider kids outdoor climbers? They will love it for sure.

But have you seen one yet?

If not, don’t worry- we got you covered.

This post will discuss the types of outdoor climbers for kids. Plus, you’ll receive a buyer’s guide to help you decide which brand to choose.

kids outdoor climber

We will not leave you hanging in the air. If you want a complete outdoor playset, we will also give you details on what features to choose from.

We have many things to cover so let’s get started.

Outdoor Climber – Essential Features To Look Into

Children’s outdoor climbers bring fun, laughter, and excitement to the outdoors. Your children stay happy at home and out of trouble. Plus, playing improves their motor coordination and strength.

Kids outdoor climbers keep kids entertained with the main climber frames, inflatables, and other toys and accessories such as trampolines and see-saws. Trampolines are particularly exciting for ages three upwards. Climbing frames with slides make everyday fun for your little ones.

A range of designs include animals and princess castles that attract boys and girls alike. These designs provide bigger spaces so that kids can move freely and avoid minor mishaps.

When shopping for backyard playsets, there are many things you need to factor in. Essential features include frames, age, kids’ activities, materials, play area, and safety.

Main Types Of Outdoor Climbers

There are two major types of kids outdoor climbers: outdoor climbing domes and outdoor climbing playsets. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Outdoor Climbing Domes

As the name suggests, this type of playing equipment is shaped like a dome. This design challenges kids to climb up to the top.

Outdoor Climbing Domes

How to Choose a Backyard Climbing Dome

The best way to start searching for a backyard dome climber is to visit online shops. Giant companies like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and eBay have extensive listings of different brands. 

You can filter your search based on brand, price range, specs, and other categories. Search for 2-3 products and start comparing their features and benefits. 

Once you find the brand you like, look for other details like overall rating and customer feedback. Reviews of the actual users can give you an idea of whether the product is worth it.

Go to the manufacturer’s website to learn more about the product. Typically, websites offer more information not available in shops, like promotions, shipping costs, warranty issues, and customer support. 

Criteria for Choosing a Backyard Climbing Dome

When looking for an outdoor climbing dome, always consider the following details:

High-quality Construction

Ensure that the backyard climbing dome is manufactured using high-quality steel, plastic, or wood materials. If it’s steel, check if it is rust-proof and UV-resistant to withstand all harsh weather conditions throughout the year. Durable materials can make the dome last almost a lifetime.

Lively Colors

Science tells us that kids love vibrant colors. Children prefer brighter colors because their eyes are not fully developed yet. Fainter shades can obscure colors in their line of vision, so they see colors better when they stand out more against the background.

Appropriate for Kids 3 to 11

Let your children or grandchildren roam freely throughout the play area and fire up their creative juices. Low height makes it safe enough to climb so everyone can enjoy the freedom of movement.


Choose a model perfect for large group settings and holds up to 5 children at a time. Pick a lightweight brand to install the dome anywhere- even on top of a building or indoors. A lightweight option also makes sure that storing them will be hassle-free.

To illustrate a good backyard climbing dome, see Lifetime Dome Climber. This product is built to withstand anything your little explorers can throw at it. Designed to look like a natural structure, the dome is made from heavy-duty steel coated with tough powder-coat paint that retains its strength and color for years.

See frequently asked questions here.

Price Point

The price ranges anywhere between $400 to $800 on average. If you’re on a tight budget, models lower than $400 are smaller and less durable than the more expensive brands. 

Outdoor Climbing Playsets

An outdoor climbing set can include the dome-type climber plus other apparatus like bridges, sandboxes, playhouses, and swings.  

outdoor climbing playset

How to Choose an Outdoor Climbing Playset

To avoid repetition, the steps in choosing an outdoor climbing playset are the same as the steps outlined under outdoor climbing domes. 

Criteria for  Choosing an Outdoor Climbing Playset

The features you need for outdoor climbing playsets are just the same as the outdoor climbing domes mentioned above.

In addition, some considerations when shopping for backyard playsets include:

Weight Capacity

The weight limit of any equipment is vital to your child’s safety. Ensure there’s enough room for them on swings, slides, and other playground equipment. Remember that they are growing up fast, so pick a sturdy brand that can last even after their kindergarten years.

For example, some models can carry up to 150 pounds on the swings and around 200 pounds on the slides. This information is essential because it tells parents what their kids’ weight limitations should be before purchasing anything. Remember, safety is number one!

Price Point

Playsets are expensive – they can eat up some of your savings. That can be a perfect thing sometimes since it could mean quality. If you have a limited budget, only choose the essential equipment. Compare and contrast the prices and the pros and cons of different brands to ensure that you get what you’re paying for.

To give you an idea, a good quality backyard playset costs anywhere between $800 to $ 1,500 or even more.

Types of Outdoor Climbing Playsets

Backyard Playsets

A backyard playset is a structure composed of outdoor climbers,  towers, bridges, ladders, and sandboxes. It can be custom designed and mounted on either a single fort or multiple playgrounds. Some brands will allow you to mix and match the design and add-on parts. 

A good example of this play station is the Gorilla playsets for backyard. Its Gorilla Playsets 01-1063-Y comes with ready-to-assemble parts and the hardware you need to mount the structure. The product looks charming and blends well with the different looks of the backyard.

Gorilla playset

The model has a wave slide, rock wall, safe ladder, trapeze swing, sandbox, steering wheel, and telescope. Its play deck has a 4-feet height, giving enough room for children to play under it.

Backyard Swing Sets

Backyard swing includes outdoor climbers, playhouses, towers, bridges, sandboxes, plus swing sets. Like the backyard playsets, they can also be mounted on single or multiple playgrounds. You can choose the parts and designs that complement each structure. 

If you have this in mind, check out Little Tikes Real Wood Adventures. This model is good enough to accommodate 12 kids at once. It has a multi-tiered clubhouse deck which serves as a playhouse, bungalow for campouts, stargazing, and more.

Little Tikes

For active kids, they will surely love its massive 5′ high rock-climbing wall, 4′ vertical cargo net, and a ladder. There are also 6′ tall monkey bars with an attached climbing ladder. The highlight of the playset is its 24″ diameter nest swing and two classic rope swings, which are a hit for all the kids.

Outdoor Gym Station

An outdoor gym station includes many obstacle courses that your little explorers will be challenged to try and finish. It can have both the backyard playset and swings plus other fun accessories like trapeze, ladders, rope ladder, monkey bars, climbing net, slide, etc.

If you like to know more about an outdoor gym station, check out Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course. This brand has all the fitness equipment mentioned above. This course is specially created for kids four years old and above. 

Ninja Warrior playset

You can install 11 obstacles on the upper line, while the lower part is designed to improve the player’s strength and balance. During winter, you can easily disassemble the parts and mount them indoors. 

If you’re interested in buying one, look for a model with no fixed obstacles at a fixed distance. This way, your kids will have more freedom to move the barriers around. You can also customize the obstacles your kids want to have to create easier or more complex challenges.

If your children are very active and want to improve their ninja moves, this type of playset is perfect for them.

Other Considerations When Buying Outdoor Climbers

Aside from those already mentioned here, pay attention to the following factors: 

Kids Outdoor Climbing Frames 

Whether your playhouse is placed in the garden or on a terrace, make sure your kids have enough space to run around safely while having fun. We recommend leaving a clearance of 2 meters in all directions (i.e., a 4 square meter area) for safe passage.

Climbing frames and equipment must be level to ensure maximum comfort when kids go inside. The ideal surface where you can set this up is in an area covered with grass or an impact-absorbing floor, just like in public playgrounds.

Kids’ Age Range

In terms of age-based equipment, kids outdoor climber is categorized into two:

  •   For kids aged under 3
  •   For kids aged 3 to 10 (or even older)

Under 36 months, children must be resting in safety seats. This means that babies don’t get to start their swings and other toys until six months at the earliest, while those who can sit up on their own will have to wait until 9-10 months.

The size of parts varies depending on age. Generally, these are larger for older children and smaller for toddlers. More room is needed for movement as kids get bigger to reduce accidents.

Children’s Interest

What activities and toys do your kids like? Do they like chasing each other, climbing walls, or getting dirty?

Knowing what’s fun for your children will give you an idea of what to buy.

There are many different designs to consider for a kid’s climbing apparatus. Some feature sports activities, and others focus more on imaginative play. When picking out equipment that is suited for younger children, consider the following add-on:

  •   Monkey bridges
  •   Playhouses
  •   Swing sets
  •   Slides
  •   A see-saw
  •   Trapeze bars
  •   Trampolines
  •   Hammocks
  •   Inflatables
  •   Ladders
  •   Nets
  •   Sandpits

When buying a climbing frame, you can choose an all-inclusive model with pieces of play equipment. Or, you can purchase individual items separately, like buying a swing set with trampoline and sandbox add-ons. 

If you are more on having fun with your children than saving money on the cheaper models, you can opt for unique themes designed for outdoor spaces like a pirate ship, castle, or jungle. These models surely let your kids’ imagination run wild.

If you’re not sure what your kids prefer, ask them what they want. Get them involved in the decision-making by showing them the models you’re eyeing on and seeing if they also like them. They know what makes them happy and have some fun.

Kids Outdoor Climber Materials

No matter what your budget is, you probably want to know which materials are best suited for the outdoors.

Most materials are wood or metal. Wood is usually used to make playground equipment because it is sturdy and durable. Metal usually serves as the structure of a jungle gym and has little trouble bearing the weight of a child hanging off the sides.

Wooden swings and teeter-totters are better for kids. Equipment made from wood requires special treatment to fight parasites and molds. Production conditions are monitored to ensure that the structure is safe for kids.

Choose the right wood product based on the wood species and the pre-treatment applied.

Plastic is an excellent material for outdoor play equipment as it doesn’t rust. Still, plastics should be treated to ensure that they are fire-resistant and the color stays vibrant for a long time.

Plastic is better suited for young children (mini slides, playhouses, sandpits). Check if the plastic material has the following safety standards before buying:

  • F1: flame retardant
  • F2: fire-resistant

Play Area

To help you start on the path to safer play design, consider the following:

Make sure that the location has enough play areas for toddlers. Remove obstructions in their ways, such as loose rope or misplaced parts. Don’t forget to assess how much clearance surrounding equipment and toys your children need to explore freely without bumping into anything or each other!

When purchasing play equipment, focus on quality and safety. Be careful when purchasing used play equipment as it may not be up to standards and can harm your children. Buy only from reputable companies to ensure that you are only buying top-notch products. Never compromise quality with kids’ safety.

Consider the age of the children. A play space can be wonderful for older kids but unsafe for younger ones.

Install a poured-in-place rubber surface. It’s useful under swings, slides, and climbers. Or use modular tiles to fit your facility’s exact space. Ensure that you have adequate space below climbing areas, such as jungle gyms, trees on decks, and playhouses. Do the same under fort structures and low-slung beam activities like ladders and bridges.

Need to Know More?

When it comes to kid’s entertainment, you have so many options. Kids outdoor climber is one of the most fun choices you can invest in. However, choosing the best brand can be difficult with so many options in terms of material, design, prices, and add-ons.

Out of all the requirements mentioned, the most important is the safety of your kids. For emphasis, never compromise your kids’ safety for cheaper quality and price. You don’t want your little ones to get hurt because of sub-standard materials used by the manufacturers.

Need to know more? Send us a message or give us a call. We will be glad to help.

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