I remember when I got a swing set as a kid. It was this immense, awesome steel and rust source of endless entertainment. When people use the term “metal” to refer to something that is awesome (like heavy metal music) they got that from seeing my awesome metal swing set. True story.
My dad found it at a yard sale for a really good deal. I’d imagine that’s because he had to rent a crane to lift it and a semi truck to haul it. One would figure that really added to the cost. But, soon enough, it was in our backyard; a testament to my dad’s ingenuity and stubborn determination.
As a child, it seemed like the pinnacle of man’s creation. The Empire State building had nothing on my swing set. But it was so much more than that. It had monkey bars and a slide too. That eighth wonder of the world was so gigantic and top-heavy, my dad set it in concrete. If that thing fell over, it might have registered as an earthquake and you really don’t want the epicenter of one of those right behind your house. Plus, it would have crushed his prize-winning redwood fence.
Ah, yes. It was solid steel but not impervious to rust, of which it had its fair share. It was old. The exact origins of this monolith are still unknown to this day but vague historical clues point to its creator being Andrew Carnegie himself. My dad and I estimated it to have been built around 1898. It’s design was such that I could incorporate some strategically placed 2×8 boards and construct a “fortress” of sorts. Countless hours were spent upon that wondrous enigma of a swing set… but only in the morning or the evening because the steel got wicked hot under the desert sun.
Looking back, I now realize it was a deathtrap. I probably should have gotten a tetanus shot just from looking at it. Everything about it was considerably unsafe. The jagged edges, the rust, and the sheer height I could fall from (into various species of cacti) all stacked the odds of my survival (or escape unscathed) against me. But people didn’t think about those things as much back then, I guess. Or maybe my dad, like me, was just so awe-inspired by the triumph of mankind that was my swing set that we refused to acknowledge the dangers of toying with things we didn’t understand.
Now that I’m a dad, I want our children to have the same cool things that I had but without the mortal danger. That’s why I love Step2 products. They are designed by people who care about the health and well-being of your children, unlike the designer that built that death machine I used to play on. And with the use of modern resins rather than various metals, rust is far less considerable on these new swing sets.
We got a Step2 swing set for the backyard of our home last summer. Maggie and Jake love it. The poor things are so bummed out during the winter months. They look so longingly at the snow-covered swings from the kitchen window. It’s terrible (for them and us) to be cooped up inside for several months.
We recently had the opportunity to review the new Step2 Play Up Gym Set. We were extremely excited to test out this brand new set, but we didn’t have room in our small backyard for another swing set (nor did we need 2 back there). Luckily, Maggie, Jake and Zellene’s grandparents were more than happy to have a brand new swing set for the kiddos in their back yard!
When the swing set arrived, the first thing I noticed as we removed it from the box was the cool design. The playhouse resembles a tree house and includes climbing steps, a slide and a steering wheel. These features will allow your little ones to dream up a plethora of activities and types of play!
The resin is thick, sturdy and should hold up to years of abuse. While being strong, it is also relatively light. Since it is so cold outside, we assembled the set inside the garage and carried it to the back yard upon completion. We accomplished this with three people due to the awkwardness and size rather than weight. We lifted it over a 3 ft chain link fence with ease.
The assembly, as it always is with Step2 products, was a breeze! The construction is basic and straight-forward as the pieces fit together similar to a puzzle. Fastening is done with the usual fair including screws, nuts, bolts and washers. We assembled the play house section and the swing section separately and combined them at the end. All that was left was installing the swings! Bingo! We were done.
The kids were overjoyed to try out their new toy. The cold of the day didn’t seem to matter at all as they eagerly explored the features of the Play Up Gym Set. The swings, I think, will forever be our children’s favorite part of any outdoor play set. They definitely spend most of their time on that portion! Soon enough they will increasingly enjoy the playhouse section as they realize the fun and creativity of fort-building and imaginative play.
The children can’t wait for summer to arrive so they can enjoy their new Play Up Gym Set in a more comfortable temperature. We can’t wait to send them outside and have some peace and quiet for a change! Oh, summer… please come soon.
Check out our video review below to see the Step2 Play Up Gym Set in action!
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Disclosure: As a Step2 Ambassador I’ve partnered with Step2 for this review. I received this product to facilitate my review and honest opinion. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 1/3/15. One (1) winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries.