backyard kid related ?'s: swingset, zip line, mulch...
need as much input as possible!!
our situation: 6.5 year old girl who loves gymnastics, monkey bars, swings -- almost 3 year old boy who loves to climb, play with trucks, very agile and adventurous.
I have already purchased a Childlife swingset which has not been delivered yet. It is the Mt. Shasta and includes 4 swing positions with trapeze (good for DD), buoy ball, swing and toddler swing. There is a rope swing underneath the big climbing platform. There are 3 rope ladders and a rock wall and a slide.
Swingset includes A LOT, but is missing two elements that had been on my must have list: monkey bars and sandbox, BUT with their closeout pricing it was within my budget. I had wanted to go with Cedarworks but when I included everything I wanted I was double my budget at least and that was with scaling back dramatically.
Total budget is $4000. Childlife swingset with tax and installation is $3123
I have $900 left in my budget. Do I put that into Monkey Bars for my DD or would a zip line carry her through the tween years better than the monkey bars. Zip line is less $$. For the monkey bars I am looking at it would take me a little beyond my budget and cut into the mulch issue. My priorities are low maintence (ie: cedar) and something that will "go" with the Childlife set.
Sandbox: Is it worth it, or if I use pea gravel underneath the swingset (which people on this board seem to like) can this function well enough as a "sandbox". He can use his trucks to scoop up the rocks etc. -- if so, is the pea gravel really safe enough? the fort is 5.5' off the ground.
I was planning to re-use some cobble stones to edge the area, but am concerned with someone catapulting themselves off the swing and smacking their head on a cobblestone. Is there an attractive and cost effective yet safe option for edging?
Zip Line: anyone have any recommendations on which kit to buy? I would like to use it too (and am in the 140 lb. range!!). I would definitely want it to be sturdy enough so that the neighborhood kids who tend to be a little older could use it too. Also, on the zipline: we have one good tree, but for the other end, we'll have to attach it to a post of some sort... any ideas on the sturdiest means of doing this? pressure treated lumber? steel post? cement it into the ground or just dig a very deep hole?
Mulch: pea stone (with added benefit of eliminating sandbox, saves money and keeps me from having to remember to put the cover on and off), wood chips? had looked into rubber mulch but it is what out of my budget.