childrens seesaw

5 Best Children’s Seesaws For Fun Outdoor Play! (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best children’s seesaws for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, safety, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

The Best Children's Seesaws Are...

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Safe and comfortable
  • Suitable for indoors and outdoors
  • Great entertainment for kids
  • Durable construction
  • Rotating see saw
  • Ages 3 - 8
  • Durable and colourful
  • Rotating seesaw
  • Great value for money
  • Extra bouncy stoppers
  • Rotating seesaw
  • Comfortable saddle seats
  • Attractive wooden seesaw
  • Good build quality
  • Comfortable moulded seats

Read Our In-Depth Reviews

Little Tikes Whale Teeter Totter Children's Seesaw

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Safe and comfortable
  • Suitable for indoors and outdoors
  • Great entertainment for kids
OUR RATING
98
PRICE
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Little Tikes Whale Teeter Totter Children's Seesaw Review

A seesaw that can just as easily be used by one child as two children sounds impossible, but Little Tikes have designed one. Their Whale Teeter Totter Children’s Seesaw can be used either as a rocking horse, with one child sitting in the middle, or as a traditional seesaw with a child at either end.

It’s therefore one of the best children’s seesaws for young children, as it can help them develop skills like balance and coordination, without having to wait for a play buddy. Even if you have a two-sibling household, a traditional seesaw might not get used as often as you might hope.

This blue, whale-shaped model isn’t exclusively for outdoor use either because it’s relatively compact, measuring 105 x 43x 35.5 cm, it can fit indoors as well. However, due to this small size, it is only suitable for children aged 1 – 5, so might not be appropriate for households with older children.

No assembly is required as it all arrives in one piece, and the thick plastic is sturdy and supportive. The corners are all rounded off to avoid knocks and bumps, and there are large handles for the kids to hold on to as well.

It can even be used by three children at the same time, with one sitting on the middle seat and one on either end, so there are a diverse variety of uses.

Pros

  • Stable and robust build with rounded-off corners makes it safe for over-excited kids
  • Great for young families as three children can use the seesaw at the same time
  • It can be used either indoors or outdoors because it's not very big
  • Extremely lightweight at 4.05 kg so easy to move around and store

Cons

  • The rocking angle is quite small so some children may not find it very exciting
  • Creates quite a 'thump' as the ends touch the ground

Plum Rotating Children's Seesaw

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Durable construction
  • Rotating see saw
  • Ages 3 - 8
OUR RATING
95
PRICE
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Plum Rotating Children's Seesaw Review

Plum Rotating Children’s Seesaw is just that; with a rotating axis as well as an up-down motion, it’s essentially a roundabout and seesaw at the same time.

It spins through 360°, measuring 193 cm long, and requires a bit of extra space in the garden compared to traditional seesaw to allow for the rotation.

Intended for outdoor use only, the powder-coated steel construction should protect from rust and support a maximum user weight of 50 kg. The moulded plastic seats can be wiped dry if they’re wet, and there are small rubber stoppers positioned under each one to stop them coming down with such a ‘bump’.

Whilst stated that it’s suitable for children aged 3 – 8, it’s a little low to the ground, standing at 83 cm high, and a more appropriate age range would be around 3 – 6 years. Children over 6 will likely be too large to get the most out of it.

A small amount of construction is required, but even those who shun DIY shouldn’t have any problems putting it together – the instructions are easy to understand and it can be completed by one person.

Plus, at 6.6 kg it’s easy to move around and store, so none of the parts are overly heavy, and it also doesn’t have to remain outside during winter if you’d rather protect it during bad weather. When not in use, it can be dismantled without causing too much hardship, so it can also be stored in pieces.

Pegs come included for anchoring it into the grass for extra security, although there’s no way to fix it down on a harder surface.

The two potential drawbacks of this seesaw are the small size and the fact that you can’t choose if you want the axis to rotate or not. Once children are over six years old, they will likely have outgrown this particular model. And, if your kids occasionally want to use it without the rotation, it’s not possible as there’s no way to stop the axis from moving.

Pros

  • The 360º rotation makes it more interesting than a standard seesaw
  • Can be easily taken apart for storage
  • Can be assembled by one person and comes with easy-to-understand instructions
  • Weighs just 6.6 kg so it’s easy to pick up and move around the garden

Cons

  • Some users find it a little low to the ground
  • Although the manufacturers say it accommodates 12 year olds, this swing would likely be too small for children over 8 years old

Hedstrom Seesaw

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FEATURES
  • Durable and colourful
  • Rotating seesaw
  • Great value for money
OUR RATING
93
PRICE
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Hedstrom Seesaw Review

Finding enough space for children’s toys can be tricky, especially in small gardens. This is something that the designers at Hedstrom were clearly aware of when they created this Hedstrom Seesaw. The main bar can be adjusted, making the length and rotation radius smaller or larger.

Made from powder-coated steel, this seesaw rotates through 360° as well as going up and down. It’s suitable for children aged approximately 3 – 7 years old and stands at 60 cm tall. The manufacturers state that it can be used by children up to 10, but up to 7 seems to be more accurate based on its size.

The orange, moulded seats are made from chunky plastic, with a very small ‘back’ rest/support to keep kids in place. There are also large handles with rubber grips to hold on to.

Metal pillars with rubber stoppers are connected to the bottom of the seats, and stop children from going too low or bumping against the ground. However, at the same time, seeing as the poles are relatively long, they do also inhibit how much ‘seesaw’ movement can be achieved.

Also, for those who are quite protective of their lawn, the pillars can drive themselves in to soft grass, all around the 360° radius as the seesaw rotates, causing some pockmarks. It is easy to move the seesaw around though, as it only weighs 6.5 kg, so it can easily be shifted to other areas of the lawn.

Pros

  • Substantial metal pillars under the seat make it impossible for children to go to low or high
  • Weighs just 6.5 kg so it’s very easy to move around in the garden
  • Separates into pieces for easy storage if needed

Cons

  • Children over the age of 7 will likely be too big for it already
  • The colour of the seats may fade if left outside for some time
  • No ground anchors included so you may wish to purchase some separately for added stability

TP Spiro Spin Children's Seesaw

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FEATURES
  • Extra bouncy stoppers
  • Rotating seesaw
  • Comfortable saddle seats
OUR RATING
91
PRICE
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TP Spiro Spin Children's Seesaw Review

Reducing the ‘bump’ down when seesawing can help younger kids better enjoy the activity (especially if they’re paired up with a slightly rambunctious older sibling…!). This TP Spiro Spin Children’s Seesaw is one of the best seesaws for comfort, with an inflatable wheel positioned under the seat to act as a shock absorber.

Given that the seesaw rotates as well as bounces, this pneumatic wheel has a dual purpose as well – it cushions the landing whilst also allowing children to propel themselves around sideways when the tyre is on the ground.

There’s a pump included, for inflating the tyre, which is a job that isn’t normally required when assembling most seesaws; however, putting it all together still only takes a maximum of one hour. Stakes come included to anchor the seesaw into grass.

It’s brightly coloured, looking a bit more exciting than some of the seesaws featured on this list, with a design which should appeal to its intended age range of 3-to-8-year-olds. The fun, unisex colours of green, blue and orange should capture the interest of most kids.

Plus, the bike-handlebar-style grips add another point of interest and provide children with a firm place to hold on to, helping them stay balanced.

Despite being suitable for most children up to 8, this seesaw may be a little on the small side for some 8-year-olds. It stands at just under 60 cm high, which is relatively low. Another important thing to bear in mind is that there’s a maximum weight capacity of 35 kg on each end which shouldn’t be exceeded.

Pros

  • Inflatable wheel stops children from having such a bumpy landing
  • Assembly takes less than 60 minutes and is very easy
  • The wheel under the seats is pneumatic and allows children to roll along as well as bounce

Cons

  • The bouncing height angle isn't very big and children over 7 may have their feet on the ground the whole time
  • Due to having tow inflatable wheels, there is an extra part that can break and the wheel has the potential to puncture

TP Toys Wooden Seesaw

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FEATURES
  • Attractive wooden seesaw
  • Good build quality
  • Comfortable moulded seats
OUR RATING
89
PRICE
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TP Toys Wooden Seesaw Review

If you prefer wooden toys to plastic or metal ones, this TP Toys Wooden Seesaw is made from FSC certified wood and has a sturdy wooden cross base for stability.

While the wooden appearance gives off the look of a classic seesaw, this model also rotates through 360° to give a new ‘spin’ on the traditional design.

Children up to 8 years old can use this TP Toys Seesaw, which has a maximum weight capacity of 35 kg on either end.

There are no stoppers or pillars underneath the seats, so they can go all the way down to the floor; this gives a bit more scope for bouncing, but might make for a slightly ‘bumpier’ ride than other models with shock absorbers.

As a wooden model, it’s the most expensive out of the seesaws featured here; however, the wood has been pressure treated to protect against rot, and should last a long time with limited maintenance.

Weighing 20 kg, it’s much heavier than the other seesaws on this page, but could still be moved around by two people.

Also, given that putting it together is a lengthier, and more permanent, process than with most metal seesaws, it’s not as easy to dismantle for storage. It will therefore likely have to become a permanent fixture in the garden, requiring a play circle of 160 cm plus an additional 200 cm ‘clearance zone’.

Overall, this is one of the best children’s seesaws if you want one with a more natural look that will blend in with the garden. The handles and seats are still brightly coloured to add a bit of interest for the kids.

Pros

  • Suitable for children of various ages from 3
  • Comes with ground stakes included for securing it into the grass
  • All parts are clearly labelled so assembly is straight forward
  • No metal pole or stopper that will tear up the grass

Cons

  • Although the holes are pre-drilled, it may still be necessary to have an electric drill on hand during assembly
  • Not easy to take apart and will likely need to be left outside instead of stored away

How to Choose The Best Children's Seesaw

Seesaws make a great addition to the garden. They give kids another reason to be outside, enjoying the fresh air, whilst staying entertained.

Plus, they have other benefits too, besides just being fun, helping children develop their coordination and balance whilst learning to play cooperatively with others.

There are a lot of different designs to choose from depending on the ages of your children, as well as the space you have available. The following information should help you make an informed decision when looking for a seesaw:

One of the most important things to consider when buying a seesaw is what age range it is suitable for.

When shopping online it can be hard to tell how big an item is, so checking the size specifications from the manufacturer, as well as online reviews, can be very valuable.

Whilst manufacturers often put a recommended age range on their seesaws, the upper age limit is often a bit high. Manufacturers may make their ‘age range’ statements based on the weight that the seesaw can hold, instead of the height of the child. Therefore, if a seesaw states that it is suitable for 3 – 10 year olds, you should check that it is really an appropriate size for children older than 7. It may be too low for them.

In general, it is probably best to assume that a seesaw that is deemed suitable for a 3-year-old will be too small for a 10-year-old. If your children are older than 7, you may be better off looking for a seesaw which is appropriate for children aged 7+.

Of course, this can make it harder for families with children of various ages.

There are smaller, plastic rocker/seesaws that are appropriate for toddlers aged 1 – 3. You may have to consider buying one of these for younger children, and a bigger model for older children that can be used when friends come round.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: if you get a seesaw that is too small for your child, they may not use it much because their feet will always be touching the ground (making it a little boring). Therefore, it’s a good idea to shop around to find a model that offers a good solution for all children.

General Design

Depending on the age of your child, you might be looking for a traditional seesaw, or a ‘rocker’ design.

‘Rocker’ seesaws are small and generally appropriate for toddlers. They tilt backwards and forwards much like a traditional rocking horse. Some of the best children’s seesaws in this style will have an additional central seat meaning they can be used by one child alone as well as two children together.

Then there are the traditional seesaws which are generally more appropriate for children aged 3+. They can come in various sizes and some bigger ones are only appropriate for older children.

Within the category of ‘classic seesaws’ there are also rotating seesaws. These can be spun around by children, as well as moved up and down. The benefits and disadvantages of this design are outlined below.

Rotating or Traditional Seesaws

Seesaws no longer only go up and down, you can now find ones with a spinning axis as well.

Your choice will predominantly come down to personal preference and the preference of your child; however, there are a couple of things to bear in mind:

  • Rotating seesaws require more space – you will need to keep the radius of the seesaw clear of obstacles.
  • Rotating seesaws can be more challenging for younger children – it is sometimes more difficult for them to hold on as there are different directional forces at work (side-to-side and up-and-down simultaneously!).
  • You may get better value for money from a rotating seesaw if your children will use it more often. It not only works as a seesaw but as a roundabout as well.
  • You can’t always stop a rotating seesaw from turning – if you’re hoping to buy a rotating seesaw and have the choice of it rotating sometimes but not others, this generally isn’t possible. Most rotating seesaws will always rotate when in use, with no way to stop the axis from turning.

Shock Absorbers

I imagine many of you reading this will remember a past incident with a seesaw, when it bumped down heavily onto the ground resulting in a sore behind. All the more probable if an older sibling was positioned on the other end in charge of the power…

Fortunately, seesaw design has moved on, and they can now come with a variety of shock absorbers to stop such bumpy landings. These are positioned under the seat, stop it from touching the ground.

Different things are used as shock absorbers, from tires to metal pillars, but they all usually have some sort of rubber cushioning.

Shock absorbers that have a larger surface area, such as a tyre, will be less likely to churn up the grass underneath the seesaw. This can help stop the area from getting too muddy.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the bigger the shock absorber, the less up-and-down movement the seesaw will have. This is because the shock absorber will stop the seesaw from completing its whole arc. This might be ok for younger children, but may be a little boring for older kids.

Seesaws are generally made of either wood, steel or plastic. Aesthetically, you may have a preference (some people prefer the traditional look of wood over the other two options), or one of the choices may make more sense for your situation.

Plastic Seesaws

Plastic seesaws generally take the form of rockers. These are often small enough to be used indoors or outside. If your child will mostly be using their plastic rocker indoors, it’s not as important that the plastic is UV resistant. However, if you will be placing the seesaw outside then UV-resistant plastic is good to look out for. This applies to both entirely plastic rockers, as well as wooden/metal seesaws that have some plastic components.

Steel Seesaws

Steel seesaws can be very robust. Powder-coated steel is often used in their construction which is resistant to corrosion and more durable than steel on its own. In an ideal world, if you have the space, you should still try to store your metal seesaw away when it’s not in use, even if it is made from powder-coated steel, to extend its life as much as possible.

Wooden Seesaws

If you choose a wooden version, it’s nice to check that it’s made from sustainably sourced wood. This will often mention an ‘FSC’ (The Forest Stewardship Council) certification, or the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification) logo. Both of these indicate that the wood has been sourced in a considered way.

It’s also a good idea to look out for pressure-treated wood. This is wood that has been treated in order to force chemical preservatives into the wood. These will make it less susceptible to rot and insect infestation. You must be careful not to burn pressure-treated wood when disposing of it, as this can release harmful substances into the air.

Wooden seesaws will generally last a very long time, although they will require a bit of maintenance. Even pressure-treated wood should be treated occasionally to seal it from moisture.

They tend to weigh more than plastic and metal seesaws and may not be possible to pack away when not in use. You should be prepared for a wooden seesaw to become more of a permanent fixture in the garden.

As will all children’s equipment, there are a lot of safety considerations to bear in mind with having a seesaw in the garden. Here’s a list of things that you should be aware of, but please note that it is not exhaustive:

  • A seesaw should have at least a 2 m clearance around it.This is to prevent children from knocking into anything if they fall off. A rotating seesaw will need to have a 2 m clearance in addition to a clear radius for the rotation.
  • Seesaws need to positioned on level ground. It isn’t safe to place them on a slope or bumpy lawn.
  • Anchors should be used to secure the seesaw in place. Some seesaws come with these provided, but others don’t. Unless the manufacturer’s instructions state otherwise, you should anchor the seesaw in place.
  • Avoid putting seesaws on concrete or hard ground. Naturally, if a child does fall, the softer the ground the better. A lawn at the very least, or protective ground covered in rubber mulch or playground bark.
  • Supervise children at all times when they’re using a seesaw.

Children's Seesaw FAQs

Concrete is a very hard surface and it isn’t recommended to place any play equipment on such solid ground. Concrete absorbs very little shock, and it’s also difficult to properly anchor a seesaw into such a hard surface.

Seesaws should ideally be positioned over grass, foam, wood chips, rubber mulch or sand.

Ground stakes should be used to anchor the seesaw into the ground unless the manufacturer’s instructions state otherwise. These are often large ‘U’ shaped pieces of metal, that position over the legs of the seesaw. As long as the ground is not too soft, they should hold the seesaw in place.

You should regularly check the ground stakes to make sure they are not coming loose.

Manufacturer’s often provide information about the recommended age group for their equipment. However, this often only provides part of the story.

Children who are younger than the manufacturer’s recommended age-group should not use the seesaw; but, it may not be big enough for children at the top of the age range.

Taking note of the height of the seesaw is a good way to understand how big it is and if it will be suitable for your child. The height should review how high the central bar will be when it is level horizontally.

If this measurement seems like it will be too short for your child when they are sitting down, for example; if it’s much shorter than their knee height, you may need to look for a larger seesaw.

If your child is aged between 1 and 3, a small plastic rocker seesaw will probably be the most appropriate.

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