Construction Features





Construction Features, Terms & Conditions, Warranty

To make our nature inspired playgrounds, we use Natural Materials, like our beautiful, whole, round Northern White Cedar logs with all their natural features. Our cedar logs have a fat end and a skinny end like a tree (instead of a manufactured dowel), they have gorgeous wood grain, checking, knots, crooks, curves, etc. Our Bold, Strong and Built to last architecture beautifies children's spaces, while capturing a child’s imagination. Our nature inspired products and natural materials help stimulate a child’s enthusiasm for nature. In short, our products facilitate learning, create opportunities for exercise, help build social skills and help provide a unique connection to the great outdoors.

Click on a topic below to jump to that section of the page; or simply scroll down to review all of our unique playground construction features.





Why Wood:

Furniture, boats, structures and art of all types have been made from wood since humans have had opposable thumbs. In America, wood is the default material for the houses in which we live. Wood is literally alive in our landscape. It defines the meaning and spirit of the word “renewable”. Someday, at the end its useful life, many products made from wood will return to mother earth in a natural way that is non-polluting, self sustaining, organic and truly green because it represents the natural cycle of life. Powder coated steel and plastic products simply can’t make this claim.

When used to make our beautiful log playgrounds wood is enormously bold, strong and built to last. In fact, we back it with a 10 year guarantee. Our nature inspired log play events add visual harmony to most landscapes regardless of the architectural style of the surrounding structures.  Nature and natural products are never out of style.

Beyond physical properties, the emotional power that our wood possesses in its history, it’s organic qualities, and ability to create peaceful beautiful spaces, make it one of the most romantic materials in the universe. The tactile and sensory properties of the materials used in our unique playgrounds help suggest play themes and re-connects children with Nature in ways other materials cannot.

That’s why wood!

Why Wood Image

"Grow with me" design philosophy

All of our designs incorporate a "Grow with me" philosophy which allows for adjustments to your existing system as well as the option of system expansion as your children's capabilities grow. For younger children, we provide activities which help develop dexterity, motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Our designs help promote social interaction, encourage sharing and patience. The rustic nature of our systems also encourages role play and suggests pretend play themes. "Grow with me" begins as the child's capabilities grow. For example: our Home Use Standard Swing set is height adjustable and can be raised as a child's ability and sense of adventure grows; our Baby Rock Crawl Accessory can first be used to encourage younger climber crawlers to reach a lower deck and later can be raised up to a challenging, full blown, near Vertical 8' Rock Climb Wall; or our real log, swinging Suspension Bridge which can be added to connect two of our play systems together, etc.

Pictured top right, Cayla Bears (8 years old) on a Spiral Stair Climber next to Chance Bears (2 years old) on a Small Rock Climb Wall.

The subsequent two photos illustrate the full range of our products' adaptability.
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grow with me 3

grow with me 1
grow with me 2

Designs Encourage Age and Ability Appropriate Capabilities-Building

We want to help you raise healthy active kids. And of course we want your children to be physically challenged, to build coordination, strength and balance, but it is much more than just that. We want to help you use your backyard and the time you spend with them to raise confident, secure, self motivated, socially responsible little people. All of our models are designed to encourage age or ability appropriate risk taking. For example, the size and placement of rocks on our climbing walls is designed to screen smaller climbers at the bottom, while becoming progressively easier as the ascent continues (this builds confidence); our overhead events like Monkey Bars, Track Ride and Monkey Ring Trek are designed to discourage access for smaller but allow bigger participants. We offer exciting activities for the most advanced children like our Spiral Stair Climber and our 10' Sherpa Wall. Of course, adult supervision and safety surfacing is recommended as your child strives to achieve new levels of accomplishment. (back to top)

Carlee Tree Hugger

Custom Designed Just For You to meet Home or Commercial Standards.

Because our playgrounds are made from real logs, not milled lumber, each one is unique. There are no two exactly alike. And by their very nature, a Bears cedar log playground must be hand crafted one at a time. Because they are built in our wood shop, not a big factory, we can make yours just the way you want it. Our Commercial Models are built to a different standard of safety and Home Use models should not be used in commercial settings. At the customers request, our commercial models can be designed with features like an wheel chair transfer stations and ground level play events to help meet meet ADA standards. (back to top)


Beautiful Style

Our signature line of cedar log playgrounds is perhaps the best looking in the Universe. Whole log construction gives an organic, wholesome feeling that is striking in appearance. You will not find any bright orange colored wood or circus tent tops on your Bears Playground. Just Bold, Strong, Built to last designs, beautifully stained rustic wood and Hunter Green Accents. Bears Playgrounds are designed to compliment the natural setting of your backyard regardless of your home's architectural style. (back to top)

Bold, strong, built-to-last construction

Log Construction is not just beautiful, it is strong too. our posts are made from sturdy whole logs, approx 5" in diameter. this is 60% more wood than our competitors 4x4" construction and 273% more than 2x4" construction. Those who are familiar with log construction know that it is subject to the natural process of "checking". Checking or cracks occur across or through the growth rings as they release moisture. This is not defect in the wood as it does not affect the structural integrity. Instead, it is considered a part of the logs rustic natural look and adds to the uniqueness of each piece. (back to top)

Expect log "checking" and other natural features. God made these trees... Checking is not a "splinter" and it will not affect the structural integrity; instead it adds to the uniqueness of each piece.

Click to enlarge

natural checking

Round is Good

Round cedar is good; baby smooth round logs have no sharp corners like milled lumber, just rub a dub-dub soft cedar; perfect for playgrounds. Logs are peeled, planed and sanded. Cedar is naturally beautiful and splinter resistant and does not contain any arsenic or man made chemicals. Unlike other wood species, the qualities of our round cedar logs make it very difficult to splinter and penetrate human skin. (back to top)


Design Decisions and Safety

Our designs encourage risk taking and challenge, as mentioned above. Sometimes these risks can involve some bumps, bruises or falls. Do you remember learning to ride your first bicycle or skate board? We think these challenges are an important part of growing up. If you agree, then you are ready for a Bears Playground. That being said, we have made a number of design decisions that we feel are important for safety reasons. We have listed a few below: a) Some play systems are constructed from ladders lashed together to form a structure. We have decided not to interrupt play flow and function with obstructive ladders that can cause unnecessary bumps and bruises. Instead we have decided on a more open floor plan with functionally play-linked activities. b) As a matter of design and safety we have decided not to incorporate any wide stance, slippery coated access ladders. Instead we have decided to use Real Log climbers with low slip wood texture and Roped Hand Supports top to bottom.) We have decided not to allow overlapping, sometimes conflicting uses such as overhead monkey bars with swings on them. d) We believe that a fully Rotating and Gyrating Tire Swing can never safely be used under a system but should have its own stable, wide stance beam away from crash obstructions. e) We have decided to use beefy strong structural wooden knee braces instead of cheap metal brackets. (back to top)

Composite Decking

Like you will find on the best built decks in America, we use modern composite decking materials on all of our floors, rock climb walls and other high wear areas so that your bare footed or bare bottom baby is safe as can be. This product is completely and without a doubt splinter and maintenance free. (back to top)


In compliance with ASTM F1487 we anchor our playgrounds in commercial setting by means of duckbill earth anchors or chains from the structure ground. Click to go to detail page. (back to top)


chain anchor


Mortise and Tennon (old school joinery)

This classic joinery style is timeless and super strong. Rarely if ever used by the competition because it requires old school craftsmanship. (back to top)


Over Built Structural Knee Braces

When you see triangles used in construction you are looking at extra strength. Bears Cedar Log Playgrounds are loaded with lots and lots of overbuilt structural knee braces for a bold look and extra strength. (back to top)

Weather Protected

When it comes to natural weather resistance, our cedar is about the best you can do. To top it all off, we have chosen to add additional protection by staining our playgrounds. The color is a beautiful, natural, semi-transparent, brown stain. It enhances the beauty of the wood and highlights the wood grain. The stain is water based and the brown pigment color helps protect against harmful UV rays in the sunniest of climates. The penetrating qualities of the stain also help to protect against snow and moisture. (back to top)

We use a semi-transparent stain (ours happens to be water base but yours can be water based or oil based). The brand of stain we use is call Duckbeck Products  “Super Deck” which is available at Hadlocks and other retailers. The color we use is call Canyon Brown. You can use any high quality, child safe, semi transparent stain you want to like Sherwin Williams, Home Depot or Lowes….And pretty much any color you like too! Sometimes best results can be achieved by cutting the stain with water or thinner to ensure that you get a stain that drinks into the wood. It is always best to test it first for desired results in an inconspicuous area before re-staining the entire thing. If you waited more than a year or two before re-staining you may get the best results by power washing first. Many paint stores and suppliers of stain can provide you with a wood brightening chemical that will achieve the same objective.  In most environments it should be re-stained every 2-4 years.

Wooden Barriers  

Innovative Safety Net Protection

Safety Net barriers are a unique way to protect against inadvertent falls while maximizing parental supervision into the play structure and allowing visibility out of the structure for children. More traditional systems rely upon prison bar looking vertical spindles. (back to top)


10 YEARS STRUCTURAL WARRANTY on all Cedar Log Structural Parts, Floors / Decks, that comprise Bears Cedar Log Playground Structures.

5 YEARS: on all Super Duty Plastic Slides, Parts, Steel Parts and Accessories.

3 YEARS on all Hand Carved and Natural Wood Products such as Mushroom Hoppers, Tables and Chairs, Tree Hoppers, Etc. and

1 YEAR on all barrier nets, Tarp Roofs, Sand Box Covers, Standard and Premium Duty Plastic Slides and Parts. Moving Parts, such as swings, spinners, panels, and other parts not covered above.

Terms and Conditions:

The warranty is against defects in workmanship and materials from the date of purchase. Warranty as stated above will cover the cost of the specific replacement part only to the original owner. Premature wood rot is covered under the warranty to the extent required to prohibit structural failure within the warranty period, (provided maintenance recommendations are followed and documented). We make no other guarantee or warranty of any kind, including implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to the services we perform or the equipment we provide under this agreement. We are not liable to you or any other person or party for direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages. Shipping and installation cost are not included in the warranty. This warranty does not cover cosmetic issues, stain or paint, fading, light surface rust, weathering, or maintenance issues. The owner or manager must follow the Operating Instructions, Maintenance Instructions & Check List. Cedar Logs and other natural wood material have natural characteristics like checking, taper in the logs from one end to the other, bends, curves, etc. These characteristics are normal, natural, and even desirable to provide organic character to each piece. They do not affect structural integrity and are therefore not covered by our warranty. Warranted parts must be subject to normal use, no unusual stresses i.e. encounters with lawn mowers, fires, vehicles, fires, lightning bolts, floods, hurricanes, tornados, vandalism, misuse, neglect, accidents or acts of god, etc are not covered by warranty. Rotting wood is only covered to the extent that it will cause structural failure within the warranty period. At our discretion we may ask for digital images of the affected part and accurate measurements be taken so replacement parts can be made and / or we may ask for the return of the defective part. Bears Playgrounds works very hard to ensure that your playground meets or exceeds applicable safety standards. If however concerns or issues are discovered with applicable safety standards Bears will work with the owner on designing a fix to keep costs to the owner minimized.

CPSC now recommends a minimum of 9" of loose fill safety surfacing material be installed and maintained in the use zone for safety. Safety surfacing package is to be “by others” unless specially included for an optional extra charge at the time of order. Acceptance of this proposal means that you accept Bears Playgrounds terms and conditions as described on the web site

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may require that you make your park and / or playground accessible when viewed in it’s entirety. Please consult your legal counsel to determine if the ADA applies to you. For playground equipment to be considered accessible, accessible surfacing must be utilized in applicable areas. Although a particular playground design may not meet the proposed Access Board Regulations in regards to the appropriate number of ground level events, the actual playground may be in compliance when considering existing play components.

Not all equipment may be appropriate for all children, even when designed for a target age group. To avoid injury you should closely supervise and participate in the child’s use of this equipment, especially while learning to use it. Proper supervision is required.

Owner agrees to and is responsible for Suggested General Maintenance Checklist and Operating Instructions found in the Product Brochure. Inspect this unit before each use, tighten hardware and correct any safety issues before each use. The Owner / Contracting Agency are responsible for all permits required. If in-ground footers are required for this project the owner is responsible to check with the utilities to ensure the playground will not interfere. The owner is responsible for any damage caused by conflicts with buried utilities. If Bears is installing, a clear path accessible by installation equipment into your desired location is essential. Bears Playgrounds cannot be held responsible for damage to the grounds while trying to access the installation area. Regardless of who installs the product, the owner agrees to be responsible for determining placement and for providing adequate, safe, “use zones” around the structure and safety surfacing.  Owner agrees to defend and hold harmless Bears Playgrounds against any claim or liability with respect to the use of these products or services. In the event of any loss or injury to any person or property, you agree to look exclusively to your insurer to recover damages.  You agree that we and our agents, owners, employees, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers and directors are exempt from liability for loss, damage, injury or other consequence arising directly or indirectly from the services we perform or equipment we provide under this contract. If it is determined that we are directly responsible for loss, damage, injury or other consequence, you agree that damages shall be limited to the lessor of $1,000 or the price you paid us under this contract.  These agreed upon damages are not a penalty. They are your sole remedy no matter how the loss is caused or fault. In the event any lawsuit or other claim is filed by any party against us or  our agents, owners, employees, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers and directors arising out of the services we perform or equipment we provide under this contract, you agree to be solely responsible for, and indemnify and hold us completely harmless from such lawsuit or other claim including your payment of all damages, expenses, costs and attorney’s fees. These obligations survive the expiration or termination of this contract. The Limited Warranty is included in the Product Catalog. We make no other guarantee or warranty of any kind, including implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to the services we perform or the equipment we provide under this contract. We are not liable to you or any other person or party for direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages.  This transaction may be cancelled without penalty within 3 days of agreement. After 3 days but before a product is shipped the transaction may be cancelled subject to a 25% restocking fee. Once delivered and or installed this product may not be returned. If payment is not made when due, interest will accrue at a rate of 1.7% per month from the due date. In the advent of legal action in the process of collections, you agree to pay all costs and expenses of collection, including reasonable attorney's fees, whether or not litigation is commenced. 

Updated 2-10-2012 (back to top)

Operating instructions  9-16-2013

  1. We strongly recommend that you save these instructions for future reference.

  2. Bears Custom Commercial playgrounds can be specifically tailored for ages 6-23 mos., 2-5, 5-12, or 2-12. Bears always recommends separate, age appropriate, structures for when possible.

  3. The owner / operator is responsible for selecting the location of the playground. We can advise you, and provide you with drawings that show the proper safe “use zone” at your request, but the final choice is yours. Place equipment on level ground not less than 6’ and or twice the height of the swing set pivot point, from any structure or obstruction such as a fence, building, overhanging branches, or electrical wires.

  4. WARNING: Installation over a hard surface such as concrete, asphalt, or packed earth could result in serious injury or death from falls. The owner / operator shall maintain the protective surfacing within the use zone of each play structure in accordance with specification F1292, appropriate for the fall height of each structure and specification F1951 where applicable. 

  5. The Property owner must prevent children from using the equipment until properly and completely installed with safety surfacing.  Do not use this equipment until properly installed.

  6. Close adult supervision for children of all ages is required. Instruct children to use the equipment properly.

  7. WARNING: Make certain that the playground is clearly visible for proper supervision.

  8. WARNING: Never allow a child to climb out onto a roof or any other surface not intended for climbing.

  9. WARNING: All playground equipment and rubber safety surfacing may become hot enough to cause burns. Check for hot surfaces before allowing children to play. Children should wear appropriate shoes at all times. When possible place equipment under shade and face equipment such as slides to the North.

  10. WARNING: Instruct children not to walk too close to, in front of, behind or between moving items.

  11. WARNING: Instruct children not to twist swing chains or loop them over the top of the support bar since it may reduce the strength of the chain.

  12. WARNING: Instruct children to avoid swinging empty seats.

  13. WARNING: Teach children to sit in the center of swings with their full weight on the seats.

  14. WARNING: Instruct children not to use the equipment in a manner other than intended.

  15. WARNING: Instruct children not to get off equipment while it is in motion.

  16. WARNING: Dress children appropriately (examples would include the use of well fitting shoes and avoid ponchos, scarves, hooded sweat shirts, draw strings and other loose fitting clothing that is potentially hazardous while using equipment).

  17. WARNING: Never allow a child to wear a bicycle or any other type of helmet when using the playground. These can present a serious strangulation hazard to children.

  18. WARNING: Instruct children not to climb when equipment is wet.

  19. WARNING: Verify that suspended climbing ropes, chain or cable are secure at both end, or cable cannot be looped back on itself.

  20. WARNING: Instruct children not to attach items to the playground equipment that are not specifically designed for use with the equipment, such as, but not limited to, jump ropes, clothes line, pet leashes, cables and chain as they may cause a strangulation hazard.

  21. Cut off protruding bolts, smooth over all sharp points or edges, and close open “S” hooks. Check for openings.

  22. Warning labels & signs shall be replaced by the owner / when they no longer meet legibility requirements. Call 1-877-807-7529 or write [email protected]  for replacements.

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Maintenance Check List

9-16-2013 MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS & CHECK LIST: because the safety of this playground equipment and it’s suitability for use depend upon good inspection and maintenance, this check list should be strictly followed, in a systematic manner by personnel familiar with the playground. Make copies of this check list and save for your records after each inspection.
Completed by__________________________Date__________
At the beginning of each play season. Daily or before each use Twice per Month during the play season Once per month during the play season. At the end of each play season. Initial
This Box when Complete
1.Safety Surfacing: The owner / operator is responsible to ensure that there is adequate safety surfacing, both depth and the size of the area or “Use Zone”in accordance with Specification F1292 appropriate for the fall height of each structure and Specification F1951 where applicable. Do not install the playground over concrete, asphalt, packed earth, grass, carpet or any other hard surface. A fall onto a hard surface can result in serious injury to the equipment user. Check for adequate protective surfacing under and around it and the surfacing materials have not deteriorated. A fall onto a shock absorbing surface is less likely to cause a serious head injury than a fall onto a hard surface. As a general rule Bears Playgrounds recommends 9”- 12”  of our Certified Wooden Playground Mulch or 6” of Rubber Mulch. Ensure loose fill surfacing materials are free from extraneous materials that could cause injury, infection, or disease (clear debris). Ensure loose fill materials are not too compacted (rake and fluff) and have not been displaced in heavy use areas. Rake in ruts, wear areas, and install wear mats. Check for trip hazards or environmental obstacles in the use zone.
2. Follow the above recommendations on safety surfacing.







3. Check for user modifications to the equipment such as strings or ropes tied to the equipment, swings looped over the bar, etc. Correct modifications. 







4. For safety, replace swing seats and chains annually.
5. Check for clothing entanglement hazards, such as open S-Hooks, protruding bolts. Also check for hazardous protrusions.







6. Check openings on playground equipment to ensure there are NO openings that are greater than 3 1/2 “ or less than 9”. Check that there are no openings (gaps) at the tops of slides that will allow strings or ropes to get caught.







7. Check all safety net barriers. Grommets, nets (for rips or tears), fasteners of all types, grommets. Repair or get replacement nets from the manufacturer.







8.  Check for missing or broken components (e.g. hand grips, protective barriers, nets). Repair or replace as needed.







9. Check Warning label stickers to ensure they are still in place and legible. Call Bears Playgrounds for replacement stickers if necessary.







10. Tighten all nuts and bolt, and other hardware for as required.







11. Oil all metallic moving parts







12. Check for missing or damaged protective coverings on bolts, pipes, edges, and corners. Replace if they are loose, cracked, or missing.







13. Check swing seats, ropes, cables, and chains for wear, rust, or deterioration. Replace as needed.







14. Check to ensure no crush and shear points or exposed moving parts.







15. Check metal parts for rust. If found, sand and repaint using a non-lead-based paint meeting the requirements of Title 16 CFR Part 1303







16. Ensure the entire area has satisfactory drainage, especially near the base of wooden posts and wear posts are buried in mulch or in heavy use areas, such as under swings and at slide exits.
17. Check all wood for splinters, sand smooth and re-stain.  
18. Inspect and re-stain as needed to to pro-long the useful life of the wood product. You can use any high quality, child safe, semi transparent stain you want like those sold at Sherwin Williams, Home Depot or Lowe's….And pretty much any color you like too! To help prevent wood deterioration below the surfacing: rake back loose fill safety surfacing and water seal wood with a high quality water sealer all the way to the ground. Once dry, rake the loose fill material back into place.







19. Check playground stability. Provide anchoring or stabilize as needed.








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For more information, call or e-mail us today.