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family fun

  • Fitness Benchmarking Games For Children

    The start of a New Year is a great opportunity to being marking your child's progress. Much like marking your child's height against a wall, it can be really fun to monitor their fitness and physical agility, then as they get older, your children can see how much they've improved.

    The fitness measures outlined below are designed to be simple enough for the whole family to participate in. You don't need to complete all the exercises, simply pick which ones your family likes best, but you will need to stick with these selections to monitor the overall improvement. You might want to try each exercise three times, and only record your best result. This is especially useful with younger children who will need a chance to practice and perfect the exercises.

    Store the results somewhere you will be able to find them, and look back over, such as in scrapbook or diary.

    1. Test balance, and muscle strength by timing how long you can stand on your right leg, and then your left leg.

    2. Time how long it takes to sprint a set distance.

    3. Look out for local fun run events you could participate in as a family every year, and track your times.

    4. Measure fitness and endurance by timing How long can you bounce on the trampoline before you get too tired to continue.

    5. Test upper body strength by seeing How quickly can you get across the monkey bars, or how far across can you get before falling off.

    6. Set up an obstacle course in the back garden incorporating the climbing frame, and a jog around the perimeter of the garden, and time how long it takes each person to complete it.

    7. Test lower body and abdominal strength by racing a set distance in a space hopper ball.

    8. Place five soft toys of balls in a box on one side of the garden, with an empty box on the other side of the garden. Time how long it takes to move the toys, one at a time, to the other box. This tests speed, fitness and co-ordination.

    9. How long can you keep a balloon up off the ground? A balloon is much easier to use than a football, making this activity suitable for children of all ages. You can measure the success as the amount of time in seconds, or the number of times the balloon is batted up in the air.

    10. Measure hand-to-eye co-ordination, by counting how many times can you bounce a tennis ball up and down on the ground using a tennis racket.

    11. Sit on the ground and slowly raise your feet into the air, until you are making a V-shape. Time how long you can sit there with your hands out horizontal, and your legs off the ground. This is a great measure of abdominal strength.

    12. Place a ping pong ball on a spoon, and time how long it takes to cross the garden without the ball falling off.

    13. Hold a tin of beans in each hand like weights, and count how many arm curls you can do.

    14. Place a tennis ball, or balloon between your knees, and see how long it takes you to bounce across the garden without it slipping out.

  • Father’s Day at Wicken Toys


    As you may or may not be aware, Father’s Day is coming up!


    The 17th of June this year marks another occurrence of the tradition celebration of fatherhood and male parenting – what better time of the year is there for all those Dads out there to spend time with their kids?


    There’s a huge variety of activities that a father can take part in along with his child (or children), from a simple cinema visit to a day at the beach or a holiday.  We at Wicken Toys have a few additional suggestions in mind!


    Get your Dad up and moving with a game of table tennis with the Kettler Stockholm Indoor Table or the even more durable anti-dazzle Champ Indoor Table!  These two models come with everything you need to get started, including nets, bats and balls too.  A classic choice, table tennis is sure to put a nostalgic smile on the face of any father.  There are outdoor variations of both the Stockholm and the Champ tables so if you’re feeling optimistic about the summer ahead you can prepare with these weatherproof table tennis kits.




    We couldn’t go talking about Dads and not mention football.  There’s no more traditional or stereotypical a father/son bonding session than a kick around the back garden with a football.  Why not add that extra pinch of stadium realism by adding a TP Goal?


    Your little one can experience the thrill of a penalty shootout while Dad gets to relive his own childhood – after all, us adults are all just big kids at the core!  If you’ve got a little more room in your garden then consider going for a more authentic experience and moving up to a TP Giant Goal?  The larger size makes it more of a realistic challenge, and with the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament still ongoing there’s everything to play for!  Get your Dads and lads to don their favourite kits and battle it out on the turf.



    For more ideas, take a look around the Sports and Games section of our website.  Alternatively, if you feel your father would like to make the most of the (hopefully) long hot summer, check out our selection of Above Ground Pools and various inflatables so the younger ones can join in the fun too.


    Whatever you decide to do with your Dads, we at Wicken Toys wish them a happy Father’s Day, and hope you make the most of it!

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