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garden toys

  • Slide into spring

    Now that things are getting a bit warmer it’s time to encourage your little ones to break away from the TV or games console and get out in the fresh air. At this time of year the first signs of spring are starting to show. A few early spring flowers are beginning to pop up and many garden birds have started to sing their lovely spring songs!

     

    So in today’s blog we  thought we’d talk about an outdoor toy, which is bound to get your kids racing out into the garden, filled with the joys of  spring. A free standing slide is not only a staple of children’s playgrounds everywhere but also a great vantage point from which your little ones can spot the signs of spring such as rousing insects, emerging flowers and nesting birds.

     

    A slide is one of those outdoor playthings that are totally addictive. Like swings, kids beg to go to the park to play on them. There’s something extremely satisfying about climbing up high to shoot straight back down to the ground. Moreover children never tire of this simple activity. It would seem there’s much joy in repetition!

     

    Much like garden swings and climbing frames, these kinds of outdoor playthings are an immense source of pride for children. Up until the point that they have relied on you to take them to the park or recreation ground, and now, suddenly, they are independent and can play as much as they like. Moreover, they don’t have to wait for other children, to take their turn!

     

    So let’s take a look at some of the options available here at Wicken Toys.

     

    To begin with there’s the tp Kingfisher Slide Rainbow. This is a great starter slide, which is made from injection moulded polyethylene, with ultra violet stabilisers to stop it degrading. It also has three heavy duty steps with a grip pattern to help stop your little ones from slipping.

     

    Next up in the range we have tp Green Crazywavy Slide Body and Step Set, which has a very sturdy construction and wave form slope for a rollercoaster ride of gentle yet super fun bumps.

     

     

     

    For older and more confident children there’s the tp Rapide Slide Body and Stepset, which is an extra wide 3 metre straight slope slide with four steps. It is built on a highly rigid steel chassis for greater strength.

     

    So if you would like to encourage your youngsters to use the garden more at this wonderful time of year, then consider getting them a free standing slide or maybe even a climbing frame with a built-in slide for double the fun.

  • Maybe baby – finding the perfect baby toys

     

    With autumn already bearing down upon us and the impending Christmas season, now is the time to start thinking about baby toys and garden swings for the smallest members of your growing family. British winters are becoming more traditional over the past few years, with snowfall becoming a more prominent feature of the winter period. And there’s nothing quite like the cold weather and snow for bringing a family together. Make this winter special with some outdoor toys for baby, toddler and child alike.

     

    The TP QuadPod is a great addition to any family garden swing and it won’t break the bank. This swing seat incorporates four seats into its design and suits ages from 6 months to 8 years. This seat is ideal for babies because it gives full back and neck support, which means that you can bundle baby up and take them to play on the swing without any worry. Think of the fun you could have as a family playing with this outdoor toy.

     

    Baby

     

    Another fun little baby toy is the TP Deck Chair Seat. Themed like a summer deck chair to bring back memories of warmer summer days, this one suits ages 6 months to 3 years. There are no sharp corners, so the kids are safe when playing with this toy for babies. It makes your current garden swing a love-letter to a British summer in winter.

     

    Baby

     

    Of course, Wicken Toys can offer you even more than that in outdoor toys. We’ve got our TP Growable Acorn Swing Set. This set includes two seats and is adjustable, so you can grow the swing set as baby gets older. For a lot of families having to watch their pennies, that’s a big bonus because it allows you to get more use out of the swing for a longer period of time. It’s the outdoor baby toy that grows with your baby.

     

    If your baby is a bit older and a bit more daring, give them a challenge! TP Challenger Climbing Frame Low Height Set 1 is a climbing frame set that will delight and astound adventurous toddlers and encourage them to be more active in the great outdoors. With a bumpy slide, ramps and a secret den for them to play in, this will keep them engaged, happy and playing for years into the future.

     

    Baby

     

    What child doesn’t love a trampoline? TP Folding Trampoline is a fun baby toy for confident babies over 12 months. The fact that it can fold-up means that it can be an outdoor toy in calmer weather and an indoor toy when it’s too rough, wet or cold outside. Kids can have endless fun on a small trampoline like this, whatever the weather.

     

    Baby

     

    Even though the weather is starting to turn, there’s still lots of fun to be had with outdoor toys for children in autumn and winter. Whatever the weather, kids can wrap up warm and get out into the garden to get some fun in the world outdoors with the family by their side.

     

    Wicken Toys has the biggest display of outdoor toys and garden swings in the country. Bring the family down and try them for yourselves!

  • Sports and games for children at school

     

    There are two kinds of children in this world; those that love P.E. lessons and those that hate P.E. lessons. Now every parent will at some point recognise whether their child is into sport or not and encourage the extra-curricular activities accordingly. But what about when they are at school?  As the new terms start it's a good question to ask!

     

    Continue reading
  • Score a goal in the garden with some football fun

     

    As a nation, there's one sport that kids and adults alike in the UK like more than any other, and that sport is football. From the tiniest kids kicking a ball around their garden to grown men cheering on their favourite team at the local stadium, football is something people up and down the country are always getting involved with, whatever their age.

     

    More than just a fun past-time though, for many kids football is a great way to make friends by joining their school team, and an enjoyable way to learn the value of teamwork. Perfecting their technique with an at-home goal can sharpen their football skills and show them that practice and hard work really do pay off, which are useful lessons for later life.

     

    Of course the real joy to be had from getting your kids a football goal has nothing to do with these useful side effects though; you'll just love seeing their happy faces when they score against their friends! As we understand the universal appeal of football in Britain, Wicken Toys offers 5 different goal sets to put your kids' footballing prowess to the test and help them perfect their aim.

     

    To start your youngsters out on the footballing pitch, we have the compact and impressively easy to put up Spring Up goal by Tp, which pops straight up in your garden and can be packed back down into an easy-to-carry bag. This means you can take this lightweight goal anywhere you like, though its smaller size means its ideal for children to use in even small gardens.

    A slightly bigger but still compact alternative is the 6 x 4 foot Tp Goal for £23.50, an easy-to-assemble goal made from galvanised steel and rot resistant nylon netting with a lifetime guarantee against rust damage. Either of these two models are perfect for younger children just beginning to discover the joys of football.

    As your kids get bigger, of course, so do the goals. Move on up to the tp Super Goal which comes with an attachable training panel containing several ball-sized holes. This will challenge your children to get the ball through these holes, giving a narrower target than the open goal which can be used for individual practice play when no other kids are around to take a turn in goal. This goal is suitable for children of up to around age 10 and has been enhanced with fix-in ground stakes for added stability.

    On the other hand, if your child wants to practice their goal-scoring accuracy but you don't have space for the 2.13 by 1.52 metre Super Goal in your garden, you might prefer the innovative tp Baloopa. This inventive creation is a free standing raised hoop which allows your child to test their skills when space is tight and costs just £16.75.

     

    For those lucky enough to have a big, spacious garden though, there really is nothing that compares with the tp Giant Goal; a 3.05 by 1.95 metre professional standard goal. This huge goal is so big that even adults will want to join in with the fun, so your little ones can keep playing with it when they're no longer so little.

    With a goal to suit every garden, every budget and every child, there's nothing standing in the way to helping your child develop their footie skills. Who knows, they could just end up being the next big thing in the football world.  Contact Us for further information on our products or browse the site to see for yourselves.

  • 2012 Garden Games – Olympic fun for kids

     

    As we are right smack in the middle of Olympics fever we thought we would do another blog on bringing the Olympic Games into the garden this summer. Wicken Toys stocks many sports and games & outdoor toys for children that could help them qualify them for their own gold medals!

     

    The trick here is to set-up your own Olympic Stadium in the back garden. The Olympics is a perfect excuse to get your children actively involved and excited about sports, so now is the time to capitalise on all the sports hoopla!

     

    You want a variety of games set-up so both your children and their friends can have a full range of sports and games to engage with.

     

    First up, it’s the TP Rebounder.

     

    This is for one or two players. It’s designed to help children practise their catching and target skills. The angle of the frame can be altered to make it easier or harder, so it is perfect for different ages and abilities. It’s a good first game to start off with encouraging healthy competition.

     

    Next up on the Garden Games list is the aptly named TP Garden Games Set which is ideal for jumping, short tennis, badminton or children’s volleyball. Racquets and shuttlecocks are included. This is a perfect set to stand-in for multiple games.

     

    The TP Netball Set is another Garden Games event that will have the kids competing and enjoying themselves. This netball set has a fully adjustable ring. The net height goes from just above the base and up to 10 feet.  It’s ideal to encourage even the very youngest of players. This is a team sport that’s worthy of entry into the garden events.

     

    Take to the Table Tennis on the green and pit competitors in one-on-one matches or get them to play doubles. It’s a lighter way to get them into participating but requires a steady hand and a quick eye! Get the Kettler Tennis Table Bats and the Kettler Champ 3.0 Outdoor Table to have the perfect Olympian package in your garden!

     

    There is nothing to stop you from setting up your own Olympic events for your children in the back garden and get them to compete in their own, less intense version. These are just a few suggestions for how to engage your children and their friends in one of the biggest sporting events in the world! Don’t forget to make up those bronze, silver and gold medals/stars to make it a real Olympic-style event.

  • Rain delay Part 2 – more indoor toys and game ideas

    If you read our last blog you may have seen a few of our suggestions of what to do with the kids when rain puts a big “X” on your plans to go out for the day. Playing outdoors is something we are very passionate about here at Wicken Toys, but we also understand that the weather isn’t always suitable for it. Therefore, here are some more ideas on how to keep the kids occupied and active while the rain falls this wetter-than-expected summer.

     

    Plan a treasure hunt!

    This can be as epic and as imaginative as you want to make it for the kids. All you need to do is grab some goodies from the shop, toys, chocolates, films, whatever seems most appropriate and hide them in a clever place at home. Then construct a set of clues on how the children can find them.

    Treasure hunts are a great way to keep the kids active, on their feet and get their brains working, plus children tend to love treasure hunts. You can even get them to dress up as pirates to add to the make-believe experience.

     

    Arts and crafts

    This is something that requires lots and lots of random crafting materials from ribbons , plastic, paints, cello-tape, paper, you name it. Inspire the children to get in touch with their creative sides and join in with them to help make the most out of a rainy afternoon indoors.

     

    Build a fort

    As we mentioned briefly in the previous blog, a great indoor game, especially for boys, is building a fort and playing cops & robbers or cowboys & Indians. It’s an oldie but a goodie! It may require some furniture rearrangement though.

     

    Hide & Seek

    Another oldie also happens to be one of the oldest kids games there is. There’s a reason why it has been played for so many years. It’s efficient and economical fun for parents to provide their children, and if you turn Dad into a bit of a scary monster it will add to the thrill! This game depends on the hiding capacity of your home of course. It’s harder to play in a flat!

     

    Board games

    While some board games may be too advanced for some children there are plenty others that provide stimulation and are directly aimed at children. This is always a reliable one when it’s wet and windy outside.

     

    Bring outdoor toys inside

    Some outdoor toys are only meant for the outdoors, but others can be re-appropriated for indoor usage. Playhouses and table tennis games are examples we provided in the previous blogs. Use your discretion.

     

    These are just a few of the indoor games you can play to keep the kids occupied this summer while the rain delay continues. Don’t worry, things are bound to clear up sooner or later!

  • To me, to you – ball games this summer

     

    Okay, so it seems premature talking about a summer that seems to be holding back from arriving on our fair shores over here in the UK, but the truth is that sun will get here eventually and when it does, you want to be ready.

     

    The kids will be on summer holidays in less than two months so you need to start thinking “activities!” Believe it or not but kids will want to play outside when its sunny! And if that’s the case then the best way to encourage that i to make sure that they have plenty of games and outdoor toys to go to.

     

    Ball games is what we’re focusing on here this week at Wicken Toys. Who’d have thought that just having a ball and a net would be enough to keep them entertained all day? Well, just ask schools! They always keep the children occupied at playtime and in P.E. lessons through ball games. Plus, it’s fund for adults to join in to.

     

    What we’re looking at today is specific ball games.

     

    Football

    Yes, it’s the nation’s crown jewel this sport and many children get into it from a young age. Why not challenge the little ones by getting a Giant Goal so they can actual have a real game with each other? It’s all well and good giving them a ball but in order to complete the game they need to have the other main ingredient.

     

    The tp giant Goal is big enough for Dad’s and teenagers to enjoy as well as the younger family members. If you’re boys are football crazy then this is the best place to start their summer with.

     

     

    Basketball/Netball

    Traditionally netball is played more by girls than boys but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a mixed sport at home, after all this tp Netball complete set doubles as a basketball net too. This is one of those team sports that really gets kids to co-ordinate and work together, more so than most and also teaches them excellent hand-eye co-ordination. Netball set with fully adjustable ring and net height, from just above the base up to 10 feet.  It’s ideal to encourage even very young players.

     

     

    Table tennis

    If the summer proves to be more rainfall than sunshine, then indoor ball games are always an alternative option. None more so a better one than table tennis. The Kettler indoor table has a strengthened undercarriage & playback facility. It’s Kettler's best selling indoor table. INCLUDES FREE 2 bats, 3 balls and a net.

    That said if you already have a table or decide to put together a make shift one, all you need is the bat and balls.

    You can get a Kettler Table Tennis pack of balls and Kettler tennis table bats to play like pros do. It’s a lot of fun and ocne again very, very good for hand-eye co-ordination.

     

     

    Talk to Wicken Toys about sports and games this summer whether it’s for a kickaround in the back garden or a championship game of table tennis indoors, we can promise you that when it comes to these activities we’ve got the balls for it! ;-)

  • The Fun List - this summer with outdoor toys

     

    Everyone has their ideal of what summer should be. For children though, they only want one thing; as William Wallace once said, “Freeeeeedom!” It’s their time away from school where the world is their oyster, so to speak. Wicken Toys really gets this idea. Summer holidays are a time for children to really feel like children without the confines of school rules and regulations and classes and stuffy old learning! It’s their time to have FUN.

     

    We here at Wicken Toys have compiled our Fun List of activities for children plus the toys we think will best serve their summer of freedom and fun.

     

    1. It’s got to be the beach at the top spot!

    What kid doesn’t love to play in the sand and run amuck in the shallow waters of the sea? Beaches are the number one family holiday destination in the summer and they make for a great experience for everyone concerned, if the weather holds out of course.

     

    If you can’t make it to the beach every weekend with the kids you can always bring the beach to them! Get them a Forest Hexagonal Sandpit that fits at home in any garden. It’s ideal for building sandcastles and digging and certainly offers up the closest at-home equivalent of the beach. To match the sand of the beach with a sandpit you shuld also match the water of the sea for a pool.

     

    Get your hands on the Intex Fish Pool designed to be the closest thing to a safe water experience for young children at-home. There is enough room for mum and dad in this pool.  Deep side walls make this great for older children too. Intex are one of the worlds largest inflatable manufacturers and they inflate all their toys at the factory before they are packed.

     

     

     

    2. Water parks

    The next best thing to the beach is a water park. We don’t know quite what it is with kids and water but they seem to love going in it (unless it’s bath time!) Water slides are just a delirious treat for them but the parks can be very expensive, even for family special tickets. So if you’re not too keen on the idea why not build your own water park outside? It’s cheaper and just as much fun for the kids.

     

    The Aqua Slide is a very popular seller come summer time. It can be used with any normal slide or just lay it on the garden and away you go. Great fun made better by the extra slippy silicone surface which helps propel you down the garden at great speed. Guaranteed laughter for kids, Mum's and Dad's.  Yes, parents need to get involved too!

     

     

    3. Play Park

    When in doubt, the play park is always a safe bet. Swings, slides, seesaws, roundabouts, climbing frames, the whole works. There’s enough energy to spent there to make the kids exhausted by day’s end and allowing youa  break in the evening while they wind down to sleep.

     

    You can build your own play park of course by selecting from our range of garden swings, climbing frames and seesaws to create your own park package out back.

     

     

     

     

    This summer make it easier on yourselves by writing your own Fun List for the kids. It helps you to plan out activities and ultimately save some money in the long term.

  • Making your garden safe for playtime – a guide for parents

     

    Wicken Toys is one of the biggest distributors of outdoor toys for children. We are all about giving children the perfect playtime activity toys but we also are stern supporters of child safety, particularly outdoors.

     

    We wanted to provide a guide to help parents continue to support their children’s activities outdoors with safety as a top priority. If an environment is not safe to play in, the kids should not be allowed to play in it! It’s as simple as that.

     

    Public playgrounds often are considered the most likely place for accidents to happen or for there to be potential dangers, but if you are creating an outdoor play area for your kids in the comfort and safety of your own back garden then it is the most easy to control environment.

     

     

    Garden fences are hopefully lining the perimeter so young children cannot wander out into the streets or into the roads. Make sure your garden is secure in terms of fencing for both the safety of your children and the security of your home.

     

    If you have bought garden swings then you need to make sure that they are good quality, durable and well manufactured pieces of equipment. DON’T buy second hand outdoor toys as this is the most unreliable of purchases that can easily affect or directly injure your children. Always buy outdoor toy products brand new from a trusted retailer or source. Garden swings are the bread and butter of garden activities and toys after all, so give your kids the very best and safest experiences you can provide.

     

     

    Many parents know that children at different ages require different levels of supervision. Below 5’s often need to be kept at very close watch and even at arm’s length. They can very easily hurt themselves, especially whilst playing, so strict supervision is essential. 5+ is the start of an age where children learn to do things independent of their parents and spend more time playing with other kids. If you are providing play space outdoors for your children and their friends you know you can let them play more freely.

     

    If you own or have purchased climbing frames for the brood, once again only purchase them from trusted sources that come with guarantees. Climbing frames are ideal for groups of children to play on and as long as the climbing frame has been constructed to a professional level then you should be able to rest safe knowing that the children can enjoy themselves without fear of rickety bridges and rusting towers.

     

    Keeping your garden and the outdoor play area safe is all down to common sense really, however, as far as the public playgrounds are concerned if you see unsafe conditions or anything that could be deemed as a danger, report it immediately to the playground operators. Most playgrounds have contact information stencilled on the gates or on sign posts. Adults need to take an active role in the community, especially public areas for children where potential problems can be eliminated before they cause any harm.

     

    Children should be able to have fun on the garden swings and on the climbing frames and enjoy their time outdoors. Have fun but be safe.

  • Wicken Toys Swings into Action!

     

    We all have memories of our own childhood, of those wonderful sunny days spent on the swings in the park.  The highs and lows, the back and forth... that exciting moment when we think we’re about to touch the sky!

     

    Maybe they won’t be able to actually touch the sky (we blame physics for that), but swings still hold the ability to entertain and captivate with a simple design and concept.  After all, what better way to add to playtime is there than a swing set?  Swings incorporate all the fun of the fairground Pirate Ship into your own garden, giving your children a taste of action and adventure while gently exercising under the safety of parental supervision.

     

    Here at Wicken we have a massive variety of swings and swing accessories in stock – come and check out our display with the kids for the ultimate try before you buy experience.  We have the largest outdoor display in the country, with an unrivalled selection of swing sets.  Seeing a product on a web site is one thing, but being able to examine it in person is a whole different experience, and you can judge which of our range is best for your children by the looks on their faces!

     

    For those of you with little ones, the TP Growable Acorn Swing Set may well be perfect.  Extending from a 102cm to a 180cm height, this swing set can grow with your child, and is suitable for users between 6 months and 8 years old.  Alternatively, this TP Double Giant Swing Set is ideal for more than one child at a time while not breaking your budget.

     

     

    They grow up so fast, don’t they?  If you’re thinking about giving something a little more adventurous to your not so little ones, have a look at the Plum Uakari Swing Set – with a large climbing net and a rock wall as well as two swing positions, there’s something here for all those wannabe explorers and cheeky monkeys out there.

     

     

    If you’re looking to create the perfect custom swing experience, then look no further than Wicken Toys.  The TP Kingswood Double Swing Arm will add on to any existing Kingswood climbing frame and add a whole new world of fun and possibility when combined with the massive amount of swing accessories and add ons we offer.  Instead of the standard single seat approach, consider something more fun and different.  The Creative Playthings Buoyball Swing is an original thing indeed – encouraging both imagination and body strength development through play.  Alternatively, check out the Creative Playthings Single Axis Tire Swing for a retro approach – or the TP Twizzler 2 for a more modern ‘twist’!

     

     

     

    Whatever your requirements, Wicken Toys is bound to have something perfect for you and your kids – to help them get into the swing of things ready for the coming summer!

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