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go karts

  • Go-Kart Inspired Garden Additions

    A go-kart is an awesome investment. Four-wheeled and low to the ground, they are slower than a bike so older children can ride them in the garden long after they’ve outgrown doing laps on their bicycle.

    But what makes owning a go-kart extra special, is the full fake car experience. Caring for it, washing it, filling it up with ‘petrol’.

    Here’s how to make a go-kart garage your children will go crazy for.

    Car Wash First of all you will need a safe space for the car to get washed-off. You could provide a simple bucket of water and a cloth, and that will certainly be fun for a couple of minutes. But if you want to go all out in the fun stakes, you need to build a car wash.

    Cut up cleaning cloths into strips and hand them using some string, along with sponges from the underside of your climbing frame. Make sure they reach all the way down to around 18 inches from the ground. Now take a bucket of water around and dunk each sponge and cloth in to give them a good soaking. Now your drive-thru car wash is ready.

    Petrol Station The go-kart will also need a place to fill up. You can make a petrol pump by stacking two boxes, one on top of the other, and writing a dial on the top box. Then use a length of garden hose, or any type of narrow tubing to create a nozzle to reach into the car. You can make a checkout desk for another child (or you) to join in the game. Set up a small table with a toy shopping till, and you could even add some cardboard mock sweets to tempt the customers.

    Garage Everyone knows the safest place to secure your car is in a private garage. Give your go-kart a worthy resting place for the night by constructing a shelter. This is practical as well as fun. To protect the go-kart and maximize its useful life, it should be sheltered from direct sunlight and the weather. However, lugging it in and out of a shed everything your child wants to use it can get tiresome. Instead you can create a small garage port they can drive their go-kart into and store when not in use.

    There small sheds or storage units that attach to the house’s outside wall you could use, or you could create a wooden frame and add some tarpaulin to shelter from the wet weather. You could designate an area at the side of the house a parking zone, or underneath the climbing frame is a well sheltered spot.

    If you don't have a go-kart yet, check out our go-kart buyer's guide.

    For more outdoor play inspiration, check out the rest of the Wicken Toys blog.

  • Best Outdoor Toys For Ages 13 And Up

    Buying presents for a teen is no easy task.

    By now most children have outgrow the outdoor play equipment they enjoyed when they were younger.

    They may also now start to feel self-conscious about charging around the garden with the wild abandon like they used to.

    Never Too Old For Outdoor Fun

    But don’t assume your teen is too old for toys. Playing outside provides an important opportunity to unwind from school, and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. The toys you buy now are an invitation to play, permission to continue enjoying fun activities.

    You will have more success coaxing your teen into the back garden, if you focus your efforts on activities you can enjoy together.

    Just Bounce

    Springfree

    A trampoline is an ideal piece of play equipment for all ages. It can be difficult to find outdoor toys that serve all of your children well, but a trampoline does the job nicely. You can even have a bounce on it yourself.

    Larger trampolines allow for me freedom when bouncing about, allowing your teen to burn off energy without crashing into the sides.

    Always choose a trampoline with a purpose-built fitted net.

    Tempting as it may be to load a large trampoline with all your children at once, don’t. It’s not that the mat can’t take the wait. Trampoline manufacturers advise one person at a time only as smaller jumpers can get bounced about by bigger jumpers, and any collisions may result in injury.

    Used solo, however, a trampoline can be a great way for your teen to get some exercise without having to stray too far away from home.

    Start Driving

    Berg

    Adults buy our top-end go-karts, so they certainly are suitable for teens. These are designed to be pedaled fast, by older children and adults. The Berg’s are especially suitable for teens thanks to the Brake Freewheeling System. When you stop pedalling at speed, the pedals stop turning round, so although the go-kart will continue with the momentum, the pedals don’t keep smacking the rider in the back of the legs. Then to slow down, simply put a little backwards pressure on the pedals and the go-kart starts to scrub-off speed.

    Outdoor Shelter

    If you’ve ever considered getting a summer house or gazebo, now would be a good time. Providing a quiet space for your teen to meet friends, out of the house, but not away from your supervision, gives them the independence and freedom they crave, without compromising on safety.

    Water Pistols

    For the summer months, keep an arsenal of water pistols to hand. Nobody ever outgrows water fights.

    If you also have younger children, checkout the rest of <a href="http://www.wickentoys.co.uk/blog/tag/matching-toys-to-ages/"January’s series on outdoor toys for all ages.

  • Wicken Guide To Choosing A Go-Kart

    Choose wisely and your child's new go-kart will provide them with hours of entertainment and exercise over the next few years.

    Alas it's not as simple as buying the cheapest model available in your son or daughter's favourite colour, but with the help of our comprehensive guide, we can make the selection process pain-free.

    What Size?

    Tempting as it may be to buy a jumbo go-kart your child can grow into, this is likely to result in majot disappointment when they first try to ride it. For a go-kart to be safe and enjoyable, your child must be able to maintain contact with the pedals throughout each revolution. Stretching to reach the pedals may cause backache or result in feet slipping off the pedals and losing control.

    Each model has an age range as a guide, but pay more attention to the suggested height range, as that is what determines how comfortable the go-kart is to use.

    Adjustable Seat

    If getting the exact right size is sounding like a nightmare, you'll be pleased to hear that Kettler go-karts come with adjustable seats. This extends the number of years your child and their go-kart are a good match. The seats are easily moved by simply lifting a handle and pushing the seat forwards or backwards, then replacing the handle to its original position. Once the handle is down the seat is securely fixed into place so it won't move around while the go-kart is in use.

    Free Wheeling

    When the go-kart is being pushed, or running downhill under its own momentum a free-wheeling feature will stop the pedals from rotating. Basically if the go-kart can freewheel it means that unless the rider is pushing the pedals themselves, the pedals aren't moving, so there's no danger of them hitting dangling legs. On some models this happens automatically, and on others, usually models for older children, there is a lever to activate the freewheel function.

    Dual Action Brake

    Dual

    Look for a go-kart that offers a dual action brake. This means that a brake is applied to both back wheels at the same time ensuring a controlled slow down or stop. If resistance is applied to just one wheel, especially when travelling at speed, the go-kart could spin, or veer off sideways.

    Tyres

    Typically go-karts for younger children have solid tyres, as these are more reliable (they can't get punctures). However, older children, who are naturally a little heavier benefit from air tyres which give them a smoother, more comfortable ride.

    Why Kettler?

    We pride ourselves on sourcing products from high quality manufacturers with reputations for reliability and value for money. All of our go-karts are made by Kettler, a company with more than 50 years experience making pedal go-karts. The range includes models suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years, with every kart built to last.

    Taking Care Of Your Go-Kart

    To help your go-kart stay looking good and functioning well, keep it stored in a sheltered location, especially over the winter months.

  • Gift Wrap Your Go Kart In Style

    If you've bought a go-kart for you child this Christmas, firstly, let us congratulate you on being such an awesome parent. Your child is going to be beside themselves with excitement.

    To help you squeeze some extra mileage out of this epic gift, we've got some ideas for gift wrapping it in style, and some amazing accessories to give with it.

    Planning The Grand Unveil

    Think about how you want to reveal this brilliant present on Christmas morning. Firstly, will it be in the house or outdoors. If it's inside you will need to wrestle it outdoors before your child can ride it, but at least it will stay clean and dry if it's tucked under the tree.

    Secondly, do you want to completely conceal its existence by hiding it behind a sofa or in a different room, or do you want to have it in plain view.

    Finally, are you going to gift wrap it, or throw an old sheet over the top?

    Awesome Accessories

    If your little one is a racing fan, here's some ideas for go-kart add-ons that will make this present even better.

    * A branded baseball cap for their favourite racing team. * Racing overalls. You can get these from shops that sell dressing up outfits, or buy a child-sized boiler suit and sew on your own patches. * Racing drivers rely on a complicated hydration system that delivers liquid to them via a straw. You can replicate this with a hydration backpack, or 'bladder' as it's sometimes called. * Make your own pit board with large letters and numbers so you can give your little racer a message. * Buy a cheap stop watch so they can measure their lap times, and a clipboard so you can act as head coach and write them down. * Get some white chalk so you can mark out a race track on the path. * If your child would like a racing helmet, or you would feel more comfortable with them wearing protective head gear, a child-sized full face BMX helmet, looks like the real deal. * All the best racing drivers have a pair of leather gloves. Try to get a colour that compliments their overalls and / or go-kart. * Make up a car-wash set with bucket, sponge and liquid soap so they can take care of their own cleaning and maintenance. * Small training cones, like the ones included in football training sets, make good obstacles to negotiate when practicing driving skills.

    Games To Play WIth The New Go-Kart

    Whizzing around in circles on their new go-kart will only keep them occupied for so long, before they want some parental interaction. Don't get sucked into chasing them about as this is exhausting and far too much like hard work. Instead, offer to play one of these go-kart games: * Time how long it takes them to complete a lap of a course they have set out. You are the head coach / team manager, so your job is to stand still, start the stop watch and record the times. * Shout out 'stop' and 'go', a great game for developing listening skills. * Set up a pitstop area and time how long it takes them to clean all four wheels of the go-kart.

    Above all, make sure you have a video camera ready to capture the moment your child realizes they have the most awesome Christmas present ever, and try not to feel bitter about Santa taking all the credit.

  • Go-Kart Games For Budding Jenson Buttons

    The Hungarian Grand Prix is only a few days away, and with no less than four Brits lining up on the grid, it’s clear we’ve become a nation of motorsport lovers.

    If you’ve got a budding Button at home, here’s some ideas to help them hone their karting skills.

    Time Trial Maths Work-Out

    Set up a simple circuit at home, and do time trials. Record how long each lap takes, then depending on the age and ability of your child, play around with the numbers.

    Younger children can spot which laps were the fastest and slowest, and may be able to order all the laps inbetween.

    Older children can calculate the differences between lap times, and the more advanced junior statisticians could even work out the average lap time.

    Route Finder

    As all the great racers know, the quickest route between two points is always a straight line, but what about three points, or four points?

    Set some markers out in your garden, and ask your little driver to map out a few different routes, then time trial each one to see which is the quickest.

    Not only is this great exercise, but helps develop problem solving skills too.

    Simon Goes Karting

    Do you remember that electronic game Simon, where the aim of the game is to remember the longest sequence of lights? It’s fun, and frustrating, but did you know that game also helps develop your memory skills.

    For this game you will need to set out a circuit with a number of task points on it, such as:

    • Pick up soft toy
    • Wash the go-kart
    • Refuelling
    • Tyre change
    • Buy some shopping.

    Play the game by asking your child to complete a task on their first lap. On the second lap, ask them to complete that task again, plus one other. Then for each lap, continue like that, adding a new task to the existing sequence.

    This game is great for developing auditory memory and short term serial recall.

    The Obstacle Course

    Take half a dozen or so plastic buckets, and place them upside down around the course, leaving enough space for the go kart to pass either side. Put a tennis ball on top of each bucket.

    Your junior driver needs to get around the track as quickly as possible without knocking any balls off. Add a penalty for each missed obstacle.

    For more advanced, and patient racers, add a reversing challenge.

    Negotiating obstacles helps develop spatial awareness, and learning to steer while driving backwards is an especially tricky skill to master.

    Here at Wicken we stock a range of Kettler go karts to suit children from as young as 3 years, right through to 12 years old, so if your kart is looking a little on the small side, or maybe your child is yet to have their first set of wheels, head on over to see the range.

  • Go with Go-karts

     

    Now that the days are getting sunnier and it isn’t going dark until around 8:30 in the evenings, it may dawn on you just how tired last year’s summer garden toys are looking. Your children will have probably noticed a change too. Their outdoor play equipment will appear to have shrunk (most likely due to a year’s worth of fast growth spurts).

    Pretty much all of our products are suitable for the outdoors and will provide lots of fun during lighter evenings however; one of these in particular is our selection of Kettler Go-karts.

    It wasn’t too long ago that Kettler Go-karts reached their 50th year anniversary which meant that they were able to celebrate a reputable history of building these toys with pedals.

    In purchasing one of these, you are acquiring years of expertise and innovation. We currently have six different models in our range. Our bestselling ‘Kettcar’ is this; the Kettler Nitro Extreme. This plush model is aimed at older children who have experience of using these. This is because its high performance air tyres have made it a much faster model with a strong frame to match.

    Kettler Nitro Extreme Go kart

    Kettler Melbourne go kartAt the other end of the scale is the Kettler Melbourne (above) as one of our cheaper retro Kettlers. This is for younger children who have never rode pedal Go-karts before. It has a great freewheel facility which means that the pedals don’t spin and hit the child’s feet when the kart is being pushed along.

    One of our middle of the range karts is this very attractive Kettler Silverstone Air (below). It is the aerodynamic qualities and styling, like its sleek nose cone, that have made it worthy of the Silverstone label. This isn’t just known for its good looks though; it also has substance with its sturdy frame, high performance air tyres, front spoiler, non-slip pedals, freewheel lever, and dual-action handbrake. Plenty of personality!

    Kettler Silverstone Air go kart

    Kettler Daytona Air go kartAs one of their newer designs, the Daytona Air (above) also comes at an affordable mid-range price and is an upgrade of the Daytona model. This has the same jet black colour of the Nitro Extreme and a similar sleek front design as the Silverstone Air. The stand-out feature for parents is the seat’s safety feature. This is a unique absorption strip which has been fitted to the seat to protect children’s backs and spine. It shares many of its other features with the Silverstone model including: non-slip pedals, a durable frame, a front spoiler, adjustable seat, a dual action brake, and a freewheel facility.

    There are still a few Kettcars that we haven’t yet discussed but you can view the rest of these by clicking here. Don’t forget that you can come along to the Wicken Toys store where you children can try out these products for themselves.

  • Go Karting at Christmas!

    Every child's dream is to wake up on Christmas morning to find a go kart under the tree. From the moment you child first glimpses the unusually large car-shaped object, it will be apparent that this is no ordinary Christmas present. A go kart is something really special. It is not simply another toy to clutter up your child's bedroom but a rite of passage and moreover something they will remember forever. Moreover, unlike the latest toy or games console, a go kart is something that will encourage your child to get away from the TV and go outside.

    Here at Wicken Toys we know the value of outdoor play. In particular the elements of play that promote interaction and healthy competitiveness between children. Go kart racing is something that facilitates imaginative play as children pretend they the real-life racing drivers they have seen on TV. Moreover, not only will a go kart be used all year round but is also something that children will always want to play with and won't go out of fashion like Power Rangers, Teletubbies and all those other Christmas fad toys.

    Our range of Kettler go karts are particularly special. These are high quality toys that have been built and beautifully engineered in Germany. These go karts not only very resilient metal frames with scratch resistant paint, but also have many other fantastic features like no-tool seat and a freewheel facility for safety.  These go karts are some of our best selling toys and sell out fast during the festive season despite our best efforts to re-stock. So order one today to avoid disappointment!

    So now let's have a look at a couple of go karts from the range. Firstly, the Kettler Melbourne is the perfect kart for a first time racer.  It is a sturdy little car that will stand up to the rough and tumble of everyday play. Moreover, it is a tough little competitor and will have no trouble handling those every day challenges.  It possesses all the features of the larger cars in the range.

     

     

    At the top end of the range we have the Kettler Nitro Extreme, which really is built for speed. It is designed for older children, who love its smooth handling and super fast performance. This is a great car for racing and will be sure to get your child to the finish line first.

     

     

    If you are thinking of getting your child a go kart for Christmas then it's probably best for you to order sooner rather than later. However, if you are in the Milton Keynes area then feel free to come along and let your child try one of the go karts we have on display before you buy.

  • Burn some rubber with Wicken Toys...

     

    Anyone with any experience of being around kids at all knows they always seem to be on the move. Of course we want to encourage keeping our kids active to improve their health in later life, but keeping up with such high-speed fun and making sure they don't run into any harm can often be a tiring challenge for some parents.

     

    Thankfully though, there is a solution. A sit on tricycle or go-kart will keep your kids entertained for hours on end and let them get the exercise they need without wearing you out too. Brightly coloured go-karts and trikes make it easier to keep a watchful eye on your child safely at play without having to follow them at every step of the way.

     

    Not just that though, trikes and go-karts also fast become one of the most cherished toys for any child, whether male or female and whatever the age. As the trikes and go-karts at Wicken Toys are really built to last from sturdy reinforced plastic and are covered by warranty for several years, they are also one of the best value and most appreciated presents you can buy your children.

     

    It's worth mentioning too that learning to ride a tricycle or go-kart is a good first step towards teaching your child to ride a bike; a useful skill which could come in handy later in life and help them keep fit.

     

    Start off by introducing them to one of Wicken Toys large range of tricycles, built for the smaller kids out there from 2 years and up. Models in the range start from just £39.99 to suit all budgets and are available in an array of colours from candy pink to racy red and black. There are even 'gender-neutral' colour combinations on offer so you'll be able to pass the tricycle down to younger brothers and sisters once your eldest outgrows it. Each of the trikes in the range can also be used with a freewheel facility and 'parent pole' so you can guide the trike if your child is too tired to peddle while out on a walk.

    Once your little one outgrows their trike and wants to go peddling off on their own round the park or garden, it’s time to move on to one of Wicken Toys adventurous go-karts. Start with one of the models aimed at younger children such as the bright red Kettler Melbourne for 3-5 year olds; a sturdy-framed 4 wheeler featuring an adjustable seat, non-slip peddles and dual action brakes.

    Bigger kids aged up to 8 would be more suited to larger models such as the Daytona Air kart, with the same features as the Melbourne, plus high performance air tyres and an impact absorption strip in the backrest. This kart offers a more comfortable ride for older kids reaching higher speeds, meaning a bumpier ride, while the noise-reducing air tyres keep neighbours happy.

    Pre-teens can then move on to the Indianapolis Air or Kettquad Air karts, in racy black and red or orange colour schemes with fiery flame detailing on the paintwork for an ultra-cool look. The Indianapolis model features ball bearing wheels and longer bike cranks to increase traction and keep the kart from turning over even at speed, while the Kettquad model has a heightened seat position and off-road tires designed for rougher kart tracks. Both models additionally feature an enhanced sporty frame to support larger riders.

    In fact once they outgrow these final karts, within what seems like no time at all they'll be driving for real! What better reason than that to cherish their childhood years by giving them a toy they'll enjoy playing with day after day, month after month, year after year?

     

    Feel free to browse our ranges on the Wicken Toys site or Contact Us for further details.

  • Boys will be boys with outdoor toys

     

    When the boys are at that particular age where they hit their peak of energy and enthusiasm for playtime, many parents find that peak will plateau and continue to last for a long time. This is part of growing up... and growing up can be a difficult experience when there is too much energy for them to expel and not enough challenges for them to exert it upon. Continue reading

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