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playhouses for children

  • Wicken Toys for the imagination: climbing frames and playhouses


    Children have very active imaginations throughout their childhood. You will often hear them playing role-play games and escape to exciting worlds with the help of just one simple toy.

    Imaginary play is a brilliant tool for brain development as well as social skills and creativity. Moreover, this type of very creative play is favourably very physical as they can spend hours running around the garden; however, with the continuous introduction of exciting, smart, new technologies, imaginary play is becoming a decreasing occurrence among westernised households where we are lucky to have televisions, laptops, game consoles, mobiles, and iPods. These mostly demand all of our attention for their screens which makes them a lazy, passive learning process, and a form of entertainment that lacks in physical movement.

    Here at Wicken Toys, all of our products showcase the vast possibilities for imaginative play, especially for the outdoors. We believe that it is very important to stimulate young imaginations and get them into the fresh air outside more often.

    In this blog post we’re going to take a look at some of our most imaginative and exciting toys that will help to draw your children away from the television screen and into the garden.

    Our All Out Play climbing frames and playhouses (in some cases, these combine to create one magnificent piece of outdoor play equipment) have some very interesting designs. Pictured below are the All Out Play Fort and All Out Play Climbing Den and Playhouse. The fort (below) is a smaller playhouse compared to its much larger relative, but it is still an excellent fort all the same. It has arched doorways, flagpole, arrow slit windows, and even crenellations to hide behind.

    All Out Play Fort playhouse

    It won’t be long before you have dragons flying around your home and medieval armies marching straight for your house, so hide behind the battlements and get your arrows ready!

    All Out Play climbing den and gatehouse set

    The All Out Play Climbing Den and Playhouse Set could turn into anything; a jungle hut, swamp hut, castle fort, or a tree house. Playhouses like these allow children to do many fun, physical activities like crawling, climbing, sliding, swinging, and hiding. As you can see there are three main components: connecting bridge, gatehouse, and den. There is a place for everyone: the knights, the guards, and even the damsels in distress.

    Another one of our favourite themed pieces of outdoor play equipment is the TP Forest Pirate Galleon.

    All Out Play Pirate Galleon

    It has all of the important features that you would expect from a Disney pirate ship: pirate sails, deck seating area, ladder, captain’s cabin, ships wheel, and gang plank. Many fantastic characteristics to keep even a large group of birthday party guests entertained whilst they journey around the oceans of the world.

    Click one of the following links to browse through the rest of our outdoor play equipment ranges.

    Climbing frames, playhouses, swings, slides, trampolines, wheeled toys.

  • Shelter from April showers



    Rest assured once Easter has passed, it isn’t long before you hear sudden bursts of rain splashing against your windows and bouncing of the rooftops. April means April showers and your children will now have to prepare for very fast transitions between sunshine and heavy rain as they play in the garden.

    There is a way for your children to continue playtime outside and avoid becoming drenched by April showers. Have you ever considered adding a playhouse or two to your collection of outdoor play equipment?

    Wicken Toys’ selection of outdoor climbing frames and playhouses boasts many designs with excellent shelter; a great solution to all of your children’s April shower concerns.

    In this blog we’ll be taking a look at a couple of our favourite shelters in the form of outdoor playhouses and outdoor climbing frames. Lots of these have exciting features incorporated into the designs such as slides, ladders, rock walls, windows, and even climbing nets and hoops.

    Our wooden climbing frames and wooden playhouse come in a variety of fun shapes and sizes, some of which have a theme like our All Out Play Rocket. With this your kids could end up flying to the moon and back; all in a day’s work (and remain dry).

    All Out Play Rocket

    The All Out Play Rocket’s hexagonal shaped roof is durable enough to last through the worst of April showers with its tough hardwood and marine plywood. Additionally, all of the fixings are either galvanised or stainless steel to help avid unsightly rust and corrosion.

    Inside there is also another floor level to climb up to.

    inside of the All Out Play Rocket

    Another one of All Out Play’s playhouses is this simpler design called the jungle hut. It is small enough to be tucked away at the bottom of the garden and will make a brilliant little den for planning all of those garden adventures. This has the same precautionary features to weather any amount of rain and the same tough hexagonal roof as the Rocket.

    All Out Play Jungle Hut

    Our TP products range also has playhouses and wooden climbing frames with excellent shelters and plenty of entertainment.

    This TP Forest Lodge comes with its very own verandah and a 1.8m green slide. The stilts ensure that the lodge is kept away from the wet mud and big puddles.

    For a larger verandah and platform, the next TP model up will suit. This is the TP Forest Villa 2 which will be a great option to last many April showers.

    TP Forest Villa 2

    Contact us for more information about our playhouses, wooden climbing frames, and all kinds of other garden toys. We can provide you with advice as to which product may suit your garden and children best.

  • Start planning your next Easter egg hunt now

    We’re certain that there were many outstanding Easter egg hunts last Easter weekend. Although Easter is now finished for another year, why not start planning 2014’s early and make sure it is going to be the best ever eggs-travaganza?

    To begin planning an Easter egg hunt that the Easter bunny would be proud of, you will need to consider certain features that will ensure optimum egg-hiding and maximum fun. Our outdoor play equipment range boasts all of the characteristics which will help you to construct an entertaining Easter egg trail.

    In this blog we’re going to talk through several garden toys and pieces of play equipment that would be suitable for a family pub’s outdoor play area/garden for kids.

    On your marks, get set, go!

    Our Plum My First Wooden Play Centre is an exciting way to get the Easter egg hunt started. It has many places to hide tiny Easter eggs which are always a good way to begin a trail towards a big surprise. You could slot clues into the rock wall, climbing net, and inside of the play den.

    The next part of the hunt could be the TP Explorer 2 Climbing Frame with Den and Jungle Run. This challenging climbing frame with its high up den and monkey bars presents lots of possibilities for an Easter egg hunt. You could try hanging pieces of string with clues on the ends or eggs from the rungs of the monkey bars and the kids will have to jump to get them.

    The halfway mark of the trail can be the TP Castlewood Tower. Complete with a fireman’s pole, this climbing frame tower will be lots of fun and the platform is certainly big enough for some larger surprises and bigger eggs.

    Hide the next clue buried underneath the sand in this TP Sherwood Sand-pit.

    tp sherwood sandpit all out play climbing den and gatehouse set

    Our All Out Play Climbing Den and Gatehouse Set (above) will make a very interesting obstacle with all of its exciting features and slide. The possibilities for Easter egg hiding are endless. For something a little bit smaller, take a look at our All Out Play Jungle Hut.

    Next it is time to take the Easter egg hunt out onto the seven seas with this TP Forest Pirate Galleon.

    Finally step into the land of knights and dragons with the All Out Play Fort. This will make a great finishing line to hide the biggest and best Easter egg. Maybe the Easter bunny will be waiting in there too.

    We also have many other garden toys and outdoor play equipment which can all be used for commercial events or home celebrations like this. Contact us for more advice on which products would suit your event and space best.


  • Last through the cold start to spring with wooden kitchens

    It seems that spring isn’t here just yet but you only have a couple more months to keep your children entertained indoors until they can venture out to their garden toys.

    We stock a wide range of outdoor play equipment for children but whilst rainy, cold days are still more frequent than warm and sunny ones, toys such as wooden kitchens can be an excellent purchase.

    Plum products have a number of interactive wooden play kitchens. With taps that turn, work surfaces, hobs, and dials that turn, your children are sure to spend hours occupied in their own little world of with cooking, cleaning, and washing pots.

    They will look especially delightful in a little girl’s bedroom. Alternatively, place it in your actual kitchen when it’s time for dinner; you never know, your child could become a Michelin star chef!

    When summertime does begin to arrive, these toys aren’t just limited to indoors; they can also be used in dry weather as outdoor play equipment and garden toys too. You can place them inside playhouses so not only will your child have a kitchen, but they will have a pretend home too (the different role-playing game possibilities are endless!). Moreover, they will remain dry even if it does start raining.

    We have picked out a couple of our favourites so that you can continue to keep your children occupied through the cold, rain, (and snow).

    This Plum Terrace design is probably the most elaborate one we have and also one of the biggest.

    Complete with a pretend microwave, fridge, freezer, oven, hob, sink, taps, and even storage, this design is perfect for a demanding little chef.

    You will notice that there is even a painted mosaic tile pattern behind the sink. Are you jealous yet?

    Plum Terrace Wooden Play Kitchen for children

    A smaller and simpler alternative This Plum Cabin is a great example of just how cute plum products can be. Despite the fact that it is a smaller design the work surface, sink, and oven are also accompanied by a washing machine so that your child can keep on top of washing their cuddly toys as they wash the pots!

    Plum Cabin Wooden Play Kitchen

    Like the Plum Terrace, this Plum Cottage design has all of the features you would expect to see in a real kitchen.

    As you can see there is a fridge, freezer, oven, hob, taps, sink, storage, shelving, and a microwave.

    The vibrant colours are sure to capture your children’s imagination and will compliment most playrooms and nurseries.

    Plum Cottage Wooden Play Kitchen

    If you would like to see more products like these, just click on the links at the top of each of our website pages.

  • Playing house - opening the doors to playhouses this spring


    As the weather improves and we see more sunny days ahead (the recent snowfall notwithstanding!) it’s a good opportunity to start thinking playhouses for the kids. At Wicken Toys we have some ideas about the best playhouses currently available and what we think will give your children the most fun during spring time.


    Playing at home for kids can be turned into a much more exciting experience. Playhouses are a greta way to encourage imaginative play for pre-schoolers. They can cater to children playing by themselves and with their siblings or friends.


    The key attraction for children is that they can role play and the educational merits of playhouses are that children (knowingly or unknowingly) can practice social skills while enjoying their playtime. Think about it – playhouses are basically platforms for children to pretend to be their parents by “owning” and “living” in their own house. They adopt etiquette very quickly.


    With a playhouse kids can play inside or outside in them. They are designed as outdoor toys but work just as well inside the house on those cold or rainy days. With spring weather and signs of summer spreading across the UK there has never been a better time to encourage children to play outdoors!


    Playhouses come in different shapes and sizes that can suit individual gardens and homes respectively according to their specifications.


    The Forest Wooden Cabin Playhouse is a compact lodge with window frames and fabric door perfect for children aged between 1-10 years.



    Go from small cabin house to fortress castle and tower set (which boys tend to go crazier for!) Children will instinctively recognise that the Castle can be a fairy palace, a Wild West fort, or a stage for medieval chivalry and pageantry.   Then they can run accross the bridge into the tower and act out some other imaginary tale.



    Or for something a little more scaled back and not quite so epic, you can find the All Out Play Jungle Hut more appealing. It has a wooden floor as its base and looks great in gardens.



    Choose from a standard playhouse or a hybrid playhouse / Climbing frame by All Out Play. All Out Play playhouses look great in any garden, solidly built and strikingly unusual.


    Playhouses blend well into any environment. Each design includes an enclosed space that is great in all sorts of weather, but also allows your children to play securely in their own private fantasy world.

  • A castle to call my own - Children's playhouses for Christmas


    A castle to call my own – Christmas playhouses for children


    It’s hard to believe that Christmas 2011 is two months away. From September or October time, children start to get the red and green mist of Christmas; they begin to see the new toys and games filtering through on the TV and their little minds work overtime with lists for Father Christmas.

    Christmas is such a special time for little ones. The magic is an almost tangible thing and they get so excited about Christmas Day that they can’t sleep. Christmas gifts are difficult things to get right, but Wicken Toys can guide you on buying your children a perfect Christmas gift.


    My home is my castle

    Playhouses can give children endless fun and games as they tumble through childhood. It’s a private little kingdom for them to call their own, where their minds can conjure up all sorts of weird and wonderful adventures.

    As proud owners of the UK’s largest outdoor toy display, Wicken Toys in Milton Keynes gives you the unique opportunity to come down and see the toys in real life before you decide on your purchase.


    All Out Play Tower

    Does your son or daughter fancy themselves an elven warrior fighting on the plains of Middle Earth? Does your daughter imagine herself as a shield maiden fighting legions of gruesome warriors? The All Out Play Tower playhouse gives your children a refuge away from the house and their own little castle tower to play in.

    Shaped like a turret and made from strong, sturdy wood, the All Out Play Tower would make a perfect Christmas gift for children looking for real adventures at playtime. They can imagine themselves holding the fort of a castle, preparing to do battle against an army or they can make a comfortable den in there.

    It’s the adventurer’s choice.


    The All Out Play Castle playhouse

    Their home will be their castle this Christmas if you choose the All Out Play Castle from Wicken Toys. This wooden castle can become a fairy palace, the castle of valiant princes or princesses, a fort for cowboys from the wild west or the fort of a brave warrior.

    The All Out Play Castle is decked out with arched doorways like a real castle; it has arrow slit windows for an authentic castle feel and internal hanging bars for children to play on inside the castle.

    Castle playhouse for children This playhouse even comes with a flagpole, so you and your children can sit and create a flag for the play castle together for some quality family bonding time together. This is the ultimate Christmas gift for brave and adventurous children.

    Wicken Toys is like a dreamland for children, where they can shop with their families and see an amazingly rich world of outdoor toys and games. Children deserve as many magical Christmases as possible and these playhouses are a fun little piece of adventure in a world of pure imagination.

    If you have any questions about any of our toys or you’d like to see them in the real world, come down and visit us. Our address details are here.

  • Wicken Toys looks at playtime for pre-schoolers


    Children require different things at different ages. Playtime helps to stimulate them and encourage interaction, assist in growth and learning development. But younger pre-school children are not always up to the task of playing bigger, more complex games. It’s best to keep things physical, but simple.


    Wicken Toys takes a look at the outdoor toys that are most suitable for these pre-schoolers and why.


    Playhouses are the houses that can fit in a house! These are very much tailored towards the world of make-believe and stimulating their imagination rather than stimulating them physically. In a playhouse (depending on what kind you get) children can create their own world in which to live in at playtime. This is an important part of early learning as through this kind of make-believe children pick up on social skills and etiquette.


    There’s the simplicity of the Forest Cabin Playhouse, which is perfect for the type of children who like to choose who they invite into their home! That’s right Mum and Dad, you’re probably not on their list, so you’re not getting in.



    Of course, there is the type of child that wants to go beyond playing house. They want adventure in large portions. Well, they don’t come larger than All Out Play Turret. The Turret can be a fantasy palace, a wild west fort or a medieval castle under siege! This is one of the more impressive playhouses that you will find. And it’s good fun for the kids where they can playact and roleplay all day.



    Another good pre-school outdoor toy is the trampoline. Even as an adult you know how fun they can be once you get into your rhythm. It’s like being able to touch the sky with your fingertips. But some trampolines aren’t meant for the younger ones as they lack the required safety measures. That’s why Wicken offer the JP Junior Trampoline designed to help improve a child’s balance and standing skills with strong galvanised steel frames and built in detachable handle. This is a perfect outdoor toy to help the 12+ months children get to grips with standing, jumping and balancing.


    There’s also the Plum 6ft trampoline that comes with an enclosure so that no matter how many times your child bounces or falls over on the trampoline they will never go over the side or hurt themselves. It’s a safe and colourful option that helps children to gain confidence on trampolines before going off to use bigger ones.


    These are just a few of the options available to get for your pre-schoolers. It’s a combination of fun play, activity, learning and safety. All extremely beneficial to your child. For more ideas just browse our website. We’ll be back with another blog on this to help you by providing more ideas! See you then. :)

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