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Playhouses

  • 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.

  • Benefits of Outdoor Play to Children

    If you’re currently reading this in your living room while your kids are sat on the sofa watching a cartoon then this blog is perfect for you!

    It’s time to switch that TV off and get your kids outdoors!

    Continue reading
  • All aboard the All out Play Galleon from Wicken Toys

    The All Out Play Galleon is the kind of play house we dreamt of as children and, if we’re honest, we’d still like to give it a go now!  Who wouldn't?

    This incredible 4 ½m (length) outdoor toy is designed to let any imagination run wild, providing a safe and extremely fun experience for children of all ages.

    It includes four arch doorways, nautical pot hole windows and two internal wall mounted steps which lead onto the upper platforms.  So whether the Captain wants a lookout or wants to admire his or her ship from deck they can get there with ease.

    For added fun, the galleoon has three hanging bars inside and if that's not quite enough, there's an option to add a 3 metre slide PLUS fireman's pole, making this galleon double up as a super fun adventure playground.

    Now while we're entering the winter months, there are days when the air is fresh but the sun's still shining and it's good to get outside once in while. So if you're looking for something that really will pull the children away from the television this is most definitely it!

    The galleon is also designed and constructed for longevity as all fixings are made form stainless steel and galvanised to prevent rust and corrosion.  It's why galleon also comes with a five year warranty against any wood rotting or dreaded insect damage.

    So the only choice is who gets to be captain and who gets to crew this rather beautiful little ship!

    This is by far one of the best outdoor play toys for active kids and as always it comes flat packed and ready for easy transportation and assembly. The instructions included with the galleon include pictorial descriptions to make putting it together much easier so the pirates can sail the world as soon as possible.  However, if the thought of assembly makes you a little sea sick we are always happy to arrange assembly for you at your home at an additional cost.

    If you feel your kids would rather be Kings or Queens then there's always the All Out Play Castle - offering exactly the same amount of inspirational play but for a whole different imagination!

  • Applying Stain to your Wooden Climbing Frame

    As we approach the Winter months it’s time to make the most of the weather breaks when they come and think about the protection of your wooden climbing frame.

    When you first purchase a wooden climbing frame from Wicken Toys it can be a fantastic experience, seeing your childrens’ joy as they see their new wooden fort constructed for play!

    However, with any top quality wooden climbing frame you will want to ensure that you maintain the quality of the timber for longevity.  This is particularly relevant if you’ve got younger children coming up the ranks.

    Pouring rain and hot sunshine can both have impact on your wooden climbing frame but with a few of our tips we can teach you how to look after your outdoor toy for years to come.

    To look after your wooden climbing frame you just need the right type of wood stain as this will not only enhance the beauty of the wood but make sure that all those pesky weather conditions don’t damage anything.

    Wood staining of your wooden climbing frame is actually a very simple process and requires no prior training or experience – just common sense and a bit of planning.

    If you’ve stained your climbing frame before then it’s really straightforward. You will need to sand the wood down with some fine sandpaper to remove any residue from the previous stain and then re-apply.

    If you haven’t applied anything to the wood, then a dry day and moderate temperature are all that you need to apply your wood stain to your frame.

    In both scenarios here, it’s important to ensure that your stain is well mixed and that you apply it to a test piece of wood before applying to the frame itself.   If you’re happy with the result (best check the colour when it dries) then you are ready to apply it to your climbing frame.

    As you apply your stain, make sure you get right into the grain of the wood to ensure optimum coverage and once complete, you may wish to wipe the wood down to remove any oddities in the effect of the stain itself.

    Once the stain is dry then it’s best to apply a form of sealant to it, just to ensure it has the best protection possible. Something like polyurethanes should be avoided as they will give the frame a yellow tinge so shop around for a better solution.

    You can use a number of stains for your wooden climbing frame including water based, oil and even gel based stains. It’s best to check as to what the wood is before making the decision though as some woods will be more porous than others so you may get different finishes depending on what you’re staining.

    We want you and your children to enjoy their Wicken climbing frame so by following our easy steps you can enjoy your outdoor toy for the long-term!

  • What makes a good outdoor play area for the children?

    Every parent wants their children to develop into wonderful young adults.  Therefore outdoor play should be something factored into this development as it is surprisingly one thing that can have real benefit to children of all ages.

    Outdoor play allows children to enjoy fresh air, the natural environment of the garden and engage with real things rather than fictional characters on a games console.

    A recent study claimed that children who are involved in lots of activities of a physical nature outdoors tend to be more energetic and enthusiastic at home. So the age old vision of kids watching TV doing nothing, can actually be avoided!

    It is also claimed that children who have a more active childhood are more likely to enjoy outdoor activities as adults. This means that putting an investment into their outdoor play now will really benefit them for years and years to come.  Hopefully it will also mean their children are likely to be more active through the positive experiences of their childhood.

    So in encouraging outdoor play – we thought we would feature the top products here at Wicken Toys that will inspire creativity, play and give your kids valuable energy for life!

    Physical Play

    Physical play and children can be achieved with things like climbing frames and swings. This is obviously good for toddlers and young children alike (oh and the odd adult usually!

    Here we have the Playtime Andover Wooden Tower with Free Accessories.

    This fantastic children’s climbing frame offers so much scope for play. It features a tower (for prince and princesses), a rock wall to really get the energies going and a clubhouse window for creative play.

     

    Constructive play-time

    This kind of play is particularly great for younger children of pre-school age and usually involves sand, water and wheeled toys. This puts your younger children in control of their own ideas and imaginations so it’s particularly good for developing decision making skills.

    The Kettler Speedy Balance Bike is a fantastic way to get your children used to cycling. It’s great for their co-ordination and as our introduction to this suggests, means they can be in control and learn about responsibility.

     

    Role playing

    This has been a favourite for children for years (probably before any of us can even remember). So it’s not surprising that it counts as being one of the most favoured types of play for children.

    Good role playing can be gained from playhouses, forts, tree houses and in fact, anywhere a child or children get to use their imagination and literally ‘play it out’.  If you are keen to get your kids socially aware then this type of outdoor toy choice is excellent for helping them learn through fun.

    So whether they are playing shops, hospital, vets or a King, you can be totally certain that an outdoor fort will inspire them to live their imaginations out.

    A particular favourite for this is our All Out Play Climbing Den.  It has all the required ingredients for imaginative play and your children will love it.

    It is perfect as a tree house or swamp hut and will allow your children to enjoy the physical requirements of climbing or they can get friends over and use it as a den. They can crawl and swing too!

    If you want to help your kids to develop skills through outdoor play see our other categories and enjoy a Wickens Toy today.

  • Why is outside better than indoor for play?

    In the ever growing age of the computer screen and games console, playing outside is a trend that seems to be something some children can’t bear. However, that does not mean to say it isn’t an essential component to development.

    In fact, if anything, playing outside is something that should be encouraged whenever possible.

    The pre-school age and above can learn and develop so much in outdoor play.  When they jump, run or even leap they are actively keeping fit, improving their co-ordination and of course having fun!

    Even things like ball throwing or pushing a swing can all assist them in their handling skills and eye-hand co-ordination.

    So in this blog, we thought we would inspire you (and hopefully your children) to see outdoor play as something preferable to sitting in front of a television or computer to learn and experience the world around.

    Continue reading
  • Wicken Toys teaches you to prepare!

    We know the Christmas word seems far off but very often we have clearance items or sale items which make idea presents for birthdays or the big C.

    So in today’s blog we thought we would feature some of our best products, currently available at fantastic prices. So whether you want to start getting ready to spread the cost of the next big season or you want to find a bargain for your little one’s birthday, this blog should help you find some great bargains.

    If you’ve previously purchased a play trampoline from us and want to encourage more exercise and sport from your child, then our Performance Trampoline may be of interest.

    Designed to be heavyweight, this trampoline is of the same ilk as trampolines you would find in a sports hall or leisure facility. Therefore, it’s definitely for the more serious trampolinist!

    The great thing about this trampoline is that it is good for adults too! So as a bonding option, this trampoline can literally give the whole family hours of fun and fitness! It also allows for more advanced trampolining moves.

    At the moment this wonderful product is selling at just £699.00 with a list price of £1199.00 so it’s excellent value at a fraction of the cost you’d normally expect to pay.

    If you’re looking for something a little smaller and more geared towards the children – and if you want something that will fit in to your daughter’s bedroom then the tp Dolls House Book Case is an exceptional choice and is also on offer.

    For creativity in play, this dolls house is both durable and high quality. It’s also really easy to put together.

    It is currently retailing at £35.95 with a list price of £39.95 so if your little one is hankering after a dolls house you may want to take a look.

    And if you want something for the boys, you’ll be glad to know that the range also produces a boy’s version. The tp Castle Book Case retails at the same price and offers just as much creative play.

    If you’re planning on turning the garden into a play area for the children, then the tp Forest Multiplay Wooden Playset is ideal.

    It is a compact yet sturdy double swing frame and comes with a slide and platform and to avoid any squabbles can be ideal if you’ve got more than one little one to keep occupied.

    It currently retails at £249.95 from Wicken Toys with a list price of £349.00 which is a fantastic saving if you’re budgeting.

    We are always trying to find the best bargains for parents who want their children to do more than sit in front of the television or computer console, so remember to check back regularly to see what more fantastic offers we have.

    After all, we only get one childhood so it’s worth making it the best!

  • 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. :)

  • Great offers from Wicken Toys this Summer

    Although the summer has started late, there’s no reason why you can’t find a great outdoor toy with Wicken Toys.

    With some key play centres currently discounted, get the kids outside and away from the TV to enjoy some British summer weather!

    So what can you find at Wicken Toys at the moment?

    The Plum Baboon Swing set includes a Free Plum Infant Seat and will allow your ‘little monkeys’ to enjoy a variety of outdoor play.

    This set is best for younger users and allows children to swing together on the two swinging positions.

    The climbing rope offers the ultimate test of skill and strength too –so why not consider making it a home Olympic event!

    Read more about this offer here

    If you want a real bargain, then there’s still just enough time to take advantage of our Plum Suricate Place Centre which is on offer for July.

    This outdoor toy is ideal for a princess in a tower and will allow any prince fun when they attemt the vertical rock wall, complete with hand and foot grips.

    Aside from allowing endless points of imagination, this climbing frame is excellent in developing your child’s problem solving skills and strength.

    Read more about this offer here

    For little tykes who like their bikes though, this Kettler Supertrike is an excellent choice and will give your child hours of fun around the garden and house (if you have the space).

    It offers fantastic value for money and is made of a strong steel frame, has an adjustable seat, an automatic free wheel option and for those who like to get dirty, a rear tipper bucket.

    If you want to keep hold of your little one there’s also a parent pole giving you ultimate peace of mind.

    If you're looking for something that will give your child something to play on indoors and outdoors then our very special offer on the Plum 6ft trampoline could give you the ultimate answer!

    Aside from giving them lots of exercise, it is a great way to expel their energy – especially in view of all the rain we’ve had this year.

    The Plum 6ft trampoline and enclosure is on offer at the moment and is a fantastic price.

    The trampoline can provide hours and hours of fun for kills all through the year.

    It is perfect as a first trampoline for younger children and will help them gain confidence as they learn the art of trampolining.

    This offer includes the 6ft trampoline with safety surround and as it is close to the ground is suitable for children from three years old.

    You can use it indoors as well, so come winter if you’ve got the space there’s no reason your children can’t enjoy themselves indoors as well.

  • Toys for your Toddler this summer

     

    Wicken Toys is proud to offer quality toys for children of all ages, taking some of the stress off the hands of busy parents by keeping their kids occupied whether they're cute little angels or boisterous teens. Summer is more or less here, which means the school holidays will indeed be taking households by storm! For the little kiddie-winks they will be really keen to play and have fun during this summer solstice of freedom.

     

    The first few years of any child's life can be so pivotal in their development so we take extra special care to provide a range of options to entertain younger toy lovers. That means choosing our toys to cater for sensitive little people who need a bit of extra care and attention, making sure they discover the world of play in a safe environment.

     

    This can seem like a bit of a challenge when it comes to picking exciting new toys to add to the range, but we've managed to put together quite a collection. Forget the unimaginative toys you might have had as a kid, today even the tiniest toddlers have a world of fun possibilities available to them.

     

    Take the plum first play centre, for example; an ingenious multi-purpose play set aimed at teaching your children to explore and become more independent. This mini climbing frame includes a low, shallow slope slide, a small horizontal climbing net and rock wall and a hollowed out play-den to hide in. With all these features built into one compact playset small enough to fit most gardens, your toddler will be occupied for hours.

     

     

    Another brilliant Wicken Toys creation for any child in the 1+ years age bracket is the tp Junior Trampoline, a tiny square trampoline suitable for indoor or outdoor use with attached handrail for stability. Playing will this will not only make your toddler bounce and giggle with joy, it will also help them learn to stand and develop balance, all for just £30.75.

     

     

    At an even more impressive price of £7.95, the Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool is another of Wicken Toys entertaining play-things suitable for smaller kids. Teach your child to love splashing about in the shallow water pool during the hot Summer months or fill with ball-pit balls for an indoor Winter alternative.

     

     

    Continuing with the watery theme, we present the Safari Sandboat sandpit, a ship-shaped covered sandpit complete with Captain's steering wheel appropriate for kids aged 3 and over. This adventurous playset allows your child to learn to create sandcastle masterpieces or pretend to be pirates on the high seas, developing their imagination and creative skills.

     

    Finally, we come to the Kettler Supertrike, a portable toy for parents on the go. This model is suitable for all children over 2 and comes in a range of different colour options to appeal to both genders. Let your kids peddle for themselves in preparation for learning to ride a bike or push them along using the parent pole and free-wheel capacity for a fun alternative to a pushchair.

     

     

    That just leaves one piece of advice from Wicken Toys to parents of younger kids and toddlers; enjoy watching them play with their new toys while you can, as they always grow up sooner than you think! Contact Us for more information.

     

    Summer holidays are just around the corner!

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