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  • Choosing A Paddling Pool

    As the weather warms up, you may be considering buying a paddling pool, or even larger above ground swimming pool for your garden.

    At Wicken Toys we sell a range of pools, in a variety of sizes, and have the expertise needed to help you choose the right model for your family.

    What Do You Need?

    Before you begin to browse our selection, ask yourself a few questions to help scope out your requirements.

    1. What will your pool be used for? This question isn't as daft as it sounds. Deeper pools are suitable for climbing into, and enjoying being immersed in the water. Shallower pools can be used for paddling in, or as a container for water play while the child is positioned outside of the pool. Also consider who will be using the pool. Does it need to be big enough to accommodate multiple children and / or adults?

    2. Do you want a semi-permanent structure? Our large above ground pools are designed to be left up for a number of weeks. Once erected they require minimal maintenance, and do not need continuous refilling, provided the correct cleaning process have been put in place. On the other hand, if you have a small garden, then a temporary pool, which can be emptied and put away at the end of use, then refilled the next time you wish to use it, would be more appropriate.

    3. Budget Vs Convenience A cheaper inflatable paddling pool can be a false economy. Emptying it, deflaiting it, then getting it back out on the next sunny day, gets old fast. There will also be times when, for example after school, you could grab 20 minutes or so in the pool, but it's just too much effort getting it out to make it worth while. With an above ground pool the fun is set up and ready to go as soon as you want to play.

    Types Of Pool Explained

    We stock a range of pools, constructed in different ways.

    Plastic Hard Sided These are fixed shape pools made from injection molded plastic. They are usually small and easy to fill, and light weight so they can be moved around. They can often be used as sand pits too. AS the shape is fixed they do not reduce in size for storage.


    Designed to be stored flat, then inflated as needed. We sell hand pumps and electric pumps to make inflation a lot easier.

    PVC Sided

    Intex 10ft x 30 Easy Set Swimming Pool


    These have an inflatable ring at the top to hold the shape of the wall, then filling it with water is what makes it expand to full size.

    Metal Frame Used for larger above ground pools, metal tubes slot together, to support a large soft sided pool liner.


    Pool Alternative For a fun, affordable way to cool off, consider getting a slip and slide. These are best suited to older children and young-hearted adults.


  • Wicken Toys looks at playtime for pre-schoolers Part 2


    In our previous blog, we walked you through what sort of outdoor toys were best for your pre-schoolers to help them learn, grow and develop in a safe and fun way. We knew that there was a lot more to look at than we could fit into one blog. So say hello to Part 2!


    What we’re looking at today are the transitionary toys that take pre-schoolers into the beginnings of their childhood and into school itself.


    So to continue...


    Think climbing frames. These are larger and more physically demanding on children. They provide a challenge and get children active. But not all climbing frames have to be dull, plain metal shapes. We like to stock climbing frames with a little extra  va-va-voom!


    Take for instance the Plum Steenbuck... this is a compact play centre that is suitable for young ages and growing minds. This is the first sort of climbing frame you should get for your young children between 18 months and 6 years.


    Once again, we don’t specialise in boringly designed outdoor toys. We believe a climbing frame should not just be a climbing frame. It should be fun and ripe for imaginative play! The Captain Plum Play Centre is shaped like a pirate ship and is perfect for any child who wants to re-enact Pirates of the Caribbean or take on the persona of Captain Jack Sparrow!

    While the weather is still good (fingers crossed) perhaps it is worth investing in the something tailor made for sunshine playtime.


    The Intex Beachball Fun Pool is a paddling pool for children 3+ and it helps to adjust your child to being in the water and seeing it as a fun experience rather than a daunting one. It’s colourful and fits snugly into any garden.


    If you can’t get to the beach this summer, bring the beach to you. Consider getting a paddling pool and most importantly of all a sandpit to get the kids practicing with building those sandcastles! The Plum Octagonal Sandpit comes highly recommended. It’s a generously sized play area that is suitable for children 18 months+.


    For children less inclined to jumping and splashing about, the TP Activity Table is a good option. It’s a multi-purpose table suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. If your child likes to paint and draw, it’s a perfectly sized table! And it will gives the children an area to call their own whenever they feel like getting a little messy with the paints and crayons!


    These are some of our choice outdoor toys for children at that pre-school/slightly older age where they can find plenty to do to keep them busy. For more information on our outdoor toy ranges please browse our site or contact us.

  • Pooling together - Wicken Toys Guide to Swimming Pools


    The very nature of our island climate here in the UK means it can go from freezing and pouring with rain to swelteringly hot within the same day, often leaving our forecasters struggling to keep up!  It’s good to prepare for all weathers, though, and what better way is there to make the most of the sunshine while it lasts than by taking a dip in your own family swimming pool?


    Of course, getting your own Olympic size in-ground pool will set you back considerably with regards to both time and money – by the time you’ve had it built the sun will probably have gone in!  In addition, if you invest in a permanent pool and decide to relocate, you’d have to leave your new addition to the next residents.  However, we at Wicken Toys have a solution to all these issues...


    There’s nothing like the allure of water to get the kids away from the TV, outside and exercising.  And with our range of Intex above-ground pools you can be filling it up ready for a swim within an hour of opening the box!



    You needn’t worry about anything with our inclusive deals either – take a look at our individual products for more information – as every one of our pools 15ft or larger comes with a free ladder, ground sheet, debris cover, maintenance kit and surface skimmer.  Our 18ft pools also come with a volleyball set to add even more fun!  We even have a range of optional accessories available for purchase alongside our pools for reduced prices, from extra filter cartridges and solar covers to premium heaters!  Alternatively check out our Spares and Accessories section as well as the Pumps and Filters page for any additional products to help ease you into summer.


    As far as the pools themselves go, there’s a wide range of choice there too, accommodating for all budgets – both financial and spatial.  The 8ft Easy Set Clear View Pool is ready to use in what feels like no time at all (simply inflate the outer ring and fill with water) and is ideal for smaller gardens and younger users, while the 15ft Easy Set Swimming Pool is prepared in exactly the same way but on a larger scale.



    At the top of our range sits the magnificent 18ft Ultra Metal Frame Swimming Pool Set, resplendent in an upmarket light grey.  The Intex Ultra Metal Frame pools are even sturdier than their standard metal frame equivalents and snap together quickly and easily without the need for plastic pins.


    Whichever pool takes your fancy, we’re sure you’ll have years of fantastic use out of it.  If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to Contact Us, we’ll do our best to help you make the most of the good weather!

  • Summer is landing with a splash


    Finally, after fighting through an arctic winter and getting through a rather erratic spring, we are arriving on the cusp of summer. This is the time of year that all Britons anticipate as we know that we will get at least a couple months worth of strong weather between the May-August period.


    For kids that break-up for the school holidays they will need to find activities to keep their attention spans engaged so you can get on with other things around the home. We recommend, providing the weather holds out and things heat up, water play outdoor toys. The benefits here are that the kids get to play outdoors, enjoy the nice weather and stay cool all at the same time.


    We are in no short supply of these pools and water play toys. Our range includes Intex above ground swimming pools, baby pools, splasher pools, fun floats, pool lounges and accessories. We also have a selection of sandpits and water trays to suit gardens large and small.


    The trick to finding the ideal swimming pool is to know your garden and know your kids. You need adequate space for anything large like an Intex above ground pool, and you also need to know what is most suitable for your children (depending on their ages). All of our products come with age range requirements so you know if they are appropriate for your tykes.


    Let’s start small and work our way up...


    The Intex Beachball Fun Pool - this is a great paddling pool for the smaller child and garden.  See thru rings with fun beachball print. Intex are one of the world’s largest inflatable manufacturers, Intex products are sold all over the world.  They inflate all their toys at the factory before they are packed. This can be used in the back garden or even taken down to the beach for those of the young ones who are too young to go in the sea.


    Going up a size and going in terms of age suitability – the Intex 10ft x 30 Easy Set Swimming Pool is quick and easy to install suitable for the whole family from 6+ years. It’s so simple to put up and within ten minutes you'll be ready to fill it. The Intex Easy Set pool provides a convenient and easy alternative to steel-walled pools with a durable, heavy-guage PVC construction. They are also easy to drain after use.Another step up from this is the Intex 16ft x 48in Ultra Metal Frame Swimming Pool Set which includes all the following accessories; filter pump, ladder, ground sheet, debris cover, maintenance kit and surface skimmer. The ultra pools feature a stronger frame than a traditional metal frame pool and the pool liner is finished in a light grey more up market colour.



    Another step up from this is the Intex 16ft x 48in Ultra Metal Frame Swimming Pool Set which includes all the following accessories; filter pump, ladder, ground sheet, debris cover, maintenance kit and surface skimmer. The ultra pools feature a stronger frame than a traditional metal frame pool and the pool liner is finished in a light grey more up market colour.



    There are many choices at Wicken Toys that you can select from but you can also contact us for some swimming pool advice. Treat your family to a really great summer that they can enjoy from the safety of your own back garden.

  • Here comes the sun - cooling off in summer with outdoor pools


    With the weather being as cold as it has been, summer may not be at the forefront of your mind – but here at Wicken Toys we like to plan ahead a little! Although it may not seem it quite yet, spring and summer are on their way.  There have already been warnings for an upcoming drought in Eastern England, the Midlands and the Southeast! Continue reading

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