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  • Children’s paddling pools: the garden accessory for the summer


    Summer is finally starting to appear here in the UK. The arrival of hot weather means that it is time to start planning summer activities ready for the school holidays.

    Aside from a holiday abroad, the ultimate summer accessory for families has got to be inflatable paddling pools. No matter how big or small, these are a brilliant way to make the most of excellent summer weather in a low-cost way.

    In case you have forgotten just how worthwhile splasher and above ground pools are, we thought we better remind you of their many benefits.


    A house with a pool is on the ‘If I won the lottery’ list for many of us, but unfortunately we won’t all be lucky enough to win the jackpot so we have to settle for a cheaper option.

    Inflatable pools for gardens are very inexpensive when compared to the cost of an actual swimming pool and you’ll have just as much fun.


    Our splasher pools are very shallow; some of these only have enough depth for splashing. Although you won’t have to worry about your child’s swimming ability you must still watch them carefully whilst they play in the water; no matter how shallow.

    Easy to setup

    Inflatable pools can become paddling pools in minutes. All you have to do is pump air inside and then push the air out when your children have finished splashing around.


    Paddling pools like our above ground and splasher pools are very convenient items. This is because they come in a range of different sizes and shapes to suit any garden size.

    They are also easy to store as you can quickly and simply fold them back down to their packaging sizes once the air has been pushed out.


    Due to their small and often lightweight storage sizes, paddling pools are very easy to transport. They are even easily portable full of air, as long as there is no water still inside. You can easily move it around the garden wherever you want and carry it to the car.


    Our large above ground pools are very good for exercise. Although they may not be an Olympic-size swimming pool, they are still extremely good for exercises and encouraging interest in sport and physical activity at a young age. Moreover, playing in pools is rather an effortless, but still effective, exercise as the water holds most of your weight. Exercise in water makes physical activity fun for children; this is very important to promote physical development and a healthy lifestyle.

    With the company of an adult (and some armbands) children can play in water and swim from an extremely young age unlike most sports.

  • 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 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • A Toy For All Seasons from Wicken Toys – Summer Fun





    Wicken Toys has a toy for all seasons – even though we’re at the tail end of the British summer, don’t count out the outdoor activities just yet! Traditionally outdoor play equipment such as climbing frames and garden swing sets are the standard choices, but there are so many other options available.


    We have to be realistic too. This is the UK and no season is ever consistent. You never know what the sun is going to do until it reveals its smiling face.


    Regardless of weather conditions the kids are never shy when it comes to playing outside! Rain or shine, high winds or heat waves, they can pretty much endure any extreme for a bit of escapist adventure and imaginative play.


    So in this new series of blogs let Wicken Toys take you through the seasons starting with:


    The Summer


    This is every child’s favourite time of year with no school on the schedule and a limitless potential for games, adventure and fun ahead.


    However, back gardens can be desolate wastelands of dry mud and overgrown weeds during the warmth of a summer season. For the children of the house that’s just no place to play in...


    If you’re enjoying the sunshine, find a way for your kids to experience some of that fun too. Wicken Toys has put together this “Toy for all seasons” package as an idea of what can be accomplished in that back garden that can be enjoyed by the whole family.


    To begin with you need to capitalise on your space. Use some of the free areas to accommodate some new features:


    Meet the ultimate 2-in-1 multipurpose outdoor toy! It’s a picnic bench perfect for parties and games that transforms into a plum sand table. The little ones can build sandcastles in the morning and then in the afternoon put the lid back on to use the bench as a drawing desk.



    On the other side of the garden consider raising the flag for Frontier Fun Fort. The painted steel climbing frame has two hideaway dens, two garden swings and a 6ft slide. It’s adventure for the kids all the way. As far as climbing frames go, it’s a perfect match for the active kids out there.



    Alternatively, why not splash out on an Intex Swimming Pool that the whole family, and even friends, can enjoy? This is the sturdiest ground pool on the market and can be assembled in 30 minutes with a choice option of extras from ladder to heater. It’s a swimmingly good idea for any sun-kissed garden.



    And that’s Wicken Toys’ top summer season outdoor play equipment picks. There are many more toys available in our range. Browse our collections for some other ideas or alternatively, Contact Us for further information.

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