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  • Get messy with water and sand play


    Water and sand tables will often get overshadowed by their paddling pool and sandpit counterparts. We stock a number of children’s paddling pools and sandpits which are always a popular summer purchase, but people will often overlook the entertainment value that these simple toys have to offer.

    Water tables and sand tables can regularly be found tucked away inside of nurseries, playgroups, and young infant classes. This is because they are great pieces of play equipment for both the outdoors and indoors; not forgetting the host of physical and mental development they offer young children.

    Social skills

    Where there are water tables and sand tables, you will often find a number of children gathered around these. They present many opportunities for social interaction with other children of a similar age as they can all work together to build cities made of sand or seaside harbours with multiple waterways. Over time, as they work to build their mini empires they’ll develop leadership skills, teamwork, compromise, and learn to allocate different roles.

    Literacy skills

    Whilst they are developing social skills improved literacy skills are a high probability too. As a child explores the new play materials and interacts with other children, they’ll quickly pick up other words and particularly ones to describe the different ways of playing with sand and water.

    Understanding of materials and textures

    Water tables and sand tables offer many educational benefits like we have already mentioned, but to add to this list is also the understanding of different materials and textures.

    Children’s play involving sand and water helps young kids at an important young stage of development to observe in a fun way the different characteristics of these materials, and how you can control and move them around. Equally just as educational is that the combination of water and sand which creates a whole new world for them to play with. For instance, they’ll quickly be able to predict what happens to the texture of sand when certain volumes of water are added to it.

    See for yourself!

    With all of the different areas of learning development that can be found in sand and water stands, they are a brilliant piece of play equipment to add to a nursery, school, or even just at home in the garden.

    We have a couple of wonderful water tables here at Wicken Toys to accompany our range of sandpits and paddling pools. Take a look at our TP Rockface Sand and Water Table. This is a very durable design which is ideal for lots of use in a playgroup or infant class.

    We also have the TP Cascade Water Table and Stand. This is a large design which has entertaining little features like a canal and water wheel as well as lock gates.

    Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about any product from our vast ranges of outdoor trampolines, climbing frames, Kettler go karts, garden swings, and more.

  • 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.

  • Classic outdoor toys for spring


    This winter has been incredibly mild compared to last. We’ve had no major snowfall, barely any icy conditions and no torrential rain to speak of. December and January (so far) have both been warm and it looks like spring is on its way to us now. We can look forward to the days getting longer and the weather starting to warm up nicely in a month or so, so our little Wicken Toys team has been thinking about outdoor toys for springtime. Continue reading

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