What’s not to love about a slide?
Not only do they provide a great prompt for imaginative play, they encourage physical activity and give young minds a full sensory workout at the same time.
Here we take a look at the benefits of incorporating a slide into your back garden playscape and how to go about choosing the best slide for your children.
The Humble Slide: More Than Just A Fun Ride
Sure a slide is fun, but it offers much more than that. In their eagerness to experience the thrill of the slide ride, your children will expend plenty of energy running around to the ladder and climbing back to the top. This raises their heart rate, which is good for overall health and well-being and works the big muscle groups in their arms and legs. Young children especially need to push and pull with these muscles everyday before their bodies are ready experience the stillness needed to achieve focus and concentration.
The ride down itself also contributes to childhood development. In the few seconds it takes to ride to the bottom, your child is bombarded with sensory experiences - the feel of air rushing past, the sensation of their body moving over the surface of the slide, the sights of their surroundings zipping past them. Their brain works hard to process all these experiences and make sense of them. The more practice their brain gets in this type of processing, then more able it is to apply this processing skill to unfamiliar situations.
So by now you should be well convinced that a slide will make a fun and useful addition to your garden. Now it’s time to decide which slide.
Not only do you need space for the slide, but you also need adequate room for children to access the ladder, and an exclusion zone around the slide, free from obstacles, that can be covered with safety matting to provide protection in the event of a fall.
When planning the position of the slide you should also be wary of the temptation to reach for things from the top of the ladder. Make sure your slide is far enough away from playhouses and other play equipment, so your children won’t be tempted to hop from one item to the other.
Finally, consider the route your children will take from the bottom of the slide back around to the ladder. Make sure they won’t be running directly in the path of the swings, or need to navigate around any obstacles likely to trip them up.
Stand Alone vs Climbing Frame
At Wicken Toys we sell stand alone slides and climbing frames with slides attached. For smaller gardens a climbing frame may be the best way to fit a variety of play features into the space available.
Slides attached to climbing frames tend to feel more sturdy, although stand alone slides can be staked to the ground.
Finally, if your child wants an unusual slide such as a tube or a wave, there are a greater number of options to choose from if you opt for a slide attached to a climbing frame.
Whatever size your garden, Wicken Toys will have play equipment suitable. Browse through our selection of slides and climbing frames online, visit our huge outdoor demonstration area, or call us to discuss your requirements.