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sports and games

  • Avoid Watching The Ashes And Play Cricket Games Instead

    Initially this post was planned to be about harnessing England's Ashes success and inspiring your children to play cricket. It's not looking likely that England will triumph over Australia this series, but perhaps you children have seen a few clips of the sport on TV and now fancy trying their hand at it.

    Cricket's Good Anytime Of Year

    You probably think of cricket as a Summer sport, but there are plenty of reasons to get outside and play it in the winter months. A key requirement of cricket is a wide open space without any people who could get hurt. This can be hard to find in the Summer when everyone wants to be outside in a public space. Head to the beach or your local park in the winter and you will likely find you have the place to yourselves.

    Int he winter you have no need to worry about sun stroke or heat exhaustion from standing around in the Sun all day. Instead you will need to wrap up warm and stay hydrated and heated with a thermos of hot chocolate.

    Getting Started

    If your child is new to cricket, don't put them off the sport by hitting them with all the rules at once. Instead choose from one of these easier, cricket-based games.

    1. Roller Ball Help your child learn how to time their swing by rolling the ball along the ground towards them at different speeds. They need to hit the ball without letting it hit the stumps behind them.

    2. Defend The Boundary Mark out an area with chalk or a rope. The batter hits the ball along the floor (it is rolled rather than bowled to them), and the fielders must stop it before it hits the rope. One point is scored for each time the ball hits the rope. Let each child have six opportunities to hit the ball before switching players. Each save counts as the fielders point. You can make the game more interesting by requiring the fielders to stop the ball using just their hands, feet, or one particular hand/foot. This helps develop fielding skills, and enables children to see the integral role of the fielder in the game of cricket.

    3. Throwing Practice If you have a slide outdoors you can use it to practice underarm throwing. Although underarm bowling is not permitted, fielders need to perfect the art of a gentle, accurate underarm throw for returning the ball to the bowler or wicket keeper. The aim of the game is to throw the ball so it rolls up the slide and stops at the top of the platform.

    4. Bowling Practice Children can practice their overarm bowling technique buy throwing a ball at a target marked a few feet from the ground, about 20 feet away. Tennis balls can be thrown at brick walls, or throw a sponge ball at targets hung from the climbing frame, or aimed at the swing seat.

    5. Three Person Cricket This game needs at least three people but can be played with more. One person bowls, another bats and the remainder fields. The bowler throws the ball, the batter strikes it, then must run around a cone or obstacle placed around 10-15 feet from the wicket. In the meantime the fielders return the ball to the bowler, who must bowl as soon as he receives the ball, whether the batter is ready or not. The only way to be out is through a catch, or if the bowler takes the wicket.

    For more outdoor play ideas, visit the Wicken Toys blog.

  • Sports and games for children at school


    There are two kinds of children in this world; those that love P.E. lessons and those that hate P.E. lessons. Now every parent will at some point recognise whether their child is into sport or not and encourage the extra-curricular activities accordingly. But what about when they are at school?  As the new terms start it's a good question to ask!


    Continue reading
  • Rain delay Part 2 – more indoor toys and game ideas

    If you read our last blog you may have seen a few of our suggestions of what to do with the kids when rain puts a big “X” on your plans to go out for the day. Playing outdoors is something we are very passionate about here at Wicken Toys, but we also understand that the weather isn’t always suitable for it. Therefore, here are some more ideas on how to keep the kids occupied and active while the rain falls this wetter-than-expected summer.


    Plan a treasure hunt!

    This can be as epic and as imaginative as you want to make it for the kids. All you need to do is grab some goodies from the shop, toys, chocolates, films, whatever seems most appropriate and hide them in a clever place at home. Then construct a set of clues on how the children can find them.

    Treasure hunts are a great way to keep the kids active, on their feet and get their brains working, plus children tend to love treasure hunts. You can even get them to dress up as pirates to add to the make-believe experience.


    Arts and crafts

    This is something that requires lots and lots of random crafting materials from ribbons , plastic, paints, cello-tape, paper, you name it. Inspire the children to get in touch with their creative sides and join in with them to help make the most out of a rainy afternoon indoors.


    Build a fort

    As we mentioned briefly in the previous blog, a great indoor game, especially for boys, is building a fort and playing cops & robbers or cowboys & Indians. It’s an oldie but a goodie! It may require some furniture rearrangement though.


    Hide & Seek

    Another oldie also happens to be one of the oldest kids games there is. There’s a reason why it has been played for so many years. It’s efficient and economical fun for parents to provide their children, and if you turn Dad into a bit of a scary monster it will add to the thrill! This game depends on the hiding capacity of your home of course. It’s harder to play in a flat!


    Board games

    While some board games may be too advanced for some children there are plenty others that provide stimulation and are directly aimed at children. This is always a reliable one when it’s wet and windy outside.


    Bring outdoor toys inside

    Some outdoor toys are only meant for the outdoors, but others can be re-appropriated for indoor usage. Playhouses and table tennis games are examples we provided in the previous blogs. Use your discretion.


    These are just a few of the indoor games you can play to keep the kids occupied this summer while the rain delay continues. Don’t worry, things are bound to clear up sooner or later!

  • Mum and Dad’s Excellent adventure this summer


    Okay, you know that the kids are going to have a totally awesome summer holiday whether they are playing outside in the sun, indoors watching television, or playing video games in their bedroom! They don’t have to go to school and that’s the whole point. But what about Mum and Dad? You poor things always have to put the kids fun times first before your own. Well today in Wicken Toys blog we will take you through how you can enjoy yourselves too!


    Mums and Dads have the hardest job... period. Raising children is the most important responsibility in the world, well, next to nuclear weapons release...


    This summer you can join in with the kids in activities designed to suit both you and them.


    If the weather fits... slide it!


    Outdoor Slides in the garden is a perfect way to mix both fun for kids and fun for adults too. Setting up one of these bad boys out back presents plenty of good times to be had by the whole family. Crack out your swimwear because it’s going to get wet!


    Tp Aqua Slide is what we are referring to here. You can use it with any 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. It’s guaranteed laughter for kids and parents.



    On the other hand, if you are more of a sporty Dad or Mum, perhaps getting your kids involved in an active sport would be the best answer to this conundrum of resolving the disparity between an adult and child’s idea of fun.


    It’s the season of sport – Euro 2012, Roayl Ascot, Wimbledon, and of course the Olympics! So why not get your back garden to be a participating arena for your own set of football frolics and table tennis tournaments.


    We have Tp Giant Goals which are a great way for Dads to get in on the football action. They work for both children and adults. If your sons are keen football fanatics then this is the ideal choice of garden toy.



    Alternatively, you can always go for the more relaxed, but just as challenging, Kettler Stockholm Outdoor Table Tennis. It’s an indoor indoor table too with strengthened undercarriage & playback facility. Perfect for use inside or outside, depending on the temperature and weather. It’s a beautiful little package that Mum and Dad’s can play against each other or their offspring.


    There’s a little something for everyone. The more the outdoor play equipment translates to the hardworking parents, the better we say!


    Enjoy your summer with your children and get in on the adventures!

  • Playtime at school with outdoor toys


    Schools are now free to decide the length and structure of their school day including lunchtimes and breaks plus activities available during those breaks. The worry is that some schools might reduce unstructured playtime in exchange for promoting further academic study and curriculum time. There is a danger that schools are losing the sense of importance involved in providing their students with adequate playtime activity which is vital for children’s development and learning. Not only does playtime do this but it also helps encourage better classroom behaviour, improved motivation and boosts academic performance overall.


    Studies have highlighted that the more children play outside the more they are likely to do better in the classroom. With an epidemic of “indoor children” becoming more and more prevalent in the UK more and more pupils are aggressive, easily distracted and harder to manage in the classroom. A lack of outdoor play is affecting classroom readiness.



    Playtime at school should provide a range of activities and outdoor play equipment that helps to encourage the children to play freely without the constraints of routine and structure being imposed upon them. P.E. lessons on their own are not enough to do this. It has to be everyday at intermittent times throughout the day.


    School administrations have a critical role to play in reversing the negative impacts of the indoor mentality. Helping children to experience and appreciate the nature of the outdoors and outdoor toys has never been more important than it is today in 21st Century Britain.


    Children tend to be more physically active with open-ended play where the emphasis is on the non-competitive. This is where we at Wicken Toys come in.



    Supplying outdoor toys is our specialty and our years of doing so has helped us to draw the conclusion that nothing quite beats toys like climbing frames, swings and slides as tools for helping to keep children healthy and active. They help to foster an environment of freedom and energy that cannot really be matched in any other way.


    Pre-schools and primary schools should be able to provide these tools for their students to be able to use at their leisure when break times and lunch times come to pass. They can reinvigorate children within the space of minutes and get them interacting with each other on a different level to their interactions in the classroom.



    There is no structure necessary when it comes to outdoor toys beyond the structure the children create for themselves. Help to give your students a helping hand towards their development outside of the classroom by investing in outdoor toys.


    Contact us at Wicken Toys for more information on our product ranges available.

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