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  • 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
  • Score a goal in the garden with some football fun


    As a nation, there's one sport that kids and adults alike in the UK like more than any other, and that sport is football. From the tiniest kids kicking a ball around their garden to grown men cheering on their favourite team at the local stadium, football is something people up and down the country are always getting involved with, whatever their age.


    More than just a fun past-time though, for many kids football is a great way to make friends by joining their school team, and an enjoyable way to learn the value of teamwork. Perfecting their technique with an at-home goal can sharpen their football skills and show them that practice and hard work really do pay off, which are useful lessons for later life.


    Of course the real joy to be had from getting your kids a football goal has nothing to do with these useful side effects though; you'll just love seeing their happy faces when they score against their friends! As we understand the universal appeal of football in Britain, Wicken Toys offers 5 different goal sets to put your kids' footballing prowess to the test and help them perfect their aim.


    To start your youngsters out on the footballing pitch, we have the compact and impressively easy to put up Spring Up goal by Tp, which pops straight up in your garden and can be packed back down into an easy-to-carry bag. This means you can take this lightweight goal anywhere you like, though its smaller size means its ideal for children to use in even small gardens.

    A slightly bigger but still compact alternative is the 6 x 4 foot Tp Goal for £23.50, an easy-to-assemble goal made from galvanised steel and rot resistant nylon netting with a lifetime guarantee against rust damage. Either of these two models are perfect for younger children just beginning to discover the joys of football.

    As your kids get bigger, of course, so do the goals. Move on up to the tp Super Goal which comes with an attachable training panel containing several ball-sized holes. This will challenge your children to get the ball through these holes, giving a narrower target than the open goal which can be used for individual practice play when no other kids are around to take a turn in goal. This goal is suitable for children of up to around age 10 and has been enhanced with fix-in ground stakes for added stability.

    On the other hand, if your child wants to practice their goal-scoring accuracy but you don't have space for the 2.13 by 1.52 metre Super Goal in your garden, you might prefer the innovative tp Baloopa. This inventive creation is a free standing raised hoop which allows your child to test their skills when space is tight and costs just £16.75.


    For those lucky enough to have a big, spacious garden though, there really is nothing that compares with the tp Giant Goal; a 3.05 by 1.95 metre professional standard goal. This huge goal is so big that even adults will want to join in with the fun, so your little ones can keep playing with it when they're no longer so little.

    With a goal to suit every garden, every budget and every child, there's nothing standing in the way to helping your child develop their footie skills. Who knows, they could just end up being the next big thing in the football world.  Contact Us for further information on our products or browse the site to see for yourselves.

  • Olympic Fun for Kids!


    It might be the middle of winter, but what better time to plan ahead for the coming spring and summer?  The whole country is doing it, after all...  That’s right, we’re talking about London 2012! With Olympic spirits on the rise, it may be that your children will want to become more active – it’s a good idea to let them feel they can join in.  If they’re reluctant, try encouraging them to leave the TV and the videogames alone for a little while; with a little imagination you can make outdoor playtime even more appealing.


    Many of our climbing frames can be customised with the addition of various accessories which are also available from us, many of which are currently discounted to make things easier on the post-Christmas purse strings.  Here are some ideas we’ve found...

    Let your little monkeys act like proper little monkeys with the tp Monkey Bridge – sound effects and jungle noises are not included, but we’re sure your kids will provide their own!  At £81 it’s a lot more affordable than a trip to the Amazon, but with a healthy dose of imagination your children will be away with the chimpanzees.  Don’t leave them hanging; consider a tp Scrambling Net for £44 to accompany your purchase, giving a new depth and density to that jungle.  Think about adding a tp 6 Rung Rope Ladder or 2.5m Climbing Rope to your den too – you’ll appreciate the smiles on the faces of your young Tarzans and Janes, and at £26.95 and £31.50 that’s value you can appreciate too.


    Try adding a Creative Playthings Play Telescope or Ship’s Wheel) to turn their climbing frame into a pirate ship!  At £15 and £19 respectively, that’s bargain buccaneering – with a total saving of £14.  They’ll be sailing the seven seas in search of plunder in no time at all.  Let your little landlubbers on board with the addition of a Plum 1.2m High Ramp Clearance and they’ll want to go out and swab the decks at every opportunity.  If you have a few more pieces of eight to spare, why not let them climb the rigging with the Creative Playthings 1.5m Cargo Climber (£119)?

    Perhaps your existing outdoor toys need an injection of adrenalin and excitement?  Link two different frames together with a Creative Playthings Crawl Tube or add a quick escape route with a 7ft Enclosed Turbo Slide for £349 and £549 – a collective saving of £370!  Add another dimension to the fun by attaching some tp Kingswood Horizontal Hoops or a Challenger Den to give that extra portion of adventure for £54 or £67.50.  Maybe your kids would like to sample the thrill of rock climbing in the safety of their own garden?  Take a look at the Creative Playthings 2.72m Pinnicle Rock Wall for a discounted £259!



    It’s a good idea to plan through how you can entertain your children later on in the year to save them getting bored if you’re trying to think on-the-fly.  With all this outside play, they’ll be ready to take part in the Olympics before you know it! ;-)

  • To me, to you – ball games this summer


    Okay, so it seems premature talking about a summer that seems to be holding back from arriving on our fair shores over here in the UK, but the truth is that sun will get here eventually and when it does, you want to be ready.


    The kids will be on summer holidays in less than two months so you need to start thinking “activities!” Believe it or not but kids will want to play outside when its sunny! And if that’s the case then the best way to encourage that i to make sure that they have plenty of games and outdoor toys to go to.


    Ball games is what we’re focusing on here this week at Wicken Toys. Who’d have thought that just having a ball and a net would be enough to keep them entertained all day? Well, just ask schools! They always keep the children occupied at playtime and in P.E. lessons through ball games. Plus, it’s fund for adults to join in to.


    What we’re looking at today is specific ball games.



    Yes, it’s the nation’s crown jewel this sport and many children get into it from a young age. Why not challenge the little ones by getting a Giant Goal so they can actual have a real game with each other? It’s all well and good giving them a ball but in order to complete the game they need to have the other main ingredient.


    The tp giant Goal is big enough for Dad’s and teenagers to enjoy as well as the younger family members. If you’re boys are football crazy then this is the best place to start their summer with.




    Traditionally netball is played more by girls than boys but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a mixed sport at home, after all this tp Netball complete set doubles as a basketball net too. This is one of those team sports that really gets kids to co-ordinate and work together, more so than most and also teaches them excellent hand-eye co-ordination. Netball set with fully adjustable ring and net height, from just above the base up to 10 feet.  It’s ideal to encourage even very young players.



    Table tennis

    If the summer proves to be more rainfall than sunshine, then indoor ball games are always an alternative option. None more so a better one than table tennis. The Kettler indoor table has a strengthened undercarriage & playback facility. It’s Kettler's best selling indoor table. INCLUDES FREE 2 bats, 3 balls and a net.

    That said if you already have a table or decide to put together a make shift one, all you need is the bat and balls.

    You can get a Kettler Table Tennis pack of balls and Kettler tennis table bats to play like pros do. It’s a lot of fun and ocne again very, very good for hand-eye co-ordination.



    Talk to Wicken Toys about sports and games this summer whether it’s for a kickaround in the back garden or a championship game of table tennis indoors, we can promise you that when it comes to these activities we’ve got the balls for it! ;-)

  • Playing safe in winter – tips for parents and children Part 2


    In the last blog Wicken Toys introduced a selection of winter safe playing tips for children and how parents can keep their kids protected from the harshness of a British winter while they play outdoors or with outdoor toys. Getting into the specifics of why winter can be an appealing time for children and outdoor playtime it is clear that the allure of winter sports and games are at the core of it all. Winter sports can be a great way for children to stay active, but each sport presents its own unique hazards. Continue reading

  • Warm winter playtime with Wicken Toys - Tips for Parents


    This winter at Wicken Toys we want the kids to stay warm during their outdoor playtime and that can only be accomplished by a watchful parental eye! Continue reading

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