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swings

  • Swing Set Safety Tips

    A swing set can bring hours of pleasure, without occupying too much space in the garden, making them a great investment for parents. Follow these top tips top keep your little ones safe while they play.

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    Position You should locate your swing set on level ground. Any slope can make the structure unstable once the swing is in motion. A shaded, sheltered area of the garden will help prevent plastic or metal components getting heated by the Sun and will help keep your children cool while they are playing. Beware any overhanging branches or structures that could be knocked by a child's head as they swing, or could drop onto the swing.

    Seats Ensure the swing is fitted with a seat appropriate for the age of the child using it. We stock bucket swing seats suitable for babies and toddlers, giving them a more secure ride. We also sell tire swings, balls, trapeze bars and more. Check the age range for the product before you attach it to your swing set. Older children should not be permitted to use swing seats designed for toddlers. Their weight is likely to exceed the product's upper limit causing damage to the seat, and risking injury to the child, and they may topple out of the bucket style seat if they are too tall for it to remain upright and stable.

    Safety Mats Covering the area under the swing set with safety mats will provide a softer landing for your child if they fall. In the Spring and Autumn lush grass and moist mud make the ground soft and springy, but in the Summer heat it can bake to an almost concrete consistency.

    Clearance Area Each swing set comes with its own recommendations regarding clearance space around the play structure and the swing area, which must be adhered to. When you decide the location of the swing set in your garden, consider any other play equipment you have, and how your children currently use the space. Will they be running directly in front of the path of the swing, or can the other equipment be accessed without risk.

    Maintenance Keep your swing set in safe working order by carrying out regular maintenance inspections. Nuts and bolts may work themselves loose over time, ropes may fray, or children may have caused damage to some parts. Adult Supervision When using play equipment, children need to be supervised by an adult, who can help out when a child gets stuck exploring, prevent the equipment being mis-used, and conduct back garden rescue operations if needed.

    Whether your swing set is a stand alone piece of play equipment or an integral part of a large play structure, these safety tips will help keep your children safe while they are having fun.

  • Swing Set Maintenance Tips

    Adding a swing set to your garden can provide your children with hours of fun and relaxation. Whether they want to gently rick back and forth watching the world go by, or energetically reach for the clouds, a swing is a great investment for outdoor fun.

    Keep your swing set safe, and help extend its useful life with these top tips for play equipment maintenance.

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    1. Coping With Cold Snaps During a harsh cold snap, outside temperatures may drop below freezing. Check the temperature tolerance level in the manufacturing handbook. Although all the plastic component on our swing sets are suitable for use outdoors, their integrity may be compromised during extremely cold weather. If possible detach the plastic swing set and store indoors until the temperature improves. Also be aware that in cold temperatures the ground will be very hard. If you don't have safety matting underneath the swing set, a fall onto this harder ground can cause injury. 2. Metal Maintenance Whenever two metal components are in contact with each other, a small amount of oil will help keep them moving smoothly. Your manufacturer's information booklet should provide details of which parts require oiling, and when. Our metal swing sets constructed from galvanized steel or aluminium do not need any additional corrosion protection, and as a result and almost maintenance-free. 3. Wooden Components Our wooden swing sets are constructed from pre-treated timbers, which means they are ready to use immediately after assembly. Help keep the wood in good condition by ensuring it is not exposed to a continuous flow of water, for example from an overhead leaking gutter, and that any debris such as moss or soil is removed, as this could trap water against the wood, encouraging rot.

    4. Safety Area If you have used safety mats beneath the swing set, carry out a periodic inspection to ensure they haven't crept away from their intended location.

    5. Nuts and Bolts Over time, nuts and bolts may wiggle themselves use. This can damage the swing set as component parts are given the freedom to rub against each other. Check them over regularly, for example once a month, to check they are tight enough. Also look out for signs of rust. If a bolt rusts through it is no longer structurally secure, and can be very difficult to remove, so it's better to replace it at the first sign of trouble.

    6. Smooth And Safe Whether the swing set is made from wood or metal, all the surfaces should be smooth to the touch. Look out for any sharp edges that could snag clothes or scratch skin.

    7. Seat and Chain Inspection When inspecting the seat and chain, pay particular attention to the point at which the chain attaches to the frame, and where the chain links to the seat. Also look for any cracks in the plastic of the seat, as it will need to be replaced immediately. 8. Do It Yourself Our swing set frames are designed for use with the swing seats supplied, any any other manufacturer supplied attachment. Please do not modify the set with your own additions such as car tyres, or by looping chains over the cross-bar, as this will impact on the safety of the play equipment.

    All of our swing sets come with a manufacturer's guarantee and are designed to be as maintenance-free as possible. If you have any questions or would like further information about caring for play equipment from Wicken Toys, please contact us.

  • A Positive Swing For Childhood Development

    A swing set is such a simple piece of play equipment, but can bring hours of joy, and improvements to your child's well-being, making it a great investment for your garden. Physical Benefits Outdoor exercise provides the opportunity to gently increase the heart rate, and breath in plenty of fresh air. Pumping the swing burns calories and works quadriceps and hamstrings as your child's legs pump back and forth. Whether your child is self-powered or is enjoying being pushed by you, the simple act of keeping balance and not falling off, is working their core muscles around the back and abdomen which are essential for maintaining good body posture, as well as working the shoulders, neck and arms.

    Encourage your child to stretch their legs right out as they swing, to elongate the muscles which can help with growing pains. They should also hold their back straight to help develop good posture, and allow them to fully expand their lungs, and fill them with fresh air. For much of the day, slumped in a school chair, your child will be using breathing inefficiently, and not using their lungs to their full capacity. Taking deep breaths outdoors, while exercising outdoors on the swing can improve alertness and induce a feeling of relaxation.

    By pumping the legs together, your child will be developing their bilateral co-ordination skills, which are essential for enabling both halves of the body to work together to achieve a task. Emotional Benefits The simple, repetitive nature of swinging allows children the opportunity to let their mind wander and process what they have learned throughout the day. It can also be a great way to burn off any frustrations, while enjoying the pleasure of a cool breeze rushing past. If your child does not usually want to talk after time at school, or in childcare, you may find the conversation flows more easily if you are enjoying a swing together.

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    Social Benefits Since the swing is outside, this exposes the child to nature, and usually to other children, prompting exploration of the world around, them as well as play and interaction with others. Swinging also provides the opportunity for teamwork and sharing, if you have one swing that needs to be shared; or communication and mimic skills, if you have two swings that the children can swing in time, or in opposing time on.

    Sensory Stimulation Swinging back and forth provides powerful stimulation for the child's vestibular system, the sense that tells them where their body is in relation to space and gravity. The vestibular system is a vital to a child's development of muscle tone, and movement, and having this system work well helps children feel confident in their physical abilities, and secure in their environment. Further sensory stimulation is provided by the noise in the surrounding outdoor environment, and through the rapid movement of air across the skin. Exposure the this type of stimulation helps your child practice rapid processing of information, which will help them respond to new situations more quickly, and cope with very stimulating environments, such as the school dinner hall, or a crowded public place.

    Browse our range of swing sets available to buy online now.

  • What's the Easter Bunny got in store for your garden?

    Well who can believe we're already in to March almost and that Easter is but a few weeks away!

    If you're thinking of ways to inspire the children over the holidays then Wicken Toys can help! We all know the British weather can be challenging but Easter (even if the sun isn't quite shining) is  a fantastic time to get outside and enjoy the Spring!

    Whether it's having a game of footie in the garden or if you want something a little more grand, then we've got some inspiring ideas to get you thinking!

    Now, if you remember back when you were young, how much fun was the humble slide?  As a great activity and for some mini thrills, a slide is a wonderful way to encourage your children to be outside enjoying the fresh air. With a hint of trepidation at the steps, the ultimate result is always laughter or an exciting scream as the little ones make their way down to the bottom.

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  • Outdoor toys leads to more creative play...

    The toys your children play and interact with can really impact on their maturity, development and even growth. In fact, the right kind of outdoor toys can really help to inspire them and teach them so many of life’s great lessons early on.

    That’s why here at Wicken Toys we are so passionate about all of the outdoor toys (and some indoor) that we offer. We know the true benefit to them for children and what they can bring to a child’s life.

    There is something very important in outdoor play too – as even pretending can help to inspire a child’s ability to imagine things, which in adulthood could impact on their potential to gain the top jobs and perhaps even help them achieve a first class degree. After all, only the top 5% of the UK who attend university get a top level degree. What this can mean is that these people represent the most individual thinkers – or to put it another way, these are the people that actually shape the world that we live in with new ideas and ways of thinking.

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  • Swing into the festive season

    Wintertime can be so beautiful. There is something wonderful about wrapping up warm in a coat, hat and gloves and going out into a crisp frosty Winter's morning. And this is particularly true for children. Yet when it's cold it can be hard to get children to play outside, when they'd rather be snuggled up in their rooms playing video games or watching the dreaded television.

     

     

    Here at Wicken Toys we know the value of outdoor play and the importance of getting children to go outside and an interact with their surroundings and indeed with other children. There is something particularly delightful about watching your little ones playing on the swings. An activity that is a traditional favourite when it comes to visiting the park. Swings not only help with balance and coordination but when it comes to quantifying their value, is justification for buying a swing is far simpler than that. Quite simply, they are fun! Every child loves to play on the swings because of the sheer unadulterated joy of that flying through the air feeling.

     

    So why make them wait to visit the park when they can enjoy the fun of a garden swing. Indeed, gardens can be magical in Wintertime, when they are covered in frost and the sun shines low and bright through the trees and bushes, casting beautiful shadows across the lawn. However, gardens are often underused in Winter. There is little gardening for adults to do, which means that the family as a whole are less inclined to go out and enjoy the garden. However, a swing is a great excuse for parents to go into the garden and give their children a helping hand by pushing them just that little bit higher while they swing.

     

     

    We have a great range of swings available for younger and older children. So you are able to choose the right swing for your child. For smaller children we have the Tp Kingfisher swing and for older children we have bigger swings like Tp toys' giant swing range. Likewise, our German made Kettler swings are very robust and ideally suited for older children. And our Kettler multiplay swing set is particularly good for more than one child.

     

    So if you are thinking of purchasing a swing for your little ones then take a look at our website. Or alternatively if you are in the Milton Keynes area, then why not come and see our wonderful range of swings and outdoor toys for yourselves.

  • Wicken Toys Swings into Action!

     

    We all have memories of our own childhood, of those wonderful sunny days spent on the swings in the park.  The highs and lows, the back and forth... that exciting moment when we think we’re about to touch the sky!

     

    Maybe they won’t be able to actually touch the sky (we blame physics for that), but swings still hold the ability to entertain and captivate with a simple design and concept.  After all, what better way to add to playtime is there than a swing set?  Swings incorporate all the fun of the fairground Pirate Ship into your own garden, giving your children a taste of action and adventure while gently exercising under the safety of parental supervision.

     

    Here at Wicken we have a massive variety of swings and swing accessories in stock – come and check out our display with the kids for the ultimate try before you buy experience.  We have the largest outdoor display in the country, with an unrivalled selection of swing sets.  Seeing a product on a web site is one thing, but being able to examine it in person is a whole different experience, and you can judge which of our range is best for your children by the looks on their faces!

     

    For those of you with little ones, the TP Growable Acorn Swing Set may well be perfect.  Extending from a 102cm to a 180cm height, this swing set can grow with your child, and is suitable for users between 6 months and 8 years old.  Alternatively, this TP Double Giant Swing Set is ideal for more than one child at a time while not breaking your budget.

     

     

    They grow up so fast, don’t they?  If you’re thinking about giving something a little more adventurous to your not so little ones, have a look at the Plum Uakari Swing Set – with a large climbing net and a rock wall as well as two swing positions, there’s something here for all those wannabe explorers and cheeky monkeys out there.

     

     

    If you’re looking to create the perfect custom swing experience, then look no further than Wicken Toys.  The TP Kingswood Double Swing Arm will add on to any existing Kingswood climbing frame and add a whole new world of fun and possibility when combined with the massive amount of swing accessories and add ons we offer.  Instead of the standard single seat approach, consider something more fun and different.  The Creative Playthings Buoyball Swing is an original thing indeed – encouraging both imagination and body strength development through play.  Alternatively, check out the Creative Playthings Single Axis Tire Swing for a retro approach – or the TP Twizzler 2 for a more modern ‘twist’!

     

     

     

    Whatever your requirements, Wicken Toys is bound to have something perfect for you and your kids – to help them get into the swing of things ready for the coming summer!

  • Great discounts on climbing frames, garden swings and more with Wicken Toys

    If you haven’t yet seen it, you may be interested to know that we have some fantastic discounts available for some of our most popular toys and we thought we’d give you the heads up on some firm favourites!

    As we approach the Spring, you’ll no doubt want the benefits of fresh air and exercise to impact on the children’s playtime so our list covers what we feel are some of the greatest toys you can do that with.

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