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trampolines

  • Best Outdoor Toys For Ages 13 And Up

    Buying presents for a teen is no easy task.

    By now most children have outgrow the outdoor play equipment they enjoyed when they were younger.

    They may also now start to feel self-conscious about charging around the garden with the wild abandon like they used to.

    Never Too Old For Outdoor Fun

    But don’t assume your teen is too old for toys. Playing outside provides an important opportunity to unwind from school, and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. The toys you buy now are an invitation to play, permission to continue enjoying fun activities.

    You will have more success coaxing your teen into the back garden, if you focus your efforts on activities you can enjoy together.

    Just Bounce

    Springfree

    A trampoline is an ideal piece of play equipment for all ages. It can be difficult to find outdoor toys that serve all of your children well, but a trampoline does the job nicely. You can even have a bounce on it yourself.

    Larger trampolines allow for me freedom when bouncing about, allowing your teen to burn off energy without crashing into the sides.

    Always choose a trampoline with a purpose-built fitted net.

    Tempting as it may be to load a large trampoline with all your children at once, don’t. It’s not that the mat can’t take the wait. Trampoline manufacturers advise one person at a time only as smaller jumpers can get bounced about by bigger jumpers, and any collisions may result in injury.

    Used solo, however, a trampoline can be a great way for your teen to get some exercise without having to stray too far away from home.

    Start Driving

    Berg

    Adults buy our top-end go-karts, so they certainly are suitable for teens. These are designed to be pedaled fast, by older children and adults. The Berg’s are especially suitable for teens thanks to the Brake Freewheeling System. When you stop pedalling at speed, the pedals stop turning round, so although the go-kart will continue with the momentum, the pedals don’t keep smacking the rider in the back of the legs. Then to slow down, simply put a little backwards pressure on the pedals and the go-kart starts to scrub-off speed.

    Outdoor Shelter

    If you’ve ever considered getting a summer house or gazebo, now would be a good time. Providing a quiet space for your teen to meet friends, out of the house, but not away from your supervision, gives them the independence and freedom they crave, without compromising on safety.

    Water Pistols

    For the summer months, keep an arsenal of water pistols to hand. Nobody ever outgrows water fights.

    If you also have younger children, checkout the rest of <a href="http://www.wickentoys.co.uk/blog/tag/matching-toys-to-ages/"January’s series on outdoor toys for all ages.

  • Trampoline For Christmas? Great Gift Wrap Ideas

    It may seem a little odd to buy an outdoor toy as a Christmas present, but there are a few reasons why, for your family, this could be a really good idea.

    A good quality trampoline is a significant investment, and will bring hours of pleasure, but deciding when to buy one can be difficult. You basically have three options: i) Just buy one for absolutely no reason because you are such an awesome parent. This will make the children happy, but the parents financially poor, and runs the risk of encouraging the children to expect such treats. ii) Blow the entire birthday budget for one child on a trampoline, and face years of 'he's not sharing the trampoline' / 'she won't get off MY trampoline' moaning. You will also have to match the spend on sibling's birthdays which could prove to be expensive. iii) Spend a good chunk of your Christmas budget on a trampolines as a joint present between your children.

    For peace and harmony to rain supreme in your home, option iii) makes the most sense.

    So now you're sold on the idea of investing in trampoline for Christmas, you'll need a plausible cover story for how Father Christmas is going to wrestle it into your back garden.

    With careful planning you can deliver a magical present unveiling on Christmas morning, and preserve the magically plausibility of Father Christmas.

    1. Straight Forward Box Wrapping The simplest way to present this gift on Christmas morning is by gift wrapping the box, but also the most boring. Besides the disappointing lack of creativity, there are a few other downsides to this method of gift-giving. It will be some time between receiving the gift and being able to use it, and when you are attempting to erect the trampoline, there will be a small person 'helping'. Also, it seems unlikely that Father Christmas will have been able to fit this huge box in his sleigh.

    2. Gift Wrap The Erected Trampoline With a few rolls of bargain basement Christmas wrapping paper, you should be able to cover an erect trampoline. Of course, there's no way this will be arriving by sleigh. Tie the corners of an old bed sheet to the trampoline to look like a parachute, then Convince your little ones that the reindeer pulled the trampoline to your house, then gently dropped the trampoline to the ground. This is a lot of work, but is likely to produce the best Christmas Day reaction to capture on your home video, and leaves no question unanswered about how Mr Claus managed such a feat.

    3. Gift Wrap The Door If the thought of wrapping an entire trampoline fills you with dread, wrap the back door instead. Cover whichever door you normally use to access the garden. This is an easier task than wrapping the whole trampoline, but still gives a great unveil moment. Plus the trampoline is ready for use as soon your little one has wrapped up warm enough to go outside.

    So there you go, every question answered, every doubt quashed. You can buy a trampoline for Christmas, and Santa's reindeer are more than capable of delivering it.

  • Fun Games To Play On A Trampoline

    A trampoline can bring hours of fun and exericse without you even needing to leave the house. And you can liven things up with these trampoline game ideas.

    Please bear in mind when you are playing these games that trampolines are designed to be used by one person bouncing at a time.

    Poison Balls One person is jumping on the trampoline, and another keeps time with a stop watch. Put two or three balloons. The player needs to bounce for as long as possible before they get touched by one of the poison balls.

    Simon Says A variation of Simon says, where this time the object of the game is to get the person on the trampoline to fall over. One player stands in the garden, and the other is on the trampoline. The player on firm ground demonstartes moves that the person on the trampoline has to copy. Count how many moves the person on the trampoline was able to complete before falling over, before the players switch over. The person on the trampoline should only attempt a a move once the person standing in the garden has successfully completed it.

    Sequences This is a great game to play with your child to help them develop their sequential memory. You stand in front of the trampoline and perform a movement, such as a jumping jack, then your child copies. Next you perform the first movement and add a second, and your child copies these two. Continue building on the sequence and see how many movements you can both string together.

    Bouncing Multiplication Ask your child to count their bounces in their head, then shout out when they hit a bounce that is on the 2, 5 or 10 times table. You can choose whichever times tables they are currently learning. To make it easier you could count out loud for them, and just have them shout out when they hit the multiple. You can make it more difficult by each of you taking a different times table so you will both be shouting about.

    Bouncing Alphabet / Counting For younger children you can encourage them to count up in ones on each bounce, or say each letter of the alphabet. For older childen try counting up in multiples, e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8. Multi-Tasking Play catch with your child while they bounce, or ask them to throw a small ball from one hand to another. By asking their brain to manage two tasks at the same time, they are learning to improve their brain processing power, almost like upgrading a computer.

    Bubble Bounce Blow bubbles above the trampoline (this works best if you or another child can sit on a climbing frame), and the child on trampoline needs to bounce as high as possible to pop the bubbles. Bouncing Twister Did you know you can use chalk on a trampoline mat? Test on a small area of the trampoline first, then check it washes off. Use chalks to draw different coloured shapes. Then instruct your child with a sequence of spots they need to bounce between.

    For new trampolines, safety nets and replacement parts, check out our trampoline section.

  • Bouncing benefits

     

    In our blog post earlier this week we considered the advantages of balance bikes for children as the best option to start learning how to ride a bike. Like our balance bikes here at Wicken Toys, we also have starter outdoor trampolines which are always a fantastic addition to any garden; they provide your kids with a healthy and safer alternative to jumping on their beds.

    They come in a range of sizes and although you might already be aware of them, there are rather small starter trampolines available for you children; your choice isn’t limited to those huge ones that frequently appear in blooper home video TV programmes with people falling off them. We do have larger models for children like these except they are surrounded by precautionary net which acts as an enclosure for extra safety in case of stumbles over the edge. Starter models help young children to increase their confidence and improve before trampolining on a bigger model.

    For instance, these outdoor trampolines (below) which measures 6ft wide have the option of a pink or blue enclosure. The zip door in the safety surround provides easy access for getting in and out. It is a suitable model for children even as young as three years old and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

    Pink Plum trampoline and enclosure

    TP junior trampoline

    We also have starter trampolines like the one in the photo above which are suitable for children as young as one year old due to their even smaller sizes and supportive handles.

    In case you are undecided about a new piece of outdoor play equipment like one of these, Wicken Toys have explored the top reasons why trampolines could benefit your children.

    Exercise which is fun

    It is essential that children from a young age learn about the importance of exercise and realise that they should try and do it on a regular basis. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to encourage children to enjoy exercise by finding a physical activity which they enjoy. Trampolining is not just an exercise; it is an exciting and entertaining form of exercise which will be easily accessible in your garden ready for hours of summer fun.

    Good for their bones and joints

    Trampolining is an activity which, unlike jogging or running, doesn’t have a lot of strain on the body’s joints. Furthermore, this exercise strengthens your bones. This is because it is an activity which works against gravity and the repetitive nature of it, with only the small amount of joint stress, builds the musculoskeletal system to be strong.

    Enhances other skills

    In addition to the above points, jumping up and down on a springy surface regularly can greatly improve coordination, rhythm, and especially balance. These are all useful skills that will benefit your child in other types of sport.  

    Click here to browse through our range of outdoor trampolines, first trampolines, and accessories to match.

  • Trampoline funtimes to put a spring in their step

    The trampoline is a surprisingly modern device that has its origins in the circus. Bouncing apparatus was used in 19th century French circuses and a in the early 1900s circus performers performed acrobatics on a bouncing bed, which was a trampoline covered with bed clothes. However, it was not until 1936 that the first modern trampoline was designed and built by two America gymnasts George Nissen and Larry Griswold.

    Now, of course, trampolining is an Olympic sport. In the London 2012 Olympics Canadian Rosie MacLennan won gold and Briton Kat Driscoll captured everyone’s imagination; missing out on the final by a tenth of a mark!  At this level it is not uncommon for a skilled athlete to bounce to a height of 10 metres (33 ft) as they perform multiple somersaults and twists.  They are also used as cross-trainers for other sports including in diving, skating, gymnastics, and freestyle skiing.

    For parents of older children the purchase of a trampoline is also an opportunity to engage them in the basic laws of Physics, including the conversion of potential energy into kinetic and Isaac Newton laws of motion. Trampolines are in essence simple machines; it is well known that they have formed an integral part of the American and Soviet space programmes to prepare astronauts for the experience of zero gravity.

    However, one of the main reasons people buy a trampoline is the fantastic health benefits it offers. In particular trampolining improves co-ordination including balance, agility, rhythm, and timing; the fine motor skills that are so receptive to development in children and teenagers.  Regular trampolining sessions have been seen to improve the spatial awareness of young people, boosting confidence and self-esteem: enhancing performance not just on the sports field but in the classroom too.

     

     

    In addition to specific gains in terms of co-ordination and agility, like any cardio work-out use of a trampoline has fantastic long-term health benefits. In a recent study conducted by the Colorado State University it was shown that short bursts of exercise have the same health benefits at prolonged exercise routines; improving fitness and burning calories. Likewise, an ongoing study by Professor Jamie Timmons a leading expert on exercise has shown that short-burst exercise of as little as three minutes a week can deliver the same health benefits as hours at the gym by boosting the stamina and fitness of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. This is good news in an age when we are increasingly concerned about childhood obesity. A trampoline can ensure that your children are getting short bursts of exercise without as much as a thought about their exertion. And all this is without mentioning the benefits of outdoor play that we at Wicken Toys are so found of telling you about!

    So, even without considering the obvious health benefits of trampolining for youngsters, what better way to get them away from sedentary activities like watching TV and playing video games and playing outside in the spring sunshine than a trampoline?  We have a large choice of trampolines in stock here at Wicken Toys, ranging from little ones with support bars for infants such as the TP Junior, through to TP SurroundSafe tramps, which are enclosed and very safe, for older and perhaps more boisterous children.

  • Outdoor play - keeping kids fit and active in the winter

    Winter is often a time when kids don't feel inclined to play outdoors. It is far more appealing to them to stay in their rooms and play video games or watch TV than to venture out into the cold yet magical world awaiting them outside. Playing outdoors is not as bad for your little ones as they'd have you believe. Providing they are wrapped up warm in winter coats, hats and scarves, and remain active while they are outside, then outdoor play can help your children stay fit and actually keep them warm.

     

     

    So in today's blog we thought we'd look at some great toys and activities to keep your little playing ones outdoors in the magical winter weather.

    Sledging

    Sledging may be an obvious one but if we continue to have the kind of weather we've been having of late then a sledge or toboggan will provide hours upon hours of outdoor fun for your children. Remember you can never be too soon when it comes to buying a sledge. It's always better to be pre-emptive than for your child to miss out when the snow finally arrives.

    Climbing frames

    A climbing frame is always a popular outdoor plaything. In the wintertime, clambering on one of these play structures will not only keep your little ones fit and active but also give them a great vantage point from which to view their wintery surroundings. A climbing frame can not only help your child's sense of balance and coordination but also help expand their imaginations as they imagine it is a spaceship or moon base.

    Trampolines

    A trampoline is perhaps the most energetic way to keep warm and active whilst outdoors. The simple act of bouncing up and down outdoors is perhaps as magical and transformative as snow itself. Indeed, it's probably as close as your children will come to the magical act of flying that is so prevalent in children's storybooks and indeed their own imaginations.

    Garden swings

    This feeling of flying is mirrored in the classic garden swing. Children can occupy themselves for hours pushing each other back and forth. A swing is a classic for a reason. Swinging is quite simply, one of the most fun outdoor activities ever! Children love to play on the swings because of magical feeling of flying through the air. Likewise, unlike many children's play activities its one that adults can really feel a part of. As a parent you will be more than appreciated for taking up that all important role of "the pusher".

    So when it comes to wintertime, outdoor play is often a good thing for your children. Helping them to keep fit and active as well as developing their imaginations. Indeed, here at Wicken Toys, we are great advocates of outdoor play for this reason. It gets children away from the TV or games console and enables them to use their imaginations in creative role playing games. Outdoor plays are not only versatile but can also feed your little ones' imaginations; encouraging them to become cowboys, wizards and spacemen and to utilise their surroundings in a way that is good for both body and mind.

  • Maybe baby – finding the perfect baby toys

     

    With autumn already bearing down upon us and the impending Christmas season, now is the time to start thinking about baby toys and garden swings for the smallest members of your growing family. British winters are becoming more traditional over the past few years, with snowfall becoming a more prominent feature of the winter period. And there’s nothing quite like the cold weather and snow for bringing a family together. Make this winter special with some outdoor toys for baby, toddler and child alike.

     

    The TP QuadPod is a great addition to any family garden swing and it won’t break the bank. This swing seat incorporates four seats into its design and suits ages from 6 months to 8 years. This seat is ideal for babies because it gives full back and neck support, which means that you can bundle baby up and take them to play on the swing without any worry. Think of the fun you could have as a family playing with this outdoor toy.

     

    Baby

     

    Another fun little baby toy is the TP Deck Chair Seat. Themed like a summer deck chair to bring back memories of warmer summer days, this one suits ages 6 months to 3 years. There are no sharp corners, so the kids are safe when playing with this toy for babies. It makes your current garden swing a love-letter to a British summer in winter.

     

    Baby

     

    Of course, Wicken Toys can offer you even more than that in outdoor toys. We’ve got our TP Growable Acorn Swing Set. This set includes two seats and is adjustable, so you can grow the swing set as baby gets older. For a lot of families having to watch their pennies, that’s a big bonus because it allows you to get more use out of the swing for a longer period of time. It’s the outdoor baby toy that grows with your baby.

     

    If your baby is a bit older and a bit more daring, give them a challenge! TP Challenger Climbing Frame Low Height Set 1 is a climbing frame set that will delight and astound adventurous toddlers and encourage them to be more active in the great outdoors. With a bumpy slide, ramps and a secret den for them to play in, this will keep them engaged, happy and playing for years into the future.

     

    Baby

     

    What child doesn’t love a trampoline? TP Folding Trampoline is a fun baby toy for confident babies over 12 months. The fact that it can fold-up means that it can be an outdoor toy in calmer weather and an indoor toy when it’s too rough, wet or cold outside. Kids can have endless fun on a small trampoline like this, whatever the weather.

     

    Baby

     

    Even though the weather is starting to turn, there’s still lots of fun to be had with outdoor toys for children in autumn and winter. Whatever the weather, kids can wrap up warm and get out into the garden to get some fun in the world outdoors with the family by their side.

     

    Wicken Toys has the biggest display of outdoor toys and garden swings in the country. Bring the family down and try them for yourselves!

  • Bouncing towards Christmas with Wicken Toys

    Bouncing towards Christmas with Wicken Toys

    As we go bouncing towards the festive season, Wicken Toys is giving you a whole host of gift ideas for energetic children of all ages. (And even adults...) The Wicken family can provide the very best of outdoor toys at very competitive prices, whatever your needs might be.

    Christmas is a time when children come alive with even more energy in anticipation of the visit from Old Saint Nick on Christmas Eve. They need Christmas toys that can keep up with them; they need toys that they can pour their energy into and use for years to come. Trampolines might seem like a strange toy for Christmastime, but they are fun, enduring and great for children.

    Start small with the TP 8ft Star Trampoline

    We thought we’d start small with this popular trampoline for little stars aged 3 years and up. The octagonal frame of this trampoline guarantees a perfect vertical that will keep them entertained as they wear out their batteries in the back garden.

    The TP 8ft Star Trampoline comes with a soft surround, a cover net and an anchor kit for extra safety and comfort.

    TP 10ft Capital Trampoline

    Designed to TP's specification, the 10ft Capital trampoline is huge fun for children over the age of 6. The quality of the trampoline at a highly affordable price. At 10ft and a seemingly expansive circular shape that draws the bouncer – or bouncers – into the centre to avoid any mishaps around the edges of the trampoline. This is a fun trampoline to get for your kids; one that will have them reaching for the stars with every bounce.

    Buying the TP 10ft? Don’t forget the TP 10ft trampoline mat cover to keep autumn and winter’s debris off your child’s trampoline.  Caring for your trampoline like this will help to keep it in the best possible shape for a long time. 

    If your children are too small to reach the trampoline by themselves, you can also purchase a TP Trampoline ladder to fit any trampoline. It means that they can get on and off without Mum and Dad's help

    The Super Tramp Wallaby

    Super Tramp Wallaby trampoline is a serious trampoline. Heavy duty and tough, this trampoline suits everyone age 6 and up – including adults. It’s the trampoline choice for avid bouncing and even acrobatics.

    This would be a perfect Christmas gift for your son or daughter if they are serious gymnasts and wanting to hone their skills. It offers serious athletic performance at an unbeatable quality and value for a home trampoline.

    The Super Tramp Wallaby is quiet, extremely bouncy and durable. It can withstand tough punishment from your child or teenager as they practice their skill sets for competitions.

    Trampolines are fantastic outdoor toys because they are fun, healthy and durable. They encourage children to have fun being active outside and they are great for burning off energy. (Much healthier than a games console!)

    Whatever your child’s needs for Christmas presents, Wicken Toys is at hand with exceptional gifts at great prices. Wicken Toys are fun toys for the whole family – from children all the way to parents.

  • Beat the Christmas shopping rush with Wicken Toys

    Christmas blogging in October? We must be out of our minds! But wait; there is method to our madness...

     

    Wicken Toys has been in the business of playtime for a long time and we know better than most outdoor toy suppliers the importance of getting Christmas shopping lists ticked off early. Unless you enjoy the Christmas rush in December and the queuing, the cold weather and the increased pricing, we’ll bet that you would actually prefer to avoid it at all costs.

     

    When you order with Wicken Toys you get your outdoor toys delivered direct to your door saving you the trouble of having to do all that running about in the last few days before Christmas Day.

     

    We’ve already begun to give you our list of recommendations for the ideal Christmas presents this year, some of which you can read HERE. To continue with our suggestions might we direct you towards the following gift ideas for the kids this year:

     

    For children 2 years+ it’s good to give them something that gets them active and keeps them mobile for playtime outside. Our trikes for girls and boys are always a winner.

     

    For him

    This KETTLER Top Trike Air Fly offers maximum comfort thanks to the use of large air tyres and ball bearing hubs.  A safety harness for the younger children is optional too. What makes this trike particularly special is that its unique frame design can be adjusted and extended to grow with your child. Technically, your child will not “grow-out” of this trike for a long time. It’s a worthwhile investment, and as long as they enjoy riding on it, you can’t really go wrong.

     

    Kettler

     

    For her

    The KETTLER Run Air Layana Balance Bike tops the range with an innovative easy access frame design, ergonomic padded seat, wire wheels and all the other standard features from the other models in the range.  It’s a really snazzy and sleek design with a purely pink coating, ideal for young girls.

     

    Kettler

    For boys and girls

    Nothing beats the bounce of a great trampoline for the juniors. This Plum 6ft Trampoline Enclosure is ideal as a first trampoline for children ages 3-10. It helps to increase and build up the confidence of the kids whilst providing a safe and fun experience for them.

     

    This is a great introduction to trampolines for children and it comes in both blue and pink.

     

    6ft

     

     Wicken Toys is devoted to offering safe, quality and fun outdoor toys and games for children of all ages from climbing frames to garden swings to bicycles to sledges. We’re making Christmas easier on the parents this year and a lot more enjoyable for the kids.

     

    Contact Us for more information on any of our outdoor toy ranges.

  • Why is outside better than indoor for play?

    In the ever growing age of the computer screen and games console, playing outside is a trend that seems to be something some children can’t bear. However, that does not mean to say it isn’t an essential component to development.

    In fact, if anything, playing outside is something that should be encouraged whenever possible.

    The pre-school age and above can learn and develop so much in outdoor play.  When they jump, run or even leap they are actively keeping fit, improving their co-ordination and of course having fun!

    Even things like ball throwing or pushing a swing can all assist them in their handling skills and eye-hand co-ordination.

    So in this blog, we thought we would inspire you (and hopefully your children) to see outdoor play as something preferable to sitting in front of a television or computer to learn and experience the world around.

    Continue reading

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