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Wicken Toys

  • Playing house - opening the doors to playhouses this spring

     

    As the weather improves and we see more sunny days ahead (the recent snowfall notwithstanding!) it’s a good opportunity to start thinking playhouses for the kids. At Wicken Toys we have some ideas about the best playhouses currently available and what we think will give your children the most fun during spring time.

     

    Playing at home for kids can be turned into a much more exciting experience. Playhouses are a greta way to encourage imaginative play for pre-schoolers. They can cater to children playing by themselves and with their siblings or friends.

     

    The key attraction for children is that they can role play and the educational merits of playhouses are that children (knowingly or unknowingly) can practice social skills while enjoying their playtime. Think about it – playhouses are basically platforms for children to pretend to be their parents by “owning” and “living” in their own house. They adopt etiquette very quickly.

     

    With a playhouse kids can play inside or outside in them. They are designed as outdoor toys but work just as well inside the house on those cold or rainy days. With spring weather and signs of summer spreading across the UK there has never been a better time to encourage children to play outdoors!

     

    Playhouses come in different shapes and sizes that can suit individual gardens and homes respectively according to their specifications.

     

    The Forest Wooden Cabin Playhouse is a compact lodge with window frames and fabric door perfect for children aged between 1-10 years.

     

     

    Go from small cabin house to fortress castle and tower set (which boys tend to go crazier for!) Children will instinctively recognise that the Castle can be a fairy palace, a Wild West fort, or a stage for medieval chivalry and pageantry.   Then they can run accross the bridge into the tower and act out some other imaginary tale.

     

     

    Or for something a little more scaled back and not quite so epic, you can find the All Out Play Jungle Hut more appealing. It has a wooden floor as its base and looks great in gardens.

     

     

    Choose from a standard playhouse or a hybrid playhouse / Climbing frame by All Out Play. All Out Play playhouses look great in any garden, solidly built and strikingly unusual.

     

    Playhouses blend well into any environment. Each design includes an enclosed space that is great in all sorts of weather, but also allows your children to play securely in their own private fantasy world.

  • Want to buy a climbing frame but don’t know where to start?

    Whenever the purchase of a climbing frame is on the agenda there are some essential things to ask before coming down and buying one.

     

    Preparation is the key to finding the very best climbing frame for your garden and so we here at Wicken Toys thought it would be useful to offer some general guidance on what you need to do before choosing your next climbing frame.

     

     

    So what do you need to know?

     

    The first thing to ask is probably obvious but it’s often the thing that isn’t always considered!  What can you fit in your garden and what safety implications are there?

    Continue reading
  • 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!

  • The Christmas Rush – some advice from Wicken Toys

     

    For the past two months we have been blogging about toys and of course the odd Christmas blog hasn't gone amiss.  It’s been a long build-up to the biggest day of the year, particularly for children. But now Christmas is literally a few days away and the question is; are you ready? Continue reading

  • Christmas gift ideas - their first tricycle

    Parents can get stuck when it comes to Christmas gift ideas for children. There’s so much choice out there that your mind starts to fry when you think of them. Add to that the stresses of your son or daughter’s ever growing list of wants from the jolly man in red and you start to have a festive-breakdown. Children want everything. Continue reading

  • Snow days ahead at Wicken Toys

    Snow Days ahead at Wicken Toys

    Outdoor toys aren’t just for summer time contrary to what some may think. In fact, there’s no single season that kids don’t consider a good time to go out and play! So at Wicken Toys, we cater towards their needs all year around.

    As the winter approaches with the possibility of snowfall a major likelihood, if last year was anything to go by, we have to start thinking about preparing the kiddiewinks for some safe snow playtime! While all the adults in the country will groan as the winter wonderland of ice and snow freezes us into gridlock again, the children will surely rejoice. There’s nothing quite like a snow day.

    And what are the best outdoor toys for a snow day? Sledges of course!

    For beginners and for intermediates, Wicken Toys has an enviable collection.

    Sleds for childrenIf your children have never gone sledding before, introduce them to My First Sled made from a toughened plastic with a connecting rope, this is perfect for children or teenagers. It’s easy to operate and good to practice in, hence its name!

    Super Sledge Firecom RedFor the children that have done a bit of sledding previously we recommend them hopping aboard the Super Sledge Firecom Red – the ultimate sledding experience. The word super is not an exaggeration as this sledge has been designed for both children and adults with wide plastic runners ideally suited for snowy, slushy and icy conditions. Just make sure you wrap up warm when using it. Adult supervision is preferable when this sledge is being operated.

    The option to go really old school is always open at Wicken Toys.Back in the days when sledges were at their peak of popularity there was no fancy colours and overly elaborate designs. The sledges were simple, practical and for intents and purposes, the most satisfying to use. Take this Mountain Sled 100 wooden sledge as the pride and joy of the Wicken Toys sledge range.

    It’s a traditional wooden sledge hand built in Germany with the strongest emphasis on durability. They are guaranteed to last throughout this winter and many winters beyond it. Perfect for deep snow sledding experiences and are suitable for one adult with a child to take it for a spin.

    Snow Suttle BlueAlternatively, another 2 seat sledge that is much sleeker in its design and appearance is the Snow Shuttle Blue. While it is inspired by traditional toboggan designs, it is very much a modern looking piece of sledging mastery. It can be adapted for safe use for younger children with the addition of the all round seat.

    This winter give the kids an adventure in their own back garden and local parks by getting them a sledge for the snow days ahead. Wicken Toys has a wide selection to choose from so feel free to take a browse on our site to find the right fit for your family.

    At the time of writing there are only 80 shopping days left until Christmas! Santa Claus is coming...

  • A castle to call my own - Children's playhouses for Christmas

     

    A castle to call my own – Christmas playhouses for children

     

    It’s hard to believe that Christmas 2011 is two months away. From September or October time, children start to get the red and green mist of Christmas; they begin to see the new toys and games filtering through on the TV and their little minds work overtime with lists for Father Christmas.

    Christmas is such a special time for little ones. The magic is an almost tangible thing and they get so excited about Christmas Day that they can’t sleep. Christmas gifts are difficult things to get right, but Wicken Toys can guide you on buying your children a perfect Christmas gift.

     

    My home is my castle

    Playhouses can give children endless fun and games as they tumble through childhood. It’s a private little kingdom for them to call their own, where their minds can conjure up all sorts of weird and wonderful adventures.

    As proud owners of the UK’s largest outdoor toy display, Wicken Toys in Milton Keynes gives you the unique opportunity to come down and see the toys in real life before you decide on your purchase.

     

    All Out Play Tower

    Does your son or daughter fancy themselves an elven warrior fighting on the plains of Middle Earth? Does your daughter imagine herself as a shield maiden fighting legions of gruesome warriors? The All Out Play Tower playhouse gives your children a refuge away from the house and their own little castle tower to play in.

    Shaped like a turret and made from strong, sturdy wood, the All Out Play Tower would make a perfect Christmas gift for children looking for real adventures at playtime. They can imagine themselves holding the fort of a castle, preparing to do battle against an army or they can make a comfortable den in there.

    It’s the adventurer’s choice.

     

    The All Out Play Castle playhouse

    Their home will be their castle this Christmas if you choose the All Out Play Castle from Wicken Toys. This wooden castle can become a fairy palace, the castle of valiant princes or princesses, a fort for cowboys from the wild west or the fort of a brave warrior.

    The All Out Play Castle is decked out with arched doorways like a real castle; it has arrow slit windows for an authentic castle feel and internal hanging bars for children to play on inside the castle.

    Castle playhouse for children This playhouse even comes with a flagpole, so you and your children can sit and create a flag for the play castle together for some quality family bonding time together. This is the ultimate Christmas gift for brave and adventurous children.

    Wicken Toys is like a dreamland for children, where they can shop with their families and see an amazingly rich world of outdoor toys and games. Children deserve as many magical Christmases as possible and these playhouses are a fun little piece of adventure in a world of pure imagination.

    If you have any questions about any of our toys or you’d like to see them in the real world, come down and visit us. Our address details are here.

  • Delivering toys faster than Father Christmas - Wicken Toys

     

    Well the Christmas Day countdown is finally on... the kids are relying on Father Christmas to deliver their pressies during the twilight of Christmas Eve, when in reality it will be Mum and Dad heaving the bags of shopping back the week before! Continue reading

  • Traditional toys for children – why they still matter

    Wicken Toys believes in keeping the spirit of traditional toys alive and well in these modern toy times. Children are raised more these days on electronic items and somewhere along the way in the last 20 years the value of traditional toys has been lost amidst the advancements in interactive technologies. Traditional toys promote creative thinking and the use of imagination.

     

    If you grew up n a time when toys were actual toys and operated solely on your own movements and interactions, you’ll remember having lived 1000 lives this way as a child. You could travel to distant planets from your bedroom, explore far away jungles and battle dinosaurs, build and create new worlds, invent characters and stories, outdoor toys in particular encouraged activity, adventure and exploration.

     

    These days you will see children wait very impatiently for batteries to charge or games to load simply because they have been inundated with instantly gratifying experiences that never requires them to move very far from where they are sat or apply some thought and imagination. This is not to say that computer games aren’t good for stimulating children through puzzles and platforms, but they lack the direct, tangible experience of interaction and thinking in practical terms. This kind of growth is essential to child development as much as eating the right things and sleeping the right hours.

     

    TP Forest Multiplay Play Set. Shown with optional slide extension.

    Another reason we will always triumph traditional toys over modern electronics for kids is that they are more simplistic in their application, yet those applications can be many.  Traditional toys don’t typically require batteries for them to work. The only limits to their use are the limits of a child’s imagination.

     

    You’ll find as a parent that children do tend to be drawn to traditional toys more than battery-operated, electronic toys for the simple fact that they can play with them instantly and they require no maintenance in order for them to be entertaining.

     

    In short, traditional toys provide children with a better quality of playtime than the modern counterparts whose shadow they have come to live in. What is so beguiling about the Toy Story films is that they clearly have this philosophy too. Woody and his gang are representative of the sense of imagination that children are capable of expressing.

     

    Outdoor toys are not easily broken either. They endure long past a not-made-to-last electronic toy. A child can take a seemingly inanimate object and use it to create a whole new world. We must appeal to that side of children through encouraging this kind of playtime for both mind and body to grow and develop in the best ways possible.

     

    Remember the toys that made your respective childhoods fun and try to embrace that once again for your own children. Pass on the traditions and keep playtime alive.

  • Toys helping children to communicate and learn – an exploration

     

    Since the dawn of time children have been using toys and games to communicate and learn. The power of toys has not passed without observation from people over the centuries, clearly playing an important role in a child’s development.

     

    In a previous blog Wicken Toys took you through the history of children’s toys from the early board games that helped children to learn strategy and get them to use their brains to think right on through to the adventurous outdoor toys that helped them to actively discover and explore.

    Continue reading

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