The kids may be back at school this month, but autumn is still a great time to get them playing outdoors. Mine have been heading straight out into the garden to let off steam after a day of lessons. To be honest, after a summer of reduced working hours and the shock of getting back to normal working patterns, I feel like doing the same thing!
If you read the blog regularly you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of outdoor activities. I just find that getting the kids outside is the best way to encourage creative play and have some healthy fun. Obviously you can get out and explore your local area, but it’s not essential to do it this way and you really don’t have to go further than the garden.
For active kids, I do think some form of play equipment is a fantastic addition to the garden. It can provide them with a huge amount of inspiration for physical and creative play, and you don’t necessarily need a massive amount of space available. I’ve just discovered a really lovely range of climbing frames from Wickey, which cover pretty much every size and challenge you can think of!
You might not have heard of Wickey, but the company has years of experience in the design and manufacture of creative outdoor play products. Their range includes climbing frames, swings, sandpits and playhouses, all designed to help re-create an adventure playground in your own garden.
Wickey climbing frames are manufactured in Germany from high-quality spruce and pine wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests in Europe. The wood is pressure-treated to increase durability and resilience, which means there’s no need to regularly paint or varnish their climbing frames, and all treated wooden components are guaranteed for ten years.
All Wickey climbing frames are designed to help develop co-ordination and mobility, with lots of different features to explore and navigate. It’s not just about a swing and a slide with these products, so if your child loves a challenge there are combinations that include things like ladders, bridges, ropes, nets and monkey bars. The climbing frames with swing or slide are suitable for children aged 3 years and up, and there’s a variety of platform heights to suit the age of your child.
The online shop has a really wide range of climbing frames to choose from, with products to fit pretty much any size of space, from a tiny corner of the garden to a huge play area. I particularly like the variety of styles on offer; Wickey have thought about the different types of role play that kids love, and created climbing frames to complement their imaginary play. This means you’ll find themes like forts, castles, pirates, jungle, safari and beach, as well as the standard climbing frame and play house format. Lots of the climbing frames also have an integral sandpit built into the base, and the slides and tarpaulin are available in a range of colours too which is a nice touch.
Here are a few of my favourites from the climbing frame with slide range.
Wickey Tinywave, £249.95
The Tiny series is designed for 3-5 year olds. With it’s low platform height and gentle slide, this is a great combination for younger children. It’s also really compact, which means you can easily tuck it into a small garden. I like the practical red hand grips, and the fact that the built-in sandpit makes the most of what would otherwise be unused space.
Wickey SeaFlyer, £519.95
The Flyer series is designed for 3-10 year olds, with slightly higher platforms and longer slides. I love the fun nautical theme on this frame, and it squeezes lots of features into a relatively small area. In addition to the swing and slide there’s a rope ladder, climbing stones, steering wheel, telescope and sandpit – plenty to keep them busy!
Wickey Smart Cube, £739.95
The Smart series is designed for 3-14 year olds, so if you’ve got a wider age range of children to cater for it’s a good option. There are lots of designs available in the classic layout, but I really like the modern and angular look of this Smart Cube. It would be perfect for a contemporary garden. And that slim tower conceals a hidden ascent which older kids would find very cool.
If you’ve got a long, thin space to fill, this is a great option because the slide is on the end. It’s packed with fun features and will cope easily with lots of kids using it at the same time. I particularly love the little hammock, and the fact that there’s something different to do at absolutely every angle.
FATMOOSE Clever Climber Club XXL, £369.95
If you’ve got kids who just love to climb, this is a brilliant alternative to a swing-and-slide combination. There’s a climbing rope, rope ladder, climbing wall and climbing net, plus the option to add things like a basketball hoop and goal wall. I think this is ideal for older kids – and it’s really compact too.
If I had plenty of space I’d blow the budget on this! It combines lots of physical challenges – swing, slide, climbing wall, ladder ramp – with some lovely imagination-firing features like the crooked treehouse, racing wheel, telephone and sand pit. You can also transform the little shop counter into a goal wall which adds to the play value, and there’s room to add a second swing or rope ladder too.
What do you think of my selection? It’s just a taster of the climbing frames available from Wickey and you can check out the full range here. I think there’s something to suit pretty much any garden size and budget, as well as a really great variety of combinations in terms of physical and imaginative play. The biggest challenge is narrowing down your list of favourites!
Which Wickey climbing frame would be perfect for your garden?
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