Outdoor Play Equipment
Every time I buy another toy for my little cousins--because, as it is, they don't have the equivalent of a small toy store in their bedrooms--I compare it to the playthings that were available when I was a child. It could be that all the shiny new products are no better than that half dead willow tree I called a clubhouse , but there are times when I stare off at their children's fantasy of a backyard--with that faraway look in my eyes--and well up with jealousy. How I wanted a swing seat when I was a child!--let alone one that mechanically pushes me while playing the Dora Explorer theme before turning into a battery operated mini truck that can barrel through small bodies of water.
I suppose the benefits of buying these things are that I get to use them when I play with the children, therefore earning the title of "the fun aunt" all while fulfilling my own fantastical whimsies. By consistently buying new and better toys, I shall uphold my title and retain the right to play with them when I visit.
Factors to Consider
- When choosing any outdoor equipment first consider your children's needs, likes, and dislikes. Ask them for their input before deciding which type to buy.
- Think long term; do not buy something that your children will outgrow shortly, but something that will grow with them.
- Although wooden frames are more costly than metal or plastic ones, they also have a longer lifespan and can hold a greater weight.
- Check the laws in your area before purchasing one of these products. Some areas require that you take additional insurance for the equipment, and/or follow other safety precautions.
- Do not use equipment in inclement weather or while it is wet from a recent rain or snowfall.
- Make sure children are supervised at all times when using the equipment, especially small children.
- Follow the assembly constructions carefully. Skipping a step or substituting one part for another can be very dangerous.
- The equipment should only be used as advised in the manual or instructions (i.e. running up slides, sticking heads through bars, or attempting to use something two at a time when it is intended for individual use).
Swing Seats Etcetera
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