Product Type: Kid Active Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... the swing has been in our garden, this isn't really an issue although a friend has the same swing (bought at the same time) and hers hasn... more
Swinging into Summer!
Kid Active 2 in 1 Swing
Member Name: chrisandmark
Kid Active 2 in 1 Swing
Date: 13/05/12, updated on 13/05/12 (85 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to assemble, versatile, great fun for the kids
Disadvantages: A slightly roomier baby seat would have been a good idea
Mark bought this swing for Hollie a few years ago as part of her first Christmas present, I remember it was from Argos and cost around the £40 mark which was reasonable value considering Hollie has had over three years of use out of the swing and her sixteen month brother has been using it for the past few months too.
The swing required assembly but it was very easy, the main problems only occurring when we had to fit the top bar of the swing to the poles that make up the sides of the frame - if Mark had had someone taller helping (I'm just over 5ft) I think it would have been a bit easier for him but he had to make do with me, and I suspect I made the job slightly harder than it should have been. The sheet of printed instructions is helpful only for knowing which bolts are to be used for each section as once all the components are out of the box it's pretty self explanatory what goes where; there were two flat pieces of plastic that we couldn't work out what they were needed for, unhelpfully these weren't mentioned on the instruction sheet but we worked out they were for gathering up the excess rope once you've decided what height you want the seat of the swing to be.
It looks good in the garden, it's a standard green colour and on ours both the baby and junior seats are bright orange. There's been a minor level of fading to the frame over the three and a half years that the swing has been in our garden, this isn't really an issue although a friend has the same swing (bought at the same time) and hers hasn't faded at all which makes me question the consistency of the product somewhat. The rounded ends of the bolts stick out further than I'd like too, they're fairly high up and smooth but I still worry about Hollie tearing around the garden and banging herself on one of these bolt heads - over the years they've rusted too which spoils the look of the swing when you're close up to it, although hasn't lessened the safety aspect as the bolts haven't been weakened in any way.
Once you've put the swing together you'll need to find a piece of level ground for it to live; the end of each metal pole ends in a hinged 'peg' which pushed easily into the ground to give the swing some stability, this works to a point but after finding the swing lying on its side after a particularly blustery storm last year I've got to say that I wouldn't put too much trust in these pretty short pegs. In the box with the swing was a set of ropes which were marked as an optional way of adding extra contact with the ground - sounded like a good idea, until you realise that small children are likely to spend half of their day tripping over these ropes and the other half trying to avoid decapitation as they run aound the frame of the swing while playing chasing games. Our lawn is completely flat so we didn't need to use the ropes, the swing itself is extremely stable (when it's not windy!) and as we were only pushing very small kiddies they wouldn't really be going high enough to warrant it being tied down as well as plunged into the earth.
The two seats provided are a soft canvas baby-style swing seat and a long flat one made out of chunky plastic for when your child has progressed to sitting comfortably (and safely) on a normal seat. The baby seat is suitable from six months and transfer to the junior seat should take place at three years, Hollie has always had good balance so we swapped the seats for her when she was just over two years old and she has never looked back. She never looked very comfortable in the baby swing seat, mainly I think because she's never liked to feel confined and the fact that the base of the seat wasn't very well reinforced meant it would kind of squeeze in on itself once her weight was deposited - thereby causing the sides to come uncomfortably close to Hollie's body. The leg holes in the swing are quite narrow too, which wasn't an issue for Hollie as she's always been a skinny little thing but once I refitted the baby seat for her (much) chunkier brother I found his leg movement was restricted quite a lot as the leg holes were a bit 'pinchy' on his fat thighs. Another niggle about the baby seat is the fact that it's so awkward to get baby out of - the softness of the seat gives you no leverage to extract your child and usually I end up picking David up seat and all, kind of peeling the fabric down his legs to get him out. Not fun when you have a squalling baby who doesn't want to get out of the swing in the first place!
Swapping the seats over is simple, straightforward and a quick job to do - so easy in fact that we've even changed the seats for half an hour so that a friends baby could have a swing after Hollie had finished.
Swings are so much fun for children, and fabulous exercise too. Both Hollie and David love using this swing, so much so that I'm considering replacing it with the double version this summer to encourage them both to play together for longer periods now David is getting older. Obviously when buying any swing you need to consider how much room it's going to take up in your garden - it's easy to look at the dimensions and think about slotting it into a corner, but you also need to remember to leave space at the front and back to take into consideration not only the arc of the swing but also the fact that mum or dad needs to be stand *somewhere* to do the pushing! The dimensions as given by Argos are 183cm high, 151cm width and 174cm from front to back at its widest point. The maximum weight for using the swing is 45kg, while the baby seat can be used until your child is 20kg in weight - both of these figures seem pretty reasonable, although to be honest I think a 20kg baby/toddler would find the canvas seat a little cramped but if (s)he was too young or unbalanced to use the junior seat you'd be stuck!
Summary: An excellent single swing that can be used by babies and older children