“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
I've always got a bit of an eye for a bargain so when I spotted that this sturdy piece of outdoor play equipment had been reduced to £14.91 in Tesco direct (still selling in store for £34.97) I finally gave in to the begging of my eldest who had played with one of these see-saws at a friend's house and been pining for one since. At the price I paid it has proved to be a roaring success and is much played with. It's a great piece of equipment for age 3 up, to an upper weight limit of about 35 kilos (5 and a half stone), or combined weight 70kg - so up to about age 10. This isn't at all clear from the product description on the website (which makes it sound like it is for age 3-4) or the box it comes on but is on the item itself, so worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of buying this item. As you might expect it's self assembly, but once made it's a sturdy and, in my experience, safe piece of equipment that is lots of fun.
The see saw comes in lots of pieces - it's all of coated steel construction, with plastic seats, and is quite heavy at 8kg. The instructions it comes with are of the pictorial kind and, in all honesty, not the best. To assemble it there are a lot of bolts, use of alun keys and slotting bits together. This was more time consuming than I could have imagined and took at least an hour and lots of careful checking that all the bolts (over 20 of them) were tight. Tesco say this item requires "minimal assembly" - this is over-egging it in my opinion, the central pivot was already put together but really there's quite a lot to putting this item together. The worst bit about the assembly of this toy was trying to attach the handles that you can see on the picture to the frame, it was very hard to get the holes in line and involved a lot of twisting, and it was all pretty tedious and annoying.
On a positive note, once made, everything feels solid and unlikely to tip over and holds up to play well. Once made it's 168cm long - the top can be taken off the stand fairly easily as there is a knob you turn to attach it to the legs, however it is a quite big item to store if you want to bring it in from the rain. We have stored ours inside a little, but mainly it has been left outside and so far, touch wood, no rust as the finish seems to be quite good.
Playing with the see-saw:
As I have already explained the box makes it look like this is for age 3 but really it's for slightly older children. I think that age 10 might be pushing it a little but my quite small 8 year old girl and her 6 year old sister seem to be an ideal size for this item. They can see-saw quite happily with no squeaking or worries that the item is going to collapse and nothing to fear bar a bit of damage to the lawn.
What isn't obvious from the picture or the box is that this see-saw actually spins round and round as well as going up and down. There are little legs on the seats which stop the child bashing too hard into the ground, mainly my kids enjoy spinning at the same time as going up and down and they find this endlessly amusing. Safety wise I am always a little worried that one of them may fall off and get hit by a spinning seat so I would say supervision would be a must with a younger child. We've had no accidents after hours of play and they have been quite boisterous with it. It is a bit of a shame there is not grip on the handles and the seats don't look the most comfortable (the hedstrom see-saw which this one seems to be an imitation of does have more comfortable seats and handles and is even longer but more expensive), however at the price I paid in all honesty I'm surprised it is as good as it is. My kids regularly ignore their much more expensive swing set to play with this and it's always popular with visitors too.
I think given that I paid under £15 for this and that it has had hours of use, and will, no doubt be continued to be played with for a good while yet, this really has been a great buy. I am giving it four stars only really as I haven't quite got over the trauma of assembling it and a few more touches for comfort, like padded handles, might be nice. Also it really should be clearer on the packaging and on the product description, who it is for. I would recommend this product if you have got a grass area big enough to play on it for children of 5-8 or so, my kids love it!