“ Brand: TP Activity Toys / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
My review is for the Sherwood range of climbing frames, of which Dooyoo have added one which is set 1 with a tower. I, or more acurately my incredibly lucky children, own a Sherwood swing and slide set with a deck as opposed to the tower which is shown in the picture.
Sherwood is one of a range of climbing frames and swing sets produced by TP toys and primarily made in the UK. They make metal and also wooden sets, all the accessories such as the swings work with all the systems. Sherwood is the mid-priced wooden range with the more expensive and substantial Kingswood and a lower priced Forest range. Full details can be found at www.tptoys.com with images of the frames, or then can be viewed in John Lewis stores or any of the appoved suppliers - of which there is a list on the TP site.
The Sherwood set we have has a slide and 3 swings with a den on the platform. The sets can be configured in many different ways with various add ons such as baby swings, rope ladders, swings and wavy or straight slides.
The sets are self assembly - some suppliers may provide a service but having shelled out on the swings and slides we decided to DIY - I was quite worried about this as everything arrived in lots of boxes.
Assembling the set:
Our set probably took about a day and a bit to assemble by the time we had unpacked everything and followed the instructions - with one adult holding back the children/taking them out of the way and the other bolting etc.. At some points you need 2 adults eg to lift the frame, but it was not too difficult at all (said as a DIY phobic) - everything had been clearly labelled and the instructions were good and easy to follow. There was no drilling to do - in contrast with some other manufacturer's products such as Plum or Jungle Gym which require sawing and drilling and are a much longer job - I know this as I researched this a lot before buying this set and also as a friend's husband spent a few weekends making a Jungle Gym set and it looked much more like hard work. Assembly of this TP set was fairly straightforward - one tip would be to make sure you have or borrow and electric screwdriver but otherwise there is everything you need and a helpline to phone if stuck.
The set in use:
The sets are designed for domestic rather than commercial use. Everything is made of pressure treated pine and lifetime rust guaranteed metal. You can read more about the guarantee on the manufacturer's website - all I can say is that our set had weathered extremely well over 2 Winters so far and everything is very well made and designed to stand up to enthusiastic play and last for years. We hadn't figured on the squirrels finding the set so much fun to run along and I think over time the canvas of the den we have will probably age, but so far so good.
We have 3 swings, a normal swing, sky ride and a pirate swing - which I have reviewed seperately. All are great fun and loved by the children - as there are stakes to attach the frame it is safe even with hoardes of children swarming over it during school holidays. The slide is rather fast and the den is fun for hiding - overall all the fun of the park in your back garden. I would say that a one or two swing set arm would be just as much fun, but as we have more than one child it is nice for them to be able to play together.
Would I recommend?
There are lots of these climbing sets around now, even Tesco have a range in their catalogue. I would wholeheartedly recommend TP as being a quality choice, I researched this a huge amount before buying as, obviously, it is a major outlay, though to put it into perspective probably the price of a good TV, and you would hope it would get quite a few years' use - there are sets of TP on freecycle and on ebay that are 10 years old and more and still looking good.
For me personally I am glad we chose a wooden and not metal set, mainly as it is very visible from the house. I think it is a great thing to have and hope that my children will have many memories of playing with it - it is good to get them outdoors as much as possible.
You can spend a lot more or a lot less than on the Sherwood set - for us it has been a good buy and I am glad we bought something specifically designed for fairly easy home assembly.
I would advise anyone looking at buying a climbing frame and/or swing set to go and see them, preferably in a specialist shop where the children will be able to try them out, but I think TP are an excellent choice and fully deserve to be as popular as they are.
I am looking forward to my children enjoying the set, and having the odd sneaky go on the swing myself, for many years yet!
This set brings together climbing, sliding and swinging activities within one impressive wooden climbing frame.