“ Small garden or too many toys lying about? Have you any great suggestions for toys which are designed to store easily and fold away? „
There are many types of “pop up tent” available, but they all work in the same way. The frame is of a strong, springy metal, which bounces back into place if it is fallen on, and the material is strong and shower proof. They come in many shapes and sizes from cubes and tunnels, to “A” tents, and “Dome” tents, and then there are all the different Character tents as well. Looking in the Argos catalogue the prices start at about £15 and go up to £40 for a combo set of Cube, Tunnel and Tent. All the items fold down into a small flat circle and have bags to store them in so that they don’t spring open. We have a number of these products, including two cubes and a tunnel, a dome tent, a goal, and another tunnel. The height of the dome tent is approx. 114 cm (45") and the base is approx. 100 cm (39 ½”) square. It is plenty big enough for my three to sit in and all apart from the eldest, seven, can stand up in it. The bag that it folds into is 44 ½ cm (17 ½”) in diameter. The two cubes are 64cm (25") and the tunnel is about 150 cm (59") long and has a diameter of 53cm (21"). These were purchased as a set and go in one bag which is 59 cm (23") in diameter. We decided against getting the character products, partly because of the price and partly because the character ones have a more limited life span, as your child gets older will he/she really want to play in a Tweenies tent? I love these items as they have plenty of play value, and encourage both role play and exercise, but don’t take much room to store. They can be carried easily as all the bags have a carry strap, and will fit easily into a suitcase, or car boot. As well as being available from Argos and Index, they are also available from Woolworths (the bigger stores), ELC, and most good toyshops.
Having a small garden means it is easily filled. If you want a variety of toys for your children you need to be selective about it. Plastic and wooden playhouses are every child's dream but most of us can't fit one in. A good alternative is the new breed of pop-up tent. These can be found in all sorts of different shapes and sizes with lots of different characters such as tweenies, bob the builder, barbie etc. These take seconds to put up and take down and will store in a very small space. They usually come in a bag so can be hung on a hook on the back of a door or in the shed. Slides can also be purchased which fold away but you must make sure they are safely erected before they are used. Although you can buy swings with folding frames I would only recommend the ones for babies and young toddlers. After this they really need to be permanently atttached to the ground to avoid danger of tipping. If your children want a basketball hoop, these are also available in a fold up design. Apart from the need for extra space, if you can fold and put away your garden toys they will be safe from theives and will keep in better condition than if left out in all weathers.
Small garden or too many toys lying about? Have you any great suggestions for toys which are designed to store easily and fold away?