I wish I was a kid again! The selection of garden toys available today is amazing. Without too much difficulty you could could almost turn your garden into a miniature theme park! You can have swings, slides, trampolines, playhouses, treehouses, bouncy castles, paddling pools just about everything you could imagine to keep your children amused. There are just two slight problems though. Firstly the cost. to buy even three of the things listed above would cost at least £150 and probably closer to £700. These things aren't cheap with slides at around £100, wooden playhouses upwards from £200 you almost need to take out another mortgage to pay for it. Secondly how are you going to fit it all into your garden? Most new houses these day have far smaller gardens than those of 30 years ago. If you put a slide a swing and a playhouse into a modern garden you will be lucky to have space for a patio!! Its not uncommon for family gardens these days to look more like adventure playgrounds than gardens. Ok so I am painting a very negative picture (and knowing me a very exagerated one!!) but these are things that need to be taken into account. In case your wondering what we have done to get over these problems the answer is that we have brought most of it second hand. We snapped up a wooden playhouse for £60, a climbing frame for £50. We have splashed out on a new Hedstrom double swing frame with one of those cruiser things for £60 from Argos (its being delivered on Saturday so I will review next week) but that is really the only luxury. I still wish I was young enough and small enough to go on the climbing frame though!!
Today’s Kids Cosy swing seat. A baby/toddler swing seat constructed of plastic and nylon mesh. Suspended on webbing straps the seat is suitable from about 6 months to 4 years. Available in selected toyshops from around £20, the swing seat is easily fitted to swing frames or overhanging branches. Our swing seat has been in use for the last 6 years. Initially it was secured in the garden to the children’s climbing frame, and as the winter drew in my hubby screwed a skyhook into the rafters in the front room, so bad weather couldn’t stop play. All of my daughters have at some stage swung around the front room. The ingenious design of the seat part is such that the nylon mesh provides superb support for even the smallest child to enjoy. My 7 month old loves it. It is designed so as to keep the child head away from the plastic at the back of the seat, and the child is securely fastened into the seat with a quick release catch that is difficult for toddlers to undo. (Great for my toddler). The webbing straps that suspend the swing seat are less likely to tangle and twist, and the makers have ensured that they are long enough for a good swing. The mesh on the seat is not only supportive, it provides enough ventilation to ensure that your child does not get too hot, and is also great for those inevitable little accidents. Today’s kids swing seat is a great addition to any garden frame or tree. Or simply a good winter distraction. Highly recommended