Backyard Discovery Blog
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- Teaching kids to prevent playground injuries 03.10.2016
Your Kids Will Thank You for that Once in a Lifetime Playset Gift
My son, Liam, loves being outdoors. He likes to play outside whenever he can, and like most kids he has a pretty vivid imagination.
Whenever his cousin, Wyatt, visits, it is like there are two mini-whirlwinds careening around the garden. It is like the two boys are competing to see who has the most energy - before they both collapse totally, all their energy dissipated.
I’d far rather see them outdoors, exercising and enjoying the fresh air, than being cooped up in front of the television, watching yet another rerun of Doc McStuffins or Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
We have a large garden, with an expansive lawn area (which I forever seem to be mowing). So after some discussion with my wife, we decided that we should give Liam a once-in-a-lifetime gift, and buy a decent playset to help him have fun.
We had a good look at what was available within our price range that would fit our available area and decided on the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set. Not being much of a home handyman, I decided to pay a little extra and have it assembled for me, on site. This made for a very smooth and easy process. It meant that we could all avoid unnecessary stress.
I hadn’t told Liam about the new playset. In fact, we decided to send him away on the morning that it and the assembly team arrived. He was taken to his aunt’s to spend time with Wyatt, oblivious to what was happening back at home.
He arrived back late afternoon, surprisingly awake - he must have had an afternoon nap, which would normally have upset me, but not today. I was looking forward to his reaction to the new structure on the back lawn.
It had been a busy day for all involved. The assembly team had put in a good day’s work, and I had also put bark mulch underneath the set, to lessen the risk of any injuries. We were now ready for the big reveal - another once in a lifetime moment that we were capturing as a memory.
My sister also brought Wyatt back to our home. My wife and I watched as my sister drove into our back yard, both boys strapped into their car seats in the back. We could see a look of astonishment on Liam's face as he spotted the fort that had suddenly appeared in the middle of his back lawn.
My sister had scarcely stopped her car before both boys were struggling to release themselves from their car seats. It was clearly an exciting day for them. With a bit of help, both boys were freed and ran across the lawn to the fort-like structure in the center of the Oceanview Wooden Swing Set. It only took a quick glance in our direction, for them to realize that they could play and start having fun on the new structure.
Where to begin? You could almost see the thoughts of wonder floating through the boys' heads. Liam ran straight to the tower, up the stairs and into the fort. No need to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates on tv - Pirate Liam was already hunting for treasure up in the fort.
What goes up, has to come down, and Liam decided the easiest way down was by the slide. Indeed, he repeated this pattern for about five minutes.
In the meantime, Wyatt had found the acrobat bar in the swing area. Now, if only I could make the incredible gymnastic moves that a four-year-old can!
The boys then decided that it would be fun to ride on the swing. My wife and I suddenly gained some use - as makeshift swing pushers. If Liam and Wyatt had their way that would be our new careers! I have to admit that there did seem to be some competition going on between the boys on the swings … not to mention some between those of us acting as unpaid swing-pushers.
Then my “little monkey” decided that he wanted a go on the monkey bars. He needed some assistance getting up the ladder, as he is still quite a little fella, but it provided us with some high-value Daddy-Liam time. I helped him position himself on the first rung, and he managed to swing his way across the bar, eventually reaching the deck at the other end.
Wyatt is a year older, and the extra height and strength because of this became obvious on the monkey bars, as he managed to cross the gap with comparative ease. Don’t worry, Liam. You’ll manage it before too long, and Daddy will eventually feel redundant!
The boys followed this with more running around and climbing. Captain Liam and Captain Wyatt were back being pirates again, searching for the hidden treasure, hunting for imaginary gold doubloons.
Before too long, we had to say goodbye to Wyatt, as he headed back home. By now Liam had found the hammock beneath the fort and was making good use of it.
We had had the playset for only one day. We could see that this was a once in a lifetime playset for Liam, Wyatt and indeed probably half the kids in the local neighbourhood. The playset’s debut had gone extremely well. We have absolutely no doubt that it will see constant use.
Television may have its place on cold, wet and snowy days. But we know that Liam is going to be an outdoor kid most of the time. He now had his personal playground where he can have an endless array of adventures, letting his imagination run wild. Now, if only I had had one of these when I was a kid!