Archive for February, 2012

Why You Should Get Swings With Your Playset

February 29th, 2012 by

There are a number of great add-ons to consider when purchasing a playset from Play N Learn. But one of, if not the, most important to consider is the addition of swings. A swing arm is a worthwhile addition to the playset, and you’ll see that swings are a great, multifaceted addition to your backyard.

Swings increase interaction on the playset. As anyone who’s ever spent a leisurely afternoon swinging on a playground knows, swings are positioned one next to another, giving participants a great opportunity to interact while using them. Kids can talk, play and perform alongside one another while still having their own space to themselves. And parents can both associate with each other and have an intuitive involvement in their children’s play. Speaking of which…

Swings allow the parent to play with the child. More than any other aspect of the playset, swings are a direct interaction between parent and child: you push and they go back and forth. It allows you to both monitor your son or daughter as well as interact with them in a casual and enjoyable way, chatting and casually spending time together. In our often harried lives, a five or ten minute stretch on the swings is a great way to spend one-on-one time with your child.

Swings give a child a sense of progress. Of course, supervision on the swings is always important, but as time goes by your child will be able to exert more power and freedom on the swings. They will feel stronger and notice their growth more than they might from using other parts of the playset, and you can gradually give them more and more control over their swinging experience. It’s important for a child to both notice and play a role in their development, and swings are one way to do that.

Swings make your playset a richer experience. Simply enough, the swings make your set a more diverse and interesting landscape for kids, and they allow more children to participate at once. Depending on your needs, you can get a different number of swings, and the more available, the more of a center for activity the swings—and, by extension, the playset—can be. It’s always good to keep in mind that you may want more swings than you have children so as to accommodate friends and relatives.

Swings let your children do something they normally can’t. Flight is an exciting and rare feeling for a child, and the closest they can safely come to this experience is on the swings. Kids’ imagination can run wild while moving through the air, and the more a child’s mind can interact with what he or she is doing, the more content and engaged that child is likely to be over a long time of using the same playset.

The vast majority of Play N’ Learn Playground Superstores’ playsets are sold with swings, and that’s because of the depth and flexibility they bring to a playset. While there are still countless great features to a playset without them, we think swings can only make a great addition to your backyard even better.

What You Need To Set Up A Trampoline

February 28th, 2012 by

Just like with a playset, a trampoline can be a fantastic addition to your home and yard—and, because you don’t have to do anything to your home, it’s the best kind of addition there is. But a few things need to be kept in mind before you commit to a trampoline, and to make sure your family’s experience using one will be fun and safe.

Make sure you have enough space. You want to leave about two feet of empty space around the entire circumference of the trampoline—this both keeps the trampoline protected from obstacles as well as ensures that, if someone were to dismount, they wouldn’t hit anything. And you want 20 feet of overhead clearance, so make sure there aren’t any low-hanging branches or other such intrusions.

Make sure you have a flat surface. This is very important, both for the safety of trampoline users and for the safety of the trampoline itself. Find a flat patch of land in your yard, and make sure that all of the framing sits evenly and level in the yard.

Make sure you know what you’re doing when you set up the trampoline. It’s very important that a trampoline is installed properly, since it will be bearing weight and has to sustain its springs and surface. If you plan to do the installation yourself, be sure to read the manual thoroughly and use the right tools and devices as prescribed. If you have any doubt about what to do or whether you’ll be able to set up the trampoline, you should bring in a professional to help. It may cost a little more, but the added safety and quality will be worth it in the long run.

Consider which kind of trampoline you want. Different trampolines offer different experiences. Play N’ Learn offers both the AlleyOop trampoline, which is a traditional-style spring trampoline that adds to safety because of a smoother, lower-impact bounce, and the Springfree trampolines, which use a different system. Springfree trampolines use fiberglass rods instead of springs, increasing safety and performance, and the mat is held above the steel frame instead of mostly level with it—decreasing the chance of a collision with the frame.

All of these are practical steps to take before purchasing anything, and trampolines are certainly no different. We think you’ll be enhancing your family’s experience at home with a trampoline from Play N’ Learn’s Playground Superstores.

How to Let Your Playset Grow With Your Children

February 15th, 2012 by

One of the most incredible things about children is that they grow, constantly. And as they grow, their interests and activities change—they get bigger and stronger and smarter, and they want to do more and more both outside and inside the home.

Fortunately, that’s also one of the most incredible things about Plan N’ Learn’s modular playsets—they can grow with your child. Here are some of the ways you can adapt your playset to suit your child’s needs as he or she grows older.

First, start with the basics. A slide and climbing stairs are perfect for just about any age, as long as there’s supervision. Same goes for a tire swing, which can be hung from the bottom of many playsets and keeps your child low to the ground and moving relatively slowly.

Decide on a size. Based on the size of your backyard and how much space you have available, decide on an intial size and type for the playset. Any different size will still be adaptable; this has more to do with accommodating your family’s needs.

Add a climbing wall. While a climbing wall might not be ideal for the youngest children, it’s a simple and straightforward add-on for slightly older kids that want to be able to do more moving and climbing on the playset. The wall is angled so as to make it as safe as possible for your child.

Add swings. Swings are one of the most popular playground devices for children, and you can bring swings into your own backyard by adding them to a playset. Like with just about anything else, young children should be supervised while using the swings, but they’re a fun and exciting opportunity for older kids to work on their strength and have fun doing it.

Add monkey bars. Monkey bars are one of the more challenging aspects of a playset, as they take a certain amount of strength and dexterity to use to the point where they are fun. But for an older child, monkey bars are one of the best ways to exercise and develop while using a playset, and they’re more of an athletic device than most other add-ons you could integrate. These are for the budding gymnast!

Add a fire pole. Similar to the monkey bars, a fire pole isn’t much use for little kids. Bigger kids, though, can have a ball sliding down and working on their coordination and control. As should be kept in mind with anything that involves a child ascending or descending from a height, though, help and supervision should be given at least at first.

As you can see, there are no shortage of ways to evolve and enhance your Play N’ Learn playset so that it develops right along with your child and your home. It might get to be so much fun that you’ll want to start using it!

Games You Can Play On Your Goalrilla Basketball Hoop

February 9th, 2012 by

The basketball you see on TV is usually the typical five-on-five, not counting the occasional three-point and slam-dunk contests. (And you probably won’t be recreating those in your driveway!)

But there are plenty of other games you can play on your Goalrilla basketball hoop aside from regular basketball. Here are a few ideas that your driveway will suit just fine.

2 on 2 or 3 on 3. There are a few changes to be made when you shrink basketball down for the smaller playing area. First, decide whether you want to play winners: if you play winners, teams get to stay on offense after they make a shot. If you don’t, the other team gets the ball. Other than that, you’ll probably play just one point per shot no matter where it’s made from—no three-point line—and when one team gets a rebound, they need to dribble it out to a pre-determined area before they can try and score.

21. 21 is a great game if you have an odd number of players or a situation where some players are more skilled than the others—say, children of different ages. In 21, one player starts with the ball and shoots a free throw. If you make it, you shoot another. If you make it again, you get to try and score while being defended. (You can also play three makes before you have to try and score.) The first free-throw is worth two points, the next one or two is worth one, and shots made from the field are worth two. If you make it from the field, you shoot free throws, and so on until one player scores 21 points.

HORSE: HORSE is the classic playground basketball game. Each player must match the shot of the player who went before them if they make it—that means they need to shoot from where that player shot, according to any specific instructions that player issued. So, if you say swish, and then you hit the shot without touching any rim, that’s what needs to happen. Every time you miss a shot that the previous person made, you get a letter, until you spell HORSE: then you’re out. Last player who doesn’t spell HORSE wins.

Knockout. Knockout may sound rough, but it’s a fast-paced, exciting shooting game. All the players line up at a certain spot—the “free throw line,” though it can be wherever you decide. The first two players have basketballs; after the first shoots, the second tries to make a shot before the first makes their shot. If you make a shot before the person behind you, you pass the ball to the next person in line, who shoots until they score, and you go to the end of the line and wait your next turn. If the person behind you makes it first, you’re out. You’ve got to be quick!

These are four of the best games you can play with just a basketball hoop, a basketball, and a driveway, though really, the only limit is imagination. Just remember to have fun.

Why Redwood is the Perfect Material for Making a Playset

February 7th, 2012 by

When most people hear “redwood,” they immediately think of the enormous trees in the American West, the ones with trunks big enough to drive a car through.

But redwood is also the type of wood that Play N’ Learn’s Woodplay playsets are made from, and there are a few reasons why.

Redwood is strong. Redwood lumber is stronger than most other types of woods, such as pine and oak. Obviously, durability is incredibly important for a weight-bearing structure like a playset, and you’ll never have to worry about the lumber breaking or snapping.

Redwood is durable. Since it’s a structure that’s going to be spending all of its time outside, playsets must be made of incredibly durable wood. Redwood is resistant to warping and weather damage, and unlike many other types of lumber, redwood won’t shrink from rain or cold. On the same token, it’s particularly stable against insects, fungi, and drying out, all dangers for an outdoors structure.

Redwood is beautiful. A playset will be a part of your home, and so it’s important that it’s an attractive structure in addition to being safe and durable. Redwood is a naturally beautiful wood, with a deep color and, because of its strength, no need for artificial chemicals or substances that might mar its appearance and sheen.

Redwood is sustainable. Redwood is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, which means that it’s easier replaced than other trees that might take longer to grow. Using redwood lumber places less of a drain on the environment and helps maintain ecosystems better than other wood does.

Redwood is fire-resistant. A major worry of any wooden structure is that it could potentially be susceptible to fire—wood is, after all, how we fuel our indoor fires. But redwood is an impressively fire-resistant wood, and has long been known to withstand flame much better than other woods. This is important for a number of reasons: not only can you rest assured about the safety of your playset; you can also be confident that the set would never pose a danger to the rest of your property or your home.

Redwood is natural. All woods are natural, you might say. But that isn’t entirely true. Many woods, including composite and pressure-treated lumber, require chemicals to be durable and consistent enough to use in a playset. Unlike these materials, redwood is of a high-enough quality on its own that it only requires a minimal, non-toxic protective sheen.

There’s a reason that Play N’ Learn’s Woodplay playsets use redwood lumber as the main ingredient in our playsets. In fact, there are a number of reasons, and they’re all very important toward maintaining safety, beauty, and durability around the home. Trust us: you won’t regret a redwood playset.