Archive for April, 2012

Four Great Accessories For Your Trampoline

April 26th, 2012 by

Trampoline AccessoriesA trampoline is one of those products that seems to stand alone — you get a trampoline and then the fun begins and never ends. While this is true, there are also a variety of excellent and safety-enhancing accessories you can get to make your trampoline experience even more rewarding.

A Net: The first, and maybe most important, accessory you can get for your trampoline is a net to surround the outside. A net considerably minimizes risk of injury and danger when jumping near the outside of the trampoline edge, which may give you piece of mind when it comes to trampoline safety.

Trampoline Basketball Hoop: On the fun side, there are trampoline basketball hoops, which allow you and your children to live out all of your NBA fantasies. Basketball is a perfect example of an activity that can be enhanced by a trampoline, and it’s also a great game to play solo.

Trampoline Anchors and Ladders: Anchors and ladders are both great for enhancing the safety of the trampoline experience. Anchors keep the trampoline grounded, increasing the stability of your jumping as well as preventing the mat from acting as a sail in wind. Ladders help mount the trampoline, of course, and that also lessens the chances of falling when climbing on or off.

Trampoline Tents: Trampoline tents allow you to create a new environment on the surface of your trampoline, where smaller children can sleep, play, and hang out. Rather than your children making a fort out of your quilts and pillows in the basement or a bedroom, they have a ready-made one right outside, and it’s perfect for nice weather.

Sure, you can let your trampoline remain just a trampoline, but these items all show the ways in which the trampoline experience can be enhanced. Particularly with the different interests of family members, trampoline accessories allow everyone to be equally involved in the experience.

How a Playset Can Help Your Child Get Physically Fit

April 20th, 2012 by

Help your kids get fit!Exercise is a hugely important part of growing up healthy and happy. Unfortunately, with the rise of video games and computers, sometimes it’s hard to convince kids that the most enjoyable and productive thing for them to do would be to go outside and play. That’s why it pays to have a playset as an incentive. And a playset also happens to be very well suited to getting kids in shape—just look at the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test and see how a playset can improve performance in the following five activities:

Curl-ups: Curl-ups (also known as sit-ups) test a child’s core strength, one of the most important indications of fitness. Core strength is built partly through climbing and full-body activity, something that is a huge part of enjoying a playset—just maneuvering around the set will help your child improve in this category.

Shuttle run: Running on its own is one of the toughest components of exercise to get children to enjoy. Most of the time, you need to disguise it in some sort of more enjoyable activity. Because a playset accommodates all different types of outdoor games, it will certainly help improve the cardio fitness and explosiveness of your child.

Endurance run: The same benefits apply for the endurance run. Where the quick-twitch strength necessary in shuttle running might be better built through games like tag and just climbing around the playset, the hours of fun that a playset provides will be what prepares children for the endurance run. At a young age, the endurance run has more to do with a child’s general fitness than it has to do with any experience running long distances.

Pull-ups: Pull-ups are probably the most difficult of the five challenges in the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test—you will often find that many children can’t do any pull-ups. However, they’re also the activity that can be most helped by a playset. Playsets provide a number of opportunities for children to hang and climb, building back and arm strength that will help them do pull-ups on the test.

V-sit and Reach: The v-sit and reach tests flexibility, which is a slightly different skill than is used in these other tasks. Much of flexibility has to do with general physical fitness and health, and playsets will always be a contributor to that.

You could basically conduct the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test on a playset; they’re so similar in terms of activities and strengths stressed. But that would be less fun than the games and play your children will enjoy on the playset, and they’ll still be more than prepared for the Test, so it’s a win-win either way.

Games You Can Play On Your Play N’ Learn Playset

April 11th, 2012 by

Games you can play on your Play N' Learn PlaysetA Play N’ Learn playset has near unlimited potential for entertainment, considering how dynamic and versatile of a structure it is. That being said, sometimes it helps to have specific games to play with your children, or for your children to play, when you’re using your playset. Here are a few ideas for more carefully designed play.

Tag: One of the most classic backyard games there is, tag takes on an added dimension on your playset, where kids can move around the intricacies of the set with an added dimension to their exploration. Players must also be more delicate and strategic in their pursuits than they normally would be on flat ground, changing the game from a purely athletic endeavor to one that involves planning and experimentation.

Roleplaying: Because playsets are such a different environment than the regular yard or ground, it creates whole new possibilities for pretend play, such as superheroes or other types of supernatural characters. The vertical element especially helps children escape the normal bounds of their psyche and become someone else.

Relay courses: Though racing can become unsafe on a playset, children can create courses that they follow in a specific route, and then have to copy each other or emulate the previous person’s route. If there are enough children playing, you can do it in a relay format, where once one child finishes the other carries on where he left off.

Swinging games: If your playset has a swingset attached, that opens up another realm of possibilities for game-playing. One good one is for children to try and swing in as close to synchronicity as possible, matching each other’s path exactly. Another is to try and swing on opposite trajectories but meet simultaneously in the middle. Timing games on the swings work on your child’s control and sense of movement, and can be good strength builders.

Hide and seek: While it’s difficult to contain an entire game of hide and seek to a playset, due to the fact that most of it is open and it doesn’t cover a huge amount of territory, the playset makes for a great hiding place in a yard-wide or household-wide game. Also, there are ways to contain a game entirely to the set if the seeker closes his or her eyes and stands nearby – this becomes more of a precision game than a wider game of hide and seek.

A Play N’ Learn playset is so much fun that you don’t even need games like this to keep you and your children entertained, but it never hurts to be able to diversify your play. And make sure to come up with games of your own!