Climbing Frame Buyer’s Guide
A few years ago we decided to invest in some play equipment for the garden, and opted for the Plum Pyramid. With hundreds of pounds riding on it, that was on of the most difficult purchase decisions (houses, holidays and cars aside) that I’ve ever had to make.
So if you are thinking of investing in a new climbing frame, let me hold your hand every step of the way and whisper a few words of wisdom.
1. What’s Important To Your Family
Before you get too fixated on the fancy features you can afford for your budget, jot down on paper the things that are important to you. What will your children get the most pleasure from. My sons were forever climbing over the furniture, so it was important we bought a climbing frame with challenging climbing options. On the flip side, I wasn’t too worried about having swings, so that really narrowed down our product options nicely.
2. For Now Or Forever
When the boys were younger I bought a plastic Little Tikes climb and slide from eBay to entertain them through the toddler and preschool years. By the time we were investing in a wooden climbing frame, we knew this was a forever piece of play equipment. If you have young children, be wary of spending too much money on something that will only be suitable for a year or two. Up to the age of three children grow out of play equipment quickly.
3. See For Yourself
Check out any climbing frames owned by your friends and family to see which have lasted well, and offer the most play value. Some play equipment retailers display the products fully erected on site. If you live anywhere near Milton Keynes, Wicken Toys boasts the biggest display of climbing frames in the UK. Looking at pictures online is a good starting point, but nothing beats seeing the product in real-life.
4. eBay Investigations
Even if you intend to buy your climbing frame new, looking at the used models on eBay can be enlightening. See which models have lasted the distance by looking at the vendors photographs and descriptions of how long the frame has been in use.
5. Bag A Bargain
Early Autumn is a good time to shop for climbing frames as retailers sell of these bulky products that they do not wish to store over the winter. There are also often sales in very early Spring, around March, as updated models are released and retailers sell off the older versions at reduced prices. Write a list of your target products, the ones you would love to own but are just a little out of your price range, then keep hawk eyes aimed at the Web, ready to pounce as soon as one drops to an affordable level.
One final word of wisdom. Once you have secured your dream climbing frame, pay attention to the advice on maintenance. By keeping the frame clean and well-looked after your family can enjoy many years of play and fun.
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Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.