Archive for January, 2012


What You Need To Set Up A Playset In Your Backyard

January 31st, 2012 by

No backyard is truly complete without a playset. For children, what would otherwise be an open grassy area is transformed into a jungle of possibility, where kids can climb, run, slide and do everything that you can’t do indoors. But you need to make sure that you have the proper situation that allows you to set up a playset properly before you purchase one. Here’s how to make sure that your backyard is playset-ready.
 
Measure your backyard. Obviously, the first step is to measure your backyard and make sure you know what size playset your yard can accommodate. This will influence both the playset you buy and where you position it, because you want to allow for substantial space around the playset.
 
Know what you want. There’s a variety of different materials your playset can be made, as well as accessories you can add: slides, climbing surfaces, swings, etc. Go over with the family what you want out of the playset and determine what’s best for your children depending on their age and interests. The playsets sold at Play N Learn’s Playground Superstores are manufactured out of wood, as wood looks better, doesn’t rust, and lasts longer than other materials.
 
Make sure you know the incline. Ideally, you’ll be setting your playset up in a flat area of your backyard. But make sure you know the incline, because if there is one, then that’ll need to be taken into account in setting up the set, as parts will need to be lengthened and adjusted. Otherwise, the set will be unstable and unsafe.
 
Decide if you want to mulch. If you want to put mulch around the set, you’ll have to install the playset first. And make sure you get mulch that is suited for kids play, as not all mulch is ideal for play.
 
Trim foliage. It’s best if you don’t have a lot of foliage and leaves around the set, so trim them back and also trim the trees that hang above the area where you’d liked to install the swing set. You want to avoid a lot of leaves and sap falling on the set as much as possible, as that minimizes necessary maintenance and cleaning.
 
If you’re going to assemble the set yourself, be prepared. Make sure you have the tools you need, make sure you know what you’re doing, and, most importantly, make sure you take your time!
 
With all this taken into account, you’re well on your way to having a fun, dynamic backyard. And with Play N’ Learn’s wooden playsets, you have guaranteed quality and ease of use. It doesn’t take much to accommodate a great playset, so take a peek into your backyard and see how much better it could be!

Trampoline Safety Tips

January 26th, 2012 by

Few things match the excitement of bouncing on a trampoline. You get to pretend you’re a flying superhero, Lebron James dunking a basketball, or an Olympic gymnast. And in this case, what’s fun is also great exercise—and perfectly safe, as long as you use good common sense. After all, with the great power of flight comes some responsibility! Here are the things you should do to make sure your children and you are safe on your trampoline:

Perform periodic maintenance checks. The first thing you need to do before you use the trampoline are regular maintenance checks. Like any other piece of equipment, trampolines can wear down over time, and you should inspect the padding and mat for tears, ruptures and sagging, the frame to make sure it isn’t bent or broken, and the springs. After a few years, these may begin to wear out, and wear and tear can be accelerated by weather, so they should be checked before use.

Mind the weather. If your trampoline’s outdoors, it’ll be susceptible to weather, so always make sure to be aware of what it’s like outside. Trampolines should be secured to the ground in the case of heavy winds, and a trampoline weather cover can be purchased to protect it from rain and snow.

Make sure jumping is supervised. Children should always be supervised by an adult when on the trampoline. And trampolines should always be used with care and control: that means avoiding roughhousing, wild jumping and the edges of the trampoline.

Use a safety net and padding. A net is important, as it minimizes the possibility of falling from the trampoline onto the ground. Always make sure that the net isn’t used for climbing or anything like that, though, as that can cause rips and tears in the nets. Also, there should be padding on the edges of the trampoline to protect jumpers from harmful contact.

Put the trampoline on a flat surface. Try and ensure that the ground where the trampoline is located is as flat as possible—this both protects the trampoline and minimizes the chance of uneven jumps.

And be careful. Trampolines are powerful, and sometimes you can get a little more than you bargained for with a jump or a move. Always use a trampoline deliberately and know what you’re doing. If you’re trying to do more complicated or athletic maneuvers, have a spotter, and same goes double for children. Jumping on the trampoline is good enough exercise without having to be on an Olympic level. Also, the trampoline is not the place for a football game. Keep the sports on the grass.

Trampolines, especially those from Play N’ Learn’s Playground Superstores, are great additions to the yard or home – just make sure safety’s a priority, and take good care of your trampoline.

Why Buy a Modular Swing Set?

January 24th, 2012 by

Imagine the look on your children’s faces: you’ve just bought a new swing set, and they’re playing on it for the very first time. They’re giggling and shrieking—having a blast! Now think forward to a year from now, and imagine your children’s faces when you add monkey bars or a climbing wall to your swing set: They’re giggling, shrieking, and excited about their “new” playset all over again!

What are Modular Swing Sets?

Modular swing sets such as Woodplay playsets come with basic features such as slides, but have “modules,” or additional playing features, such as monkey bars and climbing walls, that can be added on at any time.

What Should I Think About Before Buying a Swing Set?

When choosing a playset, consider:

1. Your backyard space.

2. Your budget.

3. Your child’s future growth and play needs.

Modular swing sets are a great way for families to have a play set that considers all three factors. With a modular swing set, you can buy something that works for you now, but will still work as your background, budget, and child grow.

How Modular Swing Sets Help You Plan for the Future

Though it might be nice to imagine your kids as tiny tykes forever, soon, they will grow to demand bigger challenges. A three year old girl may not be able to use monkey bars now, but in another year she’ll be taller, heavier, and stronger—and likely bored with the playset she used to love.

With a modular swing set, you can add monkey bars, gliders, climbing walls, and more. These additions give your child more play options to be excited about and can help develop motor skills.

How to Get Started

Get the most from your investment in your children’s play activities. Purchase a quality modular play set from an experienced playground expert. Bring the entire family to one of Play N’ Learn’s six Maryland & Virginia stores today, and ‘test play’ the finest playsets available. And for those near our Columbia, MD and Chantilly, VA locations, every Monday and Thursday morning we hold Free Open Play Days from 10am to 1pm!

For questions, advice or suggestions, call 1-800-22 SWING or contact us through our site!

The Benefits of Play For Children

January 19th, 2012 by

Everyone knows the expression, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” But no play is bad for Jack in other ways, too. It’s hard to overstate the value of play for children, particularly outdoors, in a safe, constructive environment. Here are a few of benefits of play for kids:

Play is healthy. Simply enough, playing outside is good for kids. With childhood obesity a growing problem in America, it’s hugely important to keep children active and engaged with exercise. There’s no better way to do that than in play, which is fun at the same time that it is beneficial. It also offers a good alternative to unhealthy, sedentary behavior indoors or out of the home. If only it was that easy and enjoyable to stay in shape for adults!

Play prevents the forming of bad habits. Just as play keeps you healthy, it also does wonders for keeping children from getting into the habit of watching too much TV or playing too many video games. If you start early in setting standards for what’s an acceptable amount of these activities, it’ll help as children grow older and gain more control in deciding how they spend their time.

Play fosters creativity and imagination. The possibilities of how children play, particularly with a playset or other sandbox-type facilitators, is endless. While television and many other sedentary, idle activities don’t allow for kids to have a role in what they are doing, play allows the child to decide his or her own terms and conditions for what’s being done. Not only does that contribute to free thinking and creativity—it also encourages the child to take an active role in entertaining his or herself. Which, of course, cuts down on the amount of, “Mommy, I’m bored!” that you have to hear.

Play teaches children how to interact with others. You can’t learn to play nice without playing. And when children play together, they learn important skills for how to interact fairly and appropriately with other children their age. Whether it’s having to work out the game or what they’re doing, or just coexisting with each other peacefully, play can be an early lesson in being a member of society.

Play is fun! It seems simple, but it’s worth mentioning regardless: play is fun for kids. It leads to happiness and humor, and brightens the day. It also helps to relax and soothe children, who, being the smallest residents of an intimidating world, sometimes need a calming activity. As parents know, happy children make the whole family happy, and everyone needs to seek out happiness and fun in their day-to-day life, whether they’re young or old.

It’s always important to supervise and monitor children when they play, but play is something that should be encouraged and fostered as much as possible. And toys like a Play N’ Learn playset, trampoline, or basketball hoop make these enjoyable activities even better. With play being both fun and beneficial for children, you can’t go wrong!

Welcome to Play N’ Learn’s Backyard Fun Blog!

January 13th, 2012 by

Welcome to the new and improved Play N’ Learn Backyard Fun Blog!

While the design of the blog may not be new, get ready for all kinds of new fun from Play N’ Learn’s Playground Superstores. We’re going to be blogging about all kinds of helpful topics, including the benefits of play, alternative activities to TV and the computer, and all sorts of tips for keeping your family happy and active.

We’ve even added new features to our blog, like Share buttons, to make it easier than ever to share our posts with others.

Whether you own a playset or not, be sure to check the Backyard Fun Blog each week or subscribe to our email RSS feed to get our tips right in your inbox. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get reminders about our blog posts there.

And don’t forget—every Monday and Thursday morning we hold Free Open Play Days at our Columbia, MD and Chantilly, VA locations! From 10am to 1pm, children ages 8 and under are welcome to play on all the slides, swings, trampolines, and basketball hoops we have to offer. It’s a great way to check out all our playsets and keep your kids active and entertained, so bring the kids to play!

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