They say men are just little boys grown tall. They don’t say the same about women, possibly because the physical transformation is far more drastic in female humans. Either way, we’re all familiar with the rumblings of our inner child, and once in a while, we do let them out. Today’s society makes it far easier to do that – we’re surrounded by adults watching cartoons and playing videogames. We even have adult bouncy castles, trampolines, and kids toys, from stuffed animals to jigsaw puzzles. Their size and theme marks them as ‘mature’.
In terms of playsets, it’s more about dimensions and variety. A toddler may be content with flower sets or voice tubes – the bright colours, intricate textures, and moving pillars are enough to keep them entertained. But for older kids and their parents, you need a lot more stimulation. Still, it’s impractical to buy separate playsets for every member of the family. Many playset pieces are modular, so you can combine different pieces for a better whole. You may not have enough space though, so choose carefully from the start.
Instead of trying to mix and match, invest in a larger, more diverse playset that caters to different interests and age brackets. You wants something with height, to appeal to taller, heavier users, but you also want elements closer to the ground for the little ones. It’s important to note mixed-age playsets require keener supervision. You want to be sure younger, more vulnerable kids stay away from the parts of the playset that could hurt them. You may also have to designate segregated play time, because bigger kids could inadvertently hurt smaller ones as they share their playset.
Friendly neighbourhood gym set
When you were younger, you might have enjoyed going to the gym with your parents. It made you feel grown up, and because it was just playtime for you, you didn’t reach their levels of gym-induced frustration. To you, it was just a room full of sweaty people, shiny toys, massive mirrors, and skiddy floors. So why not bring some of that spirit home? It gives your kids an excuse to bond with you as you work out, and lowers your frustration levels, because your exercise regime becomes more playful. As an added advantage you don’t have to worry about other people’s fluids, and you get some sunshine in too!
UrbanFitTrekko doesn’t have a comprehensive unit, so you’ll have to buy individual pieces and slot them into your available yard space. It has a handy Welcome Board with exercise suggestions, so you can start with that and help it guide your purchasing choice. It can withstand sunlight, rain, and graffiti, thanks to its protective coating. Other Trekko components include balance beams, benches, sit-up planks, parallel bars, body bells, burleigh bars, stretch stations, and suspended hand-holds. They allow you to target various muscle groups for a comprehensive workout. And they’re safe and sturdy enough for teens and adults of all weights, shapes, and sizes. They use your own body mass for resistance.
Look to the stars
Rope-based playsets are pretty versatile. It’s a cardio activity, so it gets your blood pumping, and all that scaling stretches and lengthens your muscles. It’s also a measurable form of exercise – you can gauge how fast you get to the top, or how high you can climb, so it’s easy to track your progress. Ge something like the Constellation, ideal for a variety of age groups. The ropes walls are curled to offer a concentric climbing path, leading to a padded seat at the highest point. You can stand there and survey your domain, or take a breather before you head back down. This rubber pinnacle bench sits 2.3m high.
Even for kids and adults that aren’t interested in climbing, the twisty shapes and patterns of the rope can provide hours of entertainment. Artsy day-dreaming types can get lost watching the pretty lines and curves while making up songs and stories in their heads. They can sit at floor level among the coils of rope and contemplate the hundreds of shapes formed by the rope grid. Keep an eye on them though, so they don’t get tangled or choked. This playset covers a bit over 50m2, so if you have more room, try the Milan-Rome.
With a soft-fall of nearly 200m2, a lengthy tube slide, and a mix of bridges, ladders, platforms and pyramids, it can meet various levels of climbing height and skill. There are spots to slide down – feeding adrenal urges – and quieter spaces to sit and mull over the wonders of shape. Plus, with two distinct pyramids, it can accommodate multiple groups, so the whole family can play simultaneously. Just make sure there are plenty of refreshing chilled drinks to keep everyone hydrated.