Guest post from Bee
We’ve definitely mentioned it before on this here blog but there is a picture of me from when I was about two years old, probably even younger, where I’m outside in my great grandparents’ back garden playing with a big (for me at the time) bouncy ball by myself.
My mum says she remembers taking the photo because she thought it was so cute that I was outside playing nicely and having lots of fun. I actually have really strong memories of this day even though I was so small. I remember thinking in my head “urgh this ball is getting so boring, I wonder when they’ll come and take me back inside?”
I don’t know whether that was actually what I was thinking at the time or just what I remember thinking, but it made my mum laugh so much when I told her, especially because I was so young and she was convinced I was having such a great time.
I’ve never been massively into outdoor games and activities, usually preferring to spend my time inside with a book and a cheeky mini milk as a child. However, one thing I always really loved when I was growing up was a climbing frame with swings. There’s just something about a good solid climbing frame and a set of swings that always used to fill me with excitement and I remember going to the park just to play on the swings with my friends even up to the age of about sixteen.
I really hope my baby likes going to the park too when he’s older, because pushing him on the swings seems like probably one of the least boring and most minimal effort of all the activities I’ll probably have to do with him. (Seriously, I’m going to need to get fit fast to keep up with a toddler running around wanting me to play with him all the time.)
I was having a look at swing sets online today in case I ever have a garden that’s bigger than a large car parking space to put some nice toys in for him. I’ve always imagined that having your own personal swing set is a bit of an unattainable luxury, but you can actually get a properly decent one like you see in play areas, with wooden swings, for only a couple of hundred pounds. If everyone in the family chipped in as a birthday present, then you could be well on your way to buying your own swing set in no time.
I particularly like one I saw from Wickey which has a basket or nest swing as opposed to a traditional seat. I remember when they arrived on the play area scene locally when I was in secondary school and everyone used to pile into the nest swing and see how high they could push people before they fell out (which was never.) They’re super relaxing to just lie back in too if you want a break from your toddler shouting “look at me! Mum! Look at me on the slide! Mum! Muuuuuuum!”
Did you have a favourite thing to play on outside or in the park when you were a child? What outdoor toys would you recommend for a smaller garden that can’t fit a swing set?