LET’S GET PHYS­I­CAL

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FOCUS - More Gar­den So­ci­ety, gar­denso­ci­ety.com.au; Plum Play Aus­tralia, plumplay.com.au

When it comes to ac­tive back­yards, it’s hard to look past the tra­di­tional climb­ing frames, swing sets and tram­po­lines.

But sim­ply plac­ing them in your yard will not mean the chil­dren will au­to­mat­i­cally play on them.

Many is the frus­trated par­ent who has lamented the cost of a new tram­po­line or swing set only to have it sit in the gar­den col­lect­ing cob­webs.

Penny says plac­ing these struc­tures in the yard is one thing, but in­spir­ing your chil­dren to play with them is an­other.

“It doesn’t cost any­thing to have an imag­i­na­tion,” Penny says.

“My girls lit­er­ally spend hours on the tram­po­line but they don’t just jump on it, they use it for all sorts of things.

“Some­times they’ll just lie on it and stare at the clouds, other times they will take out a cord­less speaker and make up dances on it. It’s great for danc­ing on be­cause it lets them spin, twirl and som­er­sault with­out hurt­ing them­selves.”

How­ever, Penny says there is one small catch with this ver­sa­tile piece of equip­ment.

“They love it so much I have to call them in when it gets dark.”

Plum Play Aus­tralia aims to add to the out­door play ex­pe­ri­ence with a range of modern and sturdy tram­po­lines, climb­ing frames and swing sets that en­cour­age bal­ance, co-or­di­na­tion and strength.

Their swing range can also be cus­tomised to fit dif­fer­ent sized yards and their range ex­tends to sand­pits and role-play toys such as kitchens, tool benches and doll houses.

But if your bud­get is min­i­mal, Steve says there’s plenty in na­ture that will pro­vide op­por­tu­nity for kids to get ac­tive. A tree with wooden steps nailed into it can be the per­fect climb­ing frame and an old tyre tied to a high branch can be­come the per­fect swing.

“It saves money and it is more re­spon­si­ble to use what you have on hand and in the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment,” he says.

A wood­land tree house from Plum Play Aus­tralia of­fers climb­ing, slid­ing and wa­ter play.

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