A Playground Indoors
One of the objectives of our Pikler Inspired Range was to create a safe indoor playground for the childeren. When we spoke with Hayley Mclean, A mum of three, we were excited to see how her three little ones got on with it.
Hayley is Instagramer and blogger documenting family life in all it’s glory – from the beautiful picture perfect moments we all love to the inevitable downsides that we’re not so fond of.
Pikler Savior During Lockdown – Hayley Mclean of Sparkles & Stretch Marks
The last year has been challenging for most people – with many families struggling to balance working from home with home schooling.
Children have endured huge changes to their daily routines, alongside a sudden absence of play dates, and the upheaval of only seeing their grandparents through windows – it’s hard to fully understand how difficult these unexpected and huge changes must have been for our little ones.
One thing my own children missed most of all during the first lockdown was play parks. When they found out that playgrounds had been closed, they were devastated – the freedom to run, climb, slide and jump is something so deeply ingrained in a child’s nature, and it was awful to see them missing that simple pleasure of childhood.
We don’t have much of an outdoor space at home, and so we found it tough to provide the children with the opportunity to run off steam– and we soon started to find that they were struggling to sleep well at night as a result.
But our saviour came in the form of the Ligneus Indoor Junior Climbing set and it has honestly been one of the best pieces of play equipment we’ve ever brought into our home.
The Gretton Grey Junior Indoor Climbing Set is a Pikler inspired wooden play apparatus designed for children of all ages, but is particularly great from those in the 4-10 year age range (there is also a Nursery set which is great for younger tots.)
The set builds upon the principles of the much loved Pikler triangle, with the addition of further modular designed play equipment including ladders, slides, arches and many other accessories which make the set multi-functional.
All of the pieces are made from lacquered premium sustainable birch ply wood, and use a food safe lacquer to create a natural look and easy-clean finish. They are tested in excess of 100kg and are both durable and stylish too.
The products come in three different colour options – natural, grey and the newly released pastel rainbow range which is Instagram-perfect! It’s lovely to have play equipment that ties in so well with our home décor.
Encouraging Imaginative Play
My children have truly never loved a play product more, they get so much use out of it every single day and I find myself constantly amazed at how creative they are in the way they use it.
They love coming up with new ways to set it up, and new imaginative play games – it’s been everything from a Princess castle to a Cops & Robbers Jail cell! One of their favourite games to play with it is Labyrinth – they’ll take it in turns to climb over the bridge while one of them hides underneath to play the part of the troll. The imaginative play opportunities really are endless!
You can use all of the pieces together to create a climbing frame or you can of course use each piece individually too.
When used in combination with blankets and cushions, it becomes a rather epic den too!
Learning through play with less screen time
The set is great for encouraging hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, speech & language development through play, agility, strength and imaginative role play. My own personal highlight of having the Ligneus set at home is that my childrens screen usage has dropped dramatically since it arrived – nobody is interested in watching devives when they can climb and slide to their hearts content!
The triangle is a fantastic piece which is brilliant when used alongside the slide but you can also purchase a desk/easel attachment for it which I just love – by adding this additional piece you can turn the triangle into the perfect desk for little ones. You can also place the desk addition flat to the triangle and use it as an easel for painting or drawing – so clever!
As with most things in our home, the task of setting up the play equipment fell to my other half. He put the whole set together in less than an hour, and was incredibly impressed by the quality of the packaging and the ease of set-up.
The product quality is easy to see – every possible safety aspect has been considered, even down to additional stabilisation measures included for the already-secure triangle. The instructions were easy to follow, and the items went together with ease.
We know that our children will get many years of enjoyment out of the climbing set, and we’re confident that the high quality means we’ll even be able to pass it down to their children one day too. It’s the perfect solution for rainy days at home, and is particularly good for families like us with limited outdoor space for climbing and play equipment – I only wish we’d known about it sooner!