We had promised our 3 year old a climbing frame for the garden. Last week, once our holiday/car repair/motorcycle repair was out of the way (too much month at the end of the money - you know the feeling right?!), we finally ordered it.
Having done a little research first, we found the best deals were with Selwood Climbing Frames. I have to say we were very surprised by the look of the frames quality wise compared to the ones we had found in Argos and a local garden centre. Far superior so our order was placed for the Andorra on Thursday of last week. Delivery was 5-10 days which we thought was just fine.
I was surprised when later that day, I received a text asking me to call about my climbing frame delivery. Speaking to the lady from the courier company, they could deliver on Tuesday this week. Wow, that was impressive. They would give me a time on the day. Brilliant.
Tuesday arrived and we were called at 8am by the delivery driver to say he'd be with us between 2.30-4pm. Super, that would give us time to build it....wouldn't it? The delivery arrived just after 5pm. Still, not bad even if it was a bit late. One slide out of the van and then one very big box. Yep, that was the frame for us to build (you'll see all the wood in the picture). Off we went.
The instructions were good (yes, that is hubby actually reading instructions in the photo), although a few times it was a bit unclear whether the bolt went from front to back or vice versa but looking a few pages on or at the picture of the completed frame usually told us which. Four hours later, we had to stop as light was fading and a few spots of rain were coming down. We had got as far as part of the structure of the deck and all of the swing frame done. Not bad we thought but it was clear that there was a lot more to do, despite the box of wood having gone down a long way :)
The slide took a little getting used to as it's much faster than our little free-standing slide and the idea is you end up in a standing position. However, the first few times we had to put some cushions on the floor for S as she went flying off, landing with a bump on her bum! No harm done but within another few goes, she had the hang of it and was landing on her feet and straight back up to do it again.
N had a go too. She managed to climb up to the deck no problem but couldn't quite get her foot around at the top of the slide so came down with one leg behind her. I think it was a bit too fast for her as she got off and went back to her little slide :) It was nice to watch the two of them using the slides together.
I think they stayed in the swings after that for a good 30 minutes, neither wanting to come out. S particularly pleased as she was now using a 'big girl swing' :)
The chalk wall was also put to the test and worked just fine. Afterwards they both went for a lay down under the deck in their 'camp'.
The Andorra is already proving ideal for us as our garden isn't huge (trampoline the other end!) and we still want some space to sit at a table outside. It's a fantastic frame, solid and well made and I would recommend it to anyone.
Do you know what? Hubby has had a go on the swing and slide and so have I. Well, it's got to be done hasn't it ;-)
Oooo...did you know S featured in the Jubilee Special feature on their website? She's the top photo in blue top and brown shorts (unfortunately school uniform colours!). Here she is on the left - grown up a lot more! Just thought, as I'd updated this page's links, that I'd put a picture up of the climbing frame now. It's a little more tired looking but it's due it's wood treatment this summer to spruce it up a bit (along with the garden table and chairs - another project for hubby).
Five years later, it's still going strong (glider still around and fully working but now replaced by another swing as the girls get older), although been coloured in with chalks many times over.