Post in partnership with Wickey – we were kindly gifted the climbing frame in return of an honest review.
This year our main goal is to transform our garden. We spent so much time in it last summer, as soon as Spring rolled around I launched into a huge renovation project. This includes painting the fences, creating new flower beds, adding a vegetable patch and growing lots of seeds – but the pièce de résistance in our garden has got to be our brand new Wickey Smart Lodge climbing frame, which now sits proudly in the centre of our garden!
The garden renovation is ongoing… I think it might take us until 2024! (I’ll share a post with more on that soon!) But, today I wanted to tell you all about our Wickey Smart Lodge, including the build and how we’ve found it now it’s been in the garden a few weeks.
WICKEY SMART LODGE
We decided on the Wickey Smart Lodge as it has a double swing set (no arguments between the children, please!) and I just loved the platform with the cute little house! It’s got pirate ship, beachy vibes which fit in perfectly with our seaside home. The underneath section is designed to be a sandpit, but we’ve decided to add Astro-Turf to ours to create a little shady picnic spot for the summer, where the girls can eat their lunch away from the sun (and no one likes sandy sandwiches!)
I love that when browsing the Wickey climbing frames, you can also choose the colour of your slide, they do all kinds of colours from bright pink to a more subtle green. I was so tempted to go all out with the bright colours like pink and yellow but we decided as it’s such a large structure in the garden maybe green would blend in a little better!
- Wickey Smart Series
- Pressure-treated solid wood
- Quality and safety tested
- Multiple configurations possible
- 10 year guarantee* on all wooden components
- Platform height 120 cm
- Post thickness 7×7 cm
- Swing beam 9×9 cm
And it includes all of this
- Slide with water connection 220 cm
- 2 Swing seats incl. adjustable ropes
- 4 Swing hooks with plastic bearings
- Wooden swing connector
- Playhouse with shop counter
- 5 Climbing stones
- 4 Plastic handles
- Racing steering wheel
- Weatherproof Tarpaulin 650 gr/m²
- Ladder slanted
- Climbing wall straight
- Wooden roof
- Wickey sticker
- Integrated sandpit
- All required screws
- 2-piece safety caps to cover screws
- Comprehensive assembly instructions for easy construction
WICKEY SMART LODGE DELIVERY
When we ordered our Wickey Smart Lodge, we were told that due to Brexit there would be a delay to our shipping – all parts come from Germany so we got ourselves ready for a long wait, however within around 7-10 days I received a notification it had arrived in the UK, they just needed to organise a suitable time to deliver as obviously it’s a very large parcel!
We arranged this for a week later to ensure I had V with me. Due to COVID19 drivers are no longer able to help with unloading or unpacking, so I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own – our pallette on the lorry weighed 215KG! The driver suggested rather than trying to lift the palette, we could break open the packaging and move the wood manually out. It took us both about 20-30 trips each to carry it all into the back garden a handful at a time – but we did it! We even made the lorry driver a cup of tea as it took so long, but he was happy to have a break in his cab and a cuppa, so he was all fine.
If you are having something like this delivered soon – be ready with a minimum of two adults to do a bit of lifting!
I’ve got to say when it comes to DIY and building furniture – I’m not the best. I don’t have the skills or knowledge so I was lucky to have V and my parents with me who are pretty talented in the DIY department. I had more of a coordinator role, organising the pieces, passing equipment, holding things, childcare and providing a fresh supply of tea and biscuits throughout. This is just as important!
Having good DIY knowledge is paramount for this as the wood arrives without any pilot holes drilled or even markings where to drill. This ended up being the most time-consuming part – each piece needed measuring, putting into categories, marking and drilling before we could even get started. The tarpaulin also doesn’t come pre-cut – this is to encourage creativity so I understand, but this took a while to work out and fit too.
We all got stuck into the build and together the build took just under 4 days – that seems a long time, but we wanted to put it together with the best precision and care, ensuring it’s all correctly done and as safe as possible for the children. This includes adding all the additional extras like the tarpaulin, climbing stones, telescope, steering wheel.
We also had to buy some cement and the additional anchor set to firmly fix it into the ground, which added a bit of time onto the build but was so worth it as it’s incredibly sturdy and secure. Wickey also offer a 10-year guarantee on the wood when the anchor set is used.
The girls were so patient, seeing as they were asking to play on it from the moment the wood arrived!
THE GRAND REVEAL!
At last, our Wickey Smart Lodge was finished and it was time for the girls to try it for the first time! They were beside themselves with excitement, Violet said it was like having a playground in her own garden. They rushed up the ladder for a peek at the top, rushing to the steering wheel and the telescope! Immediately they were on a pirate ship, steering their way to the treasure! A whoosh down the slide and Violet cried out ‘Pearl you are in the ocean!’ so she ran round to the back and scrambled up the ladder again.
They play like this for HOURS. Role-playing and inventing games about all sorts based on their climbing frame. It’s safe to say they absolutely love it. Violet especially loves the swing. Pearl loves the little house.
We still plan to do so much more with it – we want to paint it, add in some little additions to the house (maybe some play kitchen bits and play food items) plus we need to astroturf the lower section and I wanted to add in a blackboard and a little canopy to the side to create an ice-cream shop window. The possibilities really are endless!
It’s fair to say the Wickey Smart Lodge is an absolute HIT with the girls. They had a playdate on it this week (yay for being allowed to have people into the garden!) and they played together for HOURS. The children we had over were a bit older than our girls (the oldest is 9) and they all had a whale of a time playing on it, which just shows how brilliant it is for all ages – as well as a bit of reassurance that our girls will love it for years to come, seeing as it’s concreted into our garden!
We found the wood to be good quality, it is pressure treated so has slight greenish markings – these can be sanded off relatively easily or painted for a more uniform finish. It seems so sturdy and has an excellent finish. We did find a few larger planks were cracked, or had large knots or splinters – this can be normal with natural wood, but it’s a good idea to sand these back before little people are allowed to play.
Overall, the building instructions were quite basic. If Wickey could pre-drill the holes or at least mark them out, as well as labelling the planks of wood and screw sets it would save a LOT of time. I find the organisational stage was one of the hardest as it meant measuring absolutely everything, even measuring screws trying to work out what was what.
I would definitely advise if you aren’t skilled in DIY to hire someone to build it for you that knows what they are doing, it’s certainly not designed for an everyday novice.
But even though the build was tough, it’s been absolutely 100% worth the hard work and investment, as well as the large section of the garden we’ve given up for it! To see their little faces delight when they play is just the best feeling. I know it’ll be something that will be a part their childhood years and this is just the start of many happy memories playing in the garden.
You can order the Wickey Smart Lodge 120 here – it’s priced at £729.97 (reduced from £1129.95) with free shipping. Delivery takes around 15-25 working days.