I've been looking into some sort of backyard play structure to give the kids a consistent thing to do outside. At first I looked at Craigslist and Costco, but our funky-shaped yard really needs something made to fit into it. I've been to Kiddie World and Rainbow Play Structures, and both have things that would work for us, though I've really been hesitating about the price and about taking over the entire backyard.
Today we all went to Rainbow play structures so that Dave could see (I'd been there myself), and to bring the kids too. It's often instructive to see what the kids are attracted to, though it doesn't say much about what they'll like playing with later.
This is what the kids most of the time we were talking to the salesguy about play structures.
So we asked about the trampolines, and the more we talked about it, the more we both like the idea. Trampolines can be moved -- not easily, it'd take two people, but they can be moved. And removed more easily than a play structure. Modern trampolines don't have those springs that cause most trampoline injuries. This one is permeable, so water and sunlight get through, so any lawn underneath has some prayer of survival (a minor concern really). You can get accessories like a foam snowboard to practice flips (!) and a basketball hoop. The guy said kids even have outdoor sleepovers on trampolines, they make a good sleeping surface. A trampoline might have more longevity -- Gabriel will outgrow swings in a few years, but even teenagers like trampolines. Swings and slides can be found at all playgrounds, including at school, but trampolines aren't.
So now we're thinking about a trampoline instead of a play structure. It's uglier and seems more special-purpose, but kids flock to them when given the choice over a play structure. Hmm.
As always, leaving the party (it was just an indoor showroom after all, not a playground) is challenging. Katrina was outraged.
I'm happy to say these tantrums are far less frequent now, and usually less intense too.
A very very lazy day for us, other than our play structure shopping, and a short swim for me this morning. I'm still not feeling great, which was our primary reason for not doing today what we will do tomorrow: The Watsonville Fly-In and Airshow!