Do you remember how excited your kids were when you installed their new playset? Wonder why it doesn't hold the same attraction a few
summers later? As any parent knows, kids get bored quickly and even something as fun as a playset can lose its attraction after a while.
Luckily, there are ways to rekindle your kids' enthusiasm for their playset, and it doesn't have to be expensive. "A few
new accessories can make a big difference -- it rejuvenates the playset for your kids and awakens a new interest," says Karl Jessen,
president of Detailed Play Systems, an Internet-based company that provides plans for build-it-yourself playsets.
"We design our options in a modular fashion so parents can add on to their playset over time, enabling it to grow with
their kids," says Jessen. For example, when children are younger, they'll get hours of fun from a simple slide. As they get older,
they'll be ready for more exciting options like a spiral slide, or a turbo tube slide. "An easy way to jazz up your slide without
replacing it is to add a cover, effectively making it into a tube slide," says Jessen. Detailed Play Systems offers slide covers in
four motifs: race car, soccer, sailboat and kaleidoscope. The covers fit any 10-foot slide, and are not only fun, they protect the slide
from the sun and keeps it cool (and kids from being burned).
If your kids always seem to have more fun at the playground than on the playset in your backyard, you'll be happy to discover
that many of these "commercial grade" accessories are becoming available for your kids to enjoy at home. "We have a broad
selection of accessories you might not expect to find for home playsets," says Jessen.
Some of the most popular items in his inventory are climbing walls. The new Mountain Climb is a realistically molded one-piece
rock climb. It is over five feet tall and can be attached to playsets with 5 foot deck heights. Detailed Play Systems also offers two
types of rock holds. "The composite/sand rock holds look very realistic," says Jessen. Each hold attaches individually to the
wooden structure behind them to form an easier or more challenging climbing route, depending on the skill level of your child. Tough
polyethylene molded rock holds are larger to make it easier for younger children to grasp and climb; they also fasten individually onto
a wooden subsurface.
Even good, old-fashioned swings can be updated for more fun. "Kids love the buoy ball swing,"
says Jessen. Fashioned from an authentic buoy, the swing is a colorful addition to the playset. And NASCAR enthusiasts won't be able
to pass up the Winston Cup tire swing made from tires that were actually used in a NASCAR race.
For the younger set, a tube
tunnel provides hours of play, and adds on easily to existing playsets. The 24-inch diameter tube will foster lots of imaginative play.
"Young kids also love our bubble panels," says Jessen. "They can be a window on the world, the nose of a space pod or
anything else kids dream up." The panel is a polyethylene sheet with a clear Lexan bubble. Steering wheels and telescopes are also
simple, inexpensive ways to add variety to the playset. If you'd like to add or replace a vinyl top, Jessen's company offers custom tops
in many colors. Custom vinyl sandbox covers are also available.
With all the activity going on around your playset, you'll want
to be sure you have an appropriate, safe surface surrounding the area. "Asphalt, concrete and even grass are considered hard surfaces
not safe for use under a playset," says Jessen. Mulch, wood chips, fine sand and fine gravel are considered acceptable surfaces, but
the best options are synthetic soft play surfaces specifically designed for use with playsets, such as the shredded rubber mulch available
from Detailed Play Systems. These are non toxic to children and pets and one application lasts for years.
For more information,
and to see the complete selection of playset accessories, visit www.detailedplay.com or call (800)398-7565 to order a catalog. Shipping
is available in the 48 contiguous United States.