Let’s Go Outside: Keeping bicycles and Outdoor Toys Safe
Did you know the UK has the worlds second highest spend per child on toys? That’s some serious cash being invested in our little people right there! And, in the age of computer games and technology, it’s no wonder that, in a push to get our kids away from the screen and into the fresh air, parents are purchasing more and more outdoor toys and games than ever before. But what to do with them all and what are the risks?
Toys that live outside don’t need to be big, but they are usually expensive. Bicycles and scooters are amongst the most common “outdoor” toys that we buy for our families. They keep us active, encourage us to spend time together away from the sofa, and are vital to helping younger children to develop motor skills, balance and confidence. They’re a pretty fine example of a toy that gives some serious bang for its buck! But they often come with a price tag to match meaning that we need to consider their lack of weather resistance and the temptation of others to take what isn’t theirs.
Let’s face it; you cannot leave a bike out in the garden without the risk of it being stolen. Plus, in British weather, the chances are it’ll be rusty and ruined or blown away if it isn’t given somewhere warm and dry to hunker down at night. Also, they can be seasonal toys, and often get forgotten over the colder months of the year.
In an ideal world, we’d all have Nick Knowles and the team knocking on our door to get our home in tip top shape to match our needs. Not only do they consider the design elements of a home and garden space, but they also put into practice sensible storage and practical solutions to the many, and often extremely difficult, lifestyle situations that are thrown at them during their work. The folks on the show take ingenuity, practicality and sensibility above all else; and it shows on the faces of those they help each episode.
Back in February 2017, Nick and the team helped out Terry Guest and his family, whilst advocating Disability Sheffield's Cycling 4 All scheme. The family witnessed Terry’s first cycle ride after his catastrophic brain injury which left him with severe disabilities and the resultant support offered by wellbeing groups. This encouraged lots of families to grab some wheels and take up cycling to benefit their entire family.
Despite Nick’s 2012 comments about cyclists which caused quite a stir on twitter, it seems he and the team see the benefits of outdoor toys and activities for the entire family. For the record though, Nick is famous to be quoted as saying “I do not do DIY at home and I will not do your bathroom if you meet me in a pub” so we can’t expect him to be helping us all out anytime soon!
Although we’re not all in the position to have the BBC crew at our beck and call; we are all able to implement some of the ideas that they advocate for a better lifestyle and the storage ideas they courageously implement in the houses of those in need. Keeping safe the items that we buy to invest in our families is one way that we can take on board Nick and the team’s amazing work. Specialist and suitable storage systems are available for every type of family makeup, from single, secure bike shelters and lockers, to Police Approved 8 cycle stores which are handy for larger families or those with lots of outdoor equipment.
The two things to consider when looking for outdoor storage is security and weather-resistance; both of which, if not done correctly, can remove or ruin any equipment. Keeping equipment dry is all well and good but if the store is too lightweight, you may also risk losing it completely to the UK’s ever-increasing wind speeds. It’s certainly worth considering this as an additional factor when thinking of both the product and location of your storage.
So, are you protecting the items that you’ve invested in? Does your family have lots of outdoor toys that are exposed to potential theft or weather damage? Does your outdoor storage cover all the essentials?
If not, perhaps it’s time to consider your own DIY SOS and install practical solutions for longevity and security in your own home.