how to slam dunk

How to Slam Dunk in 6 Easy Steps

When kids first start to play, the first thing they want to learn is how to slam dunk. At Douglas Forest and Garden, we have a wide range of basketball equipment, and we currently offer free home delivery of basketball hoops in Ireland for most purchases.  Many of our hoops are suitable for slam dunks and are adjustable for kids of all sizes, so with that in mind, here are a few tips for kids who are looking to improve their game.

Dribble toward the basket

You’re allowed take two steps with the ball in your hand, so be sure to dribble right up till about a metre from the hoop. You should jump with the leg opposite your dunking hand, and focus your attention on the ball and the centre of the hoop. If at this early stage you’re unable to get high enough, you might need to take time and practice to build up strength and jumping height. 

Start with the ball in one hand

While the two-handed slam offers the most control and prevents in-air tackles (and looks a lot cooler), it’s also much harder.  The two-handed slam is maybe the most dominating move in basketball, but it takes a lot more leaping to touch the rim with two hands.

Use a smaller ball

When you’re first starting out, it’s much easier to practice with a small basketball. You can “palm” it more easily, control it in your approach, and you’re more likely to get it in the ring.

This also gives you a chance to get a feel for ball control when your arm is extended. Even people with large hands who can palm a full-sized basketball will sometimes lose their grip when dunking, so you need to get a feel for manoeuvring the ball and controlling it in the air.

How to Slam Dunk: Think of the entire movie — not just the goal

While we can focus all our attention on getting the ball in the net, too much attention here can cause you to hurt yourself. Make sure you land safely. Spend plenty of time working on your follow-through and landing, thinking of it as an entire sequence. Failure to do this and you’ll be like Wiley Cayote when he realises he’s suspended in mid-air over a chasm.

Don’t hang on the rim

It looks very cool, but in most games, you’re not allowed to do this. So not only is it a bad habit, but hanging on the rim can damage your basketball hoop. And it can also throw your centre of gravity off which can lead you to fall backwards, which puts you at risk of a serious head injury. 

How to Slam Dunk: Be persistent

Any new coordination is going to take time and practice. Just be sure to keep your focus on your aims: ball in net, safe, soft landing. If you focus on your goals, your brain will figure out the best way of achieving this for you. All you have to do is practise. If you miss, fall, or don’t reach the net, that’s not a failure. It’s your best attempt in this moment. Continued practice will bring a more refined, better attempt. Do this repeatedly, day after day, and you’ll be springing at the net in no time.

If you’d like help with choosing a net for you or your kids, feel free to contact us today on 021 4965 132

soccer equipment

Soccer Equipment

Soccer equipment is always needing repair and replacement. At Douglas Forest and Garden, we have a range of soccer training equipment that’s suitable for kids and adults alike. Whether it’s for training, practise or play, we have some items that will accommodate all levels.

Soccer Equipment: Goals

EXIT build high-quality, durable soccer goals in various sizes for different activities. For example, the EXIT Scala aluminium football goal comes in various sizes (including 500 x 200cm). This range is built to be strong yet lightweight. Highly portable, with an anodised coating to protect against the harsh Irish weather. Their “Maestro” (180cm x 120cm) is small enough to be used in even the smallest garden space. It has a smaller size which promotes accuracy and precision. There is also the “Flexx” Range, which is a set of two fold-up goals (120cm x 80cm). These are perfect for any situation. They allow you to enjoy soccer at any time and at any location,  whether at home, in your garden,  the schoolyard or while out camping. We also provide EXIT’s rebounders and “Kickbacks”, which comes in a range of sizes and are great for practising passes and kicks when you don’t have a practice partner.

Other Soccer Equipment

Of course, it isn’t soccer without a ball. In addition to the standard size five football, we also provide EXIT’s foam ball in black. These are much softer. Exit built these with younger children in mind. They’re fully waterproof so you can use it in and near water without any issue. We also provide a pack of 20 Line Marker Cones so that you can easily build a training course for you and your team. When you aren’t playing in a game, this is the perfect way to practice dribbling and quick manoeuvres in tight spaces. The marker cones come in a carry bag for easy storage.

In terms of foot skills, the EXIT Rapido foot skills trainer is an excellent way to improve your passing and handling skills. You stand in the centre of the circle and “pass”, kick, rebound and manoeuvre without a partner. The Rapido stops you from wasting time retrieving the ball every two minutes. The circle consists of six panels, each which reacts differently with the ball to create a dynamic environment for honing your soccer skills.

If you have any further questions or need more information, feel free to contact us today on 021 4965 132

benefits of outdoor play

The Benefits of Outdoor Play

The benefits of outdoor play are becoming more necessary. Today, as technology is becoming increasingly the default, we’re seeing an increase in various childhood issues. Many people are pointing fingers at technology for the rise in obesity, ADD/ADHD and other issues. An argument can be made that technology is addictive to young children, and its negative effects can be sobering. A 2018 study by Cyber Safe Ireland showed that 92% of Irish children aged between 9 and 13 own a smart device. Now, more than ever, we need creative ways to encourage activity in younger people. Thankfully, kids tend to be drawn to outdoor toys. Here are a few reasons why it’s essential to encourage them as much as possible.

Benefits of Outdoor Play: Neurological Development

The growing trend of kids spending time indoors on their devices is very new. We do not know with certainty how this can affect a child’s development. But what we do know is that the brain is plastic. It can change and adapt depending on what we do in our day. “Exercising your brain” is a thing. Your kids need plenty of stimulation to create new neural connections so they become smarter, abler, healthier adults. Physical activity and interaction with the environment is a huge source of new stimulation that is impossible to gain from a smart device.benefits of outdoor play

The benefits of outdoor play also extend to your child’s physiology. Active outdoor play increases flexibility (and crucially, prevents inflexibility), and helps to refine their motor skills beyond the thumb and index finger, to incorporate the whole body in a wide array of movements that are essential for development, muscular strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. 

We all have a natural need for physical exercise and activity. When we run, climb on the playhouse swing, jump, skate, or ride a bike in the fresh air and sunshine. They like to use their whole body when they play outdoors (so make sure your kid is dressed for the weather) and find such physical activities interesting and challenging.

When children are climbing, pushing or swinging, the fine and gross motor movements required to balance and coordinate their body is bathing their brain in neural activity. It’s stimulating muscle fibres to strengthen and lengthen. It’s stimulating bone density and strength, and most of all…it’s fun! When it comes to outdoor play, the benefits cannot be underestimated.  So get them out there having fun!

trampoline safety tips

Trampoline Safety Tips

Keep these trampoline safety tips in mind before you order your trampoline. While Trampolines can be safe for adults and kids and injuries are rare, most trips to the hospital caused by trampolines in Dublin were a result of one jumper colliding with another, individuals falling off the edge of the trampoline, or individuals attempting stunts.

Trampoline Safety Tips: Be aware of these trampoline injury statistics

One report estimated that 75% of all trampoline injuries occurred to children under 15 years of age. About 15% of those were injuries to children under 6 years of age. In extreme cases, where misuse of the trampoline caused severe injuries or even death, most victims were teenagers aged between 12 to 19. 

These are sobering statistics which highlight the importance of trampoline safety. So with all of that in mind, don’t let that stop you or your kids from enjoying yourselves. Provided there’s proper supervision and real rules in place, a trampoline is a fun and safe way to exercise, get outdoors and have fun. To help keep it that way, here are a few trampoline safety tips to keep in mind.

Seven Trampoline Safety Tips

  • Have adult supervision at all time, and a spotter next to the trampoline in case they lose their footing.
  • For safety reasons, children under 5 shouldn’t be allowed to use the trampoline.  To stop the younger kids from climbing on unsupervised, keep chairs and ladders stored away. 
  • Never allow more than one person to jump at a time. Collisions can easily happen when people share a trampoline and this is one of the most common causes of injury.
  • Keep the trampoline away from fences, lamp posts, trees or other potentially dangerous objects.
  • Somersaults, flips and other stunts should not be allowed. It’s easy for people without experience to try these stunts, and easier still for them to give themselves an injury in the process.
  • Never allow children to jump off the trampoline. Kids should be encouraged to stop jumping, move to the edge and slide off safely. A common injury with trampolines are broken or sprained ankles from jumping off the trampoline onto the ground. 
  • Wet trampolines are dangerous. Don’t allow kids to play on wet days and ensure it’s dry and provides safe footing before each use.

If you have any other questions, or you’re looking for further trampoline safety tips with regards to the placement or other factors, feel free to contact us today on 021 4965 132

playhouses for outdoors

Playhouses For Outdoors: How To Keep Them Maintained

At Douglas Forest and Garden, we provide some of the best playhouses for outdoors.  Produced by EXIT, a company with a reputation for building superb toys and equipment that can last in almost any weather conditions. Our customers sometimes ask about how long these playhouses last and how much they can be altered. 

Maintaining Your Playhouseplayhouses for outdoors

EXIT builds most of its playhouses using FSC® certified cedarwood (FSC 100%, SCS-COC-000652-WH). This wood doesn’t splinter and is naturally weather resistant. This means it’s highly resistant to wood rot, and you don’t need to treat the playhouse when you first get it.

The only exception to this is the EXIT Aksent range. These wooden playhouses are made from FSC certified Scandanavian pinewood (FSC 100%, SCS-COC-000652-WH). The pinewood is impregnated under high pressure to increase its lifespan. As with the Cedarwood, it doesn’t require any immediate treatment when you first get it. 

You can upkeep EXIT Playhouses for outdoors for years to come. Use a wood stain every second year to keep it preserved. And if at any time the wood develops mildew, it’s recommended you rub it off with a dry cloth and green soap. Green soap is usually an environmentally friendly, vegetable oil-based soap that is water-soluble. Once you do that, you’ll have it in good condition for years to come.

Modify Playhouses For Outdoors

Every person’s garden area is different. Sometimes a build won’t quite match your own situation. With EXIT’s playhouses, there is room to move things around as you see fit. If you want a playhouse with a slide, EXIT provides the option to move the slide to different positions. With most of their wooden options, you can attach the slide to different spots. In most cases, the stairs, as well as the slide, can be attached on either the left-hand or the right-hand side. In the Loft and Crooky with an extension or a veranda, the slide can also be mounted at the front side of the playhouse. 

We provide free shipping to anywhere in Ireland on all of our playhouses. If you have any questions, we might be able to help. You can reach us any weekday on 021 4965132.

portable jacuzzis

Portable Jacuzzis: 3 Great Options

Portable jacuzzis are hot tubs designed to be easily assembled or disassembled. We stock Lay-Z-Spa Outdoor Jacuzzis, which are inflatable, robust and extremely easy to set up and disassemble when needed. And while now is the time of year when most people are winding down their outdoor adventures, it’s also the best time to pick up some good discounts. 

The Lay-Z-Spa Hawaii Hydrojet – €100 Discount

The Hawaii is one of Lay-Z-Spa’s upper range portable jacuzzis. As with most of Lay-Z-Spa’s higher range offerings, it uses strong, adjustable water jets to massage tired and achy muscles. It has eight such jets, as well as over one hundred air jets to create that relaxing bubble effect. It also comes with an in-built water treatment system, and can rapidly heat the water to forty degrees celcius, and the heating system comes with a timer so you can have it ready for you when you return home from work. As with all other Lay-Z-Spa products, the Hawaii comes with a one-year warranty.

Save €40 on “Palm Springs” Portable Jacuzzis

The Palm Springs Jacuzzi has all the same features of the Hawaii, but it’s built slightly smaller to accommodate 4-6 people rather than 5-7. The slightly smaller volume with the same heating system means that it can heat to temperature faster, though naturally it’s meant for a smaller group size. This is fine for most occasions, and the trade-offs are worth it for most. And despite a smaller discount than the Hawaii it still works out about €70 cheaper. 

Introducing the “Paris” Portable Jacuzzi

The Paris is one of Lay-Z-Spa’s mid-range offerings. While it doesn’t offer the massaging water jets, it has over eighty air jets to provide plenty of relaxing bubbles. It’s large enough to accommodate up to 5 people. It features a lighting system which can switch between seven different colours using the wireless remote. As with all the other jacuzzis on offer, you can assemble the Paris and have it ready to fill in about ten minutes. Disassembling it takes a little longer at times as you’ll need to drain the water and air before it can be fit to pack up for the winter, but it gives you a sense of just how portable these are. 

Have any questions? We offer free shipping on all our portable jacuzzis. To find out more feel free to contact us today on 021 4965132

leaf blower deals

Leaf Blower Deals

Everyone is seeking cheap leaf blowers this time of year.  It’s understandable. When you leave your yard for just a couple of weeks and the fallen foliage combined with heavy rainfall results in a slipper mulch that’s as dodgy to tread on as ice. While we don’t usually experience as much snowfall or ice as our neighbours (though end-of 2019 is being slated by forecasters to be the coldest on record), we do get leaves and rain in spades. Here are a few great leaf blower deals which will get the job done and make your yard safe again.

Leaf Blower Deals: The Stihl BG 56 C-E

This is Stihl’s least expensive leaf blower, and while it will usually cost you €423, this winter we’re offering it for €299.00. That’s a €123 saving. While typically entry-level hardware is of a poor standard, Stihl have a name to uphold. The BG 56 C-E does a good job of cleaning leaves and debris around your paths, driveway and anywhere else around the home.  This is a handheld petrol engine with a semi-automatic choke lever. This model can automatically reset itself to the run position to help prevent accidental engine flooding, and it comes with an adapter to turn it into a vacuum shredder.

The Stihl BR 200 Backpack Blower

If you’re looking for leaf blower deals that have more ‘oomph’, we recommend the BR 200. Reduced from €635 to €595, you’ll save €40 while bringing professional-grade power to your home. The BR200 is light, with much of the weight stored on the backpack. It also features a simplified starting system and anti-vibration system which can provide extra comfort and help reduce the numbness and fatigue that typically haunts outdoor power tools. 

Leaf Blower Deals for Professionals – The Stihl BR 700leaf blower deals

This is nearing the top-of-the-range for Stihl’s line of leaf blowers. We have reduced the BR 700 from €902 down to €759 so you save €143. This model has a fully adjustable blower tube. It has exceptional blowing force and low weight. This makes is perfect for removing grass and hedge cuttings, leaves and debris from large areas. Its anti-vibration system is excellent making it perfect for longer working periods. If you need to get the job done before the winter really sets in, this is the one for you.

All of our leaf blowers are available with free shipping anywhere in Ireland. Have any questions? Feel free to call us today 021 4965 132

toys for outside

2 Toys for Outside This Winter

If you’re considering buying toys for outside this winter, we have a few ideas for you and your kids. While our neighbours in the US, Britain and the European Continent frequently have to set themselves up for a few inches of snow around this time of year, in Ireland we generally get away with a milder winter period. This year, however, meteorologists predict that we may have a record cold spell this November and December — colder than the “Big Freeze” of 2010, and it could even be the coldest winter on record. The weather we can expect for the rest of 2019 may just be enough to make Teresa Mannion woozy. When the snow falls kids typically have enjoyment enough with the sheer novelty. But for all the time in between, here are two classic toys for outdoors that all kids will enjoy.  (Though it might be best to build a bunker and stock up on beans while you’re at it). 

1. A Playhouse

Provided we don’t have a hurricane warning, your kids will have plenty of fun with a playhouse for most days of the year. Getting your kids outdoors in the wetter periods of the year isn’t always possible, but with the right setup, some warm clothes (and a good floor mat) a playhouse can act as a ‘halfway house’ between the indoors and outdoors. And it’s a chance for your kids to stretch out their imagination — as well as stretch their legs!

2. Sports Toys For Outsidetoys for outside

So if the weather forecast is right this time (to be fair, they are getting better each year!), then there may be a spell this November/December when basketball and soccer are off the cards. But once Ireland returns to its nice, typical, mild damp winter, kids can get back to sports. The great thing about an outdoor basketball net or football goal is that they’re going to last a while. We provide high quality models by EXIT, who are the leading provider of outdoor sports equipment for people of all ages. No space/time to put up the goal or net? Just buy a basketball and let the kids have at it themselves. 

We have a full range of toys for outside, and if you have any further questions feel free to contact us on 021 496 5132

winter chainsaw use

Winter Chainsaw Use

While here in Ireland we typically get milder weather, for professionals the early winter mornings can still be hazardous, with ice and frost building up unexpectedly. It’s important to keep safety as a priority and to expect the unexpected. Here are a few reminders for professional winter chainsaw use.

Winter Chainsaw Use: Check the ambient temperature

Our Irish weather typically protects us from the extremes other countries face this time of year. It rarely happens, but if you’re working in temperatures at or below 4 degrees Celcius, you should consider using a chainsaw with a winter mode or heating system. If your chainsaw doesn’t have this feature, be aware of poor performance or erratic idling. This could be a sign that the fuel isn’t reaching the engine which could lead to damage and complete engine failure. If this begins to happen, cut out your engine and wait till the weather improves before continuing with the work at hand. In the more extreme cold temperatures, your saw’s oil can thicken.winter chainsaw use

If you’re working in the cold, switch to a bar and chain oil to better lubricate your chain. Cold weather oils are available on the market. Come stop by our centre and we’ll happily service your chainsaw. Otherwise, you’ll want to do your own research and only use tools (and oils) that will not risk damaging your equipment. Keep in mind that lighter oils are prone to leaking more easily so are best used temporarily.

When wood gets colder it becomes harder. It can help to decrease your chainsaw chain’s filing angle by 5 degrees. This can increase your saw’s cutting performance and decrease wear to your guide bar and chain.

As Always And More than Ever: Mind Your Footing

As you know, at this time of year things can get slippery. While the sun may be out, any bit of dampness mixed with rotting leaves can make forest ground as slippery as ice. And when the weather gets to freezing temperatures at night, small ice patches can remain in shaded areas around trees — right in the areas where you’ll be looking for footing. Be aware that you can’t anticipate these issues until you’ve already stepped into them. Put safety first, and consider delaying work when it’s rainy, frosty or when there are high winds. 

 

lawn care tips

Winter Lawn Care: 4 Tips For 2019

As Autumn shifts further towards winter, we’re not getting many dry days. If you haven’t done so already, you may be waiting to pull the lawnmower out for final mowing session. Here are a few winter lawn care tips to help keep the grass in excellent condition, especially if this turns out to be a particularly wet or frosty one.

Gradually cut the grass short

Ideally, you gradually reduce the height of the lawnmower so that the grass it cut lower and lower. The gradual reduction in grass height prevents the grass from going in to “shock”. But still shortens it enough to deter rodents from nesting. In urban areas, rodent infestations are less common, but field mice can create nests in taller grass during the winter. This tears up large areas of grass and create ‘dead patches’ that can take months to heal.

Winter Lawn Care: use an aerator.

Frost and cold weather solidifies and compresses the earth, which can cause damage to your lawn. An aerator adds space to the soil which can prevent over-compaction. Some experts will also apply fertiliser at this point – this is something worth experimenting with to see if you notice appreciable results. If you’re aerating and fertilising using a tractor mower, avoid doing this in a strip pattern as you would when cutting the grass, as this can cause your lawn to grow in unnaturally straight-looking patterns. 

Keep the lawn clear

We all know this but it bears repeating — don’t leave anything on the lawn over the winter months. Check to ensure there’s nothing forgotten about, like a compost bin lid that came loose in the wind, a trailer for your tractor mower, or a few blocks from your greenhouse project that were left aside — they’ll kill the grass. 

Winter Lawn Care: Avoid Making Pathways

You might get away with it in summer, but as the ground turns to mud, taking the same pathways through the grass will kill the grass and create hardened pathways that can be difficult to fix next year. And of course, this applies ten times over for vehicles. If you must pass through the lawn try to take different routes each time when possible. 

Have any questions? Feel free to give us a call on 021 496 5132

Store Your Tractor Mower

How to Store Your Tractor Mower During Frosty Periods

In Ireland, we usually don’t have to worry too much about sub-zero temperatures. When you properly store your tractor mower this is almost a non-issue. However, if the weather is due to get very cold and you don’t plan to use the equipment, there’s no harm in taking precautions.  These directions should be suitable for most ride on lawnmowers.

Always read and follow the manual for your particular make and model. But the first step is general before doing any work on the mower is to prevent accidental ignition. The safest way to do this is to disconnect the spark plug wire.

How to store your tractor mower for long periods

Petrol goes stale in about a month, so if you’re not planning to use your tractor mower you can add a fuel preserver to your lawnmower’s tank. This sits on the top of the fuel and lessens the chance of water contamination, which happens when condensation builds up around the fuel tank, also known as “sweating”. Fuel preserver also prevents gum formation in the essential parts.

You can ensure that the preserver is spread throughout the system — just run the engine for 10 minutes. While the engine is still warm, change the oil, the filter and fuel filter. If you want to remove the oil us a drain pain to avoid a mess. We also provide ride on lawnmower service and repairs and can take care of this for you if necessary. Before installing a new filter, lightly oil the gasket with clean oil and tighten it once sealed. Make sure not to overfill it with oil.

If your spark plugs need changing, now is also a good time to do this. Before putting this away in storage, start the engine for a few moments to check for leaks. If there are no issues you’re almost done. The final step before storage is to disconnect the battery cable from its terminal. Always start with the negative cable, then the positive. It’s best to store the battery somewhere cool and dry if your storage area is not suitable. We do not recommend storing tractor mowers outdoors, even with coverings. If possible, we recommend renting a storage space if there is nothing available in your area.

If you’d prefer to get your tractor mower serviced professionally, you can call us today on 021 4965 132

how to store your inflatable hot tub

How to Store Your Inflatable Hot Tub

While we tend to get more moderate temperatures which will allow you to use inflatable hot tubs in Ireland throughout much of the winter, Most Lay-Z-Spa inflatable hot tubs are not designed to function when the temperature drops drop below 4c. When the weather approaches freezing, it’s important to store your inflatable hot tub. Here are some tips for safely disassembling the hot tub when you do need to pack it away during colder periods, or if you don’t plan to use it.

One exception to this is the Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki, which is designed for all-year-round use. In Canada and the Northern States of the US, winter hot tubs are a popular social event even in temperatures reaching minus double digits. The contrast between the cool frosty weather and the heated pool is incredibly comforting and relaxing.

Packing Away Your Hot Tub

It’s really all about the weather. Inflatable hot tubs aren’t designed to work in frost and if the water in the pump freezes it’s likely to damage the unit. It’s best to pack the hot tub away a few weeks before frost or freezing is likely. Once you remove all standing water off the covers, disconnect the pump and pipes. Then drain everything completely. Once empty, clean it thoroughly as it may have gathered dirt over the months. Once it’s bone dry, pack it away.

How to Store Your Inflatable Hot Tub: Deflate it Fully

To get the air out of the inflatable hot tub, release the valve (marked number 1). This will take about 10 minutes and you may need to apply some pressure to get all the air out. Once you deflate it fully, clean the base off with a hose. Do the same for the inside and cover. The inflatable lid that sits inside the cover tends to get dirtiest. This is likely because the chlorine can’t reach it, so it tends to accumulate mildew and other organic materials.

It’s a straight forward job. Just make sure you dress appropriately for cold and wet weather. As with most inflatable products, you are unlikely to put it back into its original packaging.  Don’t try to force it back into the original packaging as this can damage it. If it doesn’t fit, even after being deflated, you can protect it with plastic or covering and store it away somewhere dry, where it’s unlikely to be damaged by outdoor equipment or kids playing about. This should be more than adequate. 

Need help with your hot tub? Give us a call today on 021 496 5132

kids go karts for sale

Kids Go Karts for Sale

We currently have some kids Go Karts for sale. As winter descends upon us, some activities become less appealing even for kids. Some equipment gets put away in storage, some, unfortunately, some goes in the bin. But others continue to provide value, year in and year out. BERG’s range of Go Karts are hardy and durable, and as far as outdoor activities go, Go Karting remains fun even during the winter months. While we have a whole range of Go Karts for sale, today we want to focus on two areas that are very popular.

Themed Kids Go Karts for Salekids go karts for sale

Go Karts are easily one of the top-rated outdoor sports toys for active children. If your child is interested in playing pretend, there are themed Go Karts which, when combined with accessories, can add weeks of additional value to the Go Kart. For example, the Farm Range includes a John Deere ‘Tractor’ Go Kart for ages 5+. It has three gears and is modelled to resemble everyone’s favourite farming equipment, including a faux ‘exhaust’. Some of the accessories available include a working lift bucket, a pallet fork and a rollbar with a flashing light. The lift bucket and pallet fork work using a winch and pulley system which is great fun.

The Specials range also have different themes and configurations which can be a lot of fun. These include the BERG ‘Chopper’ Go Kart, built to resemble the motorbike. This also comes with a two-seater “sidecar” configuration.

Self-Propelled Kids Go Karts for Sale

While this post focuses solely on Go Karts for Kids, it’s worth mentioning that these models are also suitable for adults, since you’ll almost be tempted to have a go yourself. Go Karting as a professional sport for adults can handle incredible speeds, with the fastest models accelerating from 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds. BERG found this to be a little excessive for kids, so they have capped their speed at 16kmph! The E-BFR range of electric go-karts still move at relatively significant speeds. While they’re for kids aged 6+, we recommend supervision at all times. It’s worth noting that the E-BFR range is considerably more expensive, ranging from €1,799, so it’s not going going to be suitable for everyone.

Have any further questions or thoughts? Feel free to contact us today on 021 496 5132

How To Secure Your Trampoline

How To Secure Your Trampoline in High Winds

In Ireland, you didn’t often have to worry about how to secure your trampoline. But these past few years have seen increasingly extreme weather. While Dublin trampolines may have escaped this current round, the recent hurricane along the west coast has taken many of Ireland’s trampolines on unnecessary journeys. When the weather gets extreme, we have to make sure we’re not adding to dangerous debris that can get swept up and cause damage or injury. Not to mention the fact that we’ll lose some expensive pieces of outdoor equipment.  Here are a few tips to help avoid that.

How To Secure Your Trampoline in High Winds: Keep It Indoors

When possible, it’s always best to take the trampoline indoors when more extreme weather hits. We’ve all seen Twister — even cows are fair game! Unless you have a sunken trampoline, which has its underside sheltered and as it’s surrounded on all sides, it’s easier to hold down with weights, putting it at less of a risk of being lifted. If you don’t have a sunken trampoline and you don’t have the space to store it fully assembled, consider disassembling and keeping it in storage for a few days. 

Keep It In Shelter

If you can’t take your trampoline indoors, secure the trampoline in an area in your outdoor space that’s best sheltered from the wind. When the weather gets extreme, the surface area of your trampoline acts like a “wing”. It only takes so much wind force to lift the trampoline out of your garden and deliver it swiftly through the window of your neighbour’s greenhouse. Not fun.

Get a Trampoline Tie-Down Kit

In situations where the trampoline must stay indoors, the best solution is to secure it to get a trampoline tie-down kit. You can purchase a trampoline tie-down kit that is suitable for the size, make and model of your trampoline. Our BERG anchor kit is €45 and is compatible with all BERG models.

A tie-down kit uses large stakes with a corkscrew design. These are screwed into the ground, increasing the grip on the ground. Straps attach from the corkscrew stakes to the trampoline. Once set up, they’re hardly noticeable and can be left all-year-round.  When the weather gets extreme, you could also consider using sandbags on top of and around the legs of the trampoline.  

Have any questions or concerns? You can reach us today on 021 496 5132

best kids toys in 2019

The Best Kids Toys in 2019

The best kids toys in 2019 are those that get kids away from screens and outdoors. Kids need to be active, with fresh air and active play. Child obesity is becoming an epidemic worldwide, with obesity rates doubling between 1982 and 2008. There is a worrying correlation with the rise of computer games and the ease and accessibility of “convenience foods”. With that in mind, here are some kids toys in 2019 that’ll give them the best chance of a healthy, happy childhood.

The Best Kids Toys in 2019: Go-Kartsbest kids toys in 2019

In recent years there’s been a massive influx of electrically assisted transportation. Devices such as E-scooters have taken over the scene. Unfortunately, kids want the electrically assisted models. This means that a great chance to promote healthy activity for your kids could be taken away.  To help combat this, Berg has a whole range of Go-Karts available, whether you have a younger child or in the older age brackets up to 12 years of age. And we also stock Berg’s fully electric and hybrid models. We recommend a hybrid model as a good compromise if your child is adamant on the electrically assisted version.

Berg Trampolines

Trampolining is an ageless outdoor activity that’s just good enough to be an Olympic Sport. Kids absolutely love trampolines, and once there’s suitable caution and parently oversight, they can be an excellent way to encourage healthy activity in your kids. In addition to promoting flexibility and strength, children tend to exercise their creativity, developing their own imaginative games. Whether you’re looking for a trampoline in Dublin or anywhere else in Ireland, we provide free delivery to your door.

Basketball

While typically team sports tend to repel the quiet, introverted kids, many still get enjoyment out of basketball. Your kids can hone their skills dunking, jumping and throwing as a solo activity; Flexing their joints in the fresh air as nature intended. Of course, just one basketball ring is enough for a group to get a game going, making it extremely flexible, and one of the reasons why decades later, basketball is still up there as one of the best kids toys in 2019.

Most of our If you’d like more ideas for your kids, or you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to contact us on 021 4965 132

outdoor equipment

Outdoor Equipment

Whether you’re looking for play equipment so your kids can enjoy the outdoors or you’re a landscaper looking for the best quality equipment to get the job done, we provide plenty of outdoor equipment for everyone. Unlike on the continent, where there is a large enough population to have massive chains dedicated to outdoor pursuits. In Ireland, we must do our best to provide the best equipment available for the outdoors. We do this by providing a more versatile range.  Here are a few of our most popular items, many with free delivery anywhere in Ireland.

Playhouses

Playhouses have become a growing trend. Before the options were either DIY or buy something made from cheap moulded plastic, today we have incredible kits made from superior materials.  So if it’s a playhouse your kids are after, we provide high-quality playhouses created by EXIT. Their entry-level outdoor equipment bests most of the options available, in terms of design, quality and usability. If you’re looking for something higher range, they also provide the EXIT Loft playhouse range. The Loft 700 has a stunning finish and comes with a slide and sandpit. We can also comfortably recommend some of EXIT’s other outdoor children’s toys. 

Outdoor Equipment: Lawnmowers

If you’re a professional looking for lawnmowers in Cork or Dublin, check to see whether we provide free shipping to your location. We are stockists of Toro, Weibang and Stihl lawnmowers. The Weibang WB537SCV 3in1 – Shaft Drive Pro Lawnmower is a professional powerhouse with a 196cc engine that looks like something out of knight rider. Another machine to consider is the Toro Timemaster 30″ Self-Propelled. This has a 30″ cutting deck (compared with Weibang’s 22″, and has an extra bit of oomph thanks to its 223cc engine. This makes the Toro Suitable for larger gardens. If you’re seeking a tractor mower we may also be able to help; some models may not include shipping.

Outdoor Trampolines

While the wet weather has likely dampened thoughts of outdoor pursuits, the humble trampoline will never go out of style. If you’re looking for outdoor equipment such as a trampoline, look no further. We stock BERG’s incredible line of trampolines. And if you’re looking for a trampoline in Dublin we may be able to help you – with free shipping to your door.

childrens swings

Children’s Swings

At Douglas Forest and Garden, we aim to provide the best quality outdoor toys and children’s swings in Ireland. And to make things easy, we provide free shipping for most of our items. Whether you’re looking for sports toys or swing sets attached to a playhouse, we have it all. Here are three Children’s Swings that are also packed with other fun features to keep your kids active and fit while having loads of fun outdoors.

The EXIT Aksent 2-Seat Children’s Swing Setchildrens swings

The EXIT Aksent provides great fun for kids aged 4+. These two-seat children’s swings are attached to a Scandinavian-style playhouse, which also includes a sandpit and slide. This allows your kids to have fun and develop their creativity while playing. The versatility will have your kids creating their own games (all without getting too cranky when they wait their turn on the swings).  Because of the Aksent’s design, it makes what would normally be a fairly mundane swing set into an at-home play centre — and its beautiful construction makes it something of a garden feature relative to the typical plastic construction and build of other outdoor children’s toys.  

Children’s Swings: The EXIT Aksent 1-seat swing

The Aksent also comes with a single swing rather than two. This takes up significantly less space and is great if you have fewer children or you just lack space. It is just as easy to assemble as others in the Aksent range. And in addition to the playhouse offering support, the frame of the swing set is anchored firmly to the ground with metal connecting pieces.

The EXIT Aksent swing nest

This version of the Aksent children’s swing and playhouse is great for the youngest kids. The nest swing is safe to use, providing better support for younger tykes (with adult supervision, of course). It still provides all the other features of the Aksent. The sandpit, located beneath the playhouse, is large enough to keep kids busy and occupied in and of itself. But coupled with the Aksent’s other features, this is a no-brainer for anyone looking to encourage their children to enjoy outdoor activities away from the screens. 

We hope this gives you some ideas for your outdoor space. If you have any questions about our swing sets (or free delivery), please don’t hesitate to call us on 021 4965 132

sports gear

Sports Gear

At Douglas Forest and Garden, we provide a lot of sports gear suitable for many situations, whether a community area or home. If you’re looking to pick something up, we also save you time by providing free shipping everywhere in Ireland. Just add whatever you need to your shopping cart and you’ll get it in a couple of days. Here are a few of our main items, including football and basketball gear.

Sports Gear: Basketball Backboard with ring

If it’s a basketball ring you’re looking for, we have a full selection by EXIT. This includes portable backboards with their own stand, or wall-mounted backboards for the house. We use EXIT basketball rings because they’re sturdy, durable and built to last. The portable version can use sandbags to provide support and stability. All versions have a net available and some versions have a flexible ring that springs when you perform a dunk.

Football Nets

If you’re looking for a football net, EXIT also has a full range. From the Flexx Popup for only €21 and  “Pico” portable, foldable sets for €104, right up to Scala 500cm x 200cm aluminium net. These football nets can accommodate various styles and ages. Whether it’s a quick kickaround in a field with friends or an organised children’s league, these nets are robust, built to last, and great craic.

Sports Gear: Football Rebounderssports gear

We also stock EXIT’s soccer rebounders, which can be excellent training tools for all ages. They allow you to change the angle so that, with the help of a coach or friend, you can get a nice angle to simulate corner throws and foot skills. To help with foot skills, there is also the EXIT Rapido Skills Trainer. This provides a boundary around you in which to practice switching, reacting, and passing, with springy panels that bounce the ball back to you quickly — even while alone.  These come in different sizes, with the XL having a larger area for older or more experienced players to improve football techniques and skills.

We hope this gives you an idea of some of our sports gear currently on offer (with free shipping). If you have any questions or would like to know what else we might have in stock, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 021 496 5132

playhouses with a slide

Playhouses with a Slide: 3 Great Options

At Douglas Forest and Garden we provide a full range of premium playhouses with a slide, as well as other outdoor toys. While the summer is coming to an end, now is actually one of the best times to consider one, since there can be great deals (and we offer free delivery anywhere in Ireland). We have a full range, especially if its a playhouse with slide you’re looking for. We list some highlights below, all of which are built using fine materials with as much of a focus on style as on function.

Playhouses With a Slide: the EXIT Aksent wooden play towerplayhouses with a slide

The EXIT Aksent range comes in four sets. This version is their simplest which has the playhouse with a slide, but no swing set. Other options include a double, single or nested swing set. EXIT build their playhouses so that they’re beautiful and long-lasting. They can also put up with our Irish weather. This is also the tallest platform at 1.2 metres, making it suitable for kids ages 3+ (with adult supervision, of course). 

The EXIT Crooky 350 wooden playhouse

The EXIT Crooky comes with a really fun cartoony vibe which kids love. This particular model has an elevated platform (.6m) on which the playhouse and slide rests. The slide is at this level so it’s best suited for younger children aged 3+.  There are also accessories available, such as a set of stools for picnics, a chalkboard set for playing school, and a kid for decorating the house.

The EXIT Loft 550 wooden playhouse

The EXIT Loft 550 Playhouse is loads of fun for kids and built with Cedarwood, making it beautiful to behold. Rather than becoming another unsightly lump of plastic taking over the garden, it becomes something of a feature.  The platform on the Loft is higher than the Crooky. With a height of .9m, it’s suitable for kids aged 3+. The Loft 550 also has a sandpit and is propped on a platform. 

If you’d like to view other outdoor toys check out our full range. If you have any specific questions about playhouses with a slide or any other model type, then please don’t hesitate to give us a call here on 021 4965 132

trampoline outdoors

Can You Leave Your Trampoline Outdoors All Winter?

As the summer is coming to an end and we offer free delivery of trampolines in Dublin, we’ve been asked once or twice whether it’s okay to keep a trampoline outside in the rain. We stock BERG trampolines because they’re hardy, long-lasting and able to take a beating outside for years. And they’ll definitely put up with poor Irish weather for sustained periods. If you’re planning to use your trampoline, by all means, keep it outdoors (though never use the trampoline when it’s stormy).

Leaving Your Trampoline Outdoors

Make sure to give regular sprays of oil to the steel parts. And bear in mind that even with a BERG trampoline, harsh weather will accelerate the deterioration of the materials. If you’re using the trampoline it’ll be worth it, but if you’re not using your trampoline, we’d recommend you keep it indoors or dismantle it if there’s a lack of storage space. In between uses, it’s best to consider using a trampoline cover to keep the materials protected and clean. It’ll also prevent a buildup of debris on the surface which can cause issues.

Trampolines Can Be Slippery When Wettrampoline outdoors

If you or your kids use the trampoline while wet, make sure to check the surface isn’t slippery. Especially if you leave it outdoors for a long period without use; It can develop a slippery layer from fallen leaves and other organic materials. Of course, you should always inspect the trampoline before each use (especially the padding).

Trampolines Can Also Be Bouncier When Wet

It’s true that a trampoline can have more ‘bounce’ when soaked. In sunnier climates, trampoline users sometimes intentionally hose down their trampoline to add weight and bounce. Very reminiscent of that Hollywood “summer water sprinkler vibe”. In Ireland, we usually have a slightly different view on getting wet outdoors. But if you go out with the intention of getting soaked it can be good fun (as long as you’ve your warm clothes ready for when you come back inside). Still, we’d always recommend you fully read the safety instructions on your trampoline and follow their guidelines. Even if someone on YouTube is doing something that looks fun, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to copy them so always check first.

We hope this answers some questions you might have. If you’re looking to order trampolines in Ireland, give us a call today on 021 4965132