Summer officially has started today, and although dreary and damp here in Cheshire, you may now be thinking about how to keep your children and young ones entertained in the garden.
Wooden playhouses are becoming ever popular in UK gardens, due to improved quirky designs and more competitive pricing. They are also easy to assemble, with many playhouses coming with pre-composed parts. It’s no surprise then to see the wide array of playhouses available on your street or in your town.
However, looks can be deceptive, and although they may look great, not all playhouses in the UK have the relevant safety certifications.
Although you may be tempted to go and purchase the cheapest playhouse for the summer, always check the safety certification the playhouse which you are looking to buy. Can you really put a price on the safety of your child or young one?
What is EN71 certification?
What do I need to look for when purchasing, I hear you say. The main safety certification to look for is EN71. This is part of the European Standard for Safety of Toys, and measures several different properties of the product. For example the mechanical and physical properties, and flammability. The standard covers play by children of less than 14 years, for toys used as intended or in a foreseeable way, bearing in mind the behaviour of children. Basically, if your product passes this EN71 standard you have further assurance of the safety of the product.
This is mandatory when importing toys to the European Union, no matter where it is manufactured. However, the issue comes with what is classed as a toy, so some playhouses may not have the EN71 standard. Having this standard is a real bonus and assurance of quality and care.
Why do the assembly instructions tell me to build my wooden playhouse on grass?
With most wooden structures we recommend erecting these onto a flat, solid base such as concrete or paving slabs. This ensures the long term longevity of the product. However, you may be wondering why the assembly instructions to your product may ask you to build onto grass.
This is again to ensure the EN71 certification for safe play. Should your child fall over by the playhouse, by being on grass ensures a softer landing. When putting on grass, we recommend putting the playhouse onto pressure treated bearers or railway sleepers to protect against rot from damp.
We always recommend following the manufacturers assembly instructions.
What playhouses pass the EN71 standards and are available for purchase in the UK?
We have a range of playhouses available to purchase on our website, all of which pass the EN71 standard for safe play. Garden Games playhouses come pre-painted in a range of funky colours to help to capture the imagination of little ones, whereas Rowlinson playhouses come in a more natural scheme. This gives what is essentially a blank canvas for you to paint to your child’s favourite colour scheme!