A few years ago we decided to splash out and buy our children a TP Forest tower wooden climbing frame system, consisting of not only a climbing frame but swings and slide. Having tried the climbing frame out at our local garden centre I noticed that the slide had an extension at the end. The extension is designed to not only make the slide more fun, but also to protect children's clothing, help prevent injury and will also protect your grass. As we were about to part with over £500 for the climbing frame we decided to also but a slide extension for another £16.
The forest slide extension is made to fit the forest range of play equipment made by TP. It is basically a green plastic strip that slips under the end of the slide giving an additional 1.2 metres of slide. The extension piece sits flat to the grass, meaning that as the child comes down the slide they are slowed down and brought to a gentle stop.
It is really easy to fit the slide extension. Simply push the extension onto the main slide. It stays in place well and although it doesn't feel that robust is still in excellent condition despite almost daily use during the summer. The slide extension comes with a 1 year guarantee. I am also pleased that the extension has prevented my lawn from damage! When the ground is wet ,the extension really does protect clothing from getting dirty, as children land on dry plastic as opposed to wet grass!
Overall this is a very simple concept that works really well. It is available online directly from TP for £1650 although you will have to pay postage. Amazon also sell this slide extension for the same price with no additional postage costs.
We bought our boys the tp challenger climbing frame for christmas, and it came with the Rapide 3m slide and also this extender section. I think it is about £45 if you buy it separately, so it was good value getting it as part of a climbing frame set compared to buying separately.
On first assembling the slide, we didn't know if this extra piexe was necessary, but from the first time our boys used the slide, i found they were falling off the end of it down about an inch onto the grass. While this wasn't particularly the end of the world, they were ending up on the grass which was sometimes wet, and also muddy, so i knew i wanted something to protect their bottoms, their clothes from stains, and also the grass if possible.
The extension piece is about a metre long, and it has a hinge section at the end that fits under the slide. The slide just lifts up and sits on this extension so that when it is in place there is no danger of it sliding about and being an accident risk. The extension works nicely because it tapers off gradually over the extra meter so that the kids have virtually come to a stop when they reach the end.
Although we have found there is still a patch of grass worn away by their shoes as they come down the slide and get off, overall, i feel the slide extension makes play a lot safer. My two are quite little, about 3 stone each, and one is 3foot five and the other is just over 3 feet. They go down the slide at some speed, and this works brilliantly to slow them down. I am always surprised that they do actually come to a standstill right at the end of it though, and if they slide down in an unusual manner then they can still sometimes slide right off it, but it is slower than without this piece.
Personally, i would not be happy to have the Rapide slide without the extension section as it is so useful in slowing the boys down. Otherwise i would feel i had to stand at the bottom of the slide every time in case they went too fast. Now i can stand at the top end, so i can supervise whichever child is still sat at the top waiting to go down. Sometimes i do think life would be easier if i could clone myself, but with this piece of equipment some worry is removed.
One of the most played with outdoor toys in our garden is the 3 metre long TP active slide that we have attached to a climbing frame at the bottom of our garden. We have this extension added to the bottom, it is the flat piece of plastic you can see in the picture above, and it will fit both the straight and wavy slide that TP make.
Like the actual slide, the extension is made of UV stabilised plastic, which is lightweight but actually very strong. Fitting it is just a case of slipping one end under the bottom of the slide, it has a raised bit that tucks under the slide. Once added it extends the slide by over a metre (by my measurements 1.23m), and the raised sides, which are about 9cm deep (again my measurements) ensure that a child arriving at the bottom of the slide at surprising speed is kept on track.
We've had this extension fitted for a couple of years now and it is in as good a condition as it was the day we added it, with no fading or cracks at all. It's designed to stop a slide user from hitting the lawn with their feet and bring them to a gentle stop. For this purpose it works really well, in general despite the slide itself being satisfyingly fast, we do find that the extra bit means children come to a stop before the end of it, and having it on the end of the slide adds to the play value of it. To some extent it also means children don't get as dirty as they otherwise might if they were ending up at the end of the slide on the grass on their bottoms - what's most important is that my children seem to enjoy the slide immensely and this extension just adds even more to their sliding experience in my opinion.
The only downside I can think of to this item is that it does mean that you end up with a patch of dead grass under it and all kinds of creatures can lurk under it, it being a garden item, and it can get quite dirty over time and need a bit of cleaning. That said, it does make a good item even better, the sides taper nicely to the end. In all the time we have had it and with extensive use it has never become detached at all, and I think it is safe and fun.
If you have a TP active straight or wavy slide - clearly without one this item is useless - I would really recommend this extension, for £16.50 it is worth it as it is well made, and really completes the slide. You may also be able to find this extension included as part of the package at time of purchase of the slide, or ask for it to be added.
I really recommend TP toys for the garden, in general like this item they are well made and designed, and in my opinion this particular item is an excellent addition to a very good slide.
For more info: www.tptoys.com
This item is also available in blue to match the blue slide, and other accessories for the slide, including a slide sack and steps.