Our Dome Climber
Our New Basement Toy
We have too many toys.
When you first have kids you realize you don’t have any toys. The first Christmas and birthdays are opportunities to build up your toy arsenal. It is awesome when Christmas rolls around again because you can buy another big, fun toy for the kids to love or even grow into. But, I have a feeling that there is a threshold. An undefined limit to the amount of toys you can have in your house. I am uncertain when we reached this threshold, but i know we blew thru right thru it and just kept collecting!
We have attempted to address our toy epidemic. We have donated. We have passed down. We have sold. We have started giving favorite foods as presents as these ‘consumable’ go away!
But strangely enough, birthdays and holidays happen on an annual basis. Family and Godparents continue to give and the kids love new things.
Maybe a Geoclimber?
We have 3 birthdays at the beginning of the year, our 2 year old and our to be 7 year old twins. So, we sold our basement play gym, a Little Tykes 8-in-1 Adjustable Playground. They played on it for a couple of years and then they began just playing ON it. My kids climb on these kinds of toys and then make up a game from there. Noticing their tendency to always climb on top of these toys, we decided to upgrade the basement with a new climbing toy.
I searched many websites and decided on a geoclimber or dome climber. We have all seen seen the half circle domes on playgrounds that kids are climbing all over. My thought was this might be a great basement toy. After reviewing multiple sites and even considering building our own (this thought lasted briefly), we decided on www.domeclimber.com.
They currently have 10 dome climber options ranging from 3x6 foot climber ($129) to an 8 x 15 foot climber ($399). There are age recommendations and there are pictures of each. When deciding which one might suit us best, we looked at a few factors.
Where Are We Going To Put This Thing?
We decided it would go on our play side in the basement. Our play side has 8 foot ceilings. I got out the tape measure to see how much space I was willing to donate to this toy and still give the kids room to still play other things like basketball or soccer.
Will It Be Challenging?
Can our 2 year old climb on it AND will our 6 year olds think it is fun and challenging?
We looked at the 2-frequency vs. 3-frequency climbers. The 2 frequency climber has segments in 2 lengths resulting in larger triangles and openings. The 3 frequency climber has 3 length beams and smaller triangles. We narrowed our choices down to the 4 foot x 9 foot and the 5.5 foot x 9 foot. Both would allow the kids to climb to the top and not hit their heads on the basement ceiling and both were 3 frequency.
How Much Weight Can It Hold?
The geoclimber.com website states that it can hold 280 lbs. at each joint and over 2000 lbs. distributed. This was not going to be an issue!
Other Dome Climbers
Purchased and Shipped
So I easily placed the order online. There are 2 shipping options:
1. $18 arriving in 2-3 weeks
2. $42 for expedited arriving in 4 business days.
When our shipment arrived, it came in 2 large, heavy boxes via Fed Ex Ground. I was psyched to get started, but my husband was out of town. We proceeded anyhow. The kids helped carry down 165 PVC Segments, 61 Center Units, and bags of nuts and bolts. We lined them up the components…and then I sent them to bed! I believe in economics they call it the Law of Diminishing Returns. In real life ,I call it 'too many little hands helping me'!
The directions were very clear and color coded to match the PVC beams. I downloaded the directions via the website onto my Ipad and then got Pandora going with some good music. They estimated 2 hours for 2 people and 5 hours for one. I completed 95% of it that night, putting in about 3 hours. By following the step by step directions, I didn’t make any mistakes resulting in rework. The next morning, I finalized the climber with the help of a friend. In all, I donated about 4.5 hours to putting the climber together.
After tightening each of the 200+ bolts, I was ready for the kids to try it out. My 2 year old was the only one home at the time and he scurried to the top immediately. When the others came home from school, they were so excited about the new climber. They climbed on the outside. They climbed on the inside. They climbed to the top, popped thru a hole and then swung back and forth. I was pleased with how much fun they were having.
The next day, they wanted it to be a tent. My kids ALWAYS use toys differently than intended. Our first camp out involved laying blankets on the climber. I also had some battery tea lights that the kids used as a ‘fire’. We brought down snacks, turned down the lights, and had our camp out.
I later found some new, plastic shower curtain hooks in the closet. I also found 2, old, used king sized sheets. I used this to make a ‘covering’ for the tent. It would be easily removed, but eliminate the need to use ALL their blankets and then complain when they all fall down.
Our kids continue to play on the climber daily. Sometimes I send them downstairs to do laps. Laps are climbing around on the inside of the climber. One of my sons insists on 10 laps at a time. We have also had a few more camp outs. I love that my kids are exercising, playing, imagining and having fun!
If you are in the market for a new inside or outside toy, check out geoclimber.com. You will be pleased with the price, quality of materials, ease of installation and best of all, how much fun and exercise your kids will be having!© 2012 Karen Lackey