In 2004, on the occasion of their oldest turning 2, Dy had been searching for the ‘perfect’ jungle gym. From a foundation phase teaching background, she was particularly keen on finding a steel-framed gym, grip-friendly for littlies, with opportunities for upper body strength building as well as fantasy play. Finding nothing that she could get excited about, she enlisted the help of her husband, Stephen to make this ‘dream’ jungle gym. The first birthday gym produced was in the shape of a train and a huge hit- our 2 year old delighted in it, spending many hours hanging, climbing and sliding. From the birthday party, Stephen began to be pestered by friends to make one for them and the dream was birthed.
A year later, the Mini gym took shape, with it’s distinctive style that it still has today, safety being the first priority but challenge and freedom to explore high on the list of importance. The other main gyms, named Roly and Landy (named after car brands) then took shape that catered for the needs of our growing children and each new model was tested at home where our 3 children enjoyed the ability to help in decision-making of what ‘worked’ and did not! The birth of the fantasy toy range also began as a wonderful add-on to the items we were creating. Much investigation was made into the galvanising process (which gives our gyms a 20 year guarantee against rust) as well as the most suitable paint types that would last – to ensure that our gyms were the best we could possibly provide for our customers.
In 2007, the first rental gym left our yard to our great excitement and our rental business took flight. All this time, Stephen was still managing and running another business, while we spent hours as a family dreaming and playing with new ideas of products. In 2009, our youngest, 2 at the time, had a fall off the Landy gym where the slide exits and broke his arm. This made us all the more conscious of promoting the importance of age-appropriate usage of equipment – as well as prompted the design of the safety handles on all our gyms exiting to the slide. Other elements which we have held strongly to over the years to ensure safety are the ‘no bolts’ exposed to ensure that there is no rattling of the gym or sharp points that a child can be hurt on. The pipe thickness size has also been established as the best to ensure that they can grip easily to prevent falling as well as spacing of bars ensures that heads or feet cannot be ‘stuck’.
So the story continues…finally in 2012, KidZplay was flying to such as extent that Stephen sold his other business to concentrated fully on KidZplay Jungle Gyms. By this time our rental base had grown to include schools, restaurants, churches, nurseries and of course many private homes. We were also approached by the Department of Sports and Recreation to assist in designing a playground for rural schools. It has been a great partnership and we have had the opportunity to supply a number of those schools over the years with an amazing community package as well as doing public parks with our industrial range.
So, for the future, we look forward to continuing to satisfy the needs of parents and teachers alike with providing quality, fun, affordable and needed equipment to stimulate gross motor strength, pro-social skills and fantasy play to our unique, delightful and enthusiastic clientele – made with love, from our family to yours!