The triplets have had a see-saw in their back garden for as a long as I’ve lived in the house next door. They have a lot of toys really, but most of the other ones they play with are designed for individual use. I suppose this is because three-year-olds readily fight one another over the colour of snot, so there is no sense in putting a shared toy into the middle of that.

In my time as their neighbour I have only seen them use the see-saw once, and it was a complete disaster. In hindsight, I have broken the components of why it was a disaster into handy steps for future use. I feel these should probably be incorporated into the small print of any kind of shared garden-based kids toy.

  1. Do not put the see-saw on top of an elevated wooden platform. Sure, I understand that you may want your garden to look nice and have an area for BBQ’s, but seriously a see-saw doesn’t belong on it. It belongs on something soft which has been heavily screwed down onto.
  2. Do not put the see-saw in the corner of said wooden platform, where one seat backs onto the hard, brick garden wall. This will almost certainly cause whoever is sat on that seat to repeatedly hit the wall.
  3. Do not use the see-saw in the rain. Just, do not. No.
  4. Has it been raining? If the answer to this is anything other than “absolutely fucking not” then do not use the see-saw.
  5. Do not provide two seats for a brood of three kids. This is never going to work. In the long sad history of bad ideas, this is the worst. Especially when the three kids in question are the hell-spawn.

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