Have you heard the exciting news? Our Urbandale location is moving to a bigger location on Highway 141 in Grimes. With the larger showroom, we will be one of the largest playground stores in the country, allowing us to offer customers the lowest pricing possible for our quality products!
Our new Iowa store is soon to be located at: 3300 SE Crossroads Dr. We’re planning the big move to take place next month (the exact date is still being worked out, so stay tuned!).
Why are we moving?
Our current showroom in Urbandale is limited in space, and we haven’t been able to fully showcase the vast variety of products we offer. We built our new showroom in Grimes from the ground up, fully customizing the space to reflect the Rainbow of the Heartland shopping experience. We will utilize both indoor and outdoor space so you and your kids can play on and test out a lot more outdoor play equipment before deciding what to purchase.
We will display:
- Every series of Rainbow Play Systems swing sets
- Over 10 Goalrilla and Goalsetter basketball hoops on display to try out on our Snap Sports Athletic Surfacing
- An outdoor basketball court and Pickleball court from Snap Sports Athletic Surfacing
- A few varieties of AlleyOOP and Jump Sport trampolines
We will continue to offer Open Play and birthday parties at our new location. Feel free to stop by during our open play hours – Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – to check out the new showroom and play with the newly displayed equipment!
Where to find updates on the move:
Stay informed about updates on our moves through the following channels:
- Follow us on Facebook for photos of the construction and status updates on our moving process.
- Subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye out our e-blast that announces our move (as well as receive monthly deals and specials – like this month’s Home & Garden Show Special)
- Contact us at any time!
Thank you to everyone who has supported Rainbow of the Heartland over the past 25+ years to help us grow to where we are today! We look forward to providing you with the same exceptional customer service you’ve come to expect from us, while giving you more in-person options to shop from and play on!
Are your kids glued to their screens? Today, about one in five school-aged children has obesity and the average 19-year-old is just as sedentary as a 60-year-old adult. The World Health Organization recommends that children ages five to 17 perform at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day. It is important to instill the belief that being active is fun while your child is young.
As your kids get older, increasing demands on their time can make getting that hour of exercise a challenge. When kids get caught up watching TV, playing video games and surfing the internet, they start to forget the joys of outdoor play. On top of that, kids often come to a fork in the road with sports – those who are athletic might end up increasing their time and commitment to sports which is great for their physical fitness, however, more casual athletes may lose interest and decide to quit their teams and leagues.
Regardless of your kids athletic ability, physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity. Here are four ways to instill habits of physical activity to create healthy, happy kids and a lifetime of memories:
- Organize Activities
Plan games or activities that kids can work up a sweat with their friends, or that get the whole family moving! There are active indoor games such as Simon Says or Twister, and dozens of games to play outside — hopscotch, jump rope, basketball, Frisbee golf, badminton and volleyball. Depending on the season, plan trips to a local bowling alley, swimming pool or skating rink. Look into options provided by your local park district or school for other organized activities.
- Make Fitness Part of Your Child's Day
- Make Screen Time an Active Time
When going to play outside isn’t an option, your children can play interactive video games that require physical activity like tennis, bowling or baseball. You also can use dance DVDs and active video games for some physically-active television time.
- Be an Active Role Model
Looking for more ways to get your kids active in 2018? Stop by Rainbow of the Heartland to see all of our outdoor play equipment, including Rainbow Play Systems, basketball hoops, trampolines and athletic courts. Contact us today!
Don’t you hate it when you buy your kids a gift that they only play with a handful of times… and are already bored of it by the end of January? This holiday season, give your kids a gift they will use for years – the gift of outdoor play! The best way to gift your kids with outdoor play is to give them a brand new Rainbow Play System, Basketball hoop, Basketball Court or Trampoline from Rainbow of the Heartland.
- Rainbow Play Systems are a fun way for your kids to play: Rainbows allow your kids’ imaginations to run wild! Kids can climb, swing, and slide on Rainbow Play System. Rainbows are a gift that your child will not grow out of, but grow into. As kids grow and get older, they can still use their Rainbow playset because they are modular and expandable.
- Basketball Hoops (And a court by Snap Sports) can make the holidays a slam dunk: Are your kids at the stage where all they want to do is play video games and watch YouTube videos? A Goalsetter or Goalrilla Basketball hoop is a great way to motivate your kids to play outside with their friends. Add a Snap Sports Outdoor or Indoor Court to allow them to play even longer! Whether they are just learning how to play, choosing games like HORSE and PIG, or they are involved in a league or school team, basketball is a game that can be played all year round!
- Trampolines are a gift that can last a childhood: At Rainbow of the Heartland, we supply the highest quality trampolines with the best warranties available. When you gift an AlleyOOP once, you won’t have to continue to buy a new one each year, like the trampolines purchased from Big Box stores. Trampolines are a gift that puts the fun in exercising and are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for hours.
Give your Happy, Healthy Kids a Lifetime of Memories this holiday season by giving them the gift of outdoor play. When they’re grown, they won’t remember all the time spent playing games online or all the memes they laughed at – they will remember all the great memories they created by spending quality time playing outdoors with their friends and family.
Will Santa make a pit stop at Rainbow of the Heartland this holiday season to shop for your kid? Stop by our showroom or contact us today to put outdoor play under your tree!
Are you noticing that your Rainbow Play System is not getting as much use as it once was? If your kids have been neglecting their Rainbow because they need a little more motivation to play outside, click here more ideas! Rainbows are also modular, which means you can add options and continue to grow your swing set as your child grows.
Unfortunately, they don’t stay kids forever. Your children will move on to different outdoor interests, such as opting to jump on a trampoline or shoot hoops instead of climb on their trusty playset. When this happens, here are a few ideas on how you can recycle your Rainbow Play System.
A great way to continue its legacy of creating childhood memories is to gift your Rainbow to a neighbor or family member that has young children. After all, November is National Giving Month! Another idea would be to donate it to a local park or daycare center that is looking for new equipment. If you like these ideas but you do not have the resources to relocate or reinstall it, don’t stress, we can help!
We provide a service to help you disassemble, reassemble and relocate your Rainbow in a new location. We can replace any old or broken parts, so your hand-me-down Rainbow looks as good as new! We’ll also ensure that your playset remains safe for its new owners.
If you are not quite ready to part with your Rainbow Play System quite yet, here are a few ideas of how to transform it to an adult and growing kid oasis:
- Transform it into a relaxing garden area: Remove the sides and swings from the playset and plant trees and other plants around it. String some lights around the playset’s frame and voila, it is now a great tranquil relaxation space for adults!
- A great place to do homework outside: As your kids grow up, they tend to stop playing and start having more school work to do. Repurpose your Rainbow as a place for your kids to get some fresh air while they do their homework. Replace the swings and slides with more seating options and bright lights. Add fun cushions and a cooler full of study snacks.
It’s 4:30 in the afternoon on a beautiful fall day. The sun is shining and the temperature is 65 degrees. My question for you is, what are your kids doing right now? Well, wait… Don’t answer that, because you don’t have to. I already know. Your kids are watching TV, playing on an iPad, or playing Xbox. Well, I can’t say that every kid out there is doing one of those things, but I know most are.
Not only do I not see kids getting outside to play enough, there is data that backs it up. Did you know the number of obese children in the U.S. has tripled since the 1970’s? The internet and advancements in technology have changed who we are as humans forever. We have a huge problem on our hands as a society and if we don’t make changes now, our grandchildren won’t remember what it’s like to go outside and play.
I remember growing up on a farm in Northern Iowa and what life was like back then. Not to show my age, but it was 1978 and I was a happy-go-lucky boy who loved to play outside. On a farm, there is always something to do. Some things good and some things bad (Like when I told my sister that the hog buzzer to her stomach wouldn’t hurt). We would go to the barn and build forts in the bales of straw, explore our out buildings filled with old junk, shoot pigeons with my bb gun, ride motorcycles, play on our swing set, or play some type of game or sport outside.
For hours, I would throw the football up in the air and try to make a great catch. I used to play an entire 9 inning baseball game by myself and pretended I was every MLB player in the all-star game, even keeping track of their stats. I think we had an electronic game called pong around this time that my Dad bought at an auction (Google it if you have never heard of it). It was fun to us but nothing like the games available to our children today. After pong, we got an Atari in the 80’s and we did play that quite a bit. While it was fun, I always spent most of my time outside playing.
We also didn’t eat fast food three times a week. It was a special treat if we drove 35 miles to Fort Dodge and ate at Henry’s Hamburgers or Tom Thumb! I stayed healthy and active in my childhood and I don’t ever remember being told to “Go outside and Play.” I just did it on my own because I wanted to. When I got a little older, my mom and dad installed a basketball court for me. Basketball soon became my life. I wouldn’t go in the house until I made a certain number of free throws in a row. My friends and I would play until midnight or later. It was the greatest gift my parents could have given me.
Fast forward almost 40 years later and I have two children of my own who are now 10 and 12. We live in town so the farm life is not an option for them. My wife and I struggle with the electronic usage in our house sometimes, too, but it is normally at night. During the day you will find my kids outside playing with the neighbor kids. Our neighborhood is full of kids, ranging from ages two to 12, and they play outside every day. They have been doing this for years. I have had several people say, “Your kids are always outside.” Do you want to know why? Because we made a decision 10 years ago to have a Rainbow Play System installed. Well, that’s not the only reason but it was the biggest. A Rainbow Play System is a great way to get the kids out of the house and playing outside. A Rainbow promotes healthy, happy, physically fit children. It also sparks their imagination and helps them develop important motor skills.
The Rainbow we bought was a Sunshine Clubhouse when my daughter was two, and when my boy came along and I started working at Rainbow, we decided to go bigger and installed a King Kong Castle Pkg. II. I have watched my kids and all their friends grow up on a Rainbow. I have seen them drag blankets, towels, toys, and chairs up to the top deck to play “House”. I have seen them play Pirate Ship, I have seen them have a snowball fight on the Rainbow.
I have seen nerf gun fights on the Rainbow. They even play Marco Polo on the Rainbow. (Not recommended and the kids do keep their eyes partially open so they don’t fall which kind of defeats the purpose of the game). But, the point is they are outside! Heck they even sometimes just sit up on the Rainbow and read a book! They are not inside watching tv or playing on an electronic device. Have you noticed that if you let a kid do any of these things for too long they become very cranky? What about the winter time? Cabin Fever ring a bell? Don’t let them get stir crazy, buy them something to play on outside!
After seeing how much the Rainbow was being used, we have added monkey bars, a penthouse, and another slide to the Rainbow over the years and it has paid for itself over and over again. We also installed a Goalsetter basketball hoop about 5 years ago to give them another option for outside play. If the kids don’t do their chores or if they act up, the one thing that gets through to the them is tell them they can’t go outside and play. I think we owe it to the Rainbow, the Goalsetter, and a great group of neighborhood kids. Yes, I work at Rainbow so I promote our products (we carry Trampolines, too!). I will tell you that we are still figuring out this parenting thing, but the best thing we have every done for our kids is to give them things to play on outside.
Happy, Healthy Kids and a Lifetime Of Memories. It’s our tagline at Rainbow Of The Heartland. I came up with that. It wasn’t that hard when I sat down and thought about my own kids’ childhood. It’s time to Unplug N Play, America! For the price of a family vacation you can own a Rainbow Play System that will last for years. Or invest in a Basketball Hoop, or Trampoline, or maybe more than one of our products.
Rainbow was not around when I grew up on the farm so we had a small metal swing set that tipped over all the time and rusted out. It would have been so cool to have one. Maybe my sister would have avoided the hog buzzer episode.
The school year is in full swing, the days are getting shorter, and the jackets have come out of storage – a telltale sign that winter will be here before we know it! This year, the Midwest is predicted to get more snow than usual. But, just because it’ll soon be cold and snowy, doesn’t mean your kids need to stay inside.
Rainbow Play Systems are made of durable, long-lasting Cedar. They can stand up to the elements, including wind, snow, sleet and hail. Rainbows are just as fun to play with all year round!
Below are some of our favorite snowy activities to do on your Rainbow Play System:
1. Turn your Rainbow Play System into a Snow Fort
Let your kids’ imaginations take over! By using a bucket or a bread pan, your kids can build a wall around their playset fort. The top of your play set is a great lookout and place to stash snowballs in case a neighbor initiates a friendly snowball fight.
2. Slip Down the Snowy Slide
Putting snow on your slide allows for a faster, more fun sliding experience! Just be sure to cushion your landing with soft snow at the bottom of the slide.
3. Swing into a Pillow of Snow
Snow provides a softer landing than your traditional surface you have under your playset. If your kids enjoy doing “who can jump the furthest” contests off the swings, have them reinforce their landing in an extra large pile of snow.
4. Have a Winter Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts or scavenger hunts are fun in the snow around your Rainbow Play System. Task your children in finding the longest icicle, the largest pine cone, animal tracks or even yellow snow!
5. Build an Obstacle Course for your Dog
Your dog loves playing in the snow as much as your kids! Have them help Fido get his/her exercise by creating an obstacle course around your Rainbow Play System. Create jumps, tunnels and other challenges for the pup to go through and see how many they can do!
The fall season brings the best camping weather. The air begins to get just a little chilly at night, so you can enjoy the warm comfort of your sleeping bag or wrap a snuggly blanket around you while you look up at the stars!
Did you know the best camping spot in town is located in your own backyard?... On your trampoline! This is a fun, safe way to camp with kids without being too far from home. Here’s how you can let your kids have a night outside at their leisure in your own backyard:
- Find the Right Outdoor Tent Topper
Camping on the trampoline is a pretty neat idea! Kids get the chance to spend a night together under the stars, but they are high enough off the ground to avoid creepy crawlers and other animals that might be in your backyard. The trampoline also gives a softer support than sleeping on the hard ground all night. The mesh nature of a trampoline also allows for airflow on those warmer fall nights!
Find a tent topper that is designed to hook to your trampoline to keep your kids safe from the elements (and mosquitos)! Check out our Outback Trampoline Tent.
- Plan some Fun Camping Activities
Modify your camping traditions to your backyard specifications. If you have a fire pit in your backyard, you are all set for roasting hot dogs and making ‘smores! For those who don’t have a fire pit, fire up the grill or pack some sandwiches and lemonade to be eaten as a backyard picnic.
There are so many great outdoor games to play at night! Bring out the flashlights for a game of flashlight tag, hide around your yard to play Ghost in the Graveyard, or sit around on lawn chairs telling your favorite scary stories. Don’t forget to look up at the stars and enjoy being one with the great outdoors.
- A Fun Camping Experience with the Convenience of Your Home
Nothing is worse than getting a campsite all set up and realizing you forgot an essential – like toothpaste, a pillow, or an extra blanket! When camping on your trampoline, you can run back into your home to retrieve any forgotten items. And when nature calls, you can use the bathroom and real toilet paper without worry! At the end of the day, your kids will have access to a shower and the toiletries you have inside of your home.
Another benefit of camping on your trampoline is that your kids can always come inside if they really need to. There are a lot of reasons campers might give up on the great outdoors: maybe they are scared of sleeping outside, or maybe the weather’s not ideal. When all else fails, your house is always right there waiting for everyone.
Backyard campouts are a great way to unplug and enjoy some quality family time. It’s a great way to add some excitement to a staycation, or just an opportunity to spend more time outside that doesn’t involve a lot of planning or money.
Remember your childhood summers of playing outside, before everyone was glued to their TVs, computers and smartphones? According to a recent survey, children today spend half the time their parents did playing outside. While modern technology has made life a lot easier, it has also made us less active. In fact, only one in three children are active every day. It is time to motivate and influence our kids to get involved in outdoor physical activities as much as we can.
If your kid has been neglecting their outdoor play equipment, encourage them to go outside and get involved in more outdoor activities. Make fitness a regular part of a child’s day by providing them with as many opportunities as possible to play, move and be physically active. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Not everything is a competition
When games have defined winners and defined losers, those who do not win may feel discouraged to continue to play outside. It’s important to teach your kids that not every game or sport is a competition. Instead, introduce your kids to some activities they truly love that can be just as fun when played alone. While a little competition can be healthy, not every activity needs to be competitive. Show your kid that they can have fun just by shooting hoops or riding their bike up and down the street.
- Think outside traditional sports games
If your child doesn’t enjoy common team sports, such as football or basketball, that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of other games to play to stay active. Introduce your kids to a wide variety of activities, such as dancing, rock climbing, swimming or kayaking. Be patient, and your kid will find something they like.
- Join in
Bring out the inner child in you by joining in on your kids’ outdoor activities. When was the last time you played tag or tried to see how high you could swing? Whether you just play with your child one-on-one or organize a game day for the whole family, you will create memories that both you and your child will remember forever.
- Avoid using physical activity as a punishment
Some kids are reluctant to engage in physical activity because they see it as a punishment. For example, your child’s coach may have punished him or her for bad behavior during practice with extra laps and push-ups. Or, some parents may punish their child by withholding physical activity from them. Try not to forbid them from going to practice or playing outside just because they did something wrong. Instead, use physical activity as a reward. Reward their good behavior with a present, such as a bike or a trampoline. Also, consider taking them to one of our showrooms for open play!
Combat the “lazy child syndrome” by trying these tips on encouraging your children to play outside! Got any others? We’d love to hear them! Comment on our Rainbow of the Heartland Facebook pages – Rainbow of the Heartland – IA and Rainbow of the Heartland – KS - to share your tips with us, and we will share them with our followers.
As a parent, your children’s health is always top-of-mind. What if we were to tell you the key to health and development is as simple as a little sunshine and playtime? Research shows that the health benefits of outside playtime for children of all ages is key in development of the mind, body and creativity.
There are many fundamental tasks that children can learn through exploring and risk-taking. Fine motor skills are also developed through experience and is more effectively accomplished through outdoor play. These development principles are key for all ages.
Below, we have listed a few fun outdoor play options for your child’s age range:
- Lay a blanket down and have tummy time outside
- Introduce grass, leaves and sand in their hands as they exercise fine motor skills of touching and holding these items
- Play with small colorful balls or blocks
- Face the infant toward children at play to stimulate their eyes
- Place the infant in a safely secured swing
- Play in a sand box
- Stimulate noises and point out the various sounds
- Push an infant in a stroller around the neighborhood or park
- Blowing bubbles and trying to catch them
- Peek-a-boo around trees, bushes, playground
- Explore in a sand box
- Tap on various outdoor equipment to stimulate noises
- Build with small blocks
- Play with colorful balls
- Take a stroller ride around the neighborhood, naming objects you see
- Water play with cups and plastic containers
- Anything that incorporates pretend play and use of the imagination
- Build with Legos, large blocks, or cardboard boxes
- Climb through tunnels
- Push anything with wheels
- Explore nature, trees, grass, and cars driving by
- Wagon rides through a park
- Plastic cups with water
- Build a fort outside
3-5 years of age:
- Create a garden! If there is not much room in your yard create a mini garden with small pots and seedlings.
- Nature “hike” with a scavenger list of items to find.
- Sidewalk chalk to create beautiful masterpieces!
- Have them help you clean and wash the car or even have them wash their bikes!
- Gather old kitchen containers and create a kitchen outside!
- Collect twigs, branches and sticks to create makeshift campsite for “roasting” marshmallows and hot dogs!
- Collect pinecones for making peanut butter bird feeders.
- Two adventures in one! The kids can collect the pinecones, put the peanut butter on, add birdseed and wait and watch for new friends to feed!
- Glow sticks in water bottles make for a perfect game of evening bowling!
- A nature walk is a great way to enhance children’s appreciation of the natural environment. Ask them to tell you what they are seeing, hearing, and smelling.
- Set up an obstacle course with old tires, boxes, crates, tote boxes and tree stumps
- Sledding is a great sensory activity that activates the vestibular or balancing system
- Run outside and kick a ball around
- Jump rope, run, dance, play hop-scotch
- Outdoor sports like basketball or soccer
- Go on a hike
- Plant and maintain a garden
- Ride a bike
- Play tag or kick the can games with friends
- Build forts outdoors out of things found around the house
These activities create an enjoyable time outside for your children and to think it’s only going to further develop their health, mind, body and creativity! For more options of outdoor play, check out our play sets, basketball hoops and trampolines. We’d love to be a part of your children’s growth!
Springtime is our favorite outdoor play weather! With a Rainbow Play System in your backyard, the only limit of what type of games your kid can play on it is their own imagination. If your child is younger, he or she will find joy simply being pushed on the swing, climbing a ladder or sliding down the slide. As your child grows, they find new ways to play on their Play System as their creativity develops.
Whether your kid is a pirate and their Play System is a pirate ship, or your kid is an astronaut and their Play System is a space rocket, there are endless games to be played on your Rainbow with your child. Below, check out some of our favorites:
- The Classic: Hot Lava
There’s only one rule – the ground is lava! This is a fun game to play with a bigger group of kids or the whole family. Climb, jump and swing around your Rainbow Play System! Set stepping stones down around the Play System to better insure safety or to create a pathway to the other side of the play set. To make the game more challenging, allow the individuals who do touch the lava to become “lava monsters,” whose touch makes others become lava monsters, too!
- New Spin on a Favorite: Mannequin Tag
Remember the fun Mannequin Challenge? Try playing mannequin tag! Like tag, all the players spread out around the Play System, and the person who is “it” decides what movement to everyone should be using (i.e. running, skipping, hopping, walking) and can change the movement throughout the game. If a player gets tagged, he or she immediately becomes a mannequin. Not only can they not move from their spot, but they have to hold the position they are in when they got tagged. To bring a mannequin back to life, another player must give the mannequin a double high-five. When everyone is frozen as a mannequin, the last person frozen becomes “it.”
- A Fun Challenge: Swing Hide and Seek
Stand in front of your child while they are swinging. Have them close their eyes and count to ten. While they are counting, move to another area of the Play System or somewhere else in your back yard. Time how fast your child can find you! Closing your eyes while swinging creates a challenge for the eyes to focus once they are opened, which makes this game more difficult than it sounds!
What is your favorite swing set game to play with your kids? Let us know by sharing it with us on our Facebook Page (click here for Iowa or Kansas)! If your kid does ever run out of ideas on how to play on their Rainbow Play System, check out our add-ons and accessories!
Play sets are meant to by climbed and jumped from, but what material will give your kids a safe landing if they fall? There are many choices of shock-absorbent surfaces that help ensure your children are safe from serious injury if they fall while playing. Grass is not the softest place to land, which is why most play set owners opt for loose-fill materials such as sand, wood chips or rubber mulch around their play sets. Learn what you should put under your play set below!
- More visually appealing
- Kids can also use sand as a sandbox
- Can purchase at most home improvement store
- Attracts cats and could potentially carry diseases (in severe cases)
- Maintenance needed
- Can easily be tracked into your house
- Pea Gravel
- Lower costs
- Strong and durable
- Harder surface than rubber mats or mulch
- Some maintenance required
- Gets stuck in shoes, pants and can get tracked into the house
- Can create nicks in a wood play system from being kicked.
- Mulch or Wood Chips
- Low Costs
- Can be good for your lawn
- Some maintenance required: Must add more mulch periodically
- May cause splinters
- Some children like to throw wood chips around the backyard
- Rubber Mulch
Made from 100% recycled rubber, this loose-fill material is a popular option to use as a protective surface. Shredded rubber mulch is a newer player on the playground scene and is a low-maintenance option in play areas.
- Absorbs shock to reduce chances of injury
- Not attractive to pesky insects
- Easy to install
- Low maintenance
- Not as effective at controlling weeds
- Rubber mulch is highly flammable
- The environmental side effects are not fully known
- Rubber Mats
This isn’t necessarily a loose-fill material, but it’s still a terrific option to consider when choosing a protective surface. Rubber mats offer high wear and low maintenance. They are normally available in solid colors and in many thicknesses.
- Low maintenance
- Visually appealing
- Strong and durable
- Several different colors and designs to choose from
- Some people are allergic to rubber
- Higher costs
- Some people do not like the smell
Your protective surface should extend at least 6 feet from the play set in all directions. It should also be filled and kept at the correct depth to properly protect against sudden impact injuries. Remember that accidents do happen - they are a natural part of play. However, if your kids land on a soft surface, they can look at their fall as a learning experience, rather than as a disaster.
We sell Rubber Mulch and Rubber Timbers for Residential and Rubber Padding for Commercial jobs at Rainbow of the Heartland! To purchase it, or to learn more about surface options, contact us today.