Much to my children’s delight, Anna asked me if I would review this Eco-friendly cardboard playhouse by Cascade. I initially attempted to set it up with the assistance of my 1 year old and my 3 year old. Their help was not actually helpful and with the number of pieces and the three dimensional nature of the item, and I had to put the pieces away and wait until after they went to bed and assemble it with my husband. Once I didn’t have overly excited helpers, it came together quickly and easily. It took us a minute to figure out how the pieces locked into place – but once we figured it out is was clear that the tab system they use is quite ingenious and it holds each piece firmly in place with just a little bit of folding. This is no shaky cardboard box concoction, but a well-designed and sturdy playhouse. From mailbox, chimney and skylights to awnings over the doors and windows, this little house has it all.
The day we first set it up was a sunny day and very bright in our living room, and the boys played in it all day. The next day was a typical grey Vancouver day, and I noticed the boys weren’t interested in staying inside the house – they’d go in for a moment, and then leave. I stuck my head in and it was quite dim, and I realized that without a lot of direct light, it’s pretty dark inside, even with two windows and two skylights. I put a string of rope lights down on the floor of the house, and the boys were back to playing inside in a flash. We’ve had it up for a week, and the novelty has yet to wear off. It’s been a dinosaur nest, a library, a restaurant, a house, a jail and a reading nook. My one year old has played countless games of peekaboo through the doors and windows.
Its plain brown surface begs for decoration, and my oldest has repeatedly asked to paint it, but it’s living room location and my son’s bad track-record with pens and paint on surfaces not intended for pens and paints have caused me to postpone allowing them to add colour for the time being. I’m looking forward to putting this out on our patio in the summer and letting the kids paint it to their hearts content and then enjoy the shady outdoor play space.
The only downside to this wee housie is that it isn’t actually that wee. I have a fairly large living room, and I had to rearrange the furniture to fit it in and it takes up a huge amount of floor space. This would not work for someone living in apartment or with a small space to put it into. Because of its size, I’m not going to be leaving it out long-term but will put it away and take it out again on a rainy day or when friends come over – it’s that easy to put up and take down. The shipping box it comes in is also a carrying and storage box and the pieces all fold down flat and I’ll be able to fit the box in our storage space under our stairs until the next time we want to play with it.
I appreciate that it’s made out of 100% recycled cardboard and when the kids have trashed it with their enthusiast use, it can be recycled like any other cardboard. I did sort of gasp when I saw its price, but the ease of assembly and disassembly and its sturdiness make it worth it. It’s available at Cascade Boutique for $48 + shipping (Cascades Boutique also has funky cardboard tables and chairs to furnish your child’s cardboard house).
Thanks Avital! To read more (and view more photos of her gorgeous boys!) by Avital, visit her beautiful blog here.