One of the best toys I bought for my kids when they were small was a playhouse. I bought it from an online kids’ furniture website and it was delivered in plenty of time for my daughter’s birthday. That was three years ago and my daughter was absolutely delighted with her birthday present. It came with its own storage bag and the house is a pink cottage that my little girl still loves to play in.
The playhouse is self assembly – the walls and roof are made of fabric and the frame is made from a load of plastic poles which slot together easily. Although we had the playhouse in the garden at first, I was concerned that the bright sunlight or rain might wreck it and we put it away in the garage when it wasn’t being used.
However, before too long, my daughter begged to be allowed to play with the cottage in her bedroom. I gave in reluctantly, thinking it would take up too much space or that I would be assembling it and taking it apart on a regular basis to take it out to the garden and then back again. I was pleasantly surprised, my daughter played with the house indoors much more than she did when it was a garden toy – she was in it practically every day for the first 18 months or so!
The sort of imaginative play encouraged by playhouses is invaluable for kids’ creative and social development. Developing a child’s imagination is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give and having their own little space is important for kids – it promotes creative thinking, self confidence and self-awareness.
Now that my daughter is getting a little older she’s more interested in other toys and doesn’t play with the house that much these days. However, it makes a handy place to stash a load of toys and toy boxes and the bedroom looks so much tidier with everything stashed away. When we redecorated the bedroom six months ago, my daughter insisted that we choose a scheme that complemented the playhouse. This means that lots of her toys and games are neatly stacked away in there, ready at hand when she wants them, instead of cluttering up the bedroom. The bedroom looks fab with the playhouse/large storage space which matches the décor (or vice versa). I’ve found the playhouse to be excellent value for money, especially now that it has gone on to have a second life and serve a new purpose.