Remember how much fun playing with a really big cardboard box used to be when you were a child? Times have changed so much since my carefree childhood days and the advancements in toys and technology has completely changed the youth experience for many, but I know from watching my own children that one thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of fun that a child can have with a single cardboard box.
Obviously, we have a lot of boxes come through the door here in the Mommy Kat and Kids household and my boys have a blast with them each and every time. Smaller boxes are filled with toys and then dumped onto the floor again and again. Medium boxes my boys climb into and pretend to drive like racecars. And the largest boxes become fences, houses and hideaways until the boxes get too dilapidated to play with anymore.
Build a Dream Playhouses understands the appeal of the humble cardboard box and the company has taken the concept to an incredible new level with its line of cardboard vehicles and playhouses that can be decorated by a child and then played with for weeks. I was delighted when I got a chance to review one of the playhouses for myself.
I received the Pop N’ Play Castle to review and I was so excited to see what my sons and their friend Jocelyn thought of it. The castle is printed on white cardboard so that children can colour, paint and decorate the playhouse as they see fit but I decided to skip that concept initially and just let them play with the white playhouse as it was.
The reason I chose the Pop N’ Play Castle was because it looked like it would be very quick and easy to set up and take down. With two active boys running around the house, I need toys to be ready to play with in a flash. The Pop N’ Play Castle didn’t disappoint. It simply folded out and the three pieces that formed the countertop and the windowsill folded down to secure the castle in the proper position. The kids were immediately enthralled when I set it up in the back yard and they ran over to investigate more closely.
The Pop N’ Play Castle has all kinds of fun little kid-friendly details to turn a cardboard castle into an enchanted wonderland and Zackary, Benjamin and Jocelyn all had a great time exploring some of the features. The little drawbridge was a huge hit and all three of the kids had fun crouching down and crawling through the tunnel. The windows were also lots of fun and the kids looked so cute peeping through at each other and creating imaginary stories about their castle.
When Zackary and Jocelyn play, they inevitably combine their favourite games into a strange combo-game that they can both enjoy and they did exactly that when playing with the castle. Jocelyn decided that she would be a princess in the castle and that Zackary had to come rescue her. Zackary happily obliged, but only after battling numerous “bad guys” along the way. Once the two had escaped the castle, Jocelyn joined in the battle and the two of them carried on with their incredible game of make-believe for almost the entire afternoon.
When the kids were done playing, I simply pulled up the flaps I had pressed down to secure the castle and folded it flat once more. I liked the fact that I could keep the castle in pristine condition by making sure it was put away after each playtime.
Since it is made of cardboard, the castle is a little tipsy if there is any wind and while it is a perfect toy for both indoors and out since it sets up so quickly, it is only suitable for sunny, fair-weather days. But on rainy days, my kids have just as much fun with their Pop N’ Play Castle indoors as they have playing with it outdoors in the sun.
If castles aren’t your child’s thing, Build a Dream Playhouses also has snack stands, ice cream trucks, kitchens and space shuttles to let you child indulge in all kinds of fun imaginary adventures.
Overall, I found the Pop N’ Play Castle to be a wonderful prop for inspiring creativity and imaginative play. The kids loved pretending to be in a castle and it really added a fun extra touch to their usual games. To give your child a toy that takes all the fun of a cardboard box and makes it even better, check out Build a Dream Playhouses today.
Buy It: To purchase any of the cardboard playhouses from Build a Dream Playhouses, shop online now
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Giveaway ends 11:59 pm CST on July 31, 2011. Open to Continental US Only