One of the absolute best things about being a parent is getting a glimpse of your child’s world. The imaginative worlds they create are magical, innocent, and such an honor to be a part of. While it takes very little to activate a young imagination, I still love to find objects that will enhance the experience. Build a Dream Playhouse is just that… a medium in which kids can live out their fanciful fantasies.
When I first saw Build a Dream Playhouse, I immediately thought of kids and cardboard boxes. Everyone knows kids love boxes. After scanning the options, I knew my daughter would want to be in the castle. There are other wonderful playhouses including: kitchen, lemonade stand, snack shack, ice cream truck, dream machine car, and a cosmic cruiser. For us, the castle was the clear winner as my daughter is 4 and slightly princess/prince/castle obsessed. The Pop N’ Play Castle arrived completely folded down. It took all of about 1 minute to set it up and my daughter was racing through the front drawbridge. The playhouses are manufactured here in the USA out of 80% recycled materials. The playhouses themselves are 100% recyclable (corrugated cardboard), as is the packaging it arrives in. There are a lot of playhouse options out there, and a lot are plastic. I was so taken with the eco-friendly aspect of this product. Despite its humble beginnings, these constructions are very durable and stable. My daughter has stacked all kinds of objects on the castle’s workbench and nothing has given yet.
What I really like about the castle is that you can play inside and outside of it. My daughter loves to do “work” while behind the castle–it gives her a place for solitude. It is also a hidden space for her to whisper to her girlfriends in. On the outside, she does different kinds of “work” out on the workbenches and stores things in the cabinets. I never know what I’m going to find in those hidden nooks. I put “work” in quotes because it changes day to day, moment to moment, from writing in her books in secret to having tea time next to the anvil and ax. It truly is her space and I already have many videos of the plays she has created and acted out inside the castle… they are always very dramatic–and this is pre-paint job.
The castle stayed up in our house for awhile completely blank and my daughter could not have cared less. Once it was brought to her attention that we were going to paint it, the world opened up. Her eyes got as big as those excited anime characters and a series of loud squeals, jumping, and clapping resounded through the house. When I say “we” were going to paint, I really mean Neil was going to paint, and paint he did! When he sets his mind to something, there is no stopping or slowing down. He first started by masking off all details (gilded sconces and windows, medieval tools, wooden doors, etc) with FrogTape and an Exacto knife. He then sprayed it down with a textured paint that looks and feels like stone. Once dry, he pulled off the tape to reveal the details and hand painted them all with our daughter’s chosen colors. What a great dad she has! After some days of work, the project was done. Neil was very tired, and our daughter was extremely happy. Our daughter then customized her castle with her little touches of glitter and gems. These can be an awesome art project for your kids or the whole family, adding to the fun of it all. The hours of playtime you will get out of these items is just astounding. Neil’s process:
Our daughter’s final masterpiece:
Purchase your own Build a Dream Playhouse and do just that, build a dream for your children to live in.
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Contest ends September 20, 2011 at Midnight PST. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and emailed. Winner must have a Continental U.S. mailing address. No previous winners of Build a Dream Playhouses may enter! Good luck!
Winner: Erica G!! Congratulations!
Special thanks to Build a Dream Playhouse for providing a product for review.