Having recently landscaped our garden to transform it into a family-friendly outside space, it was inevitable that it’d soon be taken over by Toddler L. As Summer approaches, we hope to spend a lot of our time in the garden, so it makes sense to get a few outdoor toys for the sprog to play with as I sit in my deckchair sipping a mojito.
We don’t have the biggest garden in the world, but it’s now more usable after the building work. There isn’t a space for big items like a swing set or climbing frame, but we’d earmarked a bit of room for a compact playhouse. When it comes to items such as this, only one name springs to mind – Little Tikes.
We’re huge fans of Little Tikes. We bought the Side by Side Kitchen for Toddler L at Christmas, plus have a number of the Lil’ Ocean Explorers toys which we were lucky enough to review after their launch last year. We’ve always found their stuff to be durable, fun and educational, so it was a no brainer when they got in touch to ask if we wanted to review the Cape Cottage playhouse.
Below, you’ll find my written review of the Cape Cottage, however first, here’s a quick vlog showing it in action:
The product is described as:
This Little Tikes Cape Cottage in red and black has so much style! Packed with realistic features that little ones will love, it comes with an arched doorway, working doors, window shutters, mail slot and brick details. There’s plenty of role play inspiration for active imaginations in a small, compact design (Size Height 124cm, Width 89cm, Depth 109cm).
As you’d expect, the Cape Cottage arrived in a pretty huge box. On opening it, I was greeted with a number of pieces, including 4 x walls, 2 x roof, 4 x window shutters, 2 x doors, 2 x flag holders, 1 x stickers and a number of large screws. I had a quick look at the instruction booklet and all looked very straightforward.
I started by putting the walls together – this was a simple process of slotting one wall within another, then fixing them together using large, plastic screws which you tighten with a special tool. I’d just finished putting the four walls together when the British weather struck – blue skies turned grey and the rain came. The house construction came to a premature end and we all headed inside, much to Toddler L’s dismay.
The following day, I did my best Tommy Walsh impression by continuing work on the house. With the walls done, the next step was to fit the roof. Again, this was a very simple process – the two roof panels slot together in the middle, fix together with screws and then clip securely onto the top of the walls.
There are then a number of grey caps which slide over the red bits of wall which protrude through the roof – this helps to secure the roof in place and give a uniform appearance. The next step was to attach the flag holders onto the two walls which have doors – this is the only bit of assembly where you need an actual screwdriver. The final part of assembly was the doors and window shutters, which simply slot into the relevant holes.
There’s also a sheet of stickers within the box. These peel off stick to the relevant bits of the house to make it a little more lifelike. So, for instance, there’s glass for the windows, a house number, a door handle and a letter box. These are pretty easy to stick to the house, however they are really sticky so you need to ensure they are lined up properly before pressing down.
And that was that. The house was done. I have no idea why new builds take so long to create when I was able to do this in 15 minutes – I half expect Barratt Homes to get in touch and offer me a job. In total, it took about 15 minutes to assemble the house, then another 10 to attach the stickers. Considering how big the box is, I was expecting it to take a long time to put together, but it really was a simple and easy process.
We’ve had the Cape Cottage for just over a month now and it’s a huge hit. Although slightly younger than the recommended 2-6 age range, Toddler L has had no problems playing with the house. She’s loved opening and closing the doors, taking her toys into the house and posting things through the letter box. She’s also strangely obsessive about ensuring that all of the doors and windows are closed at all times – I expected this level of privacy to come when she was in her teens, not now!
As you’d expect from Little Tikes, the Cape Cottage is really strong and rigid – I have no concerns whatsoever that something will snap off or it’ll blow over. The playhouse is also surprisingly detailed, particularly when it comes to the tiles on the roof and bricks on the walls. The stickers also add the extra finishing touches for additional realism.
The inside of the Cape Cottage is surprisingly roomy given the small footprint. I know this because Toddler L has dragged me inside on multiple occasions. I’m not the biggest of fellas, but I can comfortably sit inside with my legs crossed. As such, I can see this playhouse being ample big enough for Toddler L (and her friends) for a number of years. Who knows, it may even be her first proper house because of the difficult in getting onto the property ladder these days.
As mentioned earlier, something I love about Little Tikes toys is their emphasis on helping your kids to learn and develop through imaginative play. We’ve been so surprised at how quickly the sprog has mimicked us when it’s come to playing with her kitchen – putting things in the oven, speaking on the phone, drinking out of cups etc – and I can see the Cape Cottage being exactly the same. I doubt it will be very long before she’s playing with her dolls in the house or pretending to cook in there.
I have no negatives to say about the Cape Cottage, however I have two constructive comments. Firstly, it is very basic inside and it would be nice to have something in there to entertain her. However, having said that, the Cape Cottage is the cheapest of the Little Tikes playhouses and more all singing and dancing ones are available, so I guess the limited features of this make sense when looking at the price.
Secondly, I’m a little confused about the flag holders as they don’t do anything. It would be better if the box contained two bits of plastic for flag poles – this would allow kids to make their own flags then put them onto the outside of the house. At present, there are just two flag holders which don’t do anything.
The Cape Cottage costs £99.99 and can be purchased directly from Little Tikes or from a number of other retailers such as Toys R Us, Argos and Amazon. Considering the fun we’ve already had with the playhouse and the number of years it will last, I think this is a fantastic price.
We were already huge fans of Little Tikes and the Cape Cottage has only added to our positive impressions of the company. The house is well designed, durable, fun to play with, educational and looks good. Toddler L has loved playing with the Cape Cottage since getting it and I fully expect this to continue for a number of years.
The playhouse is quite basic as it only has a couple of features – opening doors, opening window shutters, letter box – however this is to be expected on an entry level playhouse which costs under £100. You can spend more money on a playhouse with additional features, but for us, the Cape Cottage is more than adequate, particularly when we wanted something compact.
The great thing about toys like this is that they promote development through imaginative play and change based on their age. At the moment, Toddler L loves opening and closing the doors, yet in the near future, she’ll find new ways of having fun with it as her little brain develops.
All in all, we really like the Cape Cottage and I’d have no hesitations in recomending it to others looking for a compact playhouse.
The DADventurer Star Rating
5 out of 5 Stars
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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The Cape Cottage was sent to me by Little Tikes with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the product.
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