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My daughter started her Rosebud toy collection during Christmas 2012 when she received the main dolls house, since then the collection has grown and grown and with her birthday and Christmas late 2013 it's since grown even more. One of the sets she received is the Rosebud playground.
~*~ Price, packaging and assembly ~*~
The Rosebud toys are from the Early Learning Centre, they are a beautiful collection of girly play sets made to a high quality from mainly wood materials. There are a variety of different sets to buy from the main Rosebud house, furniture sets to things like a farm, bus and playschool. This playground set can be purchased from places that sell ELC products like ELC, Mothercare and Boots. It has a full price of £20 but can be found in the half price sale ELC usually have and there are often discount codes available if you search around for one.
The packaging differs for this set compared to all of the other Rosebud sets my daughter has had. This one comes in a cardboard box with the same Rosebud girly branding but it is shaped like a house, usually they are just basic square or rectangular boxes. As with the rest of the range, there are no plastic ties or anything annoying with the packaging, it's all placed in a cardboard insert so it can all be recycled.
Inside the box you will find a park base, roundabout, see saw, swing, water fountain, bench, tree, fence and two dolls. As far as assembly goes, nothing has to be screwed in or anything like that, all you have to do is slot the middle of the roundabout onto the little nook on the park base.
~*~ Rosebud village playground ~~*~
The base plate of the playground is approximately 40cm x 20cm and can be folded in half if you wish to pack it away but ours stays open. On the base there is a nice picture with green grass, rocks around the edge and a hopscotch pattern. There is also a thin strip of pink which is where the fence is supposed to sit and a small sticky out bit that the roundabout slots on to. It is made from a thin wood, thin compared to the rest of the set, but it is still strong and high quality.
The swing, slide and see-saw are made from the same high quality wood as the rest of the Rosebud range. They all feature the same colour scheme of pale pinks, blues and creams with girly flowers printed on the sides tying it all into the playground theme. The swing has a seat with a back to it so it's easier to keep one of the dolls in place. The see-saw has a front and back bit to the seat so the dolls can stabilise themselves on there too. Finally, the roundabout has string around all three of the different segments so dolls can stay on. All three pieces can be used alongside the Rosebud dolls so it fits in with the main house well.
When the dolls are in place on the various playground activities they don't really stay in place very well. I think ELC could of done more to keep the dolls in place where they should be. The swing for example, has been balanced at a slight slant so that when it's being pushed the dolls should stay sat down but they never do and tend to topple backwards when my daughter is playing with it.
The bench, water fountain, small fence and tree are nice inclusions in the set as they really set off the whole playground feel. They are extremely basic though and are used more as fillers rather than anything else. Occasionally my daughter will put some of the adult dolls on the bench to keep an eye on the children but that's about it when it comes to playing with these pieces.
There are two dolls included with this set. Both of them are children, one girl and one boy. They are both made of wood and have rope limbs so that the arms and legs can be moved, they are a little stiff to start with but the more you play with them the suppler they become. They both have their own style of clothes but the clothes can't be removed. This is a good thing for my four year old as she takes the clothes off of everything then tends to misplace them!
All items of the set have been made out of wood and they have been sanded down so that they feel smooth and pose no hazards to children with regards to splinters and such. The set is recommended for children over the age of three and I think this is about right. Younger children couldn't play with it properly and there are quite small pieces that might cause a choking hazard.
At £20 full price, I do think it is on the expensive side. As the set includes a couple of dolls, it could be an addition to a growing Rosebud collection or played with as a standalone toy. This is one of the least played with elements of my daughter's collection, I think this is down to the dolls not always staying on the play activities. That being said, it is as beautiful as the rest of the Rosebud collection and still has the same charm.
My daughter now has several of the ELC Rosebud sets although not the actual house. She really enjoys playing with them and when we go to the shops, she loves looking at the newer sets. I thought this one looked like a good set as it could be played with independently as well as with other dolls from the set. My daughter got this set for her third birthday.
---About the range:
The Early Learning Centre Rosebud Village Playground Set is part of the Rosebud range available from ELC. All of the range are in the main colours of pink and white making them more suitable for girls. The range includes the actual Rosebud dolls house, furniture sets for different rooms, dolls families, pet sets and newer sets like the playground, florist, cafe and school.
---About the set:
The Rosebud Village Playground set comes with two dolls, a playground base, a swing, a see-saw, roundabout, a water fountain, small fence and a tree. The base is made of thin wood and folds in half as it is in two sections and sealed with strong tape. It is decorated to look like a playground with green areas to look like grass, a yellow pathway, a small pink section on the side, some grey rocks, some pink flowers and a hopscotch layout. The small pink fence is made of wood and is designed to sit on the pink line on the base. It doesn't fix to it at all, and easily moves off the designated area for it. The tree is made from wood and is green with small pink blossoms on it. There is a small blue and cream bench which the two dolls can sit on together and a natural wooden water fountain (although I thought it was a bird bath when I first saw it!).
There are three pieces of play equipment included in the set. There is a seesaw which is wooden and is cream and pink. It comes in two pieces with the base and then the seat sections which rest on the base. The seats allow one of the dolls to sit at either end. The swing is blue, pink and cream wood with string to hold the seat in the frame. The seat has a back to it so the dolls don't fall off too easily. The last piece is the roundabout which has a small hole in the bottom of it which slips on to a section on the board.
My daughter already had a couple of sets from this range so recognised the box when we opened it and wanted to open it straight away. The box is shaped like a house with a handle which is great for carrying it around. It has a picture of the item being used and a list of the items as well. The items all came out easily and it was simple to put it together. I opened out the base board and put the roundabout on the board. I added the pink fence onto the pink mark on the side and then put all the other items on the board. All the items were recognisable to my daughter (except the water fountain which we both think is a bird bath) so she was able to play with them and develop her imaginative play with little encouragement.
My daughter finds it quite hard to use the Rosebud dolls with this set as it is quite tricky to get them to sit on the swing and stay there or get them to go underneath the ropes on the roundabout. Instead she uses her Peppa Pig figures, which she also got for her birthday, on the equipment as they are smaller and easier for her to handle. She has lots of fun with the playground and because it can be played with on its own, she is able to take it to her grandparents house to play with there as well.
She has had the set for a few months now and really enjoys playing with it. Like all of her Rosebud dolls and toys, she plays with them a lot and goes back to them time and time again. She mixes the set with other sets and is able to use other dolls with the set and adds the swing to her house or uses the bench there instead.
I really love this range of toys and if I had the money and the space I would probably buy an awful lot more of it. The colours are lovely for my little girl and the quality is excellent although after about 6 months of rigourous use some of her other sets are starting to have paint chipping off them. I would probably rate this as a very good set to buy because it comes with two dolls and can therefore be played with even if you don't own any of the other sets. It is quite versatile and can be used to help develop imaginative play and co-ordination. My daughter does find it quite hard still to manipulate the dolls to get them to stand or change position, but she is learning this and is getting more adept at it. The only part of the set I find a bit silly is the little pink fencing as it doesn't stay on the board properly and often falls off and doesn't really add anything to the overall enjoyment of the set. It would probably be better without it as I can see it getting lost at some point!
This is a very girly set with the colours and my daughter really enjoys playing with it. I would recommend this set although I do feel it is quite expensive. It costs £20 for this set although I managed to get it with 20% off with their Big Birthday Club offers and I feel that it is probably not the best value for money unless you get it with a discount. This set is fine for my 3 year old daughter and there are no pieces that I am worried about her having at this age. Overall, I think this set will give her a lot of joy for many years.