“ Brand: Acorn / Type: Large self assembly doll house „
My daughter got this house from Santa last christmas. She was 3 years old. It cost £35 from Asda and I also bought the extra accessory set too. Compared to many other wooden dolls houses this is very large and sturdy, also very heavy but I guess this keeps it from tipping.
The house itself i was very impressed with, it is large enough for more than one child to play with at any one time, it is solid and sturdy and has lots of different rooms along with an attick room too. I found that the stairs between the levels were very flimsy and should really have been stuck down, but this was not a giant problem as she rarely used the stairs anyway.
The accessories that came with it, some were realy good and imaginative, some were utter rubbish and fell apart very easily. the house was only played with for a few weeks before I have to take the lid roof off because the hinge wasnt strong enough to hold the weight of the wood and it kept bending causing it to be unsafe. Once the lid was off it was ok again, but after another few weeks the hinges on the doors came loose too. I tightedn them on several occassions but they still came loose so I ended up taking the doors off too. It then ended up being an large open-plan wooden dolls house, my daughter enjoyed playing with it like this as it was easier to access all the levels but I didnt not pay for a house with no roof or front wall so I was quit dissapointed. This has always happened to another person who I know bought this same house too.
Before Christmas I was strolling through Asda looking for stocking fillers for my children. I had bought them everything they needed and my daughter, who was only 14 months old, was getting clothes. Until I saw this dolls house!
Asda often do "special offers" and this was one of them - reduced fro £70 to £35 so I thought I'd take a look. Let's just say I loved it so much she did get one for Christmas and I haven't regretted spending the extra money.
The house is made up of very sturdy wood that looks like it will withstand a lot of play and already has not only from my daughter but also my two sons!!
The house is set up over two floors, and you gain access to these by opening the front doors, and the roof also lifts up to reveal a loft space. There are removable stairs and you can also buy furniture packs to go inside the house as it comes empty. (I bought both a house furniture pack and also a garden pack, and have since bought people to go in the house).
The inside of the house is perfect if, like me, you want something you can spend time decorating. It is plain and bare but just right for those odd scraps of carpet and wall paper you have when decorating your real house. My daughter, even though too young for this really, has spent hours playing with it and will hopefully love it for many years to come. I certainly think it was money well spent and would definitely recommend this to any little lady.
Just before Christmas, Asda were doing a special offer on this Acorn dolls house. It had been reduced from the regular price of £70 to £35. My husband suggested that we buy it, but I was a bit reluctant at first, because we didn't really have anywhere to put a dolls house. My daughter has a very small bedroom, and my sons share a room, but I didn't think my 10 year old son would take too kindly to having a pink dolls house in his bedroom! In the end, he suggested that we put it in the Living room as a feature, as we currently have a fireplace but no fire, having removed our electric fire when our son started the toddling stage. Since then, the gap has usually been filled with boxes of toys, so I agreed it would be nice to have something there that was an actual feature, rather than just a pile of toys.
The box that the dolls house came in was rather large and heavy, but not very deep, because this was a self assembly job! This is not the kind of toy you could just carry back from the shop. You would need to either have it delivered or use your car.
On emptying the box, you see a set of instructions, lots of pre-painted MDF panels, a couple of hinges and an assortment of different sized screws; everything you need to assemble the house. My husband was worried that there were not enough screws included in the pack, but luckily there were, so basically all you need in addition to these components is a cross head screwdriver, as all of the holes have been pre-drilled in the MDF panels.
The house was relatively simple to put together, and it was really nice to see my 8 year old daughter helping her dad to put the house together. It was a great project for them to do, as she could see how close the house was to completion and take pride at her part in it. It is sometimes hard to find activities for dads and daughters, but this one was perfect, and kept them both absorbed for a couple of hours. A good DIYer could probably complete it in less than an hour, but my hubby isn't great at that sort of thing!
The finished house looks absolutely gorgeous. I won't waste a lot of time talking about the appearance, because it looks exactly like the picture above. The MDF panels are painted a nice rose pink shade on the exterior, and have a laminated wood effect on the interior. The window frames and door are made of white plastic. The roof tiles have a slightly gritty texture, which makes them look and feel realistic. The back of the house, which you cannot see in the picture, is also painted pink, but has no features or details. It is just a plain panel.
I really like the way that the house opens up for play. Firstly, the whole roof is on two hinges so you can flip the enite roof up, revealing the large loft space, which is a single room. The walls, floor and ceiling of the room are all wood laminate effect. The rear wall slopes inward at an angle, because the two end walls are triangular in shape to accomodate the roof when it is returned to its place. There is lots of storage space in the loft area, and a lot of the time, we stash the toys in there to tidy them away.
As you can see from the picture, there is a line to the right of the door that runs from the top to the bottom of the house. This is how the house opens up at the front, as there are hinges on the front of the house, forming double doors that open out towards you. When these door panels are open, you can see the rest of the interior of the house, which consists of an upstair and a downstairs, each containing a large room at the left and a smaller room at the right. The upstairs and downstair are linked by a flight of wooded stairs and there is another internal staircase that links the upstairs to the loft space. There are no internal doors, but your dolls can "wallk" from room to room because the interior wall does not come all the way to the front, but leaves a small gap as a passage between rooms. You can allocate these rooms however you like, as they are a completely blank canvas, so if you want your kitchen upstairs, there is nothing stopping you! This is great for creative play.
A downside of this house is that it comes with no furniture or dolls. I managed to get a reasonably proced set of dolls house dolls from Amazon, and these, at about 5 inches high are a perfect size for the house. Barbie sized dolls will be too big for the house, although they could be accomodated in the loft space! Currently, I notice that our house has a variety of residents: The doll family, an R2D2 toy, a Hello Kitty figure, a couple of Happy Meal toys and an ELC plastic cheetah! In fact, come to think of it, those tatty happy meal toys you get are a perfect size to fit in one of these dolls houses! Instead of buying furniture, we decided to make our own out of Lego, so our dolls have a Lego bed, 3 piece suite and kitchen. I wouldn't fancy sleeping on that Lego bed though! Making the furniture also helped keep the kids busy, and no doubt we will be able to make more from old boxes and bits as a nice way of recycling rubbish.
As well as being a really nice feature in our living room, this is a toy that gets played with every day. Even my 10 year old son had a go at making a murder mystery story for us based on goings on at the dolls house! My daughter loves it, and spends ages sitting making stories with the dolls, and my little 5 year old son, gets a lot of benefit from playing with the house, as he has special needs and one of the concerns the doctors had was that he wouldn't be able to develop imiaginative play, but he has proved them wrong, as he absolutely loves creating stories with the doll characters, as well as making furniture and features for the house out of Lego.
This house was well worth the £35 we spent on it, as it has become a real central feature in our home, as well as a nice way to store toys. It is quite solid and looks like it will last many years and wear well. So far, we haven't had any problems with bits falling off, despite the fact that it is regularly played with. It is just the right size, with plenty of space inside to store and play with toys, and height wise, the main part of the house (not including roof) comes to my knee. The whole house it 2ft tall to the top of the roof.
I would definitely give a big thumbs up to this toy, which is perfect for kids aged 3 to 9 and maybe big kids too....