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Over the years my daughter has gone through many phases, she has enjoyed the likes of in the night garden, micky mouse and toy story however all of the phases seem to fizzle out over time, so when it comes to buying character toys I am usually a bit cautious. As she has gotten older however she seems to be further discovering her interests and as a result she has become very firm in her likes and dislikes. For the past year my daughter has been very interested in Dora the Explorer so when it came to buying Christmas presents this year I didn't hold back when buying characterized Dora the Explorer toys.
One of the many Dora the Explorer toys to find its way under our Christmas tree this year was this Dora the Explorer igloo shelter tent. My daughter herself is a little explorer and I thought this tent would be a brilliant idea to aid her role playing and let her creativeness flow through.
The tent comes packaged in a small and very compact box, this however is unfortunately its only storage so do take care when opening it as you will have to put it back in somehow. Unlucky for us, my daughter had ripped the box open at the top, I have managed to fit it back in but it looks terrible. To be honest I am very disappointed that it didn't contain a storage bag, I would have at least expected it to have one to store the poles.
The tent itself is very much bright pink in colour, it does have a slight bit of purple too but the main colour is definitely an in your face kind of pink. The tent also has two large pictures of Dora, one on either side. These pictures are very pretty and definitely succeed in giving the tent that 'tatty' character product look. Anyhoo, its nice enough, it's not as tatty as other character things you can buy.
The tent takes all of 5 minutes to assemble, it's pretty straight forward. Once assembled the tent is a reasonably nice size measuring 120 x 120 x 85cm. We have so far only used the tent in the house, I found it a reasonable size to use in the living room, my daughter was able to play comfortably whilst I was still able to move around the living area. The tent does have a waterproof base indicating that it can be used outside which is great for in the garden in the summer and trips to the beach. I wouldn't however trust this tent to be fully waterproof and I wouldn't want to test it out. It just doesn't look like its good enough quality for that. For a start, the top section Is mesh, granted there is a cover for it, it's just not very well fitted so in bad weather conditions I could imagine rain seeping through. It also doesn't have any ground pegs so it couldn't actually be used for camping anyway.
I think I may be being a little too sceptical about this tent as for £15 I really shouldn't complain, especially since I didn't buy it for any of the reasons listed above. I simply bought it for my daughter to use as a little indoor den. This it does do well and my daughter loves it. The door area also rolls upwards with a little tab to keep it in place. My daughter has, as I expected found many functions for this little tent. In the period of approximately one month it has been used as; a bus, train, school, dolls house, dolls bed, an elephant (don't ask me how she managed that one!) and it has been used as a little den to snuggle up in in front of the television.
So, despite me having many little qualms with this tent, my daughter couldn't care less, she absolutely loves it. I suppose that's all that matters. To be honest she hasn't been overly interested in the fact that it is Dora the explorer but again, for the cheap price it doesn't really matter. This tent has provided my daughter with hours of fun and games; she even gets the dog involved who, unbelievably seems to really enjoy curling up at the back of the tent whilst Kerry pretends to drive him to Blackpool and back.
As the tent surface is waterproof it is easy to clean and maintain, it also seems ok quality in terms of lasting, the material isn't too thin and it doesn't look easy to rip or break. Ours is still in one piece and we have it up most days. I think we are soon going to have to purchase a storage box for it though as the cardboard box it came in has just about had it. Despite me have many little niggles with this tent I would recommend it, my daughter absolutely loves it and again for the price there can be no complaining really. It keeps my daughter happy and entertained.