“ Brand: ELC / Type: Playhouse / Tents „
I love letting my daughter play out in the garden, but dislike leaving garden toys outside when not in use, as I live on the kind of estate where people will steal anything that isn't nailed down and sell it for drugs. So, when I saw this pop up tent set that could easily be folded down for storage, it seemed like a good idea .
Ignore the picture above - ELC have modernised the design of their pop up tents somewhat lately. I paid £30, and got a 3 piece set, a triangular pop up tent, a tunnel, and a cylinder shaped circular tent, which all connect together . There are two colour designs, a rather girly pink one, and a neutral, unisex colour. I opted for the multicoloured spotty version - bright and colourful, it is certainly an eye catching design.
Each part can be easily put up - simply undo the velcro ties keeping it flat, and up it springs, ready for use. The pieces connect together easily, making a nice area to explore, with one tent leading into another through the tunnel. I actually added balls into my circular tent (an additional £10 for 100 multicoloured balls) to turn it into a mini ball pit .
This toy is great for younger children - I would say from toddling age until around 8 years. Older children may find the spaces too confined and the tunnel too narrow. My six year old daughter can happily play with a friend in these tents with no trouble, and they like to use the triangular tent, which offers the largest play space of the three items, to eat sandwiches outside on hot days - something I'm perfectly happy to allow as the tent provides valuable shade in hot weather.
The tent material can be wiped clean easily in case of any spills, and collapsing the items is just as easy as putting them up. They take up very little space when folded down, and are easily stored in my outside cupboard, safe from weather damage and the local scallys.
Overall, for £30 (or £40, if you include the cost of balls) this is a great product. It's compact and takes up very little space , is lightweight and easily portable, and offers a great place for young children to play. You can buy this in ELC stores, or online at www.elc.co.uk, where I notice the tent and balls are now reduced in price, the tent currently at £24 and the balls at £8.
Just this morning my youngest children decided they were going to go on a jungle adventure, so they packed their backpacks with all the essentials they were going to need, sandwiches, fruit shoots, biscuits, torches and then picked up their trusty tents ready for their long trek. They've got two play tents which fit nicely into carry bags, which are ideal for storage and light enough to carry through the jungle that we normally call our front room.
After a day exploring and hunting for the lost city under the settee, it was time for their guide (mummy) to help them set up camp for the night (well lunch really). Setting up camp was extremely easy, involving simply unfolding the tents which then popped into the right shape. Then it was time to get in the tents, shut the flaps (helps keep all those jungle bugs at bay) and eat their lunch by torchlight, how much more exciting can an adventure be?
All too soon it was time to pack up the tents ready for their next exciting expedition, a trek to the North Pole (which is conveniently placed at the bottom of the garden). Putting the tents down is slightly more awkward than putting them up, but Mummy's getting good at folding them up now.
Ashleigh plans to be the first six year old to walk to the North Pole, and she's wrapped herself up warm for this one, and has just entered the frozen wastes that lurk behind the back door, her purple tent is showing up nicely against the snow (grass) and is a bright, colourful landmark to help make sure she doesn't get lost. Even better being dome-shaped it looks like a purple igloo. She's been making good progress, but the weather's starting to close in, so into the tent she jumps and tries to wait out the snow (rain), unfortunately, the tent will only resist the lighter showers, so if it gets any heavier she's going to have to call her world record breaking attempt off.
As you can see these tents have been used as props in countless exciting adventures, and are well worth the £25 we bought the pair for in a sale at the very best stockists of adventure equipment (the ELC) several years ago. They've provided a welcome relief from the desert sun during the summer (ha ha) and shelter from gentle summer rain. However, they're not robust enough to stand up to anything but the most gentle wind and rain, so in poor weather conditions, they've been transported indoors for even more exiting games. Even better there's a tunnel that can run between special flaps, and turn them into a mini city for even more fun.
Ashleigh, and Michael have been intrepidly exploring uncharted territory for the last two years, and I can see many more years of expeditions to come, as there is plenty of room in the tents, even I can manage to just about squeeze in (if a little uncomfortably). The tents are well made of polythene, securely stitched together, have a secure groundsheet and are easy to wipe clean. As a bonus their door is raised enough from the floor for it to double as a ball pit. The only real problem, is due to how light they are, they're not particularly stable, and have occasionally tipped over, when play has got a little over-boisterous, and unlike real tents they can't be secured with guy ropes, so if you've left them out and the wind has got strong, you may find your next door neighbour has suddenly acquired tents that look just like yours.
The actual tents on their own do not take up much space, I can get two up in my 16 ft front room with no difficulty, but when you add the tunnel they really do need to be outdoors as the total playing area will expand to over 12 foot. And storing them is a doddle, as they fold down into zip up bags that are under 2 foot long.
Now you're not going to be able to buy your little explorers tents that look exactly like ours, because they no longer sell them, but you can buy some that are very similar. The ELC sells a range of pop-up tents, with prices starting from £15 for a single tent and they all look just as good quality as ours (just different colours)
If you have young children, enough space in your garden (or living room) or go for regular trips to the park or beach, I would recommend buying them a pop-up tent. They are so much fun, and can really help to encourage your child's imaginative skills as they go on wonderful adventures, and if you add the tunnel, it's going to not only increase the fun factor, but will also help develop gross motor skills as they crawl from tent to tent.
When I first saw this tent I have got to admit I was warey of it. By looking at the flimsey material i did have second thoughts on how long this item would last. I have to eat my words though as 1 yr later this tent is still in use and my children really really enjoy playing with it. It has been put up and down so many times I have lost count, I have taken it to the beach, and other places as it is really compact when folded and it is light. Also this tent came in its own little bag which I found handy. you can get other play items which attach to this tent, I am also the owner of the play tunnel again from this pop up range. The tent is brightly coloured and really durable. It has a window which also has a shutter, this is where the play tunnel attaches, but it is not essential. It is also waterproof and this is handy with our weather. I think that this tent was great for summer days as the children played in it most of the day without realising that they where in the shade. This tent is a reasonable size and you can quite happily fit 2 children in it, as well as some toys. also this tent was very reasonably priced at £20 especialy after all the fun it has brought to the kids. If there was to be a down point to this tent it would be folding it up as sometimes it bends the wrong way but when you get the hang of it it becomes a doddle to do.
We bought this Pop Up House for our daughter (now 22 months) around Easter time, along with a pop-up tunnel which connects to the house through one of the two holes. The whole concept of this is great, as the two toys take up very little space in the shed or garage, unlike many of her other outdoor toys. Both toys are easy enough to pop out, but to pack away, the house is quite difficult to get back into its little bag - you have to experiment with techniques! The whole range of pop up "things" is quite vast, and they are made to connect with each other to make a little village for children to explore in. During the summer, my daughter has spent hours going in and out of the house and tunnel (when we have actually had some decent weather), and I only have one criticism: Why didn't the manufacturers supply this product with some kind of tent peg or hooks to fix it to the ground? At the slightest hint of wind, the tunnel rolls around the garden and house just blows away! Therefore, these outdoor toys are really only for use in very hot weather, any sign of wind, forget it!
What a great buy!!! This tent will keep your kids quiet for ages. It is suitable for 3 years and over and is very very easy to assemble. You literally pull the tent out of it's bag and up it pops. There is a side window with mesh and a cover which either pulls down or can stay up with the attached velcro. The other side has an entrance where you can attach the play tunnel (extra accessory costing 15.00) Very compact to store and can be used indoors or out. Is ideal to take to the beach where older children can get changed in privacy.
Kids love somewhere to hide and it has the added bonus of keeping the sun off them. There are at least three options. 1. Use your clothes airer (the flat panel type). Clip together at the top and chuck over a sheet or throw. Easy and folds flat when not in use. If you don't have this type of airer or use it to much buy a 4 panel one for £5.49 from Argos. The 4 panels make a good size tent. Can be set up inside where they will end up using all your dining chairs and all the toys in the house will find their way inside. 2. Buy a kids tent. Prices start at about £15. They are usually of the pop-up variety. These are really easy top pop up in seconds. (Can take up to 3 hours to work out the way to bend it to get it to pop-down). My tip is put it in its case straight away once folded as they tend to spring into action at any moment. Not handy when it is in the back seat of your Polo when you are doing 70 down the motorway to drop them off at Granny's. The ground sheet is attached and there is usually a window. Not always made of very good quality fabric and thay are only shower resistant. Small enough to fit in bedrooms on wet days. 3. Splash out on a real tent. Small 2 man dome tents start from around £25. These are fairly east to put up usually with 2 rods fed at right angles across the tent and secured at the corners. Ideal if you want to leave it out for a few days as they are waterproof. The ground sheet is attached in this type of tent. My son puts his car rug in which gives a nicer base to sit on as Grnny's garden is all slabed. My 10 mth also likes playing in it and I can zip the mesh doors and still see her. Keeps her out of the sun and stops her disapearing into the flowerbeds. Worth spending more if you have the type of garden that you can let your kids sleep out in when they are older. Happy camping! Choose what suits you.