“ Brand: Ninja Corporation / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment - House & Tunnel Tent „
Recently we had to relocate to West Sussex from Cambridgeshire for my partners job. It was a big move for us as we didn't know any one down here in Sussex and were moving over two and a half hours away from all our friends and family and it wasn't a 'happy' move. We had to go where the money was but to ease the difficulty we found the most beautiful house to rent and now after nearly three months we are very settled and quite enjoying experiencing new areas!
Part of the appeal of our house was it's open plan kitchen that attached to the biggest play room I've ever seen! My one year old son instantly became the luckiest boy in the world! However we knew we were going to have to invest in half of toys'r'us in order to even half fill the room!
We lost garden space and so I wanted something that classed as an outdoor toy and indoor toy too and I wanted something fun, something big and something that he would enjoy for years. After searching I found this gorgeous pop up Hideaway House and Tunnel Play Tent set. It cost me £36.99 from ebay and the delivery was £5.95 so just over £40 in total. But when it arrived three days later I realised it was worth every penny!
The pop up tent and tunnel is made by the Pop Up Co and can be bought from various independant online retailors for approximately £40 so ebay does seem the best price I've seen for it. What's great about this set is that it is so easy to put up and down! It literally takes 20 seconds to put up and only slightly longer to put down!
The Hideaway House set comes in three different go anywhere bags, one for each of the end structures and one for the tunnel. The structures and tunnel all twist down when rotated to collapse them and are folded and stored in these matching bags. The fact you can put them up and down so easily and also take them anywhere you want with such ease means they are great multi-purpose toys. You can use them in the house, the garden, take one structure to the beach as a sun shield etc so it's great value for money!
In order to first 'assemble' the Hideaway house all you do is open the bags and give the two structures the smallest of twists and they pop right up in front of you! Each structure requires two long thin plastic poles be inserted in to the bottoms to create a stronger foundation for them but there is hidden compartments for these so children can't remove them very easily and they are hidden from view. These poles give them more support and make them more sturdy when standing. The tunnel on the other hand requires the same smallest twist and pops right up in to it's full shape and requires no other assembly. It's so easy!
The idea is that the two structures are placed at each end with the tunnel to connect them. There are velcro securing tags in place to hold everything together lightly and the whole system is great because due to the different windows and entrances each structure has there are different combinations you can create! You don't even need to have all three attached to each other if you don't want and can have them all seperately to create three different toys rather than one large one.
The structure also comes with 'curtains' this means that windows and entrances can be covered so your child can hide. Again these are either held back by tiny velco straps or piece of matching material. My son has now learnt to pull down the curtains and he can sit in the Hideaway House for ages playing because the novelty of being hidden from view while not being too far away is new to him. It's very sweet and it gives him some independance while also allowing me to keep an eye on him. I can do this because the tops of the structures and half of the tunnel is made from see through mesh type material which is great for parents but also fun for children too so they can see out if they are being chased etc! My little boy loves being able to see us but knowing we can touch him if we are playing chase!
The dimensions of the tent and tunnel are 90x90x260cm so you need a big space to have these up insdie but it's very worth it! The great thing is that The Pop Up Co have complete ranges of accompanying pieces so if you wanted to you could create a whole maze of tents and tunnels and due to the velcro fastening straps they can all be used together! Although we are quite happy with this structure I wouldn't be against buying one more piece to attach at some point!
I give this 5 stars because I can't fault it and it's already given my son hours of fun. I'm also quite pleased that when my friends older children come over to play they enjoy playing in the tents and tunnels just as much so I feel like we will get a good few years worth from this which is great! The product is well made and I particularly rate it for my son because he can't hurt himself on it. Because he's so young he still likes to drag his body over things and sometimes pushes himself on to the structures of tunnels, because they pop up and down they easily give under his weight and don't hurt him when he lays on them and they always pop right back up afterwards so I don't have any worried there!
Also it's worth mentioning that although it could be used outside I wouldn't recommend leaving it outside as it's not durable enough to withstand the elements for long periods. It's thin material and wouldn't keep water out and although would dry out in the sunshine I wouldn't recommend leaving it in the garden etc. It' sos easy to put up and down though so it shouldn't be too difficult to move inside from outside.
Overall a very recommendable way of giving your child hours of fun and games!