* Prices may differ from that shown
My niece had a garden house from the Keter range when she was younger. Ours was slightly different that the one shown above but I believe ours no longer is made and this is one of the newer versions. There is one that is more similar to ours available from the Tesco Direct website for £100. The range of Keter houses vary in price with basic ones around £50 going up to around £120.
==My nieces garden home==
My mum bought this for my niece when she was around 2 and it was played in very often until she was around 8! Ours was green in colour (somewhere in between the two greens shown above) with yellow detailing. The roof was red as were the windows and door. The design was similar to that shown above except there were no doors on the left side and instead an opening window, there was a long yellow bench along the left hand side and there was a picket fence surrounding the right hand side and half of the front. In total my nieces 'house' was about 3m x 2m.
==Assembling the house==
My mum ordered this online and it was delivered flat pack so therefore needed putting together. Everything included with the house is made from plastic and my Dad found it very simple to piece the house together and it was all done within an hour. My mum was a bit sceptical about the quality of the fit because often with plastic toys they are difficult to get to fit well. However, all pieces slid easily into place and it all fitted together very well.
==The finished house==
The house looked fantastic when it had been pieced together and it is safe to say that my niece was extremely excited when she saw it! The house also came with a couple of accessories including a watering can and a type of cover that could be attatched on the left hand side behind the bench to provide a bit more shelter.
The house was of a good size and with me being the auntie that still lived at home at the time I often found myself in the house whilst Ellie made me 'tea'. The left hand side of the house was slanted so unless I was sat on the bench I found it a bit uncomfortable to stand but in the larger, right hand side I could stand up straight if I was in the middle of the roof!
The 'garden' was a bit more Ellie sized and was only about 80cm wide but as the house is designed for children not for me it was perfectly sized and Ellie enjoyed pottering around in her garden copying Grandma. There are a couple of sort of window boxes provided which my Mum put some plants in which Ellie loved as she could tend to her garden just like my Mum.
==Using the house==
Ellie used the house for at least 5 or 6 years so it is fair to say my Mum certainly got her moneys worth! When Ellie first got it she was only tiny (awww) and enjoyed just tottering in and out through the gates and sitting on the bench. We often gave her some toys to play with inside too and she loved sitting in there in her own little space.
When she was a little older, around 3-4 she began inviting others into her home for tea and she began to use the watering can and was allowed her own plants etc. At this age her friends also began to come over after nursery and later school and they all enjoyed it too. It was very simple for them to make up games such as mummies and daddies or even a garden centre and they had great fun. 2 or 3 children could easily fit in here.
Growing older still, Ellie continued to love her house and used it still as regularly as she had previously. Before she really began to grown out of it she sort of converted it into her den, she would go in there and draw and sometimes even eat her dinner in there if the weather was nice.
I think my mum was very surprised at the quality of this house. As stated previously we had it for over 5 years and nothing ever broke or needed replacing, not even the fabric cover that went behind the bench. Everything stayed in fantastic condition which was surprising when you consider how extreme Ellies tantrums used to be!
The plastic did begin to fade a little but it certainly didnt look washed out and old, instead the colours were simply a little more subtle than they used the be.
There was nothing wrong with the house when we got rid of it, infact Ellie did get rather upset it was going but my Mum had recently ended up with 2 rescue rabbits and she wanted the patio space to put a large hutch and run and we really didnt have room for it elsewhere as we do have a small garden.
When taking it down, it was very simple to do and nothing was broken in the process, I assume my mum gave it to a friend because I doubt she would have just got rid of it after how much Ellie enjoyed it. I am quite certain that if we had had a larger garden then it would have definitely stayed and when my new niece or nephew comes along in June I am sure that either Mum or my sister will end up buying them something very similar when they are a little bit older.
The house was pretty much perfect in our opinion but a slight improvement could be more accessories, maybe some pots with some plastic plants or a couple more garden tools but these could always be bought as an additional feature afterwards and this would allow personalisation.
It would also be nice to be able to choose from a greater colour range as the current model is extremely bright and some people would much rather have something a little more neutral in their garden.
Ellie loved this summer house and even if you mention it now she still talks of it very fondly! She used to play in it in all seasons and has even been known to refuse to come in when it has been raining lightly because she can stay in her house and keep dry. At points, this house was played in every day and it was always her first choice of toy when she got to our house and she would head straight out into the garden. I think she really enjoyed having a space of her own and even more so being able to garden just like her Grandma did. The quality of the house was exceptional and it is almost certain that when someone in our family does buy another similar product we will certainly consider the Keter brand because for very reasonable prices you can get a good sized, great quality product which is bound to be loved for years and years. This would be fantastic for any child from around the age of 2 and if you are a multi-child household then I can guarantee one of these houses would be a very strong investment.
Currently the most similar product Keter have to our house is called My Garden House which can be seen on the official website here http://www.keter.com/products/my-garden-house/ and it can be purchased from Tesco Direct for just £100.
I thinks all children love running in and out of Wendy houses and my son was no exception. However most of these do look rather girly and my husband tends to be a bit fussy on this. Luckily we found the Keter Villa Playhouse at B&Q a few years back for the bargain price of £99, with a very nice picnic bench included. The Keter Villa Playhouse comes in 3 colours, the green shown above, white, and a brown model with a green roof which we bought. The house has two sections. The main section has the yellow door, and a window with shutters. This section can be used freestanding without the second attachment if you are short of space. The second part has two swinging doors, a window without shutters and is open in the back.
The table has a green base, red benches and a yellow top, and is absolutely brilliant. This has been kept indoors and both my sons ate at this for years ( we do not have room in the kitchen for a table). The oldest is just now moving to a TV tray type table. This is also used for schoolwork at times and every type of arts and crafts project available. It gets carried outdoors in the summer for picnics, and has been in use every day for years.
My husband has set this up a few times as it was originally outdoors, then moved to my sons room, and then the extra side bit taken down as it took up too much room. As I did not actually do very much of the set up, it is hard for me to be fair, but it did take him a couple of hours each time, and judging by the amount of curse words, stomping back and forth and gushing blood on one occasion, I will have to assume set up was not as easy as he might have wished.
This item spent 3 years outdoors and has spent another 6 months indoors. There is some fading of the roof due to son, but it is otherwise in perfect condition. I am very happy with the way this has lasted and expect to have for many years as it will be handy for garden storage when the boys outgrow it.
This playhouse is currently for sale for £109 at Tesco, but it does not mention the table. Argos had them for £89 recently with the table, but they are currently out of stock. I would recommend waiting for one with the table if possible, as this is the most used part of this set.
This product has brought hours and hours of fun. It is currently filled up with Action Men and their vehicles, but they regularly get tossed onto the bed to make room for play. The children climb in and out and over the top of this toy, and both boys really love it. Indoors or outdoors this has provided the setting for hours of creative and active play, and I am really well pleased that we bought this. A brilliant toy that will bring smiles to any young child, I would recommend this for children age 1-5. Older children will still enjoy it, but it would not be worth the purchase price in my opinion for a child over 5.