* Prices may differ from that shown
Little Tikes are a well known American manufacturer of children's toys for indoor and out. This particular item is a small cottage (1.27m x 1.14m x1.31m) with 3 shuttered windows, a front door, a sink and hob, phone and a small corner table.
This cottage has been a staple toy in our garden for the past three years, I say in our garden but actually in that time we have had three different gardens, and this house has made the two moves with us. Through these moves the house has had various incarnations as an icecream shop, a doctor's and latterly is often used by children to play "school". Sometimes it is even played with as a house - in any event it is a great source of imaginative outside play and universally popular with any visitors.
The cottage is made of moulded plastic and comes in a large cardboard box that would require delivery. The instructions say that assembly is a two person job, however I did manage to put it up by myself singlehandedly when about six months pregnant during a heatwave (blame hormones and my eldest's over-excitement), so I would imagine that most people could manage it! The pieces slotted together with only some actually attaching of screws required - the roof is secured by screws. This is a sturdy item made to stand up to children's play.
As mentioned earlier we have disassembled the house a few times (carefully) with no ill effect. The inner kitchen area has a sink with a tap that can be rotated, a hob with stickers on and buttons to turn and there is also a phone which slots in the wall with pretend buttons. All these items have worn well. My children, and those who have played with the house seem to really enjoy having their own space and particularly opening and closing the door and shutters and chatting on the phone. I have spent many a long hour knocking on the door and being welcomed to tea parties in the cottage - an adult can fit in the cottage if willing enough, and any child's small seat and toy saucepans and food are great additions to enhance the play value of this item.
As our house has stayed outside it has weathered somewhat - the red has faded but the other colours have worn very well and look as good as new.
When researching current prices of this item I was rather horrified to find they now retail at around the £200 mark. I think when I bought it they were about £130 which I thought was a lot at the time, I guess the current price reflects the weak pound and it would be worth shopping around. We purchased ours from John Lewis who actually have one to try out in every store I have ever been to, so worth at trip to see one if you are considering buying this item.
This house does hold its value well, and they are always snapped up to fierce bidding wars on ebay where I have seen them sell up to about the £100 mark.
All these factors in mind I would recommend this cottage - I would think children would enjoy it from walking age and up to school age - my daughter is now 5 and still enjoys playing with it, though I have just measured and guesstimate a comfortable maximum height at around 1m 15cm so you might wish to bear this in mind.
There are no electronic gimmicks with this item - it doesn't need them, I would say that a playhouse is an excellent addtion to a garden if you have children and this one is very good and should provide a fair few years' enjoyment and hours of fun playing house.
I think this is a great playhouse we brought this for my daughters at the beginning of the summer and they loved it. They also had a little play cooker that we had brought them for Christmas that they put in there. I thought the little house was great as it kept them playing out in the fresh air but it also stopped them getting sunburnt and being in the sun for to long. They would play in it for hours I don't no why opening and shutting windows and the door is so much fun, but I'm not complaining as it kept them amused. The house is very sturdy and safe. In the winter we plan to put the house in our garage so they can carry on playing with it. Overall I think this is a great and will last a long time so is worth the money you pay.
The Little Tikes Country Cottage is a safe, robust playhouse for your 2-8 year olds. It is available in three colour combinations: primary, pink or green, so there'll be a perfect one for any fussy youngster. The playhouse is designed for simple self-assembly only, requiring minimal tools (screwdriver and hammer only). The interior is fully equipped with pretend sink, tap, and stove, plus a push-button phone and fully operating windows and full size door. Hours of fun!