Tag Archive for Little Tikes

Little Tikes Log Cabin

Little Tikes Log Cabin

Caitlin in her Little Tikes Log Cabin

It’s great having a ‘Summer Baby’ because you’re guaranteed good weather for their birthdays.

That’s right, so when we were planning Caitlin’s second birthday at the start of May we figured it would be marvelous if we had some outside toys for her. Great idea. Except that it then turned out to be -34° with weather that wouldn’t have seemed out of place on one of Jupiter’s outer moons. So it took her a little longer than we expected. to get introduced to her Little Tikes Log Cabin.

side view of Little Tikes Log Cabin

Harry & Caitlin in the Log Cabin

Some might have caviled at this, stating that we could have put the thing up indoors. And here is the first and most important point of the new Log Cabin by Little Tikes. The dimensions on the box say 4’.8 by 4’, but if you’re anything like me, that might as well be written in Romalan. I’m not great with numbers and slightly worse with spatial awareness; so I just looked in the box. Easy when you know the tricks. In the box it looked huge, out of the box and upright it’s massive. And that’s fine with us because this was after all our first criteria. There are loads of cabins out there which look fun and have extra-fiddly thingummies but we wanted space. And the Little Tikes Log Cabin is the one of the biggest in the price-range.

So we delayed. Luckily only a couple of days until the temperature reached a balmy -21° but then it was all systems go. The second great thing about the cabin is the ease with which you can put it all up. We’ve never had a cabin/wendy-house before so -in their defense- they might all be really easy to construct. But we were still struck by the no-nonsense method of putting this together. The four walls slot together, the roof slots on and you have 8 screws with which to attach the roof to the walls in case there’s a big wind. And with Caitlin that’s always on the cards. Anyway, that’s it. You do need two people because it’s pretty solid but that’s about it.

Harry & Caitlin playing in Log Cabin

Fun in the Little Tikes Log Cabin

inside Little Tikes Log Cabin

inside the Little Tikes Log Cabin

When Caitlin set her eyes on her Little Tikes Log Cabin, she was dumbfounded. She even stopped singing the Bing Bong song for a few minutes so we knew she was discombobulated! Two days after her party she was still in ‘birthday-mode’ which meant that anything she saw was ‘Mine!’ and, by a happy coincidence, this was indeed hers. She immediately ran inside and checked out the extras. There is a phone in a wall-holder, a picture of a fire (this is a homestead after all) and a pop-up table. Other than that there are windows in each wall and a stable-door. Personally I wouldn’t have previously imagined that something as simple could be so endlessly diverting, and yet she and her brother Harry (3 ¾) played inside, outside, climbed through the windows, talked to their absent elder brother Tom on the phone, ate invisible food on the table and sometimes just sat on the floor for the whole of the morning. They occasionally wandered into the house to witter nonsensically about something or other, but other than that the cabin proved to be a magnet for them. And, it must be said, this continues to be the case. Every time Caitlin now walks through the French doors she reiterates her ownership with a subtle “Cakekin’s ‘ouse” and spends a great percentage of each day playing inside. Harry too.

playing in the Log Cabin

Caitlin playing in her Log Cabin

Quite simply, it is fabulous. It’s a great addition to our outside space, which isn’t huge but now has enough distinct areas to distract our children long enough for us to pretend that we have some free time. It’s safe and just looks fun. Little Tikes have thought carefully about what you need for a toy that must of necessity stay outside and it’s genuinely solid, really quite heavy,  weather-proof and has the minimum of things that might go rusty in the rain. Just the 8 screws in fact, and they are all encased in plastic inside the cabin. The solidity of the cabin is probably the reason for the price, which is quite high at around £320 or upwards . You can pick some similar ones up for less but this is the only one we’ve seen with the space and the solidity with which we felt comfortable. So, you get what you pay for in our opinion.  I have to say, I never had one of these when I was younger -or even a desire for one – and so it came as a bit of surprise how fantastic both kids think it is. And what a pleasant surprise it was.

by Dave Fouracre aka Dave The Dad – Dad to Tom 6, Harry nearly 4 and Caitlin 2

Read Sarah (Mum)’s view on the Log Cabin

May 2012

You can Buy The Little Tikes Log Cabin Playhouse Here

The Little Tikes Log Cabin Playhouse – A Mum’s View

Harry & Caitlin playing in Log CabinWe all have a list of priorities for our children, in particular those things we want to encourage. For me, nurturing a good imagination comes close to the top.

From day one, the Little Tikes Log Cabin offered both my children, Caitlin (2) and Harry (3), the opportunity to dip their toe into the imaginative world of adulthood. “Are you ready for preschool?” Harry shouts to Caitlin. “Hurry up, we’ll be late.” And so the game began. Breakfast was served on the little table. The windows were opened and closed, apparently to let the cat in and out, whilst the phone rang numerous times:  Daddy;  Nan and Pop  even Santa!  Then, Caitlin hands to the phone to me, “Nanny,“ she tells me, holding the phone to my ear…. By this time, the idea of being late for preschool had been completely forgotten! And so the game continued… at one point in the style of The Gingerbread Man, Harry as the gingerbread man, Caitlin, scarily, as the fox….  I might add that the house has also been ‘preschool’ on a number of occasions. And for a change I have been the one being told it is ‘tidy up time’ rather than the other way round!

Since arriving, the place of choice for lunch to be served is… the house. I smile in the knowledge that my vacuum will be getting a day off. Caitlin, however, has taken to taking hers out to the house, followed closely by Harry who has grabbed the dustpan and brush… In the distance I hear Harry moan “I wish you two would keep your food on your plates.” Do I really say that?

Little Tikes Log CabinIn short,The Little Tikes Log Cabin provides endless opportunities for imaginative play and its size, particularly its height, and, most importantly, its sturdiness means I can see it lasting and lasting. I also like the idea of the children being outside in the fresh air… and the fact that this house is genuinely one of the few situations where they have learnt to play together rather than in parallel. In their world, in the house, they tell a story together… Or at least Harry tells Caitlin what to do and she seems happy enough to do it!

I have read criticisms of the fact it has a stable door. I, however, see this as one of the benefits of the house. There are no scary moments where someone shuts the door when the shutters are closed and they find themselves in pitch black. Equally, it allows me to have a little non-evasive sneaky peek at what they are doing without interrupting their game.

If only I was their age again. Their world seems much more interesting!


Sarah Wenn (Mum to Harry, nearly 4 and Caitlin 2)

Read Dave the Dad’s take on the Log Cabin Here


The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

It was my son’s third birthday last week. The party was a separate entity altogether, a monster that had taken over my partner’s life and smothered her humour in a light but sweet, sweet dusting of icing for a Gruffulo cake that she had been perfecting through four days and three attempts. It was her own fault really. She made the textbook error of asking Harry what sort of party cake he would like.

Harry in the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe‘Gruffulo,’ he answered decisively.

‘A Gruffulo party?’ we asked hopefully. But then, when we might have escaped, added, ‘Or a Gruffulo cake and a Gruffulo party?’

His little eyes lit up, like the teenager’s first understanding that it’s not how you dance, it’s the fact you’re dancing at all that counts. So cake AND party it was. The party bit was ok, there are loads of sites selling Gruffulmiscellania. As it happens there is also a recipe for a Gruffulo cake on the Guardian website. It looked so easy. But then isn’t that what the indiginous people of North America said as they saw three poorly rowed boats humping through the surf towards the beach? But that’s a different story. First we had the actual birthday.

Big Birthday Presents

We’d asked him what he wanted here as well. I know, I know, well, you live and learn, if you’re lucky. ‘Big presents,’ he said.

‘Ok, fair enough Harry, now pretend the Birthday Stoat has got you one big present. What else would you like? Go on, anything.’Harry and Caitlin having fun with the Cozy Coupe

We added this firm in the knowledge that his realm of knowledge only really expanded to Toy Story in one direction and colouring pencils in the other. It didn’t really matter as his answer was not massively helpful.

‘Another big present,’ was his thoughtful reply.

Anyway, the first big present was a Little Tikes Anniversary Edition Cozy Coupe Ride-On car. It’s a big old title and has something to do with the fact that this toy is now 30 years old apparently. I can see why. When Harry first unwrapped it (basically pulled the blanket off as there was no way I was spending 25 minutes wrapping it in Postman Pat paper for Harry to shred it in 1.43 seconds) his face lit up.

‘Wow!’ he said and smiled like the cat who got the cream, stole the jog, sold the jug for an exorbitant price and then went and bought some more cream with it.

It is a fabulous toy and one that goes against a great deal of understanding about what makes kids love certain toys. It’s a little car, all pretty easy so far, and there are lovely touches such as the removeable petrol cap, the horn, the ignition key which turns and rattles. The door which opens, closes and even locks is a lovely touch. Other than that your child puts their feet through the bottom of the detachable floor and then they move about whilst gripping the wheel. It’s not as though they go fast (such as on his scooter), or even that it’s easier than walking, but somehow the kids love it. Our biggest problem on his birthday was prising our 14 month old daughter away from it long enough for Harry to avoid clunking her over the head with his Buzz Lightyear. Again. For reference the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe can be used with younger kids, such as our Caitlin for the detachable floor merely clicks in beneath the seat and viola! younger ones are enclosed in the cabin with no fear of dragging their legs on the floor. You have to push them but let’s face it kids aren’t generally averse to parents running around after them.The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Three days later at Gruffulogate it went down a storm with kids from 14 months to 4 all wanting to get in on the act. To be fair my eldest son Tom wanted a go but as he’s 5 in the body of an 8 year old it was a pipe dream. It’s solid, really attractive and sturdy enough to be used exclusively outside.

This is not a cheap present coming in at around 45 pounds. But we are really happy with it and we’re convinced that it’s something Harry will love for the next year or so, and Caitlin for two more after that. Now that’s a good return in my book. One thing I would say is that you need to give yourself time to assemble the sod. I opened it the day before his birthday, assuming that four large plastic pieces would be accompanied by about 10 bolts and a few fiddly, nobbly bits. Once opened I re-checked the box, convinced that I had accidentally bought the screws and rivets for an exact scale replica of the Golden Gate bridge. It took me 2 hours and three cups of tea. Give yourself time and space. Do not, DO NOT, open it on the morning hoping to say, ‘You just read your new book on Skyscrapers in Malaysia from Aunt Holly and I’ll throw this together for us!’ It’ll end in tears.The Gruffalo Cake

It’s a fab ‘big present’ and your kids’ll love it for years. It was certainly a success on the day and, good news, three days later he looked at the cake, his eyes lit up, and he squeaked ‘It’s a Gruffulo,’ with a look of pure pleasure. It lasted 13 minutes until he and his mates had demolished the whole bally thing. A well spent 15 hours practice? Definitely.