Hands up who’s lived in a cluttered, tiny apartment with kids?
My hand is up. Is yours?
Well if it’s not, you’re lucky. These days, with property prices in metropolitan Australian cities becoming ridiculously expensive – to buy or rent – some families can’t afford the luxury of living in a spacious house with a plethora of space for kids to run wild.
This was us, not too long ago.
While we were renting an apartment in Cairns while looking for a property to buy, we found space to be a major issue for my kids. A place for them to just play was almost impossible so the apartment was almost always messy – because they didn’t have a designated play area. Play just ended up happening everywhere and anywhere and truth be told, messy drives me a little bonkers. Especially when the mess involves toys – the toys I try to collect throughout the day so no one falls over and breaks a bone.
It was around this time I was contacted by Jeni Rose – founder and creator of Pocket Playhouse – about a product she developed for space-deprived families. Essentially, it was a portable playhouse made of washable fabric that you place over your dining table so the kids could transport to the world of their imagination.
I was really excited to review this product because even though we had moved to a house by the time I received it, I knew using space that was already taken up by a dining table for play was still clever, a great use of space – and best of all, temporary. I didn’t need a big teepee to keep in the corner, or a cubby to disassemble or move outside; basically, to remove the playhouse all I had to do was remove it from the table. And just like that, it would vanish. And my house could go back to normal.
So when I opened my little pocket, spotting the instructions made me sigh great relief because I am completely hopeless with putting together even the simplest of things. And thankfully, the instructions were straight forward and clear enough for me to work out without calling the waaahmbulance (my husband) to fix the situation. Meanwhile I had Miss 2 trying to ‘help’ me and that meant not really helping me at all because all she wanted me to do was hurry up and make her playhouse so she could play!
And then she spotted these…
… and I knew she would go berserk wanting to put them all on by myself Mamma! By myself Mamma!
Once the playhouse was fitted on the table and we managed to get the levelling of the material nice and even, Miss 2 went on with her task of sticking all the felt shapes on the theme attachment (cleverly designed as little squares of velcro, so they can change it up every time) and she had a ball doing it, too!
While I’m on the subject of attachments, here’s where Pocket Playhouse is really handy, particularly for children that get bored easily (mine). Once you’ve purchased your playhouse and chosen your initial theme, you can buy other themes at a later date, and you can simply alternate with whatever is floating your kids’ boat at that time, or even mix and match shapes and they can make their own theme!
These pictures were taken while my biggest girl was at school, so you see the playhouse neat, tidy and clean. When Miss 5 came home the girls immediately brought in all the toys and they had an absolute ball in their little special place. To this day, they play houses, babies, drag their dollhouse in, their little people, their barbie cars, they pretend-cook in there, have morning tea in there and as a result of all this make-believe, they make all kinds of mess. But the best thing about it is… The mess stays in one place.
You CANNOT tell me this is not cute!
Other attachments you can buy include Australiana, Barnyard, Christmas, Circus, Dinosaurs, Dollhouse (pictured), Jungle, Little Chef, On the Beach, Pirate, Sea Life, Space and Transport. You can get a better look here.
Why I love the Pocket Playhouse
It’s storable. I mean, totally storable. Once you are done with it for the day, you can squish it back into its little pocket and squish it into a cupboard until you break it out for more playtime.
At $120 RRP, it’s affordable, if you consider it’s a long-term investment you can take anywhere and wash to look as good as new again.
It comes with an extender for bigger tables.
It’s colourful and bright and I love colourful and bright.
It’s great for small spaces or even large spaces – less toy-clutter for all! Hoorah!
For more information on this fantastic concept and creation, visit The Pocket Playhouse. There you’ll find everything you need to know before you buy, complete with instructional videos so if you are an instruction dummie (like me) you’ll totally get your playhouse up and ready to rock.All comments read, appreciated and responded to. So thank you x