Monday, December 05, 2011

Garden Games Fairy Princess Tent Review

fairy princess tent
I’m rubbish at DIY, so the prospect of building a children’s play tent out of wood was a challenging one. Sure I’ve built IKEA products before, but this is something to be used by children so I couldn’t afford to mess up. I’m also terrible at putting a tent, which doesn't help for a play tent.

So after seeing an assortment of poles and a bag of screws I set out to follow the instructions to the letter and build the Garden Games Fairy Princess Tent. Wish me luck.

The parts arrived in a long cardboard box, and because of the lack of a box covered in branding it made everything feel more hand made and special than something that looked mass produced. It also looked very similar to how an IKEA product would arrive, with a set of instructions in a big box, and a bunch of plastic shapes and pieces of wood.

After checking out the instructions I was relieved to see there are just six different types of parts needed to make the main structure, and it was easy enough to see how they go together without the need for instructions. The play tent has a hexagonal shape, which then extends up through five rods to another hexagon and a triangle on top. Simple.

So you start off with a hexagon:

Add the poles, and another hexagon:

And create the top:

The rods slot in to plastic holders and you screw them in to place one by one. It takes around 40 screws to hold everything in place and you’re done. I spent 30 minutes building the tent, but that was mainly time spent screwing the pieces in place.When I was done, I could proudly add a flag on top.

The base on mine ended up slightly wonky as I screwed in the screws diagonally in places, so it would have helped if the rods themselves had holes for the screws to go in to, but this didn’t seem to affect the integrity of the structure and it all evened out by the time I had finished.

When it’s built you throw a single sheet over the top which comes complete with doors and windows and you’re done. Once built the structure feels incredibly sturdy and I don’t really see how it could be pulled or knocked over unless an adult deliberately wanted to do so with force.

At 1.5m wide, it’s a big play tent, and occupied a good space in my front room whilst testing out. If you don’t have the space in your home, the tent can be placed outside as well so it’s very much a dual purpose tent. Personally it seems such a nice design that it’s hard to imagine it outside in the dirt, but it’s nice to know the construction is strong enough to be safe out there, and that it won't blow over easily.

The play tent has flowers and butterflies drawn on it, and a nice purple and pink design. Inside the play tent you have doors and windows with fabric that covers them up so you can play peek-a-boo, or roll up the fabric and tie it up if you want to look out on your loyal subjects.

The cotton cover reminds me of hiding under a sheet between two chairs and pretending it was a fort. This is clearly a far better solution and my niece and nephew loved playing around with it.

Despite my initial fear of building it, I’m now quite proud looking at the Fairy Princess Tent and seeing how sturdy it looks. It certainly looks better than most tents I’ve ever built and gives you everything a little girl could want from their own little play house. A cute design with windows and doors for the girls, and a safe structure giving piece of mind for the adults.

Provided by Play

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).