Thursday, 1 November 2012


I love garden toys and I love toys that lend themselves to imagination play and opportunities for learning.

So when we were offered a wigwam to review from Garden Games I was chuffed to bits because I could fulfil those requirements AND get something I have ALWAYS WANTED for myself.

When it arrived I immediately leapt into the garden and tipped the box out onto the patio to build it. I was initially baffled that there were no instructions included - but then found instructions on the side of the box, and felt a little dim. Then more dim for wanting instructions, because it was very straightforward. 

I found it a little complicated to get the string through the poles and the little wooden balls on in the right order (so that it was a circle when erected, rather than a figure of eight) but that might have been blindness brought on by my over excitement. 

The fabric of the wigwam is very, very good quality. Thick, strong canvas with strong stitching and lovely quality prints of animals for decoration. The loops inside for the poles to thread through are very strong and don't look like they'll just tear off (even with my kids, who can destroy practically anything).

With a waterproof coating the wigwam survived a rainy day's play in the garden and then came inside to the playroom to dry out and entertain some little 'injuns' - we told some stories and did some headband making craft and learned a little about other cultures (as much as kids as young as mine can) and I know that will be something we come back to doing again and again with the wigwam. 

I did initially struggle to stand the wigwam up with the poles spread evenly - it takes a little practice and you do need to take a little time to spread them from inside and play with them a bit. Then I have to hitch the canvass up again a bit as I worry about the seam being pulled apart at the top (though it's well stitched) then I have to adjust the poles again. I thought I was just being a bit dim until I watched my husband try - but as I'd already set it up a couple of times when he tried I had the knack and stepped in, very smugly, to do it for him when he struggled too. 

Once you've done it a couple of times this is easy too. 

As you can see, it's more than big enough for both of our kids to play inside at once. Midget Gem has taken to dragging cushions inside and falling asleep in there with a pile of books. Jellybean likes to talk about the construction of the wigwam and how the poles make a pattern at the top that looks like the sun.

There are some kinds of play tents around that cost less than this wigwam, which retails at £49.99 - but when we've bought cheap options before they last very little time, are very cheaply made with poor quality man made fabrics, and just don't have the feel that this one does. Sturdy, well made, with good quality fabric and wood, this is really something that will last for years and years, and will be fun for children of all ages (and parents who refuse to grow up).

As I type this my Dad, who is visiting, is sitting inside the wigwam reading a story to the kids before they go to bed. He is threatening to take it home with him - but I'd put up a fight! 

*Disclosure* I was sent the wigwam for free by Garden Games to review. All views are honest and my own. 

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