Style and Design
A super little hard wearing wooden playhouse, Tigercub's Playden - also marked by some sellers as the Mini Den is an ideal entry level, no nonsense, no frills model for the younger child. It features an attractive, traditional mini shed style design with an apex roof and nice Georgian style framed window. There are two attractive roof finials as well and the overall appearance is of an attractive little garden feature which smaller children will just love.
The Playden is finished in quality12mm shiplap cladding mounted on a robust 44 x 28mm frame with a loglap option also available. The roof and foor are also of tongue and groove timber construction with the roof finished off in green mineral felt for increased weather resistance. The windows are glazed in 2mm styrene for safety and the door secured by a child friendly magnetic safety catch.
The playhouse has a 3' x 4' (0.85 x 1.15m) footprint. The height at the apex of the roof is 4'8'' (1.45m) with an eaves height of 3'9'' (1.2m). The door opening measures 3'6'' x 1'8'' (1.1 x 0.55m) and the window 1'6'' x 2' (0.457 x 0.610m).
The woodwork receives a water based red cedar basecoat prior to delivery. A final decorative/preservative finish will require to be applied at the time of construction and maintained during the life of the building.
A number of options are available for the Tigercub Playden. These will vary from seller to seller but typically include an installation option, an internal shelf kit, black door pull, a selection of DIY timber finishes, a window box, additional window, silicone sealant kit and, subject to availability, a loglap cladding upgrade.
The playhouse is delivered in largely pre-formed panels ready for home assembly by the purchaser.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
An ideal buy if you're looking for a simple, no frills quality wooden playhouse with a robust, hard wearing construction. There are certainly fancier playhouses around in this size and price range but we don't think many, if any, of them compare in terms of the materials used and potential longevity of the Tiger Cub Playden.
12mm interlocking shiplap cladding is used throughout mounted on a 44 x 28mm frame with rounded edging. Properly assembled this will give you a strong, stable construction, well able to stand up to the play of enthusiastic youngsters. The floor and roof are constructed in real wood too which we much prefer to the solid sheet osb, sometimes as thin as 8mm, used in some cheaper models. Wooden flooring and roofing is stronger, more durable and less liable to early damage and deterioration due to moisture than solid sheet osb and the Playden's roof is finished in mineral felt which will add to its weather resistance.
Do note that the playhouse receives only a preservative basecoat prior to delivery which means that you will have to apply a final decorative/preservative finish as soon as possible after it arrives on your doorstep. We'd suggest you do this before you put the building together to make sure you reach all the necessary parts - and it's a good idea to turn the panels upside down when decorating to make sure the finish runs right into the joins between the shiplap cladding. Pay particular attention to the underside of the floor and the bearers as these won't be easy to get at once the playhouse is up. Usefully, some retailers offer a choice of suitable DIY finishes for your Playden. Otherwise, have a look at our feature on wooden playhouse decoration (opens in a new window) for some ideas.
The Playden is delivered in pre-formed panels making home assembly relatively straightforward with some basic tools. The materials look to be good quality so we don't see any real issues on that score. Be aware, though, that wood is a natural material and as such some rough edges may escape the manufacturing process. Check the woodwork thoroughly prior to decoration/assembly and have some sandpaper handy to smooth off any imperfections you may come across. Safety is well addressed with the virtually unbreakable styrene window and the magnetic door catch. There are also safe door hinges with rubber protection for added reassurance.
Depending on the retailer a good range of options can be purchased for your Tigercub Playden. In all honesty we think you're unlikely to need the installation option given the relative simplicity of assembly. We like the internal shelf kit though, the window box and the option to add an extra window. In fact, you can opt to have no windows at all if you wish but that wouldn't be our preference. The silicone kit is useful too - and if a manufacturer's warranty is important to you, you should note that to have the benefit of the 10 year guarantee on offer it's necessary not only to treat the playhouse annually with an appropriate high quality preservative but also to seal glazing units inside and out with a silicone or other watertight sealant. You may also find a loglap upgrade but at the time of review we couldn't find any sellers offering this.
Taking everything into account, we see the Tigercub Playden as a good buy if you like a simple straightforward design that's easy to put together and which, properly looked after, will last many years. We think its better value than its nearest rival, the Toddlers' Retreat and the specification of the construction, especially the wooden floor and roof gives it a distinct advantage over some of its other, cheaper, competitors. It's true you'll have to apply and maintain a decorative/preservative finish but this is more or less par for the course when it comes to playhouses in this class - or most outdoor wooden buildings for that matter - and we really don't see it as an issue. The only thing that occurs to us is that it might be a little small for some requirements and that for a little extra outlay the Tigercub Den will give you all the advantages of the Playden coupled with some extra play space - always assuming you have the room. We've given the Playden 4.5 wooden playhouse stars - but if the size is right for you, feel free to consider it a five star model!