Style and Design
A delightful compact wooden playhouse designed in a traditional style with apex roof, single door, fixed window and verandah. Plenty of character in the finish with wooden framed windows and a round door knob. The playhouse is ideal for smaller children and will provide hours of imaginative play. Decorative stencils are also provided so you can decorate your wooden cottage to your own taste. And not only that - the playhouse includes a fantastic kitchen feature with an easy fill water butt, basin and a stainless steel utensil set - a surefire winner.
You can see a promotional video here of an earlier version of this fantastic playhouse. Although there are one or two stylistic differences and the version featured doesn't include the play kitchen it will still give you a good idea of what the TP Meadow Cottage is all about.
The playhouse is constructed throughout in untreated Grade 1 FSC timber. For peace of mind the windows are glazed in virtually unbreakable styrene.
The playhouse measures 3'3'' wide by 4'4'' deep (99 x 131cm). Height at the ridge is 4'10'' (146cm).
The wood used in construction is unfinished and untreated. A final preservative/decorative treatment will require to be applied at the time of construction.
The cottage is delivered flat packed in easy to assemble pre-formed panels ready for treatment and home assembly.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
TP Toys produce a range of compact, affordable and highly attractive wooden playhouses which are ideally suited to smaller children and more limited spaces and their Meadow Cottage is an ideal example. It features a simple design but there's enough there to make it interesting with its covered, wooden floored verandah and multi-paned styrene glazed windows - and it comes with stencils to help you to add decoration to your own taste. For 2019 the design of the playhouse was slightly changed and a super kitchen feature was added which includes a water butt and basin and stainless steel utensils.
If you haven't done so already it's worth having a look at the promotional video which will give you a great impression of Meadow Cottage and all it can offer the younger child. You can see it here (link opens in a new tab). Although it features the pre 2019 version of the cottage it will still give you an excellent idea of what you get with this one.
We see a few similarities between the Meadow Cottage and some other playhouses in TP's range. The design, for example, isn't a million miles away from the similarly priced TP Summer Lodge - and you would probably be forgiven if you were to say that Meadow Cottage is basically a TP Hideaway House with a verandah on the front. But we do think Meadow Cottage has a certain charm all of its own.
Like most of TP's smaller range, Meadow Cottage features a decent basic construction - but there are one or two things you should be aware of. The wood is untreated before delivery which means you'll have to apply a final preservative finish if the playhouse is to be used outside. This should be done at the time of assembly or, ideally, just before. Although it means a slight delay in having the cottage ready for play, if you apply the finish before you put the building together it's easier and reduces the risk of areas being missed. The wood used is lightweight in nature but once the playhouse is properly assembled the structure should be reasonably robust and fit for purpose. Take care to check the timbers over for any splinters or rough edges prior to assembly and make sure these are properly smoothed off before finishing. With wood being a natural material - and this being a budget type playhouse - you'll often find one or two rough edges and maybe some knotholes or natural splits which require attention while you're putting everything together.
You should also be aware that the roof is unlikely to remain truly weatherproof unless you apply a covering of shed felt. Although this involves a little extra work it will be worthwhile if the playhouse is to be used outside and keeping the elements out is important to you. You can easily pick up some roofing felt a any decent diy store such as B&Q or Wickes. And if you do decide to fit felt you'll need to make sure to use roof tacks which are short enough that they won't protrude into the playhouse and cause a hazard. Overall, however, assembly of Meadow Cottage shouldn't cause you too much difficulty. The playhouse comes in pre-formed panels which can easily be fitted together and the process shouldn't take too long once a suitable preservative has been applied.
You shouldn't have too many concerns about safety either. The styrene used in the windows is virtually unbreakable while we see finger gaps around the door to reduce the risk of little fingers being trapped. The wood is planed smooth too although as we suggest above, you should check thoroughly for any splinters or rough areas during the assembly process.
All in all we think Meadow Cottage is a decent enough playhouse for very young children and should provide good service during the early years. We have one or two concerns about its longevity and weatherproofing due to its relatively lightweight construction but given that it's aimed at very young children longevity may not be a major issue. It has some interesting features; we like the verandah to the front and the idea of adding your own decorative stencils is appealing. The kitchen feature's a welcome addition which, we think, will add another dimension to child's play. There's no method of securing the door though and you might want to look at installing a child friendly magnetic catch to save it swinging back and forth during play.
While Meadow Cottage has its attractions, we think that for long term outdoor use there are some other wooden playhouses in the same price range that might serve you better. We'd suggest you have a look at the Bunny Max, Little Lodge and Bunny - and if a verandah is important - one or two slightly larger models such as the Hide or the Club (though these will set you back a little more). Customer satisfaction with Meadow Cottage is high though so don't write it off! We've awarded three and a half wooden playhouse stars. The half's for the extra kitchen feature which you won't find on other models.