As I mentioned earlier, there's a definite Thomas & Friends theme going on here today at The Madhouse ! After reviewing Thomas's upcoming new DVD "Thomas In Charge" (here) and the wooden train toys from "Day of the Diesels" (here), I want to tell you about a fabulous indoor play tent that we won in a competition on the TIPS website here (which is a great place to head to if you're pregnant or a new mum and want advice and support on breastfeeding and all things baby-related).
I kept it for Pierre for Christmas and all three Madhouse mini-testers have been having great fun investigating it ! It's a pop up tent so it couldn't be easier to set up because as soon as you pull it out of the box, it springs to life and takes on the form you need to play in it. There are added flexible struts to give it more strength and solidity and ties to link the various parts together.
I was impressed at how well thought out it is as a play structure because there is so much to do. It really is a Thomas AND FRIENDS tent too because you get not only Thomas but also Annie, Clarabelle and Cranky to play in. You can climb into Cranky then stand up with your head poking out of the top, look through the round hole or use it to poke your arm through and pretend to be Cranky's crane arm yourself. Clarabelle and Annie the two carriages provide a tunnel to crawl through that leads from Cranky to Thomas, which appears to be great fun, whether you're aged 2, 6 or 10 ! (Sophie wouldn't let me take a photo of her in it but believe me, she's been in there too !)
The Thomas part is also great fun because you can stand up and pretend to be the train driver as well as put your arms through the two holes. Juliette likes sitting down so nobody can see her then popping up to make us jump when we walk past !
The only problem is, it's quite big when all three parts are tied together so you will need quite a large area of floor space to install it in. The good side of this, though, is that two children - or three, if they're not squabblers ! - can all play quite happily in it at the same time. You could also use the three elements separately if space is an issue.
Any Thomas fan will love it, and even those who aren't huge fans of the show will still love the "adventure playground" aspect.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £39.99
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