Toddlers and preschoolers love having spaces that are scaled for them! It’s cozy and has such grown up features as a doorbell, a phone and a kitchen. If you’re shopping for such a cottage (that you can use indoors or out)–take a look at the new Step 2′s Naturally Playful Countryside Cottage. What I love about these types of spaces is how kids play with them differently as they grow. For twos , the act of going in and out of the cottage is a huge part of the play- it’s much more about exploring the space and enjoying their new mobility–and ability to go move about a space independently. Older toddlers and preschoolers – armed with more language and ability to pretend–will enjoy spinning their own stories about what they’re cooking, who they’re talking to on the phone, etc.
Our family toy tester pointed out two drawbacks. The photo on the box shows the cottage with flowers in the window box. The product does not come with flowers and there is no drainage hole in the window box for real flowers. My recommendation – you can add a drainage hole if you’re going to use this outside–or use potted plants. The other comment was that there was no place to sit inside. While this cottage does not come with a bench or chair, our tester noted that there was space for a child-size chair inside. The cottage went together well (while the directions say a drill is optional–our tester felt the use of a drill made it much easier.)