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Reviewed on: 3/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
My 5 and 8 year old boys were always constructing tents and forts out of cardboard and sofa cushions, so we're all happy with the idea that they now have designated toys (not my furniture) to use for building. They have spent hours redesigning tent ideas and playing inside their forts. That said, I'm only giving this 4 stars because it is very hard for a kid to tie these poles together. I know the product states it's for age 8 and up, but my 8 year old is easily frustrated and doesn't have the knowledge yet of how to construct something that won't fall down. The result is that I have pretty much built every construction for them, which is fine - I enjoy stuff like that. Once I get the frame in place, they use clothespins to clip on the sheer coverings, and then I don't see them for hours. The rods are nice quality - strong, and well wrapped with the nylon. The sheer coverings seems a little flimsy, but they've held up to some serious pulling and stretching, so no problems there. I definitely recommending ordering a second set of sheers just for coverage. My only real complaint about the product is the lack of instructional detail. I thought they would at least have a suggestion for "how to build" a basic structure, but our set came with nothing. It was only after some serious playing around that I figured out I could tie TWO poles together to make taller poles, and then use three of those to make a tee-pee structure. That, for now, is the most stable for little kids. Then we use the extra poles to add tunnels, supports, rooms, etc to our main tee-pee tent. I recommend this for older kids who enjoy the challenge of building things (mine are young enough that they prefer playing inside something already built), or for any family with an adult who is up for the challenge of fort construction. We've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it.
Reviewed on: 12/26/2012 12:00:00 AM
This is a great product in theory, and the poles are well-constructed. However, it is very difficult in practice to use, even for older children. My 9 and 11-year old sons have not been successful in building a stable structure with this. It collapses easily, and takes someone experienced with knots and building to make it work well. (Boy Scout knot tying apparently isn't enough!) It has been a big disappointment to the boys, and to me as well, since this was a very expensive purchase that will get almost no use. Please note that the fabric panels are sheer, not opaque, which was also a disappointment to the kids.
- Mom to Boys