A Child’s First: The Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage Playhouse

A playhouse is often the very first major piece of play equipment that a parent buys for their child. With so many brands and types of playhouses for sale, but so few detailed reviews, it can be hard to judge what is going to be a great value for the price, and what is going to be a waste of money.

After many hours of learning about the Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage Playhouse from various sources, I am able to share with you all there is to know about this wonderful outdoor playhouse. To see some great deals on Amazon for this playhouse, click here.

Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage PlayhouseImage Source

Features of the Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage Playhouse

This outdoor playhouse is almost entirely made from wood. The four wall panels are made from cedar and look like real siding. For great airflow and view, each wall includes a large, open window and the roof has two open gables. The playhouse does not include a floor. On three of the sides, there are also smaller, white windows. These window frames are made from plastic, and are also open to the air. There are no windows on the playhouse that open and close.

Under each of the white windows next to the front door, there is a shelf. The shelves each have a hole cut out, making them perfect for holding standard 4 inch flower pots. The door has a magnetic latch. The newer model does not include a doorbell.

Attached to one of the sides of this cedar playhouse is a bench. On the inside, there’s a play stove, sink, phone, and chimney.

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How Difficult is it to Assemble this Playhouse?

Most parents report taking 2-3 hours to put together this playhouse. The parts are marked but not labeled front or back, and there are tons of screws, making assembly a little confusing.

Once you’ve spent some time working on the playhouse, the instructions are pretty straightforward. One helpful reviewer suggests to start by setting every panel with each screw in place, but not tightening the screws until you’re absolutely sure everything is in the correct position.

What is the Age Range for this Backyard Discovery Playhouse?

Backyard Discovery (formerly known as Leisure Time Products) recommends that children be between 36 months and 10 years. However, parents with toddlers as young as 1 year are reporting that their kids love the playhouse.

By the time a child reaches 10, however, there aren’t very many features for older kids to enjoy. Plus, if they haven’t outgrown playing with play food, they will certainly have physically outgrown this playhouse. Even if they tried to continue to play with younger siblings in it, they would definitely feel a little cramped.

This is not to say that older kids can’t use it at all, of course. A small outdoor reading nook is always a nice thing to have. They would also still be able to use the outdoor attached bench.

Still, it’s better to buy this too early and have your kids grow into it than to buy it too late. Time with friends or siblings in a playhouse gives children a certain sense of privacy and ownership, creating an opportunity to cultivate their own vision of household activities. These are the kinds of memories that kids will recall fondly for the rest of their lives.

What are the Dimensions of this Playhouse?

The outside measures 4 ft 2 in long x 4 ft 2 in wide. From the center of the playhouse, the maximum height is right at 5 ft tall.

As with any play equipment, be sure to to leave ample space surrounding the structure for kids to play.

Protecting This Cedar Playhouse from the Weather

The cedar comes pre-stained. Applying a wood sealer or re-staining the outdoor playhouse annually will protect it from the elements and prevent splinters from forming.

Built as instructed, the roof will leak during rain showers. This is not a design flaw! As you may know, wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Having separation between the boards is a sign of well-planned, quality construction. Adding roofing felt on the back of the slats will keep the roof from leaking, but with the open style windows, it’s likely that the inside will get damp anyway.

Unless this wooden play structure is installed under complete cover (such as a porch or patio) I wouldn’t recommend letting your kids keep any non-plastic toys out in it. No one likes to run a stuffed toy through the dryer!

Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage PlayhouseImage Source

Bottom Line

The Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage Playhouse is a high quality cedar playhouse that will last for years. Its tiny footprint makes it great for small backyards. This wooden play structure is also a great value, since it costs almost exactly the same as the all-plastic Little Tikes Town Playhouse.

Amazon currently has this playhouse available with free shipping, making this offer a really great deal.

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