In the good old days you could give children a cardboard box and they would be happy for hours. Nowadays just trying to get hold of a large box is nigh on impossible as most things come wrapped in plastic.
So it seems Paperpod has hit on an ingenious idea – cardboard dens, play houses, rockets and bricks that promise to entertain your offspring in an eco-friendly way.
But does the promise hold up?I have to say yes! My three and five-year-olds were thrilled with the den their father and I constructed for them, and it's given them, the dogs, us and their friends lots of play. Even a visiting nine-year-old declared it "awesome".
The cardboard comes ready scored with flaps to fit into slots. There's a handy A4 page of instructions but it's simple enough to construct although it took two of us, one had to hold the cardboard steady while the other slotted it into place without tearing or bending it. Once up it's surprisingly sturdy.
Our den is hexagonal with round windows. There's also a hole at the top of the roof, which, according to my five-year-old, is "to let the smoke out", but in reality lets in some much-needed light. My only complaint is the door is rather a tight fit for adults, but maybe that's the point.
At £34.95 it does seem quite pricey for what is, after all, only cardboard. Obviously it won't last forever, but most toys don't seem to nowadays anyway and if you are eco-friendly this may be a great way to buy a toy that won't end up in landfill later.
It's great joy is it gives children twice the amount of play – painting and drawing on it as well as playing in it and while it is quite large, it can fold back down although that isn't going to happen for a long time in our house.
Obviously it can't be played with if it's wet outside and I don't know how long it would last if a particularly boisterous child played with it.
Overall this cardboard den has been a great hit and takes playing with cardboard boxes to a new level.
Paperpod toys can be bought from their website.
ParentView score: 5/5