Your Kids Will Spend All Summer In This New Playhouse From Step2

by Cat Bowen

It's summer, which means parents will inevitably spending an incredible amount of time outdoors attempting to entertain their children. If you're among those parents and your backyard could use a bit of help in the "entertaining" department, you'll definitely want to know about Step2's new Woodland Adventure Playhouse & Slide set. The Streetsboro, Ohio play structure makers continue to release more exciting and innovative toys, solidly built for the outside, and this new offering both maintains this tradition and adds a whimsical forest theme to their long line of quality products.

It's got everything you want in an open-design playhouse: a slide, climbing ramp, retractable sandbox or drawer, and multiple levels of play. Constructed of both solid hardwood and sturdy plastic, it's the perfect playhouse for anyone's backyard, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at it. Children enter the playhouse from the ramp through a Dutch door, where they find a tiny kitchen with an adorable plastic sink. After that, kids can climb up to the platform where the slide landing sits, and have fun taking turns sliding down the light gray, extra-long slide or taking in the view from "high above" the ground. The possibilities for play are apparent in every aspect of this design.

Having grown up fairly close to the Step2 factory, my siblings and I were some of the first kids in the country to have a Step2 playhouse. My grandparents bought us a playhouse that had a pull-down table, a telephone, and a window with shutters. It was my favorite place to hide from my baby brother who insisted on throwing earthworms at me any chance he could. Our playhouse stayed at my grandparent's house and playing in it was the first thing I did every time my parents dropped us off at their house. It got to the point where my grandmother started serving me my lunches in the tiny house.

This woodland set will provide your children with the same sort of fanciful memories. Sure, as parents we're going to be there to supervise, but these playhouses are really meant just for the kids. They exist to challenge our children physically, but to also open their minds for all the possibilities and scenarios they can dream up. Maybe the playhouse becomes a pirate ship, and they're lost at sea, and the slide is the plank! Perhaps it's a castle, and a prince is locked in the tower, needing to be rescued by a lasso made of Rapunzel's hair.

There is something else truly magical about Step2 and their design, which is that they aren't hard to put together. Having helped several of my friends assemble these puppies, I can say this with some confidence. Yes, they do offer assembly assistance for an additional fee, but honestly, I'd rather put a dozen of these together before assembling one big box set of drawers. Everything is labeled very clearly, and all of the nuts and bolts are very different from one another, making setting it all up a cinch. For any parent who has struggled to put together an impossible play yard, or a swing that doesn't just want to swing, rest assured you can do this one.

According to Step2, the new Woodland Adventure Playhouse is designed for children ages 3 to 8, and weighs 181 pounds when it's fully assembled. (Obviously, if you fill up the drawer with sand to make it a sandbox it's going to weigh significantly more.) Construction is a two or three person job, but honestly, it's worth it. Coming from experience, I will tell you that it will be one of your kid's favorites for a very long time.