Sunday, 13 July 2014

Isn't camp building just the best fun?

As a child some of my favourite times were when my mum got a very large old bed sheet and put it over the washing line, we would then get chairs and the clothes horse and peg the sheet to that to make a sort of tent or den. Then the fun really began, what could I take in it to pay with? My teddies, my dolls, some colouring, a packed lunch - the list is endless and the fun went on for hours.

Of course my children have followed in my footsteps, I think all kids love to make a den and I often come down in the morning to find my 7 year old twins have got up early and made the living room into a cosy den complete with blankets and every last cuddly toy they own (about 60 between them in case you were wondering!).

Now their fun has increased tenfold as we have been sent the Kidcampz set and this wonderful set allows them to use their imagination and to build whatever their heart desires. In the sturdy orange bag they get 30 poles (70cm long), 18 multi connectors, 10 straight connectors, 10 clips to put the sheet on the frame, 10 velcro straps to put through the loop in the sheet and secure it to furniture or to combine poles together, 4 stakes to go in the ground to secure the sheet and one very large 3.6 metre squared sheet, made of waterproof rip-stop nylon.

The girls were really keen to start building and we didn't even get onto the website to look at the great tent building guide they just dived straight in and did what they fancied. Don't you just love toys that are not too prescriptive and kids can just explore and use their imagination?

Here is the first camp they made, follow the pics from the top left corner. I love the fact they are working together as a team and really having fun. I have to confess they did not enjoy the clean up half as much as the building and they found it hard to understand why I might not want to sit in the den and watch TV that evening! At first the girls found the poles quite hard to take off the connectors but as they are more used they ease and you just need to know to twist them off.

What we have found is that each time you build a new tent you get a little more proficient in knowing how to make the structure sturdy. The next day after school the girls wanted to make themselves a den each in their bedroom and this was the result -

The next day JJ announces it is his turn and that at nearly 11 years old no way is he too old to make a camp, he is a scout afterall and makes real tents don't you know? So a reading den was what he set off to make for himself. The Kidcampz is recommended for children aged 4 - 12 years but really as long as the young children are supervised it will be great fun for all ages and yes I did enjoy getting involved too.

After having a good play over a number of days (all indoors sadly as the weather has been too rainy) I can honestly say that we love the KidCampz sets. It is such a fun thing for the kids to play and it keeps them away from too much screen time, which is always a plus point.

The Kidcampz set normally retails for £145 for there is a special sale for July at the moment and the price has been slashed by 40%, so you can pick one up for £87 until the end of this month.

Plus points -

  • Great imaginative play and encourages team work
  • Enough poles and connectors to make some really interesting shaped camps/dens
  • The bag it all comes in is sturdy and even if you don't fold the big sheet it all still fits in, amazing the first time I've ever found this with this kind of kit!
  • It looks good and everything is pretty sturdy and should last for some time
  • It can be used inside and outside
  • The sheet is a quality nylon that you can wipe down and it won't stain
  • There is a door, little pockets and two mesh windows in the sheet
Cons -
  • You have to be careful not to put too much strain on the connectors otherwise you can see the plastic starting to bend as it looks whiter.
  • It's not cheap
  • The velcro at the bottom of the sheet was driving me crazy as it kept sticking to my top and snagging it!

Thanks so much to KidCampz for our kit, the children really love it. We are also super grateful that you choose to donate to our lovely on site nursery used by hundreds of children over the summer months. I can just envisage the fun they will have either inside the nursery or in the attached garden.

Disclosure: We received 3 Kidcampz for the purpose of this review and two will be making their way up to the nursery here at the charity we live at. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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