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Merry wooden Christmas (toys)

dolls house furniture

I’ve posted before about how, even though plastic toys are useful when you have two small children, I sometimes feel as though our house is being taken over by the shiny, bright, hard stuff. So, I was pleased when Asda asked me to review some of their toys….made of wood.

It tickled me to see that one of the items was a princess castle. The other day, Gwen spotted a plastic version of one of these in our local pound shop, when we were stocking up on craft materials. The only way I could drag her away from that garish model – without a major screaming incident – was through the promise of a ride in the shopping centre’s new Peppa Pig rocket, and some muttering about how Father Christmas might think about bringing her one (with a heavy emphasis on might).

Asda princess castle

Asda’s wooden princess castle

I have mixed feelings about giving a pink princess castle to my daughter. I’m sure there are some very strong-minded parents out there who would give this to their sons, but on the whole it’s a cliched ‘girl’s toy’. Groups like Let Toys be Toys are doing a fantastic job of encouraging parents and manufacturers to promote more toys that are gender-neutral.

But, on the other hand, I know that Gwen will love this castle when she sees it on Christmas Day. She’s still finding her place in the world, and her own personal style; we usually encourage her to play with toys that are designed for neither boys nor girls but, as I’ve written before, if my two year old chooses a pink toy, I’m not going to tell her that choice is a bad one.

Asda princess castle

The royal abode, in more close-up detail

As for the castle, it arrived after clear communication from the delivery company about which day to expect the parcel. They couldn’t be specific about exact time of day, but then, how many companies can? The castle was self-assembly, and as there were so many similar-looking parts it did take a while to put together, but the instructions were clear, and the self-assembly was reflected in the cost (a very reasonable £30).

Asda princess castle

The castle has three floors

We were also given some wooden dolls’ house furniture. Although not everything will fit in the castle (it’s really designed to go in the Asda dolls’ house), it is sturdy, cute, and looks hard-wearing enough to be played with over and over. Again, it’s a bargain at £15 – which is especially good considering there’s no need for assembly.

dolls house furniture

living/dining room furniture

dolls house furniture

bedroom furniture

dolls house furniture

bathroom suite

I do like this range of toys from Asda, mainly because they prove that inexpensive doesn’t have to mean cheap and nasty. The best-value toy we were sent, in my opinion, was the wooden play shop and cafe.

Asda wooden toys

the shop/cafe, seen from behind. It includes two sturdy shelves

Asda wooden toys

The cotton canopy gives a nice touch

Asda wooden toys

A chalkboard hangs on a peg at the side of the shop, for taking orders

The shop/cafe was straightforward to assemble, because there weren’t too many components. As with the castle, the job was made easier by our electric screwdriver, and I managed to get it up within 40 minutes. This is a toy that will be used a LOT in our house – it’s perfect for imaginative play, which both Austin and Gwen enjoy at the moment. The details, like the shelves, canopy and chalkboard (there’s one at the front of the shop too, where the children could write down the special of the day) turn this item from a remarkably inexpensive (£35) plaything into something quite special.

Asda seem to have really hit the mark with this range of toys – quality AND affordability. Judging by their website and the number of times the toys go in and out of stock, they’re flying off the shelves as soon as they arrive. It’s worth putting an order in, as these look like the sorts of toys that will withstand the test of time.

Disclosure: we were sent wooden toys for the purpose of this review. However, all views expressed are my own.

14 Comments

  • Phoebe @ Lou Messugo
    December 18, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Good to see Asda selling some tasteful toys, they seem very different to the plastic rubbish around when my kids were small. The shop looks great, but I’m loving the idea of the medieval castle with a modern bathroom suite!

    Reply
  • The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover
    December 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I love that wooden castle from Asda. When I was a child my dad made me a dolls house, he bought brick wallpaper for the walls and made furniture and everything. The price for this castle is brilliant, hope she likes it on Christmas day.

    Reply
  • Sarah Ebner
    December 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I agree about the pink, but the castle does look gorgeous and something which will be played with over and over again. I also love wooden toys, and think these seem affordable too.

    Reply
  • Hannah Staveley
    December 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I love this and just love wooden toys, do think they last so much longer.

    Reply
  • Lori
    December 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I’m loving that asda is producing wooden kids toys, I’m not a huge fan of pink for girls but if the individual child likes it then that’s all that matters. The shop looks great. X

    Reply
  • Mrs M
    December 18, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Lovely toys. I am a fan of wooden toys however I have to be honest, they were always the toys my children played with the least! No taste… :p

    Reply
  • Izzie Anderton
    December 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    My daughters always loved toys made from wood and they lasted a whole lot longer than the plastic ones. Happy Christmas Nell x

    Reply
  • Pinkoddy
    December 19, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I love ASDA and think they are some really nice toys. It is a shame that the furniture doesn’t fit both the hoose and the castle.

    Reply
  • ninjacat
    December 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Love wooden toys they are so long lasting , have a great x mas

    Reply
  • Kara
    December 21, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Eliza would love that princess castle and the shop is brilliant for role play

    Reply
  • Bek
    December 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I like that this looks like it is good quality for such a reasonable price. Wooden toys are always a winner for us.

    Reply
  • agatapokutycka
    December 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I adore wooden toys. Few months back I bought an old truck on car boot sale – very old and made from real wood… we will try to refurbish it for Leo.

    Reply
  • Fritha Strickland
    December 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    love the little play shop and cafe! wooden toys are so brilliant! x

    Reply
  • Globalmouse
    December 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I love wooden toys and this is an amazing price for one. really impressive.

    Reply

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