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Finally, a playhouse with a door bell that really works!! It literally comes with “bells and whistles”… Another bonus is the little grill, where Lyons Cub can make hamburgers and grill tomatoes or corn on the cob (made of wood or plastic). It also has a cute little sink on the inside with a faucet (wouldn’t it be neat if it really worked? It doesn’t, of course). The red door opens and shuts, and there is one window that opens, too. There is a built-in little seat next to a blue table, just big enough for a 1 to 3-year-old to fit on.
This playhouse is very sturdy. We used it for indoors, since Lyons Cub already had one for outdoors from Little Tikes, which was much cheaper but also didn’t have a doorbell, table, chair, sink, clock, fireplace, lantern, and grill. The letter box is a bit small, but we had fabric letters that could be bent to fit through the slot. It also has a planter into which you can put soil and seeds for extra fun (we didn’t do that, because it was our indoor playhouse). The house is quite roomy, and we easily fit a toddler chair inside, or the stroller with Lyons Cub’s boy doll, which you can see in the pictures.
It provided for hours of fun play, and it’s small enough to put on a balcony. You can still see your tot through the open sides, but s/he’ll feel comfortably hidden away from the adult world and mommy’s supervision. A cozy fireplace and an illuminated porch light (those are stickers) give it an extra romantic feel. The playhouse has a brown floor to keep your kiddo dry and clean if it’s set up outside and the weather is bad. It withstands the elements very well. Ours hasn’t faded yet in the sunlight.
And if you ever need to replace a part, for example if your stickers are worn out, torn, or bleached from wear and tear or the summer sun, you can order the replacement parts for the Neat & Tidy Cottage from the Step2 website directly. You can get a new door bell there, too.
One negative thing to mention is the difficult setup, especially when you’re doing it alone like I did. The holes are not predrilled, so you have to screw directly into the plastic. It wasn’t very easy to do manually, but I suppose if you use an electric drill, it will go much faster. I disassembled the playhouse once and set it up somewhere else without instructions, just from memory, and it worked (and that means a LOT, for I am technically challenged). In fact, building it with instructions for the first time took me four hours, and doing it a year later from memory took me just about one hour, although I did not always use the same holes I had already drilled.
When we moved, we could take only one of Lyons Cub’s playhouses with us. We actually ended up giving the Little Tikes house to our neighbors for their front yard and took this one along, because it was so “neat and tidy,” haha, with all those extra frills. It was easy to disassemble and package for the trip, while the other one was still anchored in the front yard. It won’t fit through a door, by the way, so when you assemble it inside and then decide you want it in the yard, you’ll have to take it apart. Our house is two years old now and never needed a change of batteries for the doorbell. We both still love to ring it!