We were very kindly sent, a ‘decorate your own Teepee’ from Big Game Hunters!!
I was actually really excited to receive this, and to let the kids wild with the wash-out pens, as we haven’t yet had a teepee in the house-only those pop up character tents all children end up having!
Who are Big Game Hunters?
If like me, you haven’t heard of this company before, let me enlighten you as to who they are!
Big Game Hunters (aka ‘The Play Experts’) call themselves that because of their passion for outdoor games and play equipment.
The name was chosen to reflect their interest and desire to hunt down the biggest and best games, and to make and sell them to us-the public. (The name naturally has caused some confusion as it can conjure up images of hunting large animals – but it really is just about toys and games!)
The knowledge and expertise in this field, has grown from the simple garden games business at the beginning, to the large retailer they are today.
The team in charge are small, but because of this, each product that goes out to customers, is handled, touched and often used, so that they can give genuine advice on the products you buy. If they don’t know the answer to a question you have about their products, they will go out of their way to find it!
What were we sent?
As mentioned above, Big Game Hunters sent us a ‘Decorate Your Own Teepee’.
Included in the box is all six, strong wooden poles-split into 12 pieces with white connectors. There is also a washable canvas teepee cover, and a set of 8 wash-out fabric pens.
We began with the canvas, while my Husband began to read the instructions and do as much as he could without the cover, to save time (we all know children have zero patience, and as soon as it was decorated we knew they’d want to get straight in it).
We coloured each side-including a variety of pictures; busy bees, beautiful butterflies, our hand-prints and names, and some signature pictures from the children’s own imaginations.
This is where we came across our first hurdle…. You are going to need a lot of space for colouring the fabric in-I wonder if we had a grass covered garden, that sort of area would have been better-but because we have patio, and I didn’t want the canvas getting dirty before we’d even started, we ended up in our conservatory on the tiled floor.
The pens that come with the teepee, are described as “wash-out”, and thick enough for colouring in large areas. Granted, they are wash-out (of the fabric), but be very careful just how much you get on your hands, as we’re still scrubbing it off two days later.
The thick tips aren’t quite thick enough to prevent you from having to go over the same picture a few times in order to get good coverage, but they don’t run out easily, and are bright-which is necessary to make the massive canvas looked as covered as possible.
Once we had finished the colouring in of our pictures, we handed the canvas cover back to my Husband for him to assemble the entire teepee..
It’s fiddly-I think that’s what we’ve mainly taken away from it-my Husband (who actually puts things together for a living), took three goes attempting to get the wooden poles into the small fabric slots within the fabric.
When it was finished though, it did look amazing-it was definitely bigger than I had imagined it would be! We’ve mainly had it in the front room so far-but when we did take it outside, the floor mat (which doubles as a storage wrap for the teepee itself) really helped with it’s protective base-and is large enough to cover the entire floor space inside.
Both children fit in (with space to spare), and their drawings were visible and beautiful from the outside.
The only other issue we seemed to have was that it needed two people to open it back out when you’ve had it close for storing. Each time we opened one side, the other would close in, and in the end it needed me on the outside holding the poles in place, while my Husband went inside and pushed them all outwards!
This is definitely worth the money as it’s currently on sale for £27.99, but in my opinion, not worth the normal price of £59.99-especially as the floor mat/storage holder is an extra £20.
The concept is perfect-we loved the idea of colouring our own pictures on a teepee that we could then have the children play in, but in reality, the messy pens that don’t come off of skin and goes through the canvas while you’re colouring, the fiddliness of erecting the teepee itself, and the effort that goes into opening it back out each time, does let it down a little. If these issues could be rectified, it would be worth the usual £59.99 price tag.
Those issues however, haven’t deterred the children from playing in it and using it as much as possible, and it will become a firm favourite for somewhere to sit and play in the garden when the summer holidays come along!