We were recently sent a wigwam to review from The Great Little Trading Co. How lucky we are! The Preschooler has been wanting one of these since he first clapped eyes on a similar one at his friend’s house, and so when it arrived he was very excited indeed! We’ve actually had the wigwam for a good few weeks now so we’ve had chance to give it a good testing, and we’ve used it in so many ways that I thought I’d include it in a Ways to Play post. So without further ado: ways to play with a wigwam!
Set up is ridiculously easy and once it’s up with the poles inserted into the canvas, there’s really no need to dis-assemble it all really. It can be stored standing or lying and gathered in on itself quite easily. To set up, follow the instructions (they’re simple!) : join the rods together, insert them into the canvas as shown and tie securely with the rope provided. To open up the wigwam, move around the tent, pulling the corners out as you go. If you construct the wigwam around the ground sheet, it’s easier to then attach that with the ties after it’s erected. It’s fairly wide once set up but not so tall that it can’t be used indoors too.
Ways to Play
Once the wigwam is up, believe me that is enough for the kids to start playing. Being inside a beautiful tent like this is fun in itself, but I wanted to see what else we could do. The Toddler was first to test it out, so I decided to make a sensory tent for her.
I strung some fairy lights into the inside of the wigwam, added a cushion and the Tuff Spot mirror for some reflection of the lights. I also popped in some of the colour changing LED tealights and our Wonderworld sensory blocks. The Toddler happily played in there for ages, enjoying building with the blocks and exploring the lights and reflections. I also played some soft music for her and to be honest I could’ve got in there with her for a little sleep, it was so relaxing!
Following on from the sensory tent, I knew the wigwam would make a fantastic reading tent too and I wanted to set something up with context. One of the family’s favourite books of all time is Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins, and this is a book that The Preschooler is able to recite fully. So this was our obvious choice for the reading tent!
This was easy to set up: I popped in some blankets and cushions with the fairy lights and that was it. The Toddler settled down to listen to her favourite story with her favourite brother!
Moving on from the reading tent, I wanted to try out some messy play so I decided to do a Hooray for Fish themed play. The Tuff Spot fit perfectly inside the wigwam (hooray!) which made it the perfect messy play den!
For the ocean, I used blue jelly stones resting on a silver tin lid, and I added magnetic fish and rods for a spot of fine motor skill fishing. I also added shells and stones from the beach and some spades and nets too. The book was also in there for inspiration, along with a pirate ship. Outside the tent we had the sand and it was lovely to see the children pop in and out, playing beaches and quoting from the book. I was delighted to see that the wigwam made such a wonderful messy play den!
Once the weather cheered up, we took the wigwam outside. It was a particularly hot day and the children were in a “pleeeeeease play with me!” day, which wasn’t the best kind of mood for a fairly poorly mum. I wanted to see what the kids could do by themselves, so I set up the wigwam in the garden and popped a sign on the front which read “Magic Potion Shop“.
This was a wonderful activity that was just perfect for The Preschooler. He filled our sorting tray with treasures from the garden- leaves, petals, flowers, stones and sand- and used plastic utensils to mix potions and concoctions for a variety of magic spells. The best thing about it all was that the inspiration came from the sign alone- I did not need to direct the play at all, and having the wonder of the dedicated play space inside the wigwam added to the magical element. I loved watching them all play through the little mesh window at the back!
The Big One also enjoyed the magic potion shop, and later that day she asked if she could use the wigwam as a TV den. Well, why not? We turned off the lights, added the fairy lights and all three were happy to view the television from their den! The Toddler spent most of the time spying out the of the window and playing peekaboo, but there’s no denying it made a wonderful change from the sofa!
We have many more ideas for our wigwam yet, so look out for another Ways to Play post soon- we’re thinking garden centre, painting station and baby clinic which should be fun!
The wigwam has withstood all of the above activities really well and is easily stored in the playroom ready to use whenever we feel like it. It washes well and dries fairly well too and in my opinion it is well worth the £68 it is currently selling for. Go grab a bargain now!