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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Rosegarden Palace

Creative Toyshop, LLC

209 West Rose Valley Road
Wallingford, PA 19086

Last year, my family visited friends for an evening of dinner and good company. However, this evening was different from our other visits because little girls weren't climbing on laps and asking for help getting drinks or dressing dollies. In fact, after a solid hour of uninterrupted grown-up discussion, I began to seriously worry about my daughters. They were . . . quiet. I tracked down their sweet giggles to a bedroom, where they were decorating a small cardboard cottage and playing with dolls. Each visit after this, my girls continued to fall upon the cottage with gusto, adding to its design with markers and stickers and sequins. Appreciating the enthusiasm (and quiet time), I began hunting for a similar cottage for a Christmas present, but I couldn't find it. My friends had received theirs as a gift and didn't know where to find one either. After months of hunting, I was thrilled to find out that Creative Toyshop carries several varieties of these cardboard creations.

My girls have had so much fun designing their Rosegarden Palace. The palace we opted for is a little less than a foot square, perfect for storing on a bookshelf. The kit comes with 12 markers that have surprised me with their durability. My daughters are 6 and 4 years old, which means markers are often left without lids for quite some time. Also, they have a tendency to use one color with a single-minded determination until you are certain it will run out of ink at any moment. So far, the markers are still vibrant.

My daughters have spent hours coloring on their palace, and it is still less than halfway completed. Once the coloring is finished, there are endless opportunities for ribbons, sequins, and beads to add to the design. This is a gift they will be enjoying for a long time.

The girls' only complaint has been that there isn't an open area for their dolls to play. I wish I had gone for the larger dollhouse so they could put Playmobil or Lego people inside the rooms. The castle we opted for does have an open area in the middle, but it is really more suited for visual appeal than a play area. That isn't to say that product isn't durable--quite the opposite! It is a very tough cardboard that will stand up to a lot of play. The assembly is very basic and simple, and it even allows for some creative reassembling. Trust me, if I can figure out how to assemble this, so can any child.

Product review by Jennifer Harrison, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2010

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