I often get offers for various products from companies wanting reviews. Most of them, dear readers, I turn down for your sake; who wants to read one more mommy-blog-turned-review-blog? But once in a while something catches my attention as being truly unique and interesting. Boutique Cascade's eco-friendly cardboard furniture for children was one such product.
This cardboard furniture is made from a minimum of 84% recycled material, and can later be recycled again to continue the cycle. Children love the creative outlet it affords, as they can decorate the furniture with crayons, markers, paint, and stickers.
When the table and chairs arrived at our house, the boy could hardly wait to get them set up. We decided to start with the chairs. I pulled them out of the box and had a flashback to my days as an accountant, setting up banker's boxes for our files. Those attempts often resulted in me chucking a lid across the room and leaving the box for someone else to fold. I was momentarily tempted to just leave the whole thing up to the husband...but no, goshdarnit, I am a grown educated women, I can surely figure this out for myself.
The instructions, printed on the outside of the box, seemed fairly clear. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I had one perfectly-executed chair ready and waiting for the boy.
He wasted no time giving it a test run. I was surprised at how unyielding and sturdy the cardboard was. I was tempted to give it a go myself, but decided not to risk it. Mostly because I didn't want to get my rear end stuck in it. The boy, on the other hand, loved having furniture that was just his size.
Soon the second chair was done and it was time to move on to the table. Cue second oh-my-goodness-maybe-I-should-just-leave-it-for-the-husband freak out.
No, no. Smart educated woman and all that. Plus, it wasn't exactly rocket science. The instructions were excellent and the table came together without any trouble. And voilà! There she is. Please ignored the rumpled couch and messy pillows in the background.
The table top was an adorable cat-and-mouse version of Snakes & Ladders. It also came with a hockey arena table top - perfect for these Canadian boys of mine.
The boy promptly challenged his dad and me to a game. You'll be happy to hear I won (woohoo!), and the husband was left shame-faced halfway back on the board (he had a bad run of being eaten by cats).
The mice also decorated the table legs and one chair...
...while this hilariously cute cat graced the other chair.
The boy then challenged his dad to a game of finger hockey. He was too impatient to set the table top up properly; the sides of the arena actually fold up to contain the puck, and there are cardboard nets to be inserted as well. The space below the nets holds the Cats & Tunnels game pieces, crayons, and anything else your child decides to store in there. Mine, unsurprisingly, quickly filled them with cars.
"Hey, I'm awake now! Is it my turn to play?"
A week later, this furniture is still going strong and shows no sign of wear. The chairs are now proudly covered in the boy's drawings, and the tabletop game is much more colourful. The pieces have also been used as forts, shelters, and step stools. They are light enough that the boy can (and frequently does) move them between rooms as needed - out in the living room when the toddler is napping, in the bedroom when the boy has his quiet time, or in the kitchen when he wants to add to his artistic efforts with more marker. The perfect combination of fun and practical!
Interested in buying a set for your own child? Boutique Cascades has generously offered Hippie Housewife readers 25% off any children's furniture when using the code HHWIFE. Discount code expires November 30, 2011.
(This is an unpaid review. I received a complementary table and chairs set in order to provide my honest review of them. I receive no compensation for any sales made as a result of this review.)