We got a set similar to this one for our then 7 year old son.
The thing I love most about this set is that it is sturdy AND interchangeable.
The log pieces come with dowel rods that allow them to be attached to the flat "landing" pieces or other logs.
So it doesn't tip over when you are playing with it. Then the whole thing can be disassembled and repositioned for play or for a *much* smaller storage space!
We purchased a set similar to this (sans dolls and furniture) for our then 3 year old daughter, thinking she might enjoy the creative aspect of building, but we invested more into her wooden doll house thinking she would prefer that.
It turns out she *really* likes to play with this set.
The only problem is that we found it hard to keep the pieces balanced long enough to really interact and play with the structure.
They tend to tip and wobble. Perhaps some thicker taller pieces of wood could help. But still she likes to play with it.
The commercial sets can be very nice. But in all honesty you can really make these things on your own now that I've seen them up close and personal.
Here are some wonderful hand made sets using regular tree branches which can be sanded and varnished if desired. (Some people with allergies prefer the branches without bark.)
In these examples they used hot glue to permanently attach the structures. Some bits of string and screws can be added for more features.
Check out the additional instructions and photos at these websites:
|Childhood 101 Treehouse|
|Irresistible Ideas Treehouse|
Stitch Craft Tutorial