IT is a dilemma faced by most first time parents, how to keep your home looking presentable, when the toys start taking over every room.

Two enterprising mothers-to-be came up with the perfect solution for house-proud parents - turn the blocks and puzzles into one piece of space-saving furniture.

The Dova play sofa is made of eight specially designed cushions which can be reimagined to create anything a child can think of from a castle to a cave, a slide or a place to sleep.

When playtime is over, the wipeable and washable cushions can be quickly and neatly tidied back into a living room settee. And while it's modelled on the type of furniture found in soft play , the garish, brightly coloured vinyl has been replaced by soft fabrics in living-room friendly shades.

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The entrepreneurs who developed the £385 sofa are Rhona Madigan, 29, from Lenzie and her sister-in-law Corrine Spencer, 31, from Glasgow, who came up with the concept during lockdown.

After securing a manufacturer in Poland, they are now taking pre-orders from countries including Germany and Dubai.


The duo, who were both pregnant at the same time, drew on Ms Spencer's experience as a Montessori schoolteacher to design their sofa, which they wanted to appear as attractive as a piece of furniture as it is for a child to play with.

Inspired by the Montessori principle of child-focused independent learning, it encourages children to explore their imaginations, learning how to build, balance, create, destroy, and recreate to their heart’s content.

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"Rhona was pregnant with Max and it was towards the end of her pregnancy and she was looking for this modular sofa that she had seen in other places but not in the UK," said Ms Spencer who teaches at the Montessori Art School in Edinburgh and gave birth to her son, Spencer in July.

"At the time I was newly pregnant and thought it was also something that I would really like myself as well. 


"I felt it was something that fitted in with a lot of the Montessori principles - that the child is choosing what they are building. It's similar to soft play but you've got something that will look nice in your living room.

"The options are endless and the reaction from parents who’ve seen it has been amazing, but what has been even more encouraging is the response of children.

Ms Madigan, who is now mum to eight-month-old Max, added: "I was really worried after having my first baby that my house would turn into chaos and become overloaded with plastic.

"One of the brands that we love is Totter and Tumble who make mats for children that look like a really nice carpet. I'm not a Montessori teacher but Corrine had slowly introduced me to little things I could do with Max and going back to basics."


The first Montessori school opened in San Lorenzo, a poor inner-city district of Rome in 1907.

The pupils, ages 3 – 7, were said to be unruly at first, but soon showed great interest in working with puzzles, learning to prepare meals, and manipulating learning materials Maria had designed.

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She observed how the children absorbed knowledge from their surroundings, essentially teaching themselves.

Using scientific observation and experience gained from her earlier work with young children, Maria designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn and provided freedom for them to choose their own materials.

The “Montessori Method” began to attract the attention of prominent educators, journalists, and public figures.

By 1910, Montessori schools could be found throughout Western Europe and were being established around the world, including in the United States where the first Montessori school opened in Tarrytown, NY, in 1911.

There are now around 700 established in the UK, including three in Scotland.