Last updated: August 29, 2021

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The countless models of playhouses created for children in the last decade have been designed to bring kids into the amazing world of climbing, play and imagination, all while fully immersing them in the outdoors. A huge part of their success is due to their child-appropriate size, which allows them to feel as though they’re in their own little home and refuge. In these little homes, they can comfortably play alone, with friends or rest in the peace and quiet of their own special place.

Kids love these play houses because they give them an enormous sense of freedom and independence. They’ll begin to decorate their little home, spend hours upon hours tending to it. If you are looking for the perfect playhouse for your child, we encourage you to consult this shopping guide. In the sections below, we offer a series of tips and hints that can help you on your search for the perfect playhouse.




Summary

  • Because playhouses are designed for outdoors environments, they are usually made of materials that are resistant to the environment, rain or shine - these materials are normally wood or plastic.
  • These large toys encourage creativity and motivate children to play outside in the fresh air. This helps to foster a positive relationship with nature in a world that is now heavily influenced by technology.
  • There are models equipped with all kinds of accessories, from terraces, gates and folding windows to chimneys, mailboxes or even slides.

The best kids playhouse: Our Picks

Sometimes it can be very easy to keep your child entertained and happy. If you have a large toy room or a large backyard, it has probably already crossed your mind to add a kids playhouse to these areas. There are designs that include every kind of luxury imaginable; several floors, porches, stairs, back doors and windows. Below we’ve highlighted a few of the best models available and all their noteworthy features.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about a kids playhouse

Kids playhouses are large toys that provide little ones with a fun environment and a safe space to spend recreation time in and play. These toys can have a huge influence and presence in a child’s life. Therefore, it’s important to consider all the possible factors at play when looking to purchase a kids playhouse. In this next section we go over all the key details to consider when shopping. Keeping these characteristics in mind will help you buy the perfect playhouse for you and your child.

Kids playing with a toy kitchen. Children play in a summer garden. Boy and girl cooking and baking healthy vegetables in the backyard. Toddler child and baby cook together. Outdoor fun in summer.

Playhouses are synonymous with fun.
(Source: Famveldman: 40928229/123rf.com)

Can kids playhouses withstand all kinds of weather conditions?

Kids playhouses are almost always designed to be used outdoors. Therefore, they’re usually made of materials that resist not only the passing of time, but also all the weather conditions in seasons. Nonetheless, the rain, snow or even intense sun exposure can easily deteriorate play homes in the long term if they are not made properly.

It is best to select playhouses made of resistant and stable materials, such as plastic or wood. If you opt for a model made of wood, it is important that it is thick and sturdy wood; spruce or pine for example.

Remember to make sure that the colours are solid and strong, so they’re not altered or fade away by the effects of being under direct sunlight.

What advantages do playhouses offer children?

Playhouses are not only decorative items, they also offer a space for having safe fun. Although many parents don’t know it, the reality is that these are toys that also provide a lot of advantages when it comes to the physical and mental development of children. These are items that encourage the imagination and creativity of children, as they create diverse and stimulating play environments.

Moreover, playhouses are great for fostering independence in children. When children get immerse in their own play, it allows parents to enjoy moments alone knowing their child is playing in a safe environment. These toys also encourage team games and promote collaboration, when the space is being shared amongst friends. Last but not least, they stimulate and cultivate a child’s relationship with nature.

Two happy children, cute curly toddler girl and a little baby boy, brother and sister, enjoying a tea party with their toys playing with dishes, cup cakes and muffins in a sunny summer garden

They are not only a source of entertainment for young ones, kids playhouses can also be very decorative as well.
(Source: famveldman: 32374277/ 123rf.com

Are playhouses easy to assemble?

The assembly of playhouses is usually quite simple. These are toys that you assemble once (apart from portable models) and leave up to enjoy until your child outgrows it, so there’s no reason to worry about recurring maintenance. Depending on the model, its assembly may include the construction of few, or many parts. It’s crucial that one follows the instructions for conducting a proper set up.

Lighter models (those made of lightweight fabric) are often accompanied by carrying bags. In these cases, the assembly is much easier than it would be if the playhouse was made of wood or plastic. In either case, the tools for assembly are usually included with your purchase.

Are kids playhouses totally safe?

Safety is a non-negotiable factor when it comes to children's items. Especially when it comes to toys that, because of their dimensions or weight, could cause serious injury and damage to the child if they are not handled with care. For this reason, it’s of vital importance to make sure that they are compliant with Toys Regulations.

Cute small children with fancy sunglasses

Playhouses are ideal for encouraging children to play outdoors.
(Source: Bak: 22306338/123rf.com)

Moreover, it’s also very important the materials of the play house are suitable for children to be in contact with. One should rethink having glass windows in their playhouse for example, as glass can easily become a safety and health hazard - A material such as methacrylate is an excellent and safe substitute. Make sure the edges are protected and there are no jagged pieces of wood that could cause splinters.

A safe playhouse for children is one that:

  • Has no protruding corners or edges
  • Is free of surfaces that could cause cuts or other wounds
  • Is substantially solid and stable
  • Is made of materials suitable for children (e.g. methacrylate instead of glass)

Purchase Criteria

In terms of selecting the most suitable playhouse, there are several criteria you should keep in mind. The recommended age of use or its manufacturing materials are just a couple examples. Next, we’ll go over the main factors to evaluate in order to make the most successful purchase.

Age

Depending on the design or dimensions of the playhouse, they are recommended for certain age ranges. There are models only recommended for children from 2 years old and onwards. Others, because they have more complicated features, may only be suitable for older children. We would say that an optimal age usually starts around 5 years old.

Up until, and even through adolescence, children are captivated by the idea of having their own private space. They can play quietly, sit down to read, or simply have a place to rest or think. In general, the recommended age of use is written on the product packaging. Don’t take this recommendation for granted.

Material

It is essential to consider the manufacturing materials when selecting a playhouse for your child. Factors such as durability and sustainability in the face of harsh weather come into play. Since they are items often placed outdoors, weather conditions of particular areas will have to be taken into account. For example, it is important to consider if it snows a lot during the winter where you live, if this is the case, it is advisable to opt for anti-corrosive materials or plastics that can withstand the harshness of winters.

Wood is one of the most appropriate materials for outdoor environments, especially wood types that are more resistant, such as pine. Even though, wood withstands warm climates better than anything else, it also holds up well in cold climates. In either case, ideally, it should be properly treated for durability - Making sure the finishes used are optimal and safe.

Material Advantages
Wood Beautiful and natural design. Suitable for very hot climates. High strength and stability.
Plastic Suitable for rainy and wet climates. Sturdy and easy to assemble.

Design

The playhouse should be aesthetically pleasing not only for you but for your little one. This means that their tastes and preferences will have to be taken into account. These days, you can find models that incorporate of an endless number of cartoon characters, designs and colours. They’re available in all types of formats: square, triangular, cylindrical or asymmetrical, among others.

In order to make the best choice, it’s important to know your child and who their favourite cartoon characters are. Paw Patrol, Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig or Cars, are just a few examples of the many possibilities you’ll find in markets. With this in mind, your child will feel like their opinion is just as important, and will fall in love with their new home right from the start. Consider including other accessories such as a terrace, folding windows, slide, or mailbox, for a more realistic feeling.

Dimensions

The size of the kids playhouse will be closely linked to the age of the child. If you're thinking of a gift for a 2-year-old, a little house about a metre high is usually perfect. The wider and taller it is, the more that multiple children will be able to get in and out of it, while comfortably playing at the same time.

It is therefore vital to consider the height of any future playhouse users. If this is for slightly older children, perhaps a height of at least 1.5 meters is more appropriate. Don’t forget to think about where you plan to install it and consider the space you have available for it. With all these things in mind, you can select the perfectly sized model.

Assembly

Finally, it is important to consider the ease of assembly of the playhouse you choose. Normally, it is the parents, with the help of the children, who are in charge of setting up the playhouse. Installation should be as simple as possible in order to involve the children in the process. Ensuring good assembly is the best way to make sure the house is totally safe for the child and it’s friends.

Usually, the product is sold not only with its corresponding parts, but also with the necessary tools needed to assemble it. Choosing products that come with all the parts is the best way to ensure you won't have to worry about purchasing any additional materials. At the end of the day, the help of a professional is not usually required to assemble playhouses.

Sara PalaciosChildcare blogger
"Plastic playhouses are the most practical. They're made to withstand all kinds of inclement weather conditions."

Summary

Because of all their diverse characteristics, playhouses are toys that will never fail to satisfy its users. Children will inevitably fall in love with their new toy due to the excitement in having their own little home. They’ll be able to play and imagine themselves living like their parents within a safe and calm refuge that promotes their creativity and independence.

These toys are suitable for children of a wide range of ages. There are models made for toddlers from as early as 2 years of age and others designed for older children. For all ages, there’s no doubt these are items they'll love to hang out in. Keeping all these things in mind, it’s important to educate yourself on the different characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each model.

If you liked our guide to buying a kids playhouse, don't hesitate to share it on your social media pages and leave us a comment with your thoughts!

(Featured image source: Famveldman: 30781290/123rf.com)</em

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