Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big playhouse test 2021. Here we present all the playhouses that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best playhouse for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a playhouse.




Summary

  • A playhouse encourages children to play creatively within their "own four walls" and offers them an undisturbed place of retreat.
  • Basically, children's playhouses made of wood, plastic, fabric or cardboard are available in a wide variety of designs and sizes.
  • Children's playhouses made of wood are usually large and stable and are therefore very suitable for use in a larger garden. Plastic playhouses can be used both indoors and outdoors and are more suitable for small children.

The Best Playhouse: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a playhouse

What are the advantages of a children's playhouse?

A playhouse stimulates children's imagination and provides creative play fun within their "own four walls". In their own playhouse there are many different ways to play and have fun.

A playhouse for the garden has the added advantage that your children spend a lot of time in the fresh air.

In addition, the house offers your children an undisturbed retreat where they can read, draw or meet up with friends.

Did you know that there was a famous children's series "The Playhouse" in the GDR?

The inhabitants of the playhouse experienced fantastic and funny adventures. Especially the play figure "Knollo" often got into mischief, whereas "Schlapper" was always sceptical and somewhat pessimistic. An older children's film, but still fun for young and old.

What age are playhouses designed for?

This varies greatly from playhouse to playhouse. Small playhouses made of plastic are usually designed for smaller children between the ages of 3 and 8. Older children are usually too big for the plastic houses and no longer really fit into the playhouses.

Since wooden houses are usually larger, they are usually designed for older children. A house on stilts or a tree house can also be interesting for children into their teens and serve, for example, as a "club house" for meeting with friends.

What materials are playhouses made of?

Children's playhouses are made of a wide variety of materials. The following are the most common materials in which the play equipment is offered:

  • Wood
  • Plastic / synthetic material
  • Cardboard / paper
  • Fabric

How much does a playhouse cost?

Playhouses come in all price ranges - from the small cardboard or fabric house, which is available for as little as 15 euros, to the large wooden playhouse such as a stilt house or play tower, for which a low four-figure sum is due.

The price differences in children's playhouses can usually be explained by the different materials or the different types. The prices within the different types usually vary due to their size or additional features such as slides, swings, sandboxes, etc.

Design Approximate price range
Cardboard/cardboard/paper Approx. 15 - 100 €
Fabric Approx. 15 - 100 €
Plastic/plastic Approx. 50 - 500 €
Wooden log house Approx. 130 - 1,000 €
Stilt house Approx. 300 - 1,600 €
Play tower Approx. 300 - 2,000 €

Decision: What types of playhouses are there and which one is right for you?

There are many different types of playhouses. Here you will find an overview of the most common designs:

  • Block house or "normal playhouse
  • Stilt house
  • Tree house
  • Play tower or modular houses

A playhouse in the garden, regardless of the design, is a real eye-catcher and offers children a nice opportunity to play creatively and let off steam.

Did you know that you can also easily decorate the playhouse?

For example, you can attach your child's name to the playhouse entrance door with wooden letters. Another nice idea is to give the playhouse a special name, e.g. Princess Castle, or decorate it with fairy lights.

The different variants all come with individual strengths and weaknesses. Of course, a tree house is only recommended if you have a large and stable tree in your garden. As a rule, there are no ready-made kits available for tree houses.

Stilt houses offer the ideal place for a sandpit or similar under the house. In addition, a slide or other accessories can be attached to it.

A play tower with various modules such as sandboxes, climbing wall, slide, swing and much more certainly provides even more variety when playing.

There are outdoor playhouses as well as indoor playhouses, special playhouses for girls and extra playhouses for boys.

Children's playhouses are also available in a wide variety of shapes. One shape that is very popular with the little ones is the knight's castle. Many playhouses are also offered in variants with many accessories such as slides, swings, sandboxes and much more.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate playhouses based on these factors

In the following section, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate children's playhouses. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a playhouse is right for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Material
  • Dimensions
  • Age recommendation
  • Equipment

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Material

Playhouses are available in a wide variety of materials. The most commonly used materials are as follows.

  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard / paper
  • Fabric

All materials have their individual advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on what you value, playhouses made of one material may be more or less suitable for you. To find out which material is best for you, we compare the strengths and weaknesses of the materials here.

Children's eyes light up: a playhouse makes the playground much more attractive for children. (Image source: pixabay.com / hpgruesen)

Wood

Playhouses made of wood, a renewable resource, are usually a visual eye-catcher in the garden. Since wooden playhouses are usually larger and more stable, they are suitable for you if you are also looking for something for older children.

Advantages
  • Natural product / renewable raw material
  • More stable than plastic
  • Fits well into most gardens
  • Also suitable for larger children
  • Available in different versions
Disadvantages
  • High-maintenance
  • Often no change of location possible
  • Time-consuming construction
  • More susceptible to weathering than plastic
  • Risk of injury from splinters

They are also available in different designs, such as a stilt house or play tower.

Plastic

Playhouses made of plastic are very easy to care for and can be assembled quickly thanks to their plug-in system. Due to the low weight of plastic playhouses, you can easily move the location of the house.

Advantages
  • Ideal for indoors and outdoors
  • Low weight and thus possible change of location
  • Easy and quick assembly due to the plug-in system
  • Can be dismantled and stored in winter to save space
  • Less risk of injury due to rounded corners
  • Weatherproof without much maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Flashy colours are often a matter of taste
  • Not biodegradable
  • Usually only suitable for smaller children

Plastic playhouses are usually more suitable for smaller children due to their very bright colours and rounded corners.

Cardboard and fabric

Playhouses made of cardboard or fabric are usually smaller playhouses that are intended exclusively for indoor use. They are often very light and therefore the location of the playhouse can be easily changed.

A cardboard playhouse is suitable for you if you are looking for an indoor playhouse and want to design and paint it individually together with your children. Therefore, a cardboard playhouse is also a nice idea for a child's birthday party.

Since cardboard playhouses as well as fabric playhouses are usually smaller playhouses, they are more suitable for toddlers.

Age recommendation

Before buying the playhouse, it is advisable to look at the manufacturer's age recommendation. The age recommendation is usually given in a time period. Playhouses that are suitable for children from the age of 2 are often much smaller.

In this case, larger children often have too little space in the small playhouses and cannot even stand upright. In addition, the safety of houses for small children is usually higher.

Dimensions / size

The ideal dimensions or size of the playhouse depends on your living situation, the age and the number of children who are to play in the house.

First of all, the size of the playhouse should depend on the size of the garden or room. If you only have a small garden/room, a small playhouse is more likely to be the right choice for you.

However, if you have enough space, the following applies: The bigger and older the children, the bigger the playhouse should be. Make sure that the children can stand upright in the playhouse and that they have enough space to play.

The more children are to romp around in the playhouse, the more space the house should offer. In addition, the height of the stilts should also be taken into account. A low height of the stilts is often an obstacle when mowing the lawn.

The size of the playhouse should depend on the space you have available. The size and preferences of the child also influence the perfect size of the playhouse. (Image source: pixabay.com / Ben_Kerckx)

Equipment

The equipment of the playhouse is also an important purchase criterion, as playhouses are offered with countless expansion options or accessories that are already included. Such equipment as slides, swings, sandboxes or even shutters and window sills naturally offer children more fun and variety when playing.

If you want such additional equipment, it is of course an advantage if it is already included in the scope of delivery and does not have to be bought separately.

Facts worth knowing about playhouses

Can I build a playhouse myself?

Yes, you can build your own personal children's playhouse. With a little craftsmanship and time, you can build your little ones their own "dream house".

How do I care for my wooden playhouse properly?

If a playhouse is supplied or purchased with natural wood, it is important to treat it with a wood preservative before assembling. If the wooden house is already delivered impregnated, the next protective coating is necessary after one year at the earliest.

Proper care of the wood is important to maintain its good appearance and to protect the wooden playhouse from rotting.

To make your playhouse weatherproof from the start, you should choose weatherproof woods such as robinia, bamboo, chestnut, teak, Douglas fir or larch. These are more expensive than spruce, fir or pine, but they are much more resistant to the weather.

We recommend that you regularly apply a new wood preservative to the children's playhouse. The wood can be made weather-resistant with various varnishes, glazes, oils or waxes. Varnishes and glazes offer the best protection and are highly recommended for softer woods such as pine, fir and spruce.

No matter which wood preservative is used, care should be taken to ensure that the protection is also non-toxic and does not harm children.

Picture source: pixabay.com / Mark Salmon

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