In recent decades, kids playhouses have become great getaways for children to get immersed in imaginative, outdoor play. The main advantage and distinction of these houses from other toys is their child-appropriate sizes. This characteristic allows the child to feel they have their own little home and refuge. These little homes are just as great for alone play as they are for supporting cooperative play.

These houses are designed to give the child an enormous sense of freedom and independence. Your child will love to decorate it and play out their own scenarios within their walls, they will tend to it the way you tend to your home. If you want to find the perfect home to gift to your child, check out this guide. In it, we offer a series of tips and information that will make your search much easier. Keep reading to find the best playhouse for your child!

Key Facts

  • Most playhouses are designed to be permanently placed outdoors. This means they are made with materials that can withstand the elements, such as wood or plastic.
  • These kid-sized toys not only support independent and creative play, but they also advocate for outdoor play – this is particularly important in a world where technology plays a major role in our daily lives.
  • Kid playhouses today come loaded with all sorts of neat features and accessories. You will find models that include terraces, gates, working windows, slides, terraces, and even chimneys.

Ranking: The best kids playhouses in the U.S. market

With one of these toys, it will be easy to keep your child safe and entertained. They are great additions to any backyard or playroom. You’ll quickly notice that in the United States there are virtually endless models and options. Among these options, you’ll even find playhouses of luxurious designs; these can include several floors, porches, stairs, backdoors, and real windows. To help you understand the possibilities, in this section we show you some of the best models the U.S. market has to offer.

No .1: Step2 — All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse

This open pavilion-style design is a perfect outdoor playhouse for fun in the sun. It includes a kids kitchen, grill with a sink and a swivel faucet that allows kids to “cook up” their favorite meals and give them a real cooking experience! It has a spacious interior big enough for multiple kids to share and play together. The sand and water play area features several accessories and a lid for hours of safe water fun.

The snack table features an included dish set for playing kitchen or creating a real lemonade stand for them to practice their restaurant building capabilities. Although enclosed with three sides and two swinging doors for easy entry, the interior, and high canopy offers plenty of room for social, interactive role-play. It is covered with a durable and flexible cloth canopy to shade your kids while they play, even under the hot sun.

No. 2: Backyard Discovery — Timberlake All Cedar Wood Playhouse

This rustic and beautiful playhouse is made of all cedar with a wood roof, door, pillars and wide-open vista viewing windows. The semi-open interior allows for 2-3 children to fit comfortably inside for playhouse fun. The half front door has windows on both sides of it as well as flower pots shelves that allow you and your young kids to decorate the house together adding your own little flare and decor.

This cedar playhouse comes with a play stove, a toy sink and a play cordless telephone to give a real-life home feel. Each large window is built with a ledge underneath it for sitting or home decorations. The assembly is simple to build and aesthetically pleasing for any backyard. Backyard Discovery promises excellent customer service and works to help you replace any broken or misplaced parts. They suggest staining or sealing the playhouse to keep it in good condition.

No. 3: Sunnyglade — Princess Tent

Inspired by castles in fairy tales, this beautiful and remarkable princess house can help your little princess dreams come true. This house tent provides a private space for your kids to entertain themselves, read or relax in peace. Screens around the playhouse keep away mosquitoes from your kids for outdoor play. This tent can accommodate up to 3 kids at the same time for group fun.

This princess tent has dimensions of 55 x 53 inches and is made from a high-quality polyester taffeta which is comfortable, durable and very easy to clean. It comes with 8.2 ft long star lights that light up the play area to give it a magical and mystical feel. It has an easy to set up design making it perfect to take to the park, the playground school or for set up in the backyard. Within each package comes one tent, an instruction packet, 48 poles, 37 connector pieces and one string of star lights.

No. 4: Step2 — Happy Home Cottage & Grill Kids Playhouse

This playhouse for kids is a modern, high tech playpen that will keep your kids entertained and stimulated for hours on end. It features a working doorbell and an easy to open the dutch-style door with a fun pass-through mail slot that makes kids feel like they have their own home. The interior features a kitchenette, kitchen seat, fireplace, wall clock, and a fun play phone.

This fun and realistic playhouse comes in pink and gray as well as brown, blue and green color combination to satisfy the tastes of all kids! It has a built-in floor with drain holes to help keep the floors of your house, the floor of the playpen and your little one’s feet clean. It has a large, open concept and design that allows mom and dad to keep a watchful eye on the kids while allowing them more freedom to play, explore and grow.

No. 5: Little Tikes — Activity Garden Baby Playset

This multi-functional play center helps infants develop fine motor skills while keeping them happy and entertained. The safe, durable and enclosed environment makes babies feel at home. The play center is easily transformed without tools into an open, two-sided play center. The play panel can be adjusted to sit horizontally for seated play. The take-along play panel features a bead tumbler, spinner with a mirror, spinning gears, clicking bugs and a large button that when pressed, plays songs.

The crawl-through archway keeps your baby moving, exercising and practicing their crawling abilities. It has a shape sorter mailbox and a working tap-a-tune piano that sits on top of the open-close door. There’s also a fun movable look through the telescope to stimulate your baby’s visual development. The open-close window shutters feature a ball drop flower pot for a cute aesthetic. This playpen requires 2 AAA batteries for full function, not included.

Shopping Guide: What you should know about playhouses

Kids playhouses are toys that give children their own space and playing environment. These playhouses can have a big impact on your child’s life, for this reason, it is important to consider all their relevant information before buying one. This next section is designed to answer any questions you may have regarding these wonderful toys. It will also help you determine what the best playhouse will be for you and your child.

Kids playhouses encourage outdoor play.
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Can outdoor playhouses withstand all weather conditions?

Kids playhouses are usually meant to be placed outside, this means they are generally manufactured with materials that will not only endure the passage of time, but also the impact of weather conditions. If the playhouse you choose is not made with the appropriate materials, the rain or even continued sun exposure could quickly damage and deteriorate it. For this reason, we suggest choosing a model that is made with enduring materials such as sturdy wood or plastic.

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Continued sun exposure will fade and bleach the color of the home. Make sure to opt for a strong and solid color to preserve its original look.

What are some of the advantages of kids playhouses?

These toys are not only decorative and fun, but they also offer a sacred and personal space for your child to play. These are toys also provide many advantages to the physical and mental development of children. It will also encourage creative and imaginative play, where children can create and play out different scenarios and situations.

As mentioned before, playhouses are also great tools to foster independence and alone play. This will allow caregivers to enjoy some free time, whether it be used to relax or get stuff done. Moreover, playhouses encourage teamwork and cooperative play when shared with friends. Last but certainly not least, these toys also support and cultivate a child’s relationship with the outdoors.

Kids playhouses can come with all sorts of unimaginable luxuries.
(Source: _Alicja_/ pixabay.com)

Are playhouses easy to assemble?

Most playhouses are very easy to assemble, generally, these are toys are meant to be built once and left alone until your child outgrows it. Some models will have a few or many parts that need to be put together. If this is the case, make sure to follow the instructions to ensure a proper setup.

There are models made of fabric, these are really easy to assemble since they are often meant to be moved around. These models come with a bag that is used to carry and transport it with ease. Regardless of the type of assembly of the playhouse, all models will always include the tools you’ll need.

Are playhouses totally safe?

When it comes to children, safety is an absolute non-negotiable. This is even more relevant with toys that, because of their dimensions or weight, could cause very serious injuries to your child. It should go without saying that it is of utmost importance that the playhouse you choose complies with all CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) toy safety regulations and standards.

Playhouses should be assembled correctly in order to ensure the safety of your child.
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Furthermore, make sure the manufacturing materials of the playhouse are safe and child-appropriate. Meaning, don’t get a playhouse with glass windows, as this is an obvious hazard – methacrylate is a great substitute for glass. Also, make sure it’s not made with toxic chemicals and that the edges are protected, and if there is wood, that it has a proper finish in order to avoid splinters and cuts.

A safe kids playhouse will:

  • Have no protruding and sharp corners or edges
  • Be have smooth surfaces that will prevent cuts and splinters
  • Be sturdy, solid and stable
  • Be made of child-proof materials (e.g. methacrylate instead of glass)

Purchase Criteria

This section includes one last set of criteria that will help you determine which playhouse will be most suitable for your child. For instance, it is vital to consider the recommended age of the toy, as well as the materials it is made of. Keep this next criteria in mind as you evaluate and compare different playhouse models.

  • Recommended age
  • Materials of manufacture
  • Design
  • Dimensions
  • Assembly

Recommended age

The size and dimensions of the playhouse will determine the age range they are designed for. You can find designs created for toddlers and anything above. However, playhouses with more complicated features will be more appropriate for older kids, starting from around 5 years old.

From very early on, children are captivated by the idea of having their own private space. In this house, they can play, sit down to read, or simply rest in their own space. The recommended age of use for each house will be indicated in the instructions and the package.

Material

When looking at the materials of the playhouse, it is important to consider things like their durability and resistance against harsh weather. Due to their size, these houses are often placed outside, meaning you will have to take the weather conditions in your state into account. For instance, if you live in Seattle (lots of rain), you should opt for anti-corrosive or plastic materials.

Moreover, wood is also a very suitable material to withstand the elements. Quality wood, such as pine, is actually one of the most durable materials. Nonetheless, it should be properly treated to ensure lasting durability. The finishing products used, should always be safe and non-toxic.

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

Design

When choosing toys for your child, you should always take their tastes and preferences into account. This will ensure they love the toy from the get-go. In North America today, you can find endless models that incorporate different cartoon characters and all sorts of themes. You can also find them in different formats and shapes, such as portable models or square, triangular and asymmetrical in shape.

To choose a model they’ll love, make sure you know who their current favorite characters are. Paw Patrol, Cars, Disney and Peppa Pig are just a few of the many theme examples. In doing this, your child will feel their opinion matters and it will feel more like their own space. If you want to provide a more realistic experience, include accessories such as a terrace, folding windows or even a mailbox!

Dimensions

The size of the kids’ playhouse you choose, will be closely linked to the age and size of your child. If you’re thinking of a gift for a 2-year-old, a little house about 40 inches high is ideal. The wider and taller the playhouse, the more comfortable it will be for multiple children to get in and out of it while playing together.

This means you should also consider the height of anyone who will be using the playhouse. If the house is for school-age kids, a height of at least 5 feet will be appropriate. When considering dimensions, you should also think about the space where you plan to install. Keeping all these things in mind will help you choose the perfect size model.

Assembly

Last but not least, make sure to consider how involved the assembly of the playhouse is. Usually, the parents build the house with the help of the child, however, you still want the installation to be as simple as possible. This will help you make sure the house is totally safe for your child and friends.

Most playhouses come with instructions, all the parts and the tools you will need to assemble it. Ensuring this is the case will prevent you from having to purchase additional tools and materials to get the job done. At the end of the day, you should not require professional help to assemble one of these toys.

Sara PalaceChildcare blogger

“Because playhouses made of plastic can withstand all weather conditions, they are often the most practical and affordable choice.”

Summary

You are sure to find the perfect playhouse to satisfy all of your safety requirements and your child’s wants. Kids will fall in love with their new toy without fail, this is partly because these toys give them a sense of independence. With these toys, children are encouraged to be outside and to participate in creative, cooperative and role play.

You will find playhouses suitable for children as young as 2 years of age and up to school-age. If you take your child’s taste and likes into consideration, you will find a product they will love to hang out in from the start. Last but not least, it’s always important to know the different characteristics, advantages and possible disadvantages of the model you choose.

If you found some value in the information we have given, we would appreciate it if you shared this article or left us a comment with your thoughts.

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

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