Playhouses can be great fun and a brilliant way to encourage creative and role play in kids. They are also great at being their own little space, a place where they can draw, read or even watch wildlife from. Of course, some of the plastic models are also good for bringing inside if you have the space for them too, but generally we think of playhouses or wendy houses as outdoor toys. This article will be looking at the best playhouse for toddlers and children to help with what can be quite a large purchase. I hope you find it helpful.
Tips on choosing the best playhouse for toddlers and children
When choosing a playhouse for kids you’ll want to bear in mind a few things. These are large purchases, not specifically in the pocket (although they can be) but in actual size so you don’t want to get it wrong and be stuck with something you’re not happy with.
- what kind? – do you want a plastic or a wooden playhouse. Plastic is lighter and can be moved around more. It can also be cheaper and fairly maintenance free. The downsides are that although they can last a while they’ll look faded and tatty after a few summers. Wooden playhouses are more of an investment but can last for much longer, look much better and can often be better for tall toddlers and older kids. You can also personalise them by painting them to suit your kids and your garden.
- Size – I know it sounds obvious but make sure you have plenty of space for the playhouse to be and also make sure that it will be big enough for your children. If you have more than one you might need more space and if your kids are tall they might find some that are marketed at toddlers to be too small for a lot of use.
- How much assembling does it require? Most need a little assembling, but that will vary with all the different kinds. If you’re good with DIY then don’t fret too much, but if you’re not and time will be hard to come by then go for something that is easy to assemble.
Best outdoor playhouse – plastic
The following playhouses are all plastic which are durable and maintenance free. They may well fade in the sunlight but that won’t mean that they won’t last for a long time! They tend to be cheaper than the wooden options too so if you’re on a budget check these out.
Keter Wonderfold Playhouse
This is a really great, multi use playhouse. I say multi use because it can go outside, it can go inside and it can even fold away for if you want to take it to the grandparents house or store overwinter.
It’s incredibly easy to assemble, so if you’re at all worried about that part of it, don’t be. The pieces snap together really easily and they even claim it can be put together in 30 seconds!
The dimensions of this one is 111cm (3ft 7) high x 102cm (3ft 4) wide x 90cm (2ft 11) deep so it’s not the biggest of playhouses, but I think it’s a good size for toddlers. The price point and the fact that you can move it indoors and out quite easily makes up for it.
Little Tikes Cape Cottage
I’m a big fan of Little Tikes toys because they are so well made and they tend to think of things that other brands don’t. This playhouse is a perfect example of that. It’s a lovely bright and fun design with features such as a mail slot, a flag pole and opening and shutting windows. It’s perfect for kids who like to do role play!
As with all Little Tikes play toys it’s really robust plastic and it represents good value for money. I always manage to get good resale value on my Little Tikes toys when my kids grew out of them so for me they are definitely worth it.
The dimensions of this playhouse are 124cm (4ft) high x 109cm (3ft 7) wide x 89cm (2ft 11) deep. It’s also available in another colour if you didn’t like the red – you can get a tan colour too. It’s suitable from age 2 – 5 years.
Best wooden playhouse for the garden
There’s something special about wooden playhouses – perhaps that home built feel to them and the fact that the natural materials have a connection to nature too. They tend to be more expensive and might need more upkeep with painting but if looked after you will have something that will look good and last for a long time where a plastic one will have faded and be looking shabby.
4×4 Honeypot Snug Wooden Playhouse
This is a cute playhouse that is quite popular at the moment. I love that it’s easy to customise and make your own – it would be a great project for those who like decorating!
As the name suggests it’s a small, 4ft x 4ft playhouse with a total height of 4ft 7 at the highest point. The height of the door is 2 ft 10 – might require some crawling through as your kids get bigger!
It complies with safety regulations and even comes with a 10 year anti-rot guarantee, although you’ll need to do some painting of it with preservative for that to be valid (and each year after). It’s a DIY project and should probably take a couple of hours to put up with 2 people assembling it. Allow more time if you’re planning to paint it.
Redwood Lodge Children’s Wooden Playhouse
If you’re looking for something a little more quirky and interesting for your garden then you’ll love this one. It has a really exciting design that suits a playhouse really well – it looks like something out of a fairytale! It has a crooked door, round windows and a chimney. The door and windows close with soft magnetic catches too.
One thing I like about this one is that it comes with a felted roof and they have gone to lengths to ensure that the playhouse stays waterproof so that if they want to go outside when it’s a bit rainy they’ll still have fun and it will also make sure what’s inside stays dry. It comes pre painted too so that’s one less job!
The dimensions of this one are 145cm (4ft 9) high x 145cm (4ft 9) width x 110cm (3ft 7) depth so quite a nice size too that will last for quite a few years.