The 10 Best Playhouses

Updated May 02, 2017

10 Best Playhouses
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. These outdoor playhouses are sure to keep your kids happy and entertained all summer long. They come in a variety of designs to suit your little one's style with a range of interesting features, including sand and water tables, working doorbells and ringing telephones. Plus, when the weather turns bad, they can be set up indoors, too, so your child can continue to play house in the house. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best playhouse on Amazon.

10. Merax Indoor/Outdoor

The quick to assemble and stylish Merax Indoor/Outdoor features fir wood construction and skylight windows. Designed with a beautiful blend of modern and cottage architecture, it will stand out in any yard or home and provide lasting memories for the whole family.
  • charming built-in wood floors
  • environmentally friendly paint
  • too small for multiple children
Brand Merax
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Countryside Cottage

If you are looking for an option with tons of built-in toys and features, then the Countryside Cottage is for you. This beautiful, yet durable, double-wall poly built home includes a fireplace, kitchenette, play phone, and even a fully functional doorbell.
  • dutch doors for easy access
  • charming usable flower planter
  • difficult to remove water after rain
Brand Step2
Model 815700
Weight 93 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Little Tikes Deluxe

The Little Tikes Deluxe has multiple play areas, including a sand and water table that comes with accessories and a cover. The house has a white picket fence and a handsome red door, and brings a bit of country charm to your property.
  • open viewing area for safe guidance
  • large realistic mailbox
  • not the best construction quality
Brand Little Tikes
Model 630170M
Weight 62 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Picnic on the Patio

The Picnic on the Patio is a compact option that is more suitable for toddlers than older kids, but it's certainly a favorite with the little guys. The attached picnic table and included benches extend the play area, making it perfect for snack time or for art activities.
  • pretend food and tableware included
  • kitchenette with oven and cupboards
  • three large picture windows in back
Brand Little Tikes
Model 403U00070
Weight 72.8 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Neighborhood Fun Center

The Neighborhood Fun Center comes with a four-foot-long slide and an activity wall that has a ball target and a ring toss. This is a great choice for the larger family or for the preschool that needs to entertain a whole group of children.
  • built-in snack table with seats
  • easy assembly by one adult
  • crawl-through portal entrance
Brand Step2
Model 851000
Weight 105 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Step 2 Sweetheart

The Step 2 Sweetheart is a pink and white cottage with a chiming doorbell and ringing phone. While its colors and heart accents pretty much ensure boys won't like this unit, they will make it a favorite of many young ladies. It features working shutters and a skylight.
  • outdoor grill for barbecues
  • tall interior for toddlers
  • clock with movable hands
Brand Step2
Model 851900
Weight 98.5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. KidKraft Outdoor

The KidKraft Outdoor has classic architecture that will immediately resonate with any child to let them know this is their very own place to be. It is made with weather-resistant wood and offers fun, inviting details, such as a mailbox flag and easy-to-use doorknob.
  • large enough for multiple children
  • sturdy and reliable construction
  • authentic shutters and curtains
Brand KidKraft
Model 00176
Weight 127 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Step2 Welcome Home

The Step2 Welcome Home comes loaded with movable parts, toys, a full kitchen, and a large floor area for pretend play. Even the welcome mat vocally reminds kids to wipe their feet as they enter a home full of diverse and interactive toys to enjoy.
  • large and elegant bay windows
  • available matching sandbox
  • included storage cabinet for toys
Brand Step2
Model 727000
Weight 188 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage

This Backyard Discovery Summer Cottage is made from solid cedar, a wood that can endure even harsh elements with ease. It has classic cabin architecture, complete with a pretend chimney and slatted walls. This play home will remain in style for years to come.
  • welcoming entry with flower pots
  • kitchen with side-serving station
  • attached outdoor bench
Brand Backyard Discovery
Model 6613
Weight 169 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Gather and Grille

The Gather and Grille is a playhouse with a built-in grill and bench for two. It has a Dutch-style door and several large windows, and is a great choice for the family that loves cooking outside and wants to encourage their kids to get into the BBQ spirit.
  • kitchenette with fun decals
  • expandable patio area
  • includes five-piece accessory set
Brand Step2
Model 800100
Weight 115 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

How To Choose The Perfect Playhouse

Most adults have happy memories of playing "make believe" games as a child. And research has proven the many cognitive benefits children receive from using their imagination to entertain themselves. A playhouse provides endless opportunity for this type of creativity. There is no question as to whether or not your child should have one; the only question is which kind is best for your home and family?

Children can be quite messy. They like to draw on things and play with their food. While this is normal and may even be indicative of a fast learner, it also leaves parents with a lot of cleanup work. If your child regularly spreads spaghetti sauce and finger paint everywhere, a plastic playhouse is a smart choice. These are easy to wipe down and hose off. Those who prefer a more rustic, classic look may want a wooden model. The latter is also more eco-friendly.

Some children become very attached to their playhouses, and can't stand to go a day away from them. If this sounds like it could be your child, get a lightweight model so you can easily bring it indoors on rainy days. If your child is very social, a playhouse that can accommodate them and a couple of their friends will make the experience more enjoyable for them. Some children love to pretend to be grownups and enjoy mimicking everything their parents do. If your child falls into this category, a playhouse that looks like a miniature version of a real house is a better choice than one modeled after a princess castle or dragon dungeon.

Important Considerations For A Playhouse

The safety of your child should come first and foremost. In recent years, toy safety regulations have become stricter in the United States and the United Kingdom, so make sure you stay up to date on recalls and new standards. Some playhouses come equipped with a jungle gym, slide, and ladder. These offer children a fun way to stay active at home, which may, in fact, improve their academic performance. Purchasing a playhouse can be seen as an educational tool.

Since you'll likely want to keep an eye on your child while they play in their house, make sure the model you buy has plenty of cut outs and windows. An open format will help you supervise playtime better. That being said, the model should have doors and windows that open and shut, because children like to feel that their playhouse is their own personal area. A few even come with a small picnic table or bench, allowing them to double as a kid's table during family events.

If you're trying to encourage your child to be more helpful around the house, look for a playhouse that comes with accessories like a fake stove, dishwasher, or grill. If your children associate fun with domestic activities, they might be more inclined to offer help in the real kitchen. Don't forget to think about how you, as an adult, would like your yard to look. Purchase a playhouse that leaves enough space for your more sophisticated patio set, and buy one that blends in with your other outdoor decor.

How To Keep Your Kids Safe In Their Playhouse

As mentioned earlier, wooden playhouses are an eco-friendly choice. But they can be too welcoming for nature, often attracting wasps, bees, spiders and mosquitoes. Any time your child is going to venture into their playhouse, it should be checked for insects. This is doubly important in the warmer months. Clear any out before allowing your child inside. Children are smaller and their systems are weaker than adults'. It takes much fewer bee stings to harm them than a grownup.

Don't leave a playhouse in direct sunlight, especially if it's plastic. This material can become so hot when exposed to the sun's rays that it's dangerous to touch. The majority of outdoor play items for children should be kept in the shade. Many of these become far too hot in the summer. If your kids are particularly rough on their playhouse, then every few days, take a walk around it and crawl inside of it to inspect the nuts and bolts and ensure they haven't come loose. Always supervise your children when they are playing and don't let them crawl on top of their playhouse. Most kids will try, but it puts them at risk of falling.

If you have a wooden playhouse, inspect it regularly for splintered wood. If the material has cracked, the playhouse could be covered in some frayed wood just waiting to cause a splinter in a child's curious hands. Nearly every new playhouse should be made with non-toxic paint, but it should still be checked periodically for any chipped paint. Even the non-toxic variety is bad for a child to eat.

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Last updated on May 02, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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