Which toy house for kids is best?

Kids love playing house. It’s only natural to mimic the grown-ups in their lives and want a space that’s all their own. Toy houses for kids are a great way to spark your child’s imagination and give them a small piece of your home that’s just theirs.

There are a wide variety of toy houses for kids on the market. Finding the best one for your family can be tricky. The top pick, the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage Homestyle Edition, is built to last with fun design features children will love. 

What to know before you buy a toy house for kids

House type

There are two main types of toy houses for kids: playhouses and play tents. Playhouses are permanent structures that resemble real houses. Some models look like log cabins, while others look like cottages in the countryside or beach homes. Playhouses are made of plastic and require assembly by an adult.

Play tents are temporary structures that serve as a more sophisticated version of a blanket fort. Some look like rocket ships, while others are themed with princesses or cowboys. Play tents are made of fabric and meant to be quickly assembled and disassembled.

Recommended age range

It’s essential to pay attention to the recommended age range of a toy house for kids. Just like kids quickly grow out of clothes and shoes, they can quickly become too big or tall for their toy house. Most models will also estimate how many children you can expect to fit inside.

Some models may contain accessories with small pieces that could be dangerous for very young kids. If you want to buy a house that your little ones will grow into, see if those small pieces are removable.

Space

Children play in, on and around a toy house. It’s essential to leave them plenty of room to get in and out of each entrance. You’ll also want to account for the storage you might need with the house to contain things like a plastic kitchen set or a miniature bed for a favorite stuffed animal.

If you’ve got a dog or a cat who’ll want to get in on the action, a larger house with room for a pet bed might be a good idea.

What to look for in a quality toy house for kids

Easy assembly

If you think assembling adult furniture with minimal instructions is frustrating, just wait until you try to put together an entire house for children with only vague guidance of where everything goes. See if you can find a PDF of assembly instructions before you buy. There’s usually one somewhere on the Internet. Check user reviews to see what others have experienced.

If opting for a play tent, take note of the shape of the tent when disassembled. Some will be perfectly flat, but others may be awkward and unwieldy.

Portability

Play tents are easy to move inside or outside as your child sees fit. Playhouses, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier. Some can be very sturdy and heavy. While that’s great from a kid safety perspective, it’s terrible from a “preserving Mom’s back as she tries to drag the house into the backyard” perspective. You should be able to see the overall weight of the house before you buy. Know your limitations.

Also, make sure that your house is OK to be outside. Some models aren’t.

Fun extras

Toy houses for kids have a variety of fun extras to engage your child and make them feel like a real adults. Playhouses will often have interactive kitchens. Some have fake ovens and sinks, while others may have a barbecue grill. There might be mailboxes or a doorbell or a telephone. The sky’s the limit.

Several play tents come with Christmas lights, either separately or embedded into the tent’s fabric/structure. These lights will give a special glow to your child’s play area at night.

How much you can expect to spend on a toy house for kids

Play tents range from $20-$50. Be sure to check user reviews for durability. You can find plastic playhouses for $100-$300. Houses closer to $300 will be larger, made of higher-quality materials or have more design features.

Toy house for kids FAQ

What’s the best way to wash a toy house for kids?

A. Follow the recommended instructions from the manufacturer. The fabric in play tents will usually need to be spot cleaned. The plastic in toy houses will typically be good with soap and water. Be sure to hand dry any small design elements that might not fully dry from sitting out in the sun.

Can I install electric lights in my child’s toy house?

A. It’s not a great idea. DIY electric lights could pose a fire hazard. Instead, opt for a battery-powered touch light or flameless candle. A clip-on reading light will also do the trick.

What are the best toy houses for kids to buy?

Top toy house for kids

Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage Homestyle Edition

Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage Homestyle Edition

What you need to know: Classic design, thoughtful extras and easy clean-up make this toy house for kids our best pick.

What you’ll love: House features a realistic doorbell, a play phone and even a barbecue grill. Recommended for kids aged 18 months to 10 years. Has holes in the bottom for draining after cleaning.

What you should consider: Some users say assembly was frustrating and required a power drill to make things easier.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top toy house for kids for money

WillingHeart Rocket Ship Play Tent

WillingHeart Rocket Ship Play Tent

What you need to know: If your little one would prefer flying to the moon over playing house on Earth, this charming tent will do the trick.

What you’ll love: This option is simple to set up, take down and store, and includes a cool space pattern and design.

What you should consider: It’s smaller when compared to other toy houses on the market and it will only fit one or two kids.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse

Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse

What you need to know: This playhouse is big and sturdy, with a neutral design that kids can customize to their liking.

What you’ll love: It has doors and windows that can open and shut and fits two or three kids. It’s very lightweight, so it’s easy to move from a playroom into the backyard.

What you should consider: It does not have seats or other embellishments inside the house. The cottage is mostly white or off-white, requiring more frequent cleaning.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Herman Michael writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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