As the weather gets warmer and the summer break approaches it's great to invest in something that will keep your children entertained and engaged day in, day out. Whatever their age, gender or interests, a play house is a reliable way to promote safe yet challenging play. Investing in a play house is a great way to stimulate your child's imagination, keep them entertained for hours, promote their development of social skills as well as their imagination and much more. I remember when I was a child, my first play house resembled a wigwam with a picture of a front door painted onto the material. Now there are more lifelike houses available giving your child their first taste of real independence whilst they experiment with collecting post, cooking and even cleaning! Who knows, maybe after the break you'll have a little helper around the house! We based our results on value for money, size, durability, safety, how engaging the product is and more. Read on to find the perfect play house that allows your child's creativity to flourish as they embark on new adventures every day.
Top Choice for Preschools: Little Tikes Endless Adventures Tikes Town Playhouse
Ideally for ages 3-6, this playhouse is a perfect first playhouse to discover the real world in a safe environment. Each wall has a different range of play features allowing your child to experience soccer, basketball, a schoolhouse, a firehouse, a gas station, a grocery store and a bank all in one afternoon! The fact that there is so much to do both inside and outside the house means that a lot of children can interact with the product at any one time making it a great choice for preschoolers. Reviewers commented that this house is definitely best to stimulate the imagination as children can take on endless characters in different make-believe tales without getting bored. The only fault our reviewers found was that unfortunately the stickers on the outside wall are prone to rain damage and peeling however most still claimed that this wouldn't stop them form purchasing the product. The numerous windows mean that not only is it easy for parents to keep an eye on their little ones but also prompts interaction between children at the door or through the windows. At 55x49x58 this playhouse is spacious without being too big or heavy. Having said this, at 94 lbs it's not the easiest of products to move around so you may want to decide on a permanent location before putting it together. Moreoever, at under $500 this play house is the most expensive one we tested however we found it to be worth every dime as the name speaks for itself- it really does leave room for endless adventures!
Easiest to Clean: Step2 Neat and Tidy II Playhouse
For once, safety and fun go hand in hand with this gorgeous little house that is as adorable as it is engaging. Step2 claim that this product is suited to a huge age range of 18 months- 8 years old and most of our reviewers claimed this to be true. Children of all ages can enjoy exploring the depths of their imagination by playing with the kitchen, fireplace, clock, play-phone, faucet and kitchen table that the Step2 Neat and Tidy II Playhouse provides. Not only this, but the fact that there are also exciting features on the outside of the house (mailbox, real doorbell, flowerbox, working door and shutters) means that you can see children really interacting with each other as well as the wider world. Our reviewers loved the fact that their children can learn life skills with this product. They also claimed that at such a budget price of under $200 they were pleasantly surprised with how often they could informally educate their children on anything from telling the time, to horticulture. The design is super open which is great for parents who want to keep an eye on their little ones and it comes with a built-in floor that stays cool even in the heat. Moreover, the drain holes in the floor make the playhouse not only super easy to clean but also perfect for both indoor and outdoor play. There is also definitely enough room for more than one child to play at any one time however there is only one door which can be problematic in a day care setting. It weights 55lbs and measures 46.5x51x35 and although it's doesn't come with as many features as other playhouses we tested, we would definitely recommend it to those wanting to spend less.
Top Choice for Backyard Fun: KidKraft Modern Outdoor Playhouse
For those that prefer a more rustic 'cabin like' finish this Little Tikes Playhouse is a perfect wooden haven with a modern twist. It comes equipped with a mailbox, 6 large windows that open and close and even curtains. Like the other playhouses we tested, its big enough for more than one child and is a great size for all kinds of imaginative play. This is the largest playhouse we reviewed at 71x49x62 and weighs a heavy 136.7 lbs. Some reviewers didn't like the fact that it was so heavy and it made the playhouse feel like more of a burden or commitment when deciding where to place it. On the other hand, other reviewers stated that they liked the fact that this playhouse was heavier as it made them feel like their children were more secure. It's especially suited for outdoors as the wood is weather resistant so it's perfect come rain or shine. It looks quaint however the layout is more closed than other playhouses we tested meaning it's best to make sure that an adult is nearby. Mind you, we can't think of anything better than enjoying an adult picnic whilst the kids are having one of their own! Unfortunately, most reviewers stated that it was the most difficult playhouse to put together and took the longest to do so. At under $350 we felt we could get better value elsewhere which is why although the product has a relatively high score, it still came in last in the ranking.
Playhouses are the best when they're as educational as they are fun and our favorite was something that allowed children to engage with as much of the outside world as possible. Our overall favorite was the Little Tikes Endless Adventures Tikes Town Playhouse as it was the most engaging of all the playhouses by far. Reviewers felt that it was both safe and stimulating and many stated that they would definitely consider purchasing one for their own children. Although it was the most expensive playhouse we tested, we thought that the price was worth it as after all, the more engaged and challenged the child is, the more they will play in their new world of adventures!