The clear winner of all of these playhouses for kids is the Chestnut Wooden Pre-Painted Tower Playhouse with Slide. It’s made of sturdy, long-lasting wood and is big enough to appeal to younger and older children.
The slide and the quality of the wood set it apart from other playhouses on this list. Although some of the plastic playhouses are perfectly fine for what they are, they have a limited shelf life and your child will quickly outgrow them. The wooden tower playhouse is something your child can enjoy from the time he or she is just a tot until he or she is a teenager.
How to Choose a Playhouse
You have a few things to consider when picking out a playhouse for your kids. One of the first consideration is where you’ll put the playhouse. Many models are designed for outdoor use and are made from materials that can withstand exposure to the elements. But if you’re going to use the playhouse indoors, you can choose one made from less weather resistant materials or take a look at getting a play tent instead.
Speaking of materials, that’s another essential consideration. Outdoor playhouses are often made from either plastic or wood. Both have their pros and cons. Wood looks better than plastic, in many people’s opinion. But it can also rot and become worn if it’s not treated properly. However, if you’re looking at buying an outdoor swing or outdoor slide set, you may want to match the overall garden theme.
Plastic might not look as warm as wood and might make a playhouse look a little cheap, but it’s also more likely to withstand whatever weather the world throws at it. Another benefit of plastic is that it tends to be easier to clean compared to wood, according to Apartment Therapy.
Another thing to think about is the size of the playhouse. As My Baba points out, you don’t want the house to overwhelm your garden, especially if you want to extend and add a garden pool or paddling pool to the equation . How much room you have to spare will partly influence the size of the playhouse.
Small houses might be perfect for toddlers and very young children. But, kids grow quickly and will soon outgrow a tiny playhouse. Think about how long you’d like your children to have the house. If you’re just looking for something for a toddler, go small. But if you want your children to get years of play out of the house, it’s better to go bigger.
It’s also a good idea to consider how many kids will use the playhouse. If you have more than one child, and the playhouse is only big enough for one at a time, you’re going to have fights on your hands.
Playhouses can be anything from a simple square with an opening for a door to elaborate constructions with working doors and windows, a slide and plenty of other bells and whistles. Although it might seem that a more elaborate playhouse would automatically be the better pick, that’s not always the case.
A basic playhouse that’s little more than a box with an opening for a door can do a lot to really spark your child’s imagination. You’d be surprised at what a young child can do with little more than four walls.
That said, a playhouse that has more bells and whistles, like a slide or room to attach a swing, might be more appealing to a young child. You can think of that type of a playhouse as giving you two toys for the price of one. You get the pretend house and a built-in playground – heck, why not attach a trampoline while you’re at it!
Benefits of Playhouses for Kids
One of the biggest benefits of playhouses for kids is that they allow for hours and hours of imaginative play, according to the Wall Street Journal. In a playhouse, your child and his or her friends or siblings have a chance to create an entire world for themselves. They can pretend to be co-workers, students in the same classroom, or aliens from another planet.
Playhouses also encourage independent play. Instead of relying on ideas from mum and dad, kids in playhouses can entertain themselves. That sense of independence can help your children develop self-confidence and a feeling of accomplishment.
As your kids get older, don’t necessarily expect them to outgrow the playhouse. For children over the age of seven, playhouses can provide kids with a sanctuary or a place to be alone. Having that sense of personal, private space is important for all kids, but can be particularly important for kids who have to share a room with siblings or who feel they don’t have any privacy elsewhere in the home.
Playhouses and Safety Concerns
As with any toy for children, there are a few safety concerns involved with playhouses. Choosing the right playhouse and taking certain precautions can help ensure your children and the neighbourhood kids are safe and sound at all times.
If your playhouse is made out of wood, What to Expect recommends regular inspections to ensure that the wood is smooth and the risk for splinters is low. If you notice the wood is becoming a bit rough, sand it down until it’s smooth again.
Also, keep an eye out for chipping or peeling paint. While new playhouses won’t have lead-based paint, you don’t want your child eating any paint chips.
It’s also a good idea to do a structure check of the playhouse from time to time to make sure it’s holding together well. Check the nuts and bolts and tighten them if they feel loose. Make sure any attachments, such as a door or slide, are still firmly attached.
Another thing to check for in the playhouse is beehives or wasp’s nests. You don’t want your little one to end up stung, especially if he or she has an allergy. If the playhouse hasn’t been used in a while, do a sweep of it before sending your child out to play.