The Best Playhouse for Kids

The best playhouses provide the chance for boys and girls to embark on imaginative and adventurous fun—both inside and outside.

By Rebecca Wolken | Updated Jan 12, 2021 1:14 PM

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Best Playhouse


Kids have amazing imaginations—and sometimes all they need to spark it is a fun playhouse where they can pretend to their little hearts’ content. As you shop for the best playhouse to expand imaginative and adventurous play for your kids, there are factors you will want to consider.

First, find the age range that is recommended for a specific playhouse. Playhouses are available in many styles and offer a variety of functions, and while some may be safe for the age range you need, many may not be suitable. Smaller children might tip them over, or babies could choke on smaller pieces. Even older children may become frustrated if the playhouse is too juvenile for their age and interests.

Second, consider where you plan to put the playhouse. Many playhouses are best suited for outside; however, there are intended for inside use. Depending on the size of the playhouse, you may or may not be able to fit it where you’d prefer.

Third, think about the assembly required to have the playhouse ready for your kids to enjoy. While it may not be a deterrent if it takes longer to assemble, you’ll want to set aside the required time and have available the necessary tools and batteries.

The final factor to consider is the role of extra accessories for your chosen playhouse. Some playhouses are actual miniature houses that need to be outfitted with chairs or extra toys to make playtime more fun. Some playhouses include these items, while others do not. Be sure to learn what is included with your playhouse and plan to buy extras accordingly.

Our Top Picks

From tents to outdoor wooden playhouses, there are a plethora of available options when purchasing a playhouse for your kids’ indoor and outdoor adventures. Keep the above considerations in mind while checking out some of the best playhouses on the market today.

Best Overall

The Best Playhouse Option: Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse

This playhouse by Little Tikes is ideal for outdoor play where little ones can pretend the day away. The tan, molded plastic features a faux-brick design and is complemented by a bright red door and roof for a pop of color. Accessories include windows with shutters, a mailbox, a flag holder, stickers to add a house number, and a doorknob.

Assembly is required with standard tools, such as a screwdriver. Once assembled, it stands at 49 inches tall and is about 43 inches wide. At only 32 pounds, it is easy to transport or store when not in use. The recommended age range for this playhouse is 2 to 6 years.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Playhouse Option: Easy Playhouse Fairy Tale Castle

For a quick and easy way to build a playhouse for your little ones, consider this cardboard castle playhouse by Easy Playhouse. It’s affordable and also acts as a huge coloring project. Your children can play on the inside of this playhouse and color and customize the outside exactly how they want it. This playhouse is on the smaller side, making it a good option for inside the home in a playroom, living room, or bedroom. The front doors open and close, and the windows open to allow light inside the castle.

While no accessories are included, there is room to purchase extras or simply allow your children’s imagination to flourish and play however they see fit. If you are looking for a more immersive pick or one that is suitable for outdoor use, this may not be the playhouse for your needs. Assembly takes about five minutes and doesn’t require any tools or batteries. Once assembled, it stands approximately 47 inches tall and around 18 inches wide. The recommended age range is 2 to 10 years.

Best For Outdoor Play

The Best Playhouse Option: KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse

Kick up your child’s outdoor play with this modern, wooden playhouse by KidKraft. It features a picnic table attached near the side window for outdoor “dining” and curtains that open and close. Three additional windows on the back let extra light inside. The playhouse also includes a pretend grill with movable knobs, a cooking counter, and a chalkboard, allowing your little ones to write notes, craft a menu, or draw a picture. The front door slides open and shut, and the attached mailbox holds all their pretend letters or artwork. No additional accessories are included.

The wooden side panels on this playhouse are reinforced to prevent warping and weathering, and the roof panels are water resistant. Assembly is estimated to take up to six hours and requires drills, hammers, screwdrivers, and—ideally—an extra person to help. Once assembled, the playhouse stands almost 71 inches tall, 49 inches wide, and 63 inches long. This playhouse is extra versatile with the recommended ages ranging from 3 to 15 years.

Best for Toddlers

The Best Playhouse Option: Little Tikes Activity Garden Playset

This smaller indoor playhouse by Little Tikes is ideal for crawling babies and toddlers who are just learning to walk. They can pull themselves up and play with the many features and toys included in this playhouse. It easily converts from a closed play area to an open, two-sided play area. This feature is ideal if your little one needs more room for a playdate or if your living space is simply better suited for one or the other configuration.

This playhouse features a variety of toys and games for both imaginative and educational play, including a shape-sorting mailbox, a piano door, a mini slide, a removable telescope, a ball drop window frame, and peek-a-boo shutters. The recommended age range is 6 months to 3 years. Assembly is required, along with two AAA batteries that are not included. Fully assembled, this playhouse stands at around 25 inches tall and is about 34 inches wide.

Best for Sleepovers

The Best Playhouse Option: Monobeach Princess Tent

Measuring 55 inches tall and 53 inches wide, this bright pink indoor tent from Monobeach will transform a room into a secret hideaway or create the perfect sleepover corner. The pink polyester taffeta curtains can be tied back or allowed to hang for privacy. The fabric of the curtains and the floor are easy to clean while still being comfortable and durable.

This playhouse lights up with twinkling star lights, and minimal other accessories (except for a carrying bag) make it so you can take this tent with you to grandma’s or a friend’s house. The playhouse is recommended for children ages 3 years and up. Although assembly is required, you won’t need any tools. The AA batteries necessary for powering the string lights are not included.