Best playhouse for toddlers – WDVM25 & DCW50

Which playhouse for toddlers is best?

There’s something amazing about a toddler’s capacity for imagination. They can turn a stick into Excalibur, a puddle into an ocean and pebbles into priceless gemstones. When given a playhouse, a simple one-room hunk of plastic transforms into a mansion filled with secrets.

A playhouse doesn’t need to be plastic and styled after a real house, though. They can also be tent-like, with designs evocative of anything.

The best playhouse for toddlers is the Step2 Charming Cottage Kids Playhouse. It’s expensive but well-built, with several interactive elements.

What to know before you buy a playhouse for toddlers


Playhouses are usually designed with an age range in mind. Some are designed for kids aged 8-12, but most are designed for ages 2-8. Of the houses designed for ages 2-8, you’ll want to limit your picks to those without small parts. Toddlers are at high risk for choking on them.

For sizing, you may be tempted to pick a small house that matches their height exactly. Instead, consider purchasing a durable plastic or wood house they can grow into — kids grow frighteningly fast, after all.


Playhouses for toddlers have two basic shapes: house and tent.

  • houses are best for toddlers who enjoy active play, indoors and out.
  • tents are better for children who find greater joy playing inside, either with their toys or by drawing.

What to look for in a quality playhouse for toddlers


Playhouses for toddlers are made of cardboard, fabric, plastic or wood.

  • cardboard houses are dirt cheap, to the point of being essentially free. In fact, you can build your own cardboard playhouse with leftover moving boxes and some tape. That said, buying a specifically designed cardboard house is easier. They are typically designed to be plain, letting your child add colors and designs as they please. The only downside is cardboard’s extreme lack of durability. They simply do not last.
  • Fabric houses are usually tent-like rather than house-like. They’re almost as affordable as cardboard but are a bit more durable, and usually come in specific design themes such as princess or space.
  • Plastic houses are the classical example of a playhouse for toddlers. They’re sturdy, easy to clean and maintain, can be used indoors and out, and frequently include interactive elements. However, they are usually expensive.
  • Wood houses are essentially just a more durable — and expensive — version of a plastic house.

interactive elements

Better plastic and wood houses include interactive elements to help keep your toddler entertained. These can be as simple as swinging windows or as complex as electronics such as doorbells or lights.

How much you can expect to spend on a playhouse for toddlers

Playhouses for toddlers can be as cheap as $20 or as expensive as $500-plus. You’ll want to spend at least $50-$100 for something durable enough to last, as inexpensive playhouses typically break rapidly. The best playhouses usually start around $200.

Playhouse for toddlers FAQ

How do I maintain a playhouse for toddlers?

TO. That depends on the material it’s made from. Plastic is durable enough to stay outside and easy to wash — just wipe it clean with soap and water or sanitizing wipes. Wood takes a little more care — you shouldn’t leave it out in wet weather, and cleaning shouldn’t use too much moisture either. Fabric may be stitchable if torn and can be cleaned with sanitizing wipes. Cardboard isn’t maintainable but is cheap enough to be replaced with ease.

Are playhouses for toddlers safe to sleep in?

TO. Again that depends on the material, but also the condition of the house. Cardboard should never be slept in as its low durability can see it collapse at any time. If all other material types are in good condition, it should be plenty safe for your toddler to nap or sleep overnight in them.

Is it safe to install electrical components in a playhouse for toddlers?

TO. That depends on what kind of components you want to install and the playhouse’s material. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t install anything at all in a cardboard or fabric playhouse, or something that isn’t battery-operated in a plastic or wooden one. There’s too great a risk of electrical fires breaking out or for your child to pull on a wire, leading to electrocution.

What’s the best playhouse for toddlers to buy?

Top playhouse for toddlers

Step2 Charming Cottage Kids Playhouse

Step2 Charming Cottage Kids Playhouse

What you need to know: This is durable, spacious and full of interactive fun.

What you’ll love: It’s 50 by 58 by 58 inches, big enough for several toddlers to fit inside at once. It has an electric doorbell, an attached swinging sink that doubles as a small table, and attached chairs for eating.

What you should consider: It’s among the most expensive playhouses. Some consumers found assembly difficult. If you leave it out in the rain, it’s difficult to empty collected water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Top playhouse for toddlers for the money

Willingheart Rocket Ship Play Tent

Willingheart Rocket Ship Play Tent

What you need to know: This is a great budget pick with an educational bent.

What you’ll love: It has a soft fabric floor, folds up for easy storage and includes a carrying bag. The entrance door rolls up and stays up with Velcro. It’s water-resistant, non-toxic and has two mesh windows for breathability.

What you should consider: Some purchasers found the assembly instructions hard to follow. The material won’t stand up to rough play, and some children won’t like the space design.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse For Kids

Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse For Kids

What you need to know: This is a more affordable house-like pick.

What you’ll love: It can comfortably hold two toddlers at once, and it’s water-resistant and durable. It only weighs 30 pounds, so it’s easy to move as needed, and the assembly instructions are simple to follow. The blue-and-white color scheme is classic and attractive.

What you should consider: It shouldn’t be left outside during harsh weather, including rain. There aren’t any interactive elements to keep your children entertained.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

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

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