If you’re looking for the best playhouse for toddler-aged kids, you’ll be thrilled to find out that there is a wide assortment of quality options to spark your child’s imagination and encourage independent play.
Quick Summary: Best Playhouse For Toddlers
|Step2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse||Check on Amazon →|
|Step2 Lively Living Playhouse||Check on Amazon →|
|Little Tikes Cape Cottage||Check on Amazon →|
|Bankers Box Play Treats' N' Eats Playhouse||Check on Amazon →|
|Dinosaur Play Tent Playhouse||Check on Amazon →|
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 5 Recommended Playhouses
- 2 Step2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
- 3 Step2 Lively Living Playhouse
- 4 Little Tikes Cape Cottage
- 5 Bankers Box Play Treats’ N’ Eats Playhouse
- 6 Dinosaur Play Tent Playhouse
- 7 What You Need to Know Before You Buy
- 8 Budget
- 9 Materials
- 10 Location and Size
- 11 Style or Design Options
- 12 Safety Considerations
- 13 Playhouse FAQs
- 14 Final Thoughts
Our Top 5 Recommended Playhouses
Playhouses come in a variety of sizes and themes, so you can find one that fits your kid’s interests and the location. Some of the options include cottages, tents, cabins, and outdoor tents, and we’ve put together a list of our top five favorites.
Step2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
- This pavilion-style outdoor playhouse design lets kids get ready to host their own backyard party! Ideal for social and interactive play, the working doors open to let kids in and out to...
- Grill with friends and enjoy the meal at the snack table, all while comfortable in the shade of the overhead canopy! Afterward, use the molded-in play sink to wash the dishes and place them...
- Friends can play in the sand and water area while they wait for dinner to be served! Several accessories are included for splish-splash fun and sand exploration, like the water tower,...
The Step2 Playtime Patio features a more open design that allows multiple kids to play at once and accommodates a child-sized wheelchair thanks to the wide double doors. This playhouse features a large canopy to protect the kiddos from the sun and built-in flaps for added security in windy conditions.
When you need to clean this playhouse, you can remove the cover easily thanks to the hook and loop closure, and the rest of the playhouse washes up efficiently with water. The exterior of this playhouse uses neutral colors, so it’s an attractive addition to any yard, and there’s a variety of textures that offer visual interest and entice kids to play.
This playhouse also offers unique activity stations, including a lidded sand and water play area, a cooking area, prep station, and accessories that tuck away into a storage area. Included with this playhouse is a 16-piece accessory kit complete with a washable mesh storage bag.
- Features a door wide enough to accommodate a child’s wheelchair
- A built-in canopy provides shade as kids play
- A neutral color palette makes this an attractive addition to any yard
- Multiple stations and accessories that encourage critical thinking and creative play
- The canopy is not adjustable
- Requires some basic tools for assembly
Step2 Lively Living Playhouse
- Large enough for pretend dinner parties, the Lively Living Playhouse is a Step2 x exclusive!
- Little ones can take care of their own home just like their adult role models! They can answer the phone when friends call, cook meals for visitors, and even check the mail
- The kids’ playhouse features a working Dutch-style door that allows kids to easily come and go, while the movable shutters let friends know when your little one is home and ready to play!
The Step2 Lively Living Playhouse features familiar details your child will love, such as the stone and wood textures, the functioning doorbell, and the phone that encourages creative role play. This playhouse also has working shutters, a door, a mail slot, and an attached floor that gives this unit a more finished overall feel while still being easy to clean.
As part of this playhouse, there’s a built-in seat and cooking area complete with a sink so your kids can grill, invite guests, and role play. The neutral color palette of this playhouse makes it an attractive addition to any yard, and the added decals are a homey touch that adds to the realism.
The interior walls have a more finished texture, which makes it easy to clean and mount accessories like the included phone or hang up decorations. The floor includes drain holes to allow water to flow through, and this playhouse is also suitable for indoor play.
- Built-in mail slot, seat, and floor
- Realistic exterior details including stone and wood
- Finished looking interior with decals and design details to encourage role play
- Working door, doorbell, and shutters to promote interactive play between kids
- Sometimes water accumulates on the floor after it rains
- It takes a little more time to assemble and requires basic tools
Little Tikes Cape Cottage
- CAPE COTTAGE DESIGN - The Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse is a stylish addition to your play room and backyard. It has a sweet victorian feel with blue and white color scheme pefect for...
- DEVELOP YOUR CHILD'S SKILLS - Multifunctional play house that helps kids develop fine motor skills and cognative abilities. It can help child's social and emotional skills, improve language,...
- INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE - Our indoor playground for toddlers are water-resistant so you and your little one can use it outdoors too. It features 2 working doors, 2 windows with working...
The Little Tikes Cape Cottage features a modern design that will look cute in your backyard, and an exterior that’s easy to clean. This playhouse also has other functional details like working windows with shutters and two operational doors to accommodate multiple kids.
This playhouse has a mail slot and a flag holder to encourage role-playing, but the inside is a bit more sparse. The interior walls aren’t smooth, so it isn’t easy to mount accessories. There also isn’t anything inside to encourage different types of play, but you could easily add decorations if you wanted.
Assembling this playhouse is super easy and requires minimal tools. It also comes apart easily for storage or transport, but it’s light enough to move around your yard when fully assembled.
Another feature worth mentioning is that this playhouse offers a range of textures on the exterior for your child to experience, and it’s large enough to accommodate small items such as furniture, a phone, or toys to encourage different types of play.
- A sleek modern exterior that’s easy to clean
- Two functional doors and windows with shutters
- Requires minimal tools for assembly
- Not much to engage kids on the inside
- The walls are not smooth on the inside, which makes mounting accessories difficult
Bankers Box Play Treats’ N’ Eats Playhouse
- COLOR YOUR HOUSE – Your child can decorate their house anyway they want! Use markers, crayons, or paint to decorate your Treats'N'Eats playhouse. Kids can tap into their creative side to...
- MADE IN THE USA – Brought to you by Bankers Box
- STRONG AND SAFE CONSTRUCTION – 32-ECT corrugated board with kid-friendly rounded edges provides strength and safety for hours of play. Lead-free design is F963 Standard Consumer Safety...
The Treats’ N’ Eats Playhouse by Bankers Box is a sturdy yet lightweight playhouse thanks to the 32-ECT corrugated cardboard that features rounded edges to prevent paper cuts. This playhouse quickly moves anywhere in your home and provides your kids hours of imaginative play as they color and decorate the exterior.
There are also functioning doors and windows with convenient cut-out circles that act as handles. The interior is rather plain, but it’s smooth enough that you can add stickers or other decorations, or let your kids color there too.
There is also a skylight in the roof where you’ll find ample items for kids to color, and this playhouse disassembles quickly and folds flat for easy storage. Assembling this playhouse is as easy as following the basic instructions to connect two pieces and requires no tools.
- Lightweight yet sturdy corrugated board material for durability
- Decorate with crayons, pencils, paint, or markers
- Rounded edges make this safer for playtime by preventing paper cuts
- Functioning doors and windows to encourage interactive playtime
- Tips over easily
- Some of the joints are a bit lose
Dinosaur Play Tent Playhouse
- ULTIMATE DINOSAUR TENT: Vibrant detailed illustrations on the outside and inside of the tent will let your child's imagination soar and roar! This tent will become the centerpiece of your...
- EASY SETUP AND CLEANUP: The lightweight tent can be opened and set up in just a few minutes. It can also be compactly packed away in the included carry bag for storage or travel. Cleanup us...
- HIGH QUALITY: The polyester fabric and printing are non-toxic and water resistant. The fabric and fiberglass rods are strong and durable. Two mesh windows for air ventilation help keep kids...
The Dinosaur Play Tent Playhouse is perfect for parties or events but makes an excellent addition to your child’s room for play and as a quiet space. This tent features two mesh windows that provide ventilation and a flap style door that rolls up and out of the way.
This tent’s interior and exterior feature brightly colored landscapes printed all around the tent with over 20 dinosaurs to spark your kids’ imaginative play sessions. There’s even a 3D dino head for added dramatic effect, although it doesn’t always stay upright. This ultra-light tent is easy to assemble or disassemble without tools and moves easily or packs up for storage.
Even the floor of this tent features decoration, and with a diameter of 40-inches, it’s large enough for two smaller children or one older child. This playhouse comes with a storage bag to make it easy to tuck away or take along on your travels, and it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth and a little soap when needed.
- A piece of high-quality polyester fabric is easy to clean
- Lightweight and easy to move around the house
- Mesh windows provide ample ventilation and make it easy to supervise kids
- Showcases over 20 dinosaurs and 12 individual species
- Tips over easily
- The 3D dinosaur on top doesn’t stay upright
What You Need to Know Before You Buy
Finding the best playhouse for toddler-aged kids might seem complicated with all of the options available, but there are a few crucial items to consider that can help you narrow down your search quickly.
You can find a playhouse to fit every budget, but the materials used and the styling will vary greatly. Before setting out to find a playhouse, consider what your budget is for this item and how much use your kids will get out of it.
Some parents find that investing a little more in a playhouse is worth it if their kids use it very often or if they need to accommodate more than one or two children.
Most mainstream playhouses feature some type of plastic and often come with accessories such as decals or canopies. Most outdoor playhouses feature plastic or wood construction but aren’t designed to last forever and will begin to fade or discolor over time.
Whether you choose plastic, wood, or other material, you might be able to restore your playhouse when needed. Regardless, it’s best to choose a playhouse from a reputable manufacturer who has shown that their products get made with high-quality materials.
Location and Size
Even if you have a generously sized yard, you’ll still want to confirm the size of the playhouse you desire and that it will accommodate all of the kids who want to play. For families with more than two children, a slightly larger playhouse can make playtime more accessible and allow for guests to join in as well.
You’ll also want to pick out a location for your playhouse that is easily accessed by kids, but also easy to supervise. Avoid putting playhouses near unsafe areas for kids, or close to items, you don’t want your kids to explore.
Style or Design Options
There are many styles and designs to choose from, but most playhouses imitate real homes with detailed textures, shapes, and interactive stations. Indoor playhouses often have a distinctive style that is different from outdoor playhouses, which are typically larger. Both types can spark your kids’ creativity and encourage interactive play.
Some outdoor playhouses have a floor, but many don’t, so you may need to buy or build a base for the playhouse. Plastic playhouses often don’t require a rugged base, but wooden ones often do so they remain square and structurally sound.
You’ll find that most playhouses feature softened edges, safety hinges to prevent pinched fingers, and other safety features. Most playhouses sit on the ground, so there’s no risk of falls, but it’s essential to supervise your child nonetheless.
To help parents keep an eye on their kids, playhouses feature windows and doors that allow for better visibility and ventilation on hot days. Playhouse components also often fit together with screws to keep the playhouse firmly in one piece, and the edges get rounded to prevent injury.
When searching for a playhouse, there’s often some frequently asked questions parents have before they decide to buy. Read on to see the answers to these common questions and how a playhouse can fit into your home or yard.
Can I use an outdoor playhouse inside?
In many cases, yes, you can use an outdoor playhouse inside. If you are bringing a used playhouse inside, it’s best to clean it thoroughly first. Unfortunately, most indoor playhouses don’t work well outside for extended periods.
How old does my child need to be for a playhouse?
Kids can begin to explore a playhouse at a very early age, even before they are one year old. However, many kids this young aren’t yet big enough to use all of the interactive play stations.
Even if your child isn’t yet tall enough to reach everything, they can still benefit from the imaginative play that a playhouse inspires.
How do I know if a playhouse is large enough for my kids?
Playhouses typically note their dimensions so you can measure your space and see if it’s large enough to accommodate your children. Older kids may be too tall for many traditional plastic playhouses, but there are often wooden playhouses with taller ceilings, and it’s possible to find playhouses of all sizes, so multiple kids have space to play.
When it comes to the best playhouse for toddler-aged kids, our top pick is the Step2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse. The Step2 Playtime Patio Playhouse is easy to put together, fits well in any yard, and can accommodate several kids with its interactive play stations.
This playhouse also incorporates water and sand activities and features a canopy to protect little ones on sunny days. Unlike other playhouses, it also comes with a set of accessories and a storage bag so your kids can get started using each part of the playhouse right away.
For a playhouse with a more traditional feel, we recommend the Step2 Lively Living Playhouse as it also encourages role play and comes with a built-in floor, mail slot, and seat to keep your kids engaged.
For the most fun in one space, click on the Step2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse to discover the value you get with this playhouse.