I can remember spending hours upon hours playing outside in my playhouse as a child. I have several siblings and some of my favorite memories are of us playing together in the playhouse. We would spend hours outside in our back yard, using our imagination and entertaining ourselves. I loved it!
A playhouse is a great way to encourage your child to play creatively and to use their imagination as they burn energy and get some sunshine.
Here are the best playhouses for kids, plus a buying guide to help you pick the best option for your family.
Best Outdoor Playhouses
KidKraft Modern Playhouse
The KidKraft Modern Playhouse is a more expensive playhouse option. However, this playhouse has a very modern design to it as well as some fun features. It has a built-in picnic table, mailbox, and red curtains. It comes with an outdoor grill with a removable lid.
The wood panels are reinforced and water-resistant to help with weathering. The measurements for this playhouse are 70.9 x 48.9 x 62.2 inches. The manufacturer’s age recommendation is 36 months – 3 years old. However, I think that a child younger and older would enjoy playing in this playhouse.
Storybook Cottage Playhouse
This Storybook Cottage Playhouse has a fold-down table on the inside. This playhouse is a more closed in option. There are still windows that will provide airflow, but it is not as open as some of the other options that I have listed.
There is a working doorbell outside the front door and on the inside there is a play telephone and a kitchen. The playhouses measurements are 50.5 x 55 x 64.2 inches and it is recommended for children 18 months old to 8 years old. You will get many years of use out of it.
Step2 Happy Home Cottage & Grill Playhouse
The Step2 Cottage & Grill Playhouse has a large and open concept to give plenty of room for your children to play. The playhouse has a built-in floor with drain holes. This design feature is meant to help keep your children clean. There is a sink and a window with shutters that open and close.
This playhouse is fairly light and it would be easy to move around if you need to move it. The measurements are 35 x 51 x 46.5 inches. The plastic that it is made from is durable, however, it does not give you as polished of a look at one that is made from wood. The recommended age for this playhouse is 2-5 years old.
Little Tikes Cape Cottage
The Little Tikes Cape Cottage is unlike the other play houses on this list because it has two working doors. It is lightweight and easy to move around. It has a mail slot and shutters that your child can open and close.
This particular playhouse measurements are 42.8 x 35 x 49 inches and it is recommended for children 2 years old to 5 years old. This playhouse is a little on the smaller side, so if you have a limited amount of space, it would be a good option. However, if you are looking for an option to use until your child is about 10, I would suggest looking at some of the others on this list.
Step2 Naturally Playful Storybook Cottage
The Step2 Naturally Playful Storybook Cottage is a fun playhouse with a cottage-core feel. It’s a tiny little house perfect for toddlers who want a fairytale design to play out their days outdoors. A little kitchenette inside increases the fun with moving parts for extra fun.
From a molded-in skin to a thatched roof, this playhouse brings fun to imagination. It even has a fold-down table, a doorbell, and an electric play phone. Built-in shelves and stovetop allow kids to enjoy a great pretend meal with another friend. It’s the play house we all dreamed of when we were kids, perfect for snow white and all the other princesses or boys too.
Victorian Inn Playhouse
The Victorian Inn Playhouse is made from 100% cedar. Cedar is naturally decay-resistant, which is why it’s so popular for the best wooden swingsets. As well as rot and insect resistant. It has a front porch, serving station, bench, and modern appliances inside. The kitchen comes with a telephone, plastic knife, cutting board, faucet, mounted sink, burner, fruit and vegetable basket with a few velcro food items.
This playhouse is the most expensive playhouse on our list. However, it has been designed to be long-lasting and for children ages 2-10 years old. So you would be getting many years of use out of this playhouse. Its measurements are 74 x 65 x 67 inches.
Little Tikes Deluxe Home and Garden Playhouse
The Deluxe Home and Garden Playhouse has an open design and a garden theme. There is a white picket fence and a mailbox. Plus a table on the side that can be used as a sand table or a water table. I would recommend using it as a water table because it does not come with a cover to keep things out of the sand.
There is a kitchen that has a stove, sink, and clicking knobs. This playhouse is recommended for children 18 months to 5 years old and its measurements are 80.3 x 36.8 x 52.8 inches.
Step2 Crazy Maze Ball Pit Playhouse
The Step2 Crazy Maze Ball Pit Playhouse is a fun playhouse unlike any other. Kids can throw balls up on the roof, where they trickle down the side supports and go through fun obstacles on their way into the playhouse. Inside the playhouse, kids can play with the balls using interactive features like different ramps, funnels, tunnels, and mazes. There are spots everywhere for kids to play with the 20 included balls. Best of all, the balls can be stored inside the bottom section of the playhouse for easy clean-up!
This playhouse is still fun without the balls. It measures 33 x 36 x 42 inches and has a wide-open design perfect for a few kids to share.
Little Tikes Build-a-House
The Little Tikes Build-a-House isn’t like any of the other playhouses on this list. This playhouse gives your child a chance to use their imagination as they move around the colorful and interchangeable panels. It comes with a kid-friendly drill and screwdriver that will allow your child, with some help from you, to put together their playhouse.
There is a mail slot and swinging doors. This playhouse is fairly lightweight and easy to move around. Its measurements are 47 x 47 x 51 inches. If you have a child that is interested in building or construction, this playhouse would be a great fit for them.
Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse
The Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse is the ideal playhouse for two or three small children. There’s not much too it: the inside of the playhouse features a simple kitchenette with built-in burners, an oven, a shelf, and even a fireplace on the solid wall. The extended picnic table window extends into the seating area and comes with 2 small stools for kiddos to sit on. Other features include a working doorbell and a mailslot in the dutch door.
This playhouse measures in at 45.3 x 15.4 x 47.6 inches. It weighs 65 pounds and the table creates a strange shape, so you’ll need plenty of space to park this on. Don’t forget 2 AAA batteries for the doorbell!
Discovery Backyard Spring Cottage Cedar Playhouse
This Discovery Backyard Spring Cottage Cedar Playhouse is a great choice if you are looking for a little more space in your child’s playhouse. It stands at 7 feet 3 inches tall once assembled, and it’s 9 feet 2 inches wide by 5 feet 7 inches long. This fully-featured playhouse has the most features out of any playhouse on this list, including:
- Solid front door with chiming doorbell
- Mailbox and flowerbox
- Snack window with built-in bench
- Side garden gate
- Full kitchen that comes with sink, sizzling stove, cutting board, and sliceable fruit
- Chalkboard and phone
The playhouse is made from 100% cedar and the stain is chemical-free. This comes in 2 heavy boxes and takes a couple of days to put together. It’s also quite expensive, but that’s because it’s so large and has so many fun, interactive features.
Step2 Gather & Grille Playhouse
Step2 Gather & Grille Playhouse has a higher price tag but it is a bigger playhouse. This playhouse has an outdoor patio with a bench that can seat two plus it has a built-in grill. On the inside, you have a kitchen and a fireplace. There is a dutch door and a working doorbell that chimes on the front of the playhouse.
This playhouse has a bigger footprint and is suitable for children 18 months old to 15 years old. You will get a lot of playtime out of this playhouse. Its measurements are 72 x 51.5 x 59 inches.
Best Indoor Playhouses
Kids Teepee Playhouse
The Kids Teepee Playhouse is made from 100% cotton. It has a fun window in the side of it and the opening of the teepee will tie back to stay open. Teepee’s are very portable and easy to put up and store away. The measurements are 47.2 ix 47.2 inches. This playhouse would be great for a small space.
This playhouse comes with a non-slip padded mat to put in the bottom of the teepee. The recommended age for this teepee is 8 months to 16 years old. As your child gets older, they can turn it into a reading nook.
Original AirFort Playhouse
Okay, so the Original AirFort Inflatable Fort is called a fort, but it’s the perfect instant playhouse for kids! Unlike a lot of the outdoor-focused playhouses on this list, the AirFort is for indoor use and is spacious, measuring in at 77 inches wide and 50 inches tall. It works well for children of all ages and it’s so versatile that it can be used as a playhouse, a princess castle, a tent, a secret hideout, a ball pit, or whatever else their imagination can cook up!
This is the fort itself only, you’ll need a standard box fan to get it up and rolling. This is the perfect playhouse for kids who like to think outside the box… literally.
Pop-up Playhouse with Tunnel
This Pop-up Playhouse with Tunnel comes with a playhouse, and a cube that connects with a tunnel. There are lots of openings to give good airflow and let light inside. The playhouses can be connected in several different combinations to change up how your children play.
This is a great portable option that is easy to set up and take down. This is recommended for children 6 months and up and there is room for more than one child can play inside. The house dimensions are 47.6 x 47.6 x 55.5 inches. The cube dimensions are 47.6 x 39.7 x 51.5 inches and the tunnel is 19.3 x 59.4 inches.
ALPIKA Playhouse Ball Pit
This ALPIKA Playhouse Ball Pit is a great inside playhouse option. It can be used outside as well as long as you are prepared to chase down the 50 balls it comes with.
The ALPIKA playhouse is not rigid but it is sturdy as the material will resist tearing and the poles bend but don’t break easily. It pops open and can be put away for easy storage.
It is suitable for 1-2 children and has a window and a door that rolls open. The measurements for this playhouse are 45.3″ x 35.4″ x 35.4 inches. It is made from non-toxic polyester and it has no sharp edges.
Best Playhouses for Girls
Princess Tent Playhouse
The Princess Tent Playhouse is an adorable inside playhouse option. It will make your little girl feel like a princess. This playhouse is made out of a high-quality polyester taffeta that can be pulled back so the tent is open or let down so it feels more private. This playhouse comes with starry lights that you can hang up.
This place house is a very affordable option and would be perfect in your child’s room. It could be used a little reading nook, a place for stuffed animals or a place for arts and crafts. Also, it could be put away in storage when it is not being used. The measurements for it are 18.4 x 4.8 x 10.3 inches and it is recommended for children ages 3 and up.
Bankers Box at Play Unicorn Playhouse
Kids love playhouses and love coloring, why not combine the two with the Bankers Box at Play Unicorn Playhouse. Not only is it large enough for two little children but also comes with tons of pictures to color. Boys and girls can enjoy the fun unicorn design and multiple windows to play with on boring rainy days.
Not only is it colorable, the playhouse is made in the USA with strong and safe corrugated board construction. Assembly doesn’t take long with just two-piece and it offers hands-on learning. Grab some crayons, markers, or paints and let your kids have a blast decorating their own home.
Best Playhouses for Boys
Knight’s Castle Playhouse
The Knight’s Castle Playhouse is a very affordable playhouse option and can be used inside or outside. It is easy to pop open as well as easy to put back inside its carrying case. I like that it was designed to hold more than one child at a time so that kids can play together. Its measurements are 40 x 53 inches.
This playhouse comes with a toy shield and sword to go along with the knight theme and encourage even more imaginative play. It has mesh openings to allow airflow and the door can be rolled up and secured to stay open. If you want to use this outside, it does come with stakes so that you will be able to secure it into the ground.
Kids Clubhouse Tent
This Kids Playhouse Tent has a fun clubhouse theme that will encourage your child to invent their very own secret hideout. It has a window in the back and the door can roll up or when it is down it has a cute “Keep out” sign on it. There is also an opening on the side.
This playhouse is affordable and easy to put up and take down. It comes with a storage bag as well. It is recommended for children 2 years old-10 years old. When it is open its measurements are 39.4 x 27.5 x 39.4 inches.
Check out more of our favorite kid’s tents.
Comparing Outdoor and Indoor Playhouses
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
|Step2 Gather & Grille Playhouse||$$$$||8.2||8.8|
|Victorian Inn Playhouse||$$$$||7.3||8.6|
|Storybook Cottage Playhouse||$$$$||8.6||9.4|
|Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse||$$$$||7.8||9.2|
|KidKraft Modern Playhouse||$$$$||8.6|
|Step2 Happy Home Cottage & Grill Playhouse||$$$$||9.3||9.6|
|Little Tikes Build-a-House||$$$||6.4||8.8|
|Little Tikes Deluxe Home and Garden Playhouse||$$$||8.9||9.0|
|Step2 Crazy Maze Ball Pit Playhouse||$$$||9.6||9.4|
|Little Tikes Cape Cottage||$$$||9.8||9.2|
|Kids Teepee Playhouse||$$$||9.9||9.4|
|Original AirFort Playhouse||$$||9.9||9.4|
|Princess Tent Playhouse||$$||9.9||9.2|
|Bankers Box at Play Unicorn Playhouse||$$||9.4|
|Knight's Castle Playhouse||$$||9.5||8.8|
|Kids Clubhouse Tent||9.6||8.8|
|Discovery Backyard Spring Cottage Cedar Playhouse||3.9||6.6|
|ALPIKA Playhouse Ball Pit||5.1||8.6|
|Pop-up Playhouse with Tunnel||6.6||9.0|
Playhouse Buying Criteria
Every parent wants to give their child the very best, but budget and price point matter. I worked to keep the playhouses on this list at an affordable price range. Buying a playhouse can be an investment, and I wanted to give you options that were worth the price.
It’s important when purchasing a playhouse for outdoors, for it to be made from materials that will hold up. When I was putting together this list I looked for outdoor playhouses that would give you several years of use.
I’ve included playhouses that will hold up against the outside elements. All playhouses will experience natural wear and tear, so keep that in mind.
Providing a child with a way to play creatively will benefit them for years to come. I wanted to give you options that had features to them that would help spark your child’s imagination and encourage them to play independently.
Some of the features I was looking for were, kitchens, seating, windows, mailboxes, and fun designs.
Windows on Outdoor Playhouse
Windows and airflow matters, especially in the summer months. I included playhouses that had windows and openings that would help keep the playhouse from getting too hot but still providing shade for your child.
A Word of Caution for Parents
Something to keep in mind when you invest in an outdoor playhouse is that critters and insects like to make their homes in a space like a playhouse. With that being said, I would encourage you to regularly check the playhouse for wasps and ants. That way you can keep your child’s playhouse a safe place for them to play.
Not everyone has the space, budget, or ability to have an outdoor playhouse. Maybe you live in a city and you don’t have a back yard. Having an inside place house is a fun way to still encourage playtime but within your own home. I wanted to give you some options for inside playhouses in case that was what will work best for your family.
FAQs About Playhouses
What size should my child’s playhouse be?
This question is really about what your preferences are. This will depend a lot on the space you have in your backyard or inside your home. Also, how old your children are and how many children you have.
There isn’t a wrong size when it comes to a playhouse.
I have provided the measurements for you for each playhouse that I have put on this list so that you can consider that if that is something that you care about.
Why are playhouses good for kids?
Playhouses help your child to develop several different life skills.
First off, it encourages imaginative play which helps your child grow in creativity.
They also can encourage collaborative play as children play together in a playhouse. They will learn how to play together better.
Playhouses can also encourage autonomous play. If a child is playing in a playhouse alone, they can begin to grow their independence as they learn to entertain themselves as they play alone. Independent playtime is beneficial for a child so they can problem solve and come up with solutions on their own.
Playing in a playhouse is also a great way for your child to burn energy and to exercise as they are moving around and playing. Kids use a lot of energy as they play using their independence and imagination. Burning off that extra energy will help your child sleep better at night. Good sleep can give way to better health.
What ages are playhouses good for?
Playhouses are good for a wide age range. I would recommend anywhere from around 1-10 years old.
Younger children who are learning to pull up and walk around will enjoy playing in a playhouse because they can work on their new mobility skills. Older children will still enjoy using a playhouse. They may enjoy using it as a clubhouse or place to do their homework or read.
If you start your child out young in a playhouse, there is a good chance that they will continue to love it for many years.
How do I clean a plastic playhouse?
A plastic playhouse will naturally get dirty over time. I would recommend using mild dish soap and water to clean it. You can use a rag or a soft brush on the spots that might need some extra attention. You can even include your children in the cleaning process and make it a fun activity.
Do I need to put the playhouse on decking?
No, you don’t have to put your child’s playhouse on decking. Playhouses will do great in the grass.
If you are concerned about not having a level yard or about killing your grass, you could place the playhouse on decking. When picking a place to put it, remember that the playhouse needs to be in a safe and secure location. One that is easy to access and easy for you to keep an eye on as your child is playing.
What would be good to put in the playhouse?
If the playhouse you chose has a kitchen in it, I would recommend adding in toy kitchen utensils. Like pots, pans, plates, cups, and measuring cups. You could even add some play food. Another idea is to add arts and crafts supplies. You could paper and crayons in a container and leave them in the playhouse. Even a whiteboard and dry erase markers could fit nicely into the playhouse and encourage your child to be creative.
My kids love to play with buckets, shovels, and water guns during the summer months. We will fill up the buckets with water and they can fill their water guns up from the buckets. Those would be a fun addition to your playhouse and a good way to help your little one stay cool.
Adding seating to your child’s playhouse would be very enjoyable for them. They can use the chairs to rest or read in. I would recommend folding chairs or chairs made of plastic.
Getting your child to play and pretend in a playhouse will benefit them long term in life as it teaches them skills like creativity and independence. Plus, a playhouse is fun and will help them to burn energy and learn problem-solving skills as they play. Your child will love spending time in their playhouse.
My favorite playhouse on the list is the KidKraft Modern Wooden Playhouse. I love that is has a modern design and high ceilings. The picnic table is a great way to have seating for your child as they play without having to purchase seating separately.
The cedar wood will hold up well against outside elements. We don’t have harsh winters where I live, but we do have a lot of heat and rain. I love the large door handle and the curtains that can open and close over the window. I also love that the mailbox is a realistic mailbox with a flag.
Regardless of which playhouse you decide to purchase, do whatever you can to encourage your child to use their imagination and play outside whenever it is possible. Let them burn off some of the energy that they have.
I realize that getting outside every day might not always be possible for you, so don’t get discouraged if it’s not realistic for your family. That’s why I included a few inside playhouse options for you. There are lots of ways to encourage creative and independent playtime for your child, so do what you can to make that happen.