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The Best Playhouses of 2020


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 PlayhousesBenefitsMom Rating
Bankers Box Play Unicorn PlayhouseTwo piece set is easy to assemble and kids can color the entire playhouse!♥♥♥♥♥
KidKraft Modern Wooden PlayhousePlayhouse with high ceilings and picnic table.♥♥♥♥♥
Backyard Discovery Victorian Inn Wooden PlayhousePlayhouse with attached bench and serving window♥♥♥♥♥
Step2 Happy Home PlayhouseLarge open concept playhouse with♥♥♥♥
MGA Entertainment Home and Garden PlayhouseOpen playhouse with water or sand table attached♥♥♥♥♥

Best Playhouses

ALPIKA Playhouse Ball Pit

Image of ALPIKA Play Tent Boys Girls GuliGuli Pop up Toys Kids Tent Indoor & Outdoor with 50 Pit Balls Playhouse for Children

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. 

Bankers Box at Play Unicorn Playhouse

Image of Bankers Box at Play Unicorn Playhouse, 1pk, White (1230101)

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. 

KidKraft Modern Playhouse 

Image of the KidKraft Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse with Picnic Table, Mailbox and Outdoor Grill

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.

Victorian Inn Playhouse

Image of the Backyard Discovery Victorian Inn All Cedar Outdoor Wooden 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 Build-a-House

Image of 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. 

Kids Clubhouse Tent

Image of Kids Play Tent Children Playhouse - Indoor Outdoor Tent Model Clubhouse Green Portable

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.

Step2 Cottage & Grill Playhouse

 

Image of the Step2 Happy Home Cottage & Grill Kids Playhouse, Blue

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 Deluxe Home and Garden Playhouse

Image of 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.

Seaside Villa Playhouse

Image of the Step2 893199 Seaside Villa Playhouse Kids

The Seaside Villa Playhouse has a fun beach design. It is spacious which allows several children to play inside. It has an adorable bench on the front to children to sit on and large openings to give great airflow. This also allows parents to see their children easily. 

There is a kitchenette inside, a dutch door and a mailbox that all encourage imaginative play. The playhouse measures in at 38 x 40.5 x 45 inches and was designed for kids 18 months to 5 years.

Storybook Cottage Playhouse

Image of Step2 Naturally Playful Storybook Cottage

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. 

Pirate Playhouse

Image of the ECR4Kids Indoor/Outdoor Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag Play Structure for Kids

The Pirate Flag Playhouse is unique in the fact that it is shaped like a pirate ship. The ship has a pirate flag, a steering wheel that spins, ladder to the upper deck, boat bow, and a captain’s cabin. This playhouse could go inside or outside. 

The plastic material is weather-resistant, fade-resistant, and easy to clean. The measurements for this playhouse are 54.3 x 30.7 x 56.7 inches and is recommended to 3-6-year-olds. 

Knight’s Castle Playhouse

Image of Kiddey Knight's Castle Kids Play Tent -Indoor & Outdoor Children's Playhouse -- Durable & Portable with Free Carrying Bag  Bonus Shield and Sword Set - Makes for Boys & Girls

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. 

Tikes Town Playhouse

Image of the Little Tikes Endless Adventures Tikes Town Playhouse

This Tikes Town Playhouse has four different walls to encourage several different types of imaginative play. The first wall is a sports wall that comes with a ball for basketball and soccer. The second wall is a schoolhouse and firehouse with a table and chalkboard. The third wall is a gas station and it comes with a pretend gas pumper and the final wall is a grocery store and a bank wall with a drive-up window.

This playhouse measures in at 55 x 48.9 x 58 inches. It is one of the more expensive options on this list and it is recommended for children 18 months to 6 years old.

Princess Tent Playhouse

Image of Monobeach Princess Tent Girls Large Playhouse Kids Castle Play Tent with Star Lights Toy for Children Indoor and Outdoor Games, 55'' x 53'' (DxH)

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. 

Little Tikes Go Green Playhouse

Image of Little Tikes Go Green! Playhouse

The Little Tikes Go Green Playhouse is a garden-themed playhouse that has a lot of fun interactive features. This playhouse was designed to teach your child about recycling and the environment. The playhouse comes with recycling bins, planting boxes and a living roof. The living roof can be used to plant grass seed and grow your grass on the roof. 

There is a pump sink and a rain barrel that will catch rain and can be used in the sink. The playhouse has solar-powered LED lights that will give extra lights inside the house. There is also a shovel, rake, and a water can for your child to play with. The measurements on this playhouse are 57 x 37 x 51 inches.

Little Tikes Cape Cottage

Image of Little Tikes Cape Cottage, Red

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. 

Breezy Point Wooden Playhouse

Image of Backyard Discovery Breezy Point Wooden Playhouse

This Breezy Point Wooden Playhouse is a great choice if you are looking for a little more space in your child’s playhouse. It has a full-size working door and lots of windows that will give lots of airflow. There is a large serving window with a bench outside of it and a planter box where you can add flowers. 

The playhouse is made from 100% cedar and the stain is chemical-free. The measurements are 64 x 75 x 63 inches. There is a kitchen on the inside and a little front porch outside the front door. 

Kids Teepee Playhouse

Image of Kids Teepee Tent with Padded Mat & Light String& Carry Case- Kids Foldable Play Tent for Indoor Outdoor, Raw White Canvas Teepee - Kids Playhouse - Portable Kids Tent

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. 

Step2 Gather & Grille Playhouse

Image of 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. 

Pop-up Playhouse with Tunnel 

Image of Playhouse Tents Pop-up Play Tent with Tunnel for Kids, Girls & Boys,3-in-1 Portable Big Playhut Tent with Carrying Case for Indoor & Outdoor

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. 

Playhouse Buying Criteria

Price

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. 

Durability 

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. 

Creative Play

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. 

Inside Playhouse

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. 

Conclusion 

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. 

Anna Crowder
Anna Crowder
Anna has been married to her husband for 11 years and together they have 3 children who are 6 and under. Anna loves her full-time role of staying home with her children. In her free time, she enjoys writing and doing social media management.

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