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Best Playhouses
Updated on
October 31, 2023

Best Playhouses

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Best Playhouses

One of the best parts of being a parent is witnessing your child delight in pretend play. It’s not only fun, it’s great for their development. Engaging in pretend play lets their imagination run wild while also providing a safe space to learn and explore. When they’re very young, there are activity centers and play gyms and playmats to keep them busy, but soon they’re ready to graduate to other play structures.

From toddlers to preschoolers and beyond, kids can easily spend hours playing make-believe in their own “retreat,” along with stuffed animals, siblings and friends. Having a place that’s just for them fosters creativity, cooperation and independence. From castles to forts, they can create any world they dream up—the playtime possibilities are endless, and it’s a great way to foster independent play.

And let’s be honest—it’s a bummer that we can’t quite fit inside one of those cool playhouses or cozy tents.

Babylist’s Picks for The Best Playhouses for Babies and Toddlers

Read full reviews of the best playhouses below.

How We Chose Our Best Playhouses

  • Choosing the playhouses in this list isn’t all fun and games—a lot of work goes into it, too! We start by researching what’s age appropriate for toddler play, with our key sources being the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and pediatric physical therapists.
  • We personally test dozens and dozens of toys to find the most developmentally appropriate (and entertaining) options for each stage of early childhood. We also consult hundreds of reviews and suggestions from parents across the country so you have everything you need to make an informed decision.

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Playhouses

Best Wooden Playhouse

No outdoor play space is complete without a classic wooden playhouse, and we love this pick from KidKraft. The modern, elevated design will look adorable in any backyard, and it’s packed with fun, interactive features and plenty of space to play. From the mailbox and built-in picnic table to the pretend sink and outdoor grill, the play options are endless. It even has a chalkboard wall on one side for budding artists. The wooden structure is made of weather-resistant manufactured wood with reinforced panels, which means it’ll last for years to come.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 70.9’‘x 48.9’’
Age: 3+ yrs

Best Affordable Playhouse

Fun things don’t have to cost a fortune—this adorable cottage is easy on the wallet but doesn’t skip out on the fun factor. Another classic pick for endless fun, this LittleTikes plastic playhouse has a functional door, mailbox, shutters and even a spot to hang a little flag. It comes in a few different colors, including a cute pink version. The lightweight material makes it great for both indoor and outdoor play. One thing to note: some parents said it’s better suited for younger toddlers and kids, especially if you’ve got a more rambunctious tot on your hands.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 35” x 42” x 49”
Age: 2-6 yrs

Best Playhouse for Babies

Serving as an introductory playhouse of sorts, babies will love exploring the endless interactive features of this pick from Fisher-Price. With three different settings, this fun activity playhouse grows with your baby and allows them to engage with it in different ways as they learn and develop. Younger babies can practice gross motor skills as they navigate the crawl-through door, and once they’re able to stand up they’ll discover a ton of activities. As they approach toddlerhood, they can use their imagination as they play in the home office and kitchen. It also features four language options: English, Spanish, Mandarin and French.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 22” x 44” x 38”
Age: 6 mos-3 yrs

Best Indoor Playhouse

Playhouses aren’t just for the outdoors—a soft-sided option makes a great addition to your baby or toddler’s bedroom or dedicated play space. Little Dove’s fabric playhouse has a petite footprint, so it won’t take up too much room; if space isn’t a concern, they also have a standard “large” size. It features adorable cutout windows and two sheer drapes for a door. Setup is relatively easy, just connect the poles and attach the cloth top. It also comes with string lights and a padded mat for extra cozy vibes.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 46” x 41” x 35.4”
Age: 3+ yrs

Best Eco-Friendly Play Tent

Another great indoor option, this play tent from 3 Sprouts is made from 100% recycled material. The sturdy poles mean it’ll stand up to all kinds of imaginative toddler play. It also comes in several neutral colors that’ll look great in any space.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 53” x 39.4”
Age: 3+ yrs

Best Pop-Up Playhouse

Don’t have the room to set up a permanent playhouse? A pop-up play tent is the next best thing. They simply “pop up” for effortless setup and fold down for easy storage, making them a great idea for small spaces or parents who prefer to rotate toys. The playful colors and pointed top provide an open-ended space where they can let their imagination soar. The tent features two mesh windows and two curtain drapes that serve as a door. We also love this sensory-friendly tent option from Target’s Pillowfort line.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 54” x 54” x 54”
Age: 3+ yrs

Best Outdoor Playhouse

Between weather conditions and adventurous little ones, outdoor playhouses have a lot to hold up to. Backyard Discovery is a long-time favorite for outdoor play equipment. This cozy cottage is made from cedar wood, a material that does well in all types of climates, making the wooden playhouse structure both durable and long-lasting. It features a half-door, flower pot holders, a built-in kitchen with a pretend sink (plus a set of pots and pans), a telephone and a working doorbell. Assembly is required, but the brand’s BILT app with directions makes it super easy to follow along.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 46” x 42” x 55”
Age: 3-6 yrs

Briana Engelbrecht

Assistant Editor

Briana Engelbrecht is Babylist’s Assistant Editor, where she brings her passion for early childhood development and the perinatal period, plus experience as a mom of two to Babylist articles and guides. A former preschool teacher, she loves children’s picture books, cats, plants and making things.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.