These Wood Dollhouses for Kids Are the Ultimate Play-at-Home Toys

They help kids learn empathy and problem-solving skills.

by Lexi Dwyer
Originally Published: 
Wood dollhouses for kids set against a blue backdrop.

Child psychologists have long recognized the therapeutic power of the dollhouse — home is the natural center of a child’s life, so the dollhouse is the perfect place to work out big emotions on a manageable scale. The best dollhouses for kids offer a stage on which to enact dramas, create new narratives, or experiment with different or “better” endings to real-life sagas. And with dollhouses for toddlers, play shrinks down the familiar elements of everyday life and puts them squarely in a world they can customize and control. Not too big, not too small, but “just right,” detailed wood dollhouses give kids a whole universe to explore — without having to step outside.

Especially in times of stress or uncertainty, dollhouses let kids escape, play, and express their fears and fantasies in a tiny cosmos of their own design. And because life under the coronavirus lockdown can feel like life in a giant dollhouse, its therapeutic value to adults shouldn’t be underestimated either.

The child development experts at Zero to Three encourage doll-play because caring for others helps younger kids learn empathy. Not to mention that pretend play with dolls helps kids develop language and literacy skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to sequence events. Bonus: Dollhouses are ideal for collaborative play, letting kids share and take turns.

Before choosing a dollhouse, consider the age of your children (small parts are a no-no for toddlers), how much space you have before you invest in a behemoth that needs its own room, and whether you want easy-to-clean plastic or more solid wood. Wood dollhouses can look like miniature design masterpieces, but they’re also, by and large, pricier than their plastic counterparts. There are doll mansions, high rises, fold-and-go domiciles, and modern and traditional dollhouses to consider — but they all give equal space to kids’ imaginations.

The Best Wood Dollhouses, Period

PlanToys Wooden Dollhouses

Tender Leaf Dollhouses

KidKraft Dollhouses

LOL Dollhouses

Melissa & Doug Dollhouses

Hape Wood Dollhouses

Barbie Dollhouse

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

This article was originally published on