Sure, you can always throw together pillows and blankets to build a fort, that staple of childhood. Or, you can up the ante and spring for a kids’ outdoor playhouse, and give your kid a castle they can call their own. Outside playhouses provide kids with a physical space where, according to child development experts, they have the autonomy to make decisions, solve problems, and learn valuable social skills. Plus, toddlers learn about the world around them by mimicking real life actions like preparing food in a play kitchen or collecting mail from a play mailbox.
Today’s top playhouses are safer and more realistic than ever, made from materials that can weather storms and survive multiple generations of young explorers. And honestly? They’re pretty cool to look at. When choosing one, look at the price, first and foremost. Plus, keep in mind how easy they are to put together, the number of kids they can accommodate, what they’re made of (plastic or wood, for example), and how easy they are to clean.
Outdoor Playhouses for Toddlers
This affordable option has a play kitchen complete with a sink, stove, cordless phone and working doorbell, plus a snack window for serving guests. The house is made of pre-stained cedar panels, making assembly simple. Its dimensions are 46 x 46 x 55 inches, so it's best for younger kids, toddler aged and up.
Although it may look like brick, this playhouse is made of plastic, so it's easy to clean. You just hose it down. It's durable and can be used outdoors in any kind of weather. Assembly is easy because you mostly snap pieces together, and it has working doors and shutters. The dimensions are 42.75 x 35 x 49.
Outdoor Playhouses for Big Kids
The handwashing station is clutch, to remind kids to wash their paws. But beyond that, this playhouse includes a fireplace with a sitting ledge, mantle with artwork, stacked stone and faux wood finishing, molded-in sink, skylight, and planters. The shelving can hold actual books. And yes, the doorbell actually rings.
Picture a playhouse worthy of Zaha Hadid, which is what you get when you order this stunning modern one-story cottage. The playhouse is made from splinter-free northern white cedar wood by artisans based in Maine. It is made up of four panels: One side is a rock wall, another is full of circular windows, and yet another has a door and two more windows. It's something that will last forever, and be a beautiful addition to your yard.
Not only does this wonderful little house have a working doorbell and mailbox, but it also doubles as a cafe. It has serving windows, two chalkboards to show the menu of the day and a planter box. It's made of cedar lumber, and can stay outdoors year-round. The dimensions are 53.30 x 54.30 x 57.40 inches.
A modern house that's somehow also fit for Laura Ingalls Wilder, if we do say ourselves. Kids can provide curbside delivery or takeout using the home's bay window, English garden bench, half door, serving station, and fully stocked kitchen. The house is made from cedar, and is pre-stained. Assembly mandates some expertise in this case, because some drilling is required. The dimensions are 65 x 67 x 74, so it's plenty roomy enough for older, bigger kids.
This sizeable house comes with a full kitchen, featuring storage space, a faucet, stovetop, and a foldable kitchen table, a functioning doorbell and play phone, working shutters, and big bay windows. It's great for having multiple kids play at once, as its dimensions are 66 x 73 x 66.
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