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7 Dreamy Kids’ Outdoor Playhouses

If they were big enough, we'd hang out in these all the time.

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, which gives children a castle they can call their own. These outside playhouses provide kids with a physical space that seems straight out of a storybook, one in which, according to child development experts, they have autonomy to make decisions, solve problems, and learn valuable social skills.

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.

Much more affordable is this simple yet sweet cedar playhouse, which comes with a play burner and a toy sink, as well as room for flowerpots. It's a four-sided design that's fairly simple to assemble because it's panelized. The house is made with a chemical-free stain and is weather-resistant. The dimensions are 46 x 45 x 56 inches, so it's best for younger kids, toddler and up.

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.

Perfect for toddlers, this playhouse has a crawl-through archway, a shape sorter mailbox, a movable telescope, and a piano. And it transforms, without any tools, into an open, two-sided play center.

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.

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.

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.

Fatherly IQ
  1. Are you and your family playing more board games in recent months?
    Not really We've always been a board game family.
    No, we don't really play board games.
    Yes, we play at least once a week.
    Yes, we play as often as we can.
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