Nothing is more likely to entice a child to imaginative play than a stimulating space to do it in, so where better than their very own playhouse? They're free to be themselves in a space that's all their own, and fun and functional designs will keep them safe and secure, all the while transporting them to another world —
sounds like an all-round winner to us.
Outdoor playhouses are a great way to get kids outside for some fresh air and vitamin D, and away from those ever-present screens for a few hours. Between traditional Wendy houses and playhouses that double up as fun and stimulating activity centres, there are lots of exciting options on the market. So we’ve rounded up some of our favourites that will allow your little adventurers to fill their boots with fun and explore the great outdoors within safe parameters.
The same goes for indoor options — a rainy day needn’t be dull if they have their own special place to play in in the kids' room! From playhouse-meets-ball-pits to a cardboard cottage they can decorate themselves, the only limit on the fun to be had is their own imagination.
When picking a playhouse for your little ones, the only really important consideration for your home is where you are going to place it. If you are looking for a fun house for the garden, make sure it's outdoor-friendly. There are many indoor-only playhouses that are made of plastic and look as if they are suitable for the garden, but on closer inspection can only be used indoors.
If you are thinking of purchasing a teepee or tent playhouse that you plan to collapse when not in use, check out how small it packs down as some of the tent playhouse options need to be constructed, and once they're up, they're up.
Check out our top picks of the best playhouses for kids to get you started on your hunt for your little tikes next fun house.
This pop-up playhouse with its very own tunnel is light, portable and weatherproof, so it’s not only suitable for indoor and outdoor use, it’s even super for stowing in the boot for family camping trips. The bright primary colours look cheerful in the garden on a sunny day, or the living room on a rainy one, and it’s big enough to fit three or four children at once, but folds down small when not needed. For convenience and versatility (plus, who doesn’t love a tunnel?) it’s our top pick for playhouses.
For kids who love to feel independent and adventurous, this teepee play tent could make a lovely addition to their bedroom or playroom. The cotton canvas is breathable and durable to keep them comfortable and withstand a bit of rough and tumble, and the whole thing is easily set up in a matter of minutes, looking very sweet in its nautical-look blue and white stripes. When it comes to playhouses that look a little different from the norm but will fit into a more minimal interior look, this kids’ indoor teepee is a very fine example.
It is no secret that children LOVE cardboard boxes, we can never be sure as to why, but they do. So, this inexpensive and eco-friendly indoor playhouse might look simple compared to other brightly-coloured offerings on the scene, but that’s its charm. The sturdy cardboard playhouse is all ready for your kids to add their personal touch with paints or chalks, offering a blank canvas for them to explore their creativity. For kids who love drawing, arts and crafts and imaginative play, this little house really is a space that they can make all their own, which gets a big thumbs up from us.
This sturdy outdoor playhouse makes a cheerful addition to the garden, and is the perfect hideaway for children who love to play house. The outdoor wall is embedded with pictures of happy animal friends, and the barn-style half-door and shuttered windows will make them feel like they rule the roost. Reviewers rate the build quality as excellent, with very sturdy plastic and moving parts, and UV-protected colour that won’t fade, making it a lasting investment that your kids can enjoy again and again. If you are looking for a traditional Wendy House for the kids, this is a great choice.
Part playhouse, part activity centre, Step2’s Wonderball Fun House is just the thing for keeping smaller tots happily occupied while working on their hand-eye coordination. There are lots of ways to play with the included balls, or even without, once they’re old enough for imaginative games, and the structure itself is sturdy, but small and light enough to move around easily, making indoor and outdoor play a possibility. Stimulating and fun, this is our best playhouse for very small children and makes a great addition to any childminders household for entertaining multiple children whilst encouraging early-learning skills.