Best Playhouses to Keep Kids Entertained in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 4, 2017
Children need some private place, somewhere they can hide, play, gather, and have fun! And a playhouse is a spectacular way to provide your little one with such "shelter". It can not only entertain your kid but also develop imagination and communicative skills. A win-win choice for every family! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Installation
Materials
Dimensions
Recommended Age
Construction and Kit
Safety
Warranty
 
PROS

This wooden playhouse is truly durable and will be your kids' favourite toy for years to come. Moreover, wood is an eco-friendly material absolutely safe for children.

CONS

Some parts might appear not too snug-fitting.

OUR VERDICT

Waltnos have made a playhouse that your kid will definitely love. This little shelter is designed using the same materials as real buildings to let your child feel like a true landlord.

detailed parameters
Installation

Outdoor

Materials

Wood, pine, timber

Dimensions

121.9 x 137.2 x 143.3 cm

68 kg

Recommended Age

3+ years

Construction and Kit

Single door with a flower on it
3 Georgian style windows

Safety

EN71 Safety tested, smooth edges and a 12mm gap around the door, styrene glazing

Warranty

10-year anti-rot guarantee

PROS

Kids of all ages and genders love the bright and cheerful colours of the house, this composition of blue, green, and red looks really cute.

CONS

Water leaks occur when it's raining.

OUR VERDICT

It is just the right pick for 2-years-old children. Your kid will find this playhouse their shelter, place for games, and favourite spot to gather with friends.

detailed parameters
Installation

Indoor / Outdoor

Materials

Polypropylene

Dimensions

130 cm x 109 cm x 115 cm 

19 kg

Recommended Age

2+ years

Construction and Kit

Two windows with opening shatters and an opening door

Safety

Sub-angular, smooth, has no hazardous elements; made of a fully safe material for children

Warranty

30 days

PROS

Numerous windows and doors let the sunlight in, making this house really bright, therefore, a delight for children. There is a flag holder for little patriots.

CONS

No flag in the package bundle.

OUR VERDICT

It takes just about 20 minutes to easily assemble the playhouse. The construction is robust enough to withstand rough playing, whether you put it outdoors or indoors.

detailed parameters
Installation

Indoor / Outdoor

Materials

Plastic

Dimensions

108.6 x 88.9 x 124.5 cm

16 kg

Recommended Age

2+ years

Construction and Kit

2 opening arched doors
Modern windows
Mail slot
Brick details
Flag holder

Safety

Sub-angular, smooth, has no hazardous elements; made of a fully safe material for children

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A truly profound solution that has integrated elements for different games and entertainment, including benches, in the package bundle.

CONS

Not spacious enough to fit a table inside.

OUR VERDICT

A wonderful solution to make your kids happy. This house has a stable sturdy construction, numerous engaging elements for games, it is loved by children to no end.

detailed parameters
Installation

Indoor / Outdoor

Materials

Plastic

Dimensions

104 x 95 x 118 cm

18 kg

Recommended Age

2–6 years

Construction and Kit

Two windows
Door
Table
Two benches

Safety

Sub-angular, smooth, has no hazardous elements; made of a fully safe material for children

Warranty

30 days

PROS

As compact as one can think of a wendy house. It is also lightweight to displace or carry it inside your real-size family house.

CONS

Might be a bit wobbly.

OUR VERDICT

This playhouse is the right pick for your youngest and smallest. The construction of this house is absolutely safe and prevents any kind of hazard or possibility for you kid to get injured. And it is utterly easy to assemble.

detailed parameters
Installation

Indoor / Outdoor

Materials

Plastic

Dimensions

102.5 x 89 x 109 cm

10 kg

Recommended Age

10 months to 6 years

Construction and Kit

Swinging front door and back gate

Safety

Sub-angular, smooth, has no hazardous elements; made of a fully safe material for children

Warranty

30 days

What Is a Playhouse?

It’s not “if”, it’s “when” your child begins to create a cosy private place to have fun, build a shelter, and have a rest. And when it happens, a playhouse will be the best gift ever. It can provide endless opportunity for imagination and entertainment! In this kind of house, your little one will be able to play "make believe" games with friends and explore the world around!

Kids playhouses come in different designs that resemble cottages, castles, princess quarters, tunnels, etc. You can buy a house to install in the garden or in the nursery, the house may be made of plastic, wood, fabric, or even cardboard. So, it’s up to you to decide which one will work best for you child and let him/her use the imagination at full.

You can also please your little angel with a fascinating doll house or a ride-on car!

What Features to Compare

Place and Materials

First, you need to decide what kind of playhouse is best for your home and family and where you’re going to install it. Depending on this, consider the materials it's made of. Wooden and plastic models are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. However, keep in mind that though wooden houses are eco-friendly, they are too welcoming for spiders, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, and other insects. Plastic houses also have one disadvantage: they might become too hot in the sizzling sun, so it's better to keep them in shade. Both wooden and plastic playhouses can be installed in your backyard at the beginning of a spring-summer season. If you don’t plan to take it away for cold seasons, pay attention to its temperature limits. Note that fabric tents are also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, but they can't withstand low temperatures. Yet, they are an excellent solution for small homes and apartments, as they can be easily folded up for storage. Also, the market offers cardboard playhouses which are a worthy choice for small spaces.

Age and Features

With windows and doors, some playhouses look almost like real houses, and a vast number of interactive toys make them even more realistic. You can choose a house with a kitchen or bathroom, a storehouse, a castle, or even a pirate-ship playhouse. Just take your child’s preferences and age into account.

Safety

Naturally, playhouses must be safe! Therefore, check their compliance with the requirements of ASTM and other similar standards that confirm the safety of the materials used. Also, pay attention to the sharp edges, wood chips, and reliability of mounts. It's a bonus if a playhouse has plenty of cut-outs and windows since all parents want to keep an eye on their children while they are playing. A playhouse should bring you and your child only positive emotions!

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Waltons Honeypot Snug

Natural and Accommodating

A wooden playhouse is a great idea if you want to give your child an opportunity to feel like a real house owner. This model uses sturdy and reliable materials and will become a good fixed option for your backyard since it is quite heavy (68 kg when assembled). It is also big enough to shelter your kids from the rain and the wind. Although wooden playhouses are generally not easy to move, they are easier to revamp with a help of just a coat of paint. Moreover, they don't look like an enormous toy but resemble a more-or-less real cottage. Commonly, the dimensions of a ligneous house are also larger, letting your kids share the accommodation rather than fight over the precious space. Wood doesn't fade over time and lasts long if you maintain it properly.

Review of Waltons Honeypot Snug Wooden Playhouse

Let Your Creativity Go Wild

When purchased, this playhouse comes flat-packed as a DIY kit in large panels, and it also includes the instruction. The panels are not painted, enabling you to choose the suitable colours that will complement and decorate your backyard. The 12 mm planks are tongue-and-groove, meaning they can be easily joined together and interlocked to provide a sturdy waterproof construction. It also makes the assembly easier, although some consumers say that not all of the planks fit in perfectly, which is not a rare case for wood. Thus, you have an opportunity to customise the looks and construction of the playhouse.

Waltons Honeypot Snug Wooden Playhouse in the use

Absolutely Safe

The 4x4 Honeypot Snug Wooden Playhouse is designed to be safe for 3-year old kids and is European Toy Safety Standards EN7 certified. Your children won't be catching any splinters since the cladding is plain and rounded to create a really smooth finish and prevent any injuries. When it comes to the windows, the manufacturers thought of a solution that is safer than traditional glass glazing: the windows are made of styrene, which is 100% shatterproof and safe for your kids. The door hinge is secure and, therefore, also safe unless a small bunch of children tries to hang on the door (which is, by the way, not an easy task to handle anyway as the kids will need to be quite tall).

Detailed review of Waltons Honeypot Snug Wooden Playhouse

A Long-Term Solution

This playhouse is meant to be reliable play means for your kids. It comes with a 10-year anti-rot warranty that proves its sturdiness regardless of the weather conditions. The only thing you need to do in order to keep your warranty valid is use a high-quality wood preservative annually. The roofing felt is covered with sand to create a waterproof barrier that helps prevent rot and wear.

Waltons Honeypot Snug Wooden Playhouse application

Waltons Honeypot Snug
Waltons Honeypot Snug
 

Toyz cbhdh445

A Huge Toy

This particular playhouse does look like a big toy rather than a complicated building. It was made to look that way on purpose since this model is intended for 2-years-old kids who can barely distinguish each of the house elements, yet they already appreciate bright colours and are curious for investigating the included exterior. This house is made of plastic, allowing you to put it both indoors and outdoors. It's not too big for a living room but it will take quite a lot of space in the nursery, leaving your backyard a better place to locate the playhouse. Polypropylene is a lightweight and reliable material that doesn't fear dust, dirt, and moisture. You will definitely appreciate these properties when it comes to cleaning this toy, and it will probably happen on a regular basis.

Review of Toyz cbhdh445 Childrens Garden Happy House

Interlocked and Ready

This playhouse is utterly easy to assemble using the instructions that come in the package bundle. Once ready, this bunch of plastic pieces becomes a solid construction which is not possible for children to fold or tilt. As you can see on the picture, it has plastic screws all the way through the roof and the walls to keep it all together. However, it takes some effort to fully disassemble the house. Nevertheless, you can use it as a storage for tons of toys or small appliances that don't fit into tiny closets during the winter season. Just make sure you don't put any harmful objects in the playhouse.

Toyz cbhdh445 Childrens Garden Happy House in the use

No Scratches

Unlike some wooden playhouses, this plastic model won't harm your children with splinters. Kids can move around without thinking of what they may hit or accidentally touch (which they always do) thanks to the smooth and seamless polypropylene construction. Indeed, it has a sub-angular design, including the decorative exterior elements, door knob, and window shutters. Children simply can't accidentally hurt themselves with sharp object since there are none in this construction.

Detailed review of Toyz cbhdh445 Childrens Garden Happy House

Spacious and Versatile

This wendy house is capable of fitting in three kids without compromising the space for the engaging games. It has no floor, making it easier to move around and put on any surface with nothing to scratch in the playhouse. Children love stuff with opening and movable elements like a bonnet of a toy car. This house has both window shutters and a door openable to provide the best impression of a true house for the small chaps and young ladies. The inner space of this playhouse is perfect to fit a small table for board games. Also, there is no need to call the kids away from the outdoors when it's raining since the roof of this house is waterproof.

Toyz cbhdh445 Childrens Garden Happy House application

Toyz cbhdh445
Toyz cbhdh445
 

Little Tikes 638749M

Modern Looks

Small and exquisite design details and ideas make this house look really accommodating and modern. It resembles a real full-size house thanks to the contemporary styling. Tiny details like bricks, arched doors, and modern looking windows make this model really outstanding. Some plastic houses look obnoxiously splashy, which is not the case here. This wendy house comes with red walls and black roof — a great colour combination that doesn't bother kids or adults. Although the bricks are not real, this house does have a significant weight of 16 kg. And it may not be the heavy-duty plastic that lasts forever, but still a thick and reliable material.

Review of Little Tikes 638749M Cape Cottage

Thought-Out Construction

It takes only about 30 minutes to assemble this playhouse even with the help of your children, which doesn't often quickens the process. The plastic panels are attached using plastic screws which come with the house. There are some metal screws for the flag holder as well. The flag doesn't come with the package bundle but you can pick the flag or flags that will suit you the most. The roof of this wendy house has dormers with ridge vents. Thus, the shape of the roof becomes irregular, promoting the water runoff when it is raining. They also ensure more usable space inside the house.

Little Tikes 638749M Cape Cottage in the use

Indoors or Outdoors?

Doesn't really matter if you're looking to purchase a playhouse for your backyard or some room. 16 kg is just okay for an adult to move this model even two times a day. The construction of the roof ensures nearly no water leakage inside the house, enabling your kids to use it as a shelter for outdoor games when it's pouring. This wendy house is not too big to run around but spacious enough to accommodate two or three kids at a time. It has no floor so you can set it over almost any surface.

Detailed review of Little Tikes 638749M Cape Cottage

Kids Love It

The other good feature on the list of small details is the mail slot that promotes creative thinking of your children when they are playing games. Both doors are facing one another, enabling your kids to run through the house. Furthermore, they will never fall over an unseen obstacle since this playhouse is properly lighted — it has windows to ensure enough sunlight comes in. And, of course, the shutters are openable.

Little Tikes 638749M Cape Cottage application

Little Tikes 638749M
Little Tikes 638749M
 

LittleTom 15777

Naturally Welcoming

This playhouse resembles a welcoming cottage in a countryside with its exquisite exterior details. The curves on the wall imitate stone and wood planks, and you can also see an artificial skylight on the roof. When it comes to the interior, unlike some other wendy houses, this model has some decorative elements for games without compromising the inner space. The variety of colours picked to paint the walls, door, and the roof is calming and welcoming. The door is dyed in yellow colour with a bright hint to drag the attention of the kids and make them want to enter the house. It is not tall and rests on the base of the house to ensure it will never sag. The height of the door and window is perfect for small kids to peek out, which they really enjoy doing when their parents come around.

Review of LittleTom 15777 Childrens Playhouse

Take It Easy

It doesn't take much time or effort to assemble this house. You won't need any tools or anybody to help you since the pieces are interlocking to provide a sturdy connection. The disassembling process is as fast and easy as putting it together, enabling you to relocate the house and store it in a storeroom during the winter without sacrificing too much space. The gaps between the planks are wide enough to simplify the dismantling but not too wide to allow the water and the wind inside the playhouse if the weather conditions are not really pleasing.

LittleTom 15777 Childrens Playhouse in the use

All the Necessities

Openable doors and window shutters are never enough for active kids who value each small engaging detail in their toys. Thus, the manufacturers of this particular model have thought about providing an attachable table with two benches. Both benches and table withstand a load of up to 25 kg, which is enough even for a 6-year-old kid. Whether you have a barbecue or just invited some guests for a party, children will love to have some private space when dining. They would absolutely love to enjoy some foods served on their own table, enabling them to eat, drink, and small talk just like adults do. Plastic is also easy to clean so you shouldn't be worried about fat and sticky stains.

Detailed review of LittleTom 15777 Childrens Playhouse

Best for Indoors

The benches and table take quite some space if you are going to use the playhouse indoors. However, you can simply put them inside the house. Actually, it is designed to provide enough space to accommodate two kids when the table and benches are placed inside. Your children won't be able to significantly shake or tilt the playhouse by pushing the table because the base is designed to provide stability.

LittleTom 15777 Childrens Playhouse application

LittleTom 15777
LittleTom 15777
 

Starplast CLASSIC

For the Smallest

This popular playhouse model by Starplast is so far the smallest one this manufacturer produces. According to the manufacturer's recommendation, this particular house is suitable for 2-years-old kids and that's reasonable considering the tiny dimensions of this toy. It is also really lightweight (10 kg) and easy to move. It is one of the most childish looking products on the market — even the plastic screws are painted red. Despite the small dimensions, it is roomy enough inside for 2 kids. When both the gate and the door are opened, it becomes a perfect passage for many kids to run through.

Review of Starplast CLASSIC Playhouse

Simple Construction

Simplicity is what parents are looking for when it comes to toys for children of a really small age. The construction of this house is designed to be sturdy and stable. The manufacturers have decided to achieve firmness and steadiness in the simplest way by providing numerous points of joint and, therefore, many plastic screws, which you can see on the pictures. Therefore, it is not seamless but it doesn't become hazardous for your children since all the elements have a smooth finish. Despite the number of elements, the assembly is still utterly easy. Putting it together is so intuitive that you won't really need a manual.

Starplast CLASSIC Playhouse in the use

Nothing Excessive

This wendy house has a swinging front door and back gate. Even though the difference between a door and a gate in terms of use is not necessarily important, kids will definitely love to have an opening in addition to the main entrance. Both windows have swinging shutters that allow them to sneak, observe, and hide when they are playing active games. It has no floor and wider base but, still, it remains stable thanks to the convex shape of the wall at the bottom. It makes this playhouse easier to move and suitable for nearly any surface it stands on.

Detailed review of Starplast CLASSIC Playhouse

Advantageous Option

Considering the modest price of this playhouse, you will be likely to have some spare funds to purchase more entertaining toys for your child. The best thing to put into your consideration is to modify the wendy house into a playground by buying, say, a slide and a garden water table. You can think about different combinations of toys, but the thing is that you can provide your child with more stuff for a price of a bigger playhouse. All these toys can be used indoors, enabling you to entertain your kid during any season. Nonetheless, it is up to you to think about the perfect combinations of playthings to expand the imagination of your children.

Starplast CLASSIC Playhouse application

Starplast CLASSIC
Starplast CLASSIC
 

FAQ:

Q: What base is suitable for a playhouse made of solid wood?
A: First and foremost, the base should ensure stability. It must be solid, smooth, and square. It can't be smaller in size than the floor area of the house. If this is possible, it's recommended setting it along the paving slabs or on a solid concrete base.

Q: How to maintain a wooden playhouse?
A: Wooden houses for children require treatment from time to time. To prolong the service life of your playhouse, treat it with a high-quality wood stain every year. Also, oil windows and door hinges for their smooth operation. As we have already mentioned, wooden houses are too welcoming for nature, so they should be checked for insects as well. Especially during the warm months!

Q: Do I need to buy additional toys for a playhouse?
A: Most kids' playhouses come already loaded with many bells and whistles. However, if you want to make a house even more appealing to your child, you can add further components such as play dishes, false shutters, various hanging signs and flags, foldaway tables, swings, and lots of other accessories.

Q: When can I buy the first kids' house for my toddler?
A: The market offers children playhouses that can be used as soon as your baby is 18 months old. As usual, such houses are equipped with huge plastic toys safe for your toddler. There are also some soft playhouses for kids, which let your sweetie crawl and jump.

Q: Is a plastic playhouse safe for my kid?
A: Definitely, yes! All modern children's houses for kids are made of chemical-free plastic, so they are absolutely safe for them.

Q: What are the weight limits for the floor?
A: Typically, kids' playhouses houses can withstand both parents and children inside, let alone a couple of their friends. Yet, we suggest you read the manufacturer's recommendations before use.

Q: How tall is the ceiling inside most of the playhouses?
A: It depends on the model you choose. For toddlers, playhouse ceilings are usually about 5 ft, while they are a bit higher for older children.


Sources:

1. How to Choose the Perfect Playhouse, eBay. January 21, 2015.

2. How To Choose the Best Outdoor Playhouse, eBay. August 13, 2014.

3. Kelly Roberson Playhouse Ideas, Better Homes & Gardens.

4. Colin Stone The Benefits of the Cardboard Playhouse, EzineArticles.com. September 1, 2016.

5. Dale Hrabi Why Children Need Playhouses, The Wall Street Journal. August 7, 2015.

6. Amanda Lehrman 10 Activities to Improve Your Toddler's Development, Parents.

7. John Hoffman 6 surprising brain-builders for preschoolers, Today's Parent. September 15, 2016.

8. Alex Brooks How to play with your toddler and actually have fun, kidspot.

9. How to help your toddler develop fine motor skills, Babycenter.

10. Amanda Morin Skill Development From Birth to Age 5, Understood.

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Publish Date: 2017-09-04 15:11:09