Keep the Fun Going With a Play House

Play House

A playhouse is one of the best toys for kids because it encourages imaginative play and helps them build social skills. It also gets them outdoors and away from the TV. Playhouses are a great way to get children active, and research shows that even 20 minutes of playing outside can help them focus inside later. But like any toy, it’s important to keep the spark of interest alive so kids don’t lose interest after a few weeks and go back to watching TV or playing video games.

If you want your kids to continue playing with their playhouse, try adding some accessories or changing the decor to match the season. This will keep the fun going all year round.

Kids love to turn their outdoor spaces into art galleries, make-believe shops, and hospitals. Imaginative play helps them embody their dreams and express their creativity, which can set the stage for future world vision, self-esteem, and social skills.

When selecting a playhouse, look for a size and height that will allow your kids to stand up in it. “If the interior space is too small, they won’t be able to fully experience it, which will spoil the fun,” says Karri Bowen-Poole, founder of Smart Playrooms. And don’t fill the space with too many toys, as this can overwhelm kids. Instead, rotate the toys often.

The best playhouses are sturdy, durable and built to last. Choose a wood model with a natural color that blends into your landscape or opt for a plastic structure that’s easy to clean and resistant to weather. Many models come with a warranty, so you can have peace of mind that your purchase is well-made.

You can make your own playhouse, or add some custom touches to a premade model. For example, Alli Ward of Made with Happy created a simple but pretty playhouse by painting 2x4s and OSB boards. She added a stage for impromptu performances and some curtain-style windows that are both inexpensive and weatherproof.

Another option is this modern farmhouse playhouse by Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love, which was constructed with a combination of cedar and reclaimed lumber. Its faux stonework exterior, thatched roof, and working doorbell with a battery-powered bell add to the appeal. Large windows and a swinging half-door make it more realistic, while an outdoor kitchen, cordless phone, and cuckoo clock bring a touch of whimsy.

If you’re ready to invest in a more substantial playhouse, this is one of our favorites. It arrives as a flat-pack kit that requires some assembly, but most parents say it takes only an hour or two to put together. Its durable and weatherproof construction can withstand a storm, and the earth-tone colors can blend in with most any landscape. It’s also dog-friendly, which means you can invite the pup to join in on the fun.