Here’s a selection of 10 high-quality dollhouses with developmental benefits that will appeal to toddlers and withstand a lifetime of play.
Dollhouses are timeless and full of activity. How many hours did we spend engrossed in our own dollhouses growing up? Of course these classic toys still endure today with our own kids, and this time around they’re sleeker in design and functionality. Most importantly, dollhouse play has developmental benefits like encouraging exploration, imagination and creative play, improved object recognition, understanding how things work, promoting natural curiosity and creative thinking, as well as problem solving.
It can get pretty overwhelming with so many brands and types of dollhouses out there. Luckily this toy-crazy mom did most of the research for you! So to help make the right choice, here’s 10 of today’s most high-quality dollhouses for both toddlers and big kids too.
1. Plan Toys Chalet Dollhouse With Furniture
Classic wooden toys never go out of style, and they’re even more sought-after today because of their quality, durability, and non-toxic materials. The Plan Toy Chalet Doll House is that classic wooden dollhouse of today, but with a modern twist! It’s made from eco-friendly rubber wood and organic, water-based paints. It also features a colorful, truly gender-neutral design that appeals to both boys and girls alike.
My daughter loves playing with this particular Chalet dollhouse at her doctor’s office with other toddlers in the waiting room, and it comes with a full set of furniture which is great. Plus it can be arranged in a variety of ways, which helps to encourage both creative and critical thinking as well.
2. Mademoiselle Dollhouse By Janod
There really is something irresistible about those feminine, princess pink dollhouses. It speaks to our own inner princess and those dreams of having a gigantic pink mansion all to ourselves. Janod Madamoiselle Dollhouse does satisfy that need for everything princess and pink, but it’s the innovative design and easy assembly that are the real stars here.
Using a simple “slide and slot” design, the entire Mademoiselle dollhouse is held together with 6 sturdy wooden knobs that are designed to look like charming pink shrubs. A wooden bar is fitted on top (camouflaged by a pink roof), making this large dollhouse easy to transport without taking it apart. This dollhouse also comes with a full set of pink, white, and natural wood color furniture as well.
3. Pop To Play Castle Of Wonders By Djeco
As kids grow older, some of them outright reject any toy that comes across as too “baby-ish.” This was the exact case with my own niece. Along with craft kits, jewelry, and books, I knew she still liked playing with her old dollhouses from time to time. But instead of dolls, she was much more attracted to Papo’s realistic figurines of fairies, queens, pirates, and wizards.
She didn’t enjoy so much resorting to her old Barbie dream house to display her figurines, so when her birthday came around, I settled on Djeco’s Pop to Play Castle of Wonders. It was perfect for the fantasy figurines she already had, plus she could put it together herself! It also has a more unique and sophisticated style, featuring everything from whimsical trees to ornate windows and balconies.
4. Calico Critters Manor
If you’re shopping for a child 4+ who loves toys like My Little Pony or littlest pet shop, then now is definitely the right time to introduce them to the world of Calico Critters. These charming animal dolls come in a wide variety of species, like elephants, otters, polar bears, and border collies! The most exciting thing about them are their miniature outfits, food items and appliances, cars, and of course dollhouses.
The Calico Critters Cloverleaf Manor is packed with so much activity and kids can use movable elements to redesign their manor and create their own creative table settings, outfits, and décor plan. Calico Critter dollhouses come with a lot of miniature parts and accessories, so it’s not the best fit for children under two. However kids 4 to 6 who love challenging their creativity can use the Calico Critter manor to craft more complex and imaginative settings.
5. Plan Toys Victorian Dollhouse
I’ve always found that dollhouses make particularly memorable gifts for major holidays like Christmas and Hanukah. My daughter was captivated by the Plan Toys’ Victorian style dollhousewhen she first saw it at a relative’s house. Plan Toys are known for their simple, classic designs and durability. Like other Plan Toys dollhouses, this too is made from eco-friendly rubber wood. This one retains its natural wood look, but it also comes with lights that you can add to the window to illuminate the dollhouse in the evening. It really makes for that timeless holiday feel.
6. Melissa & Doug Fold n’ Go Dollhouse
Dollhouses don’t have to be these gigantic things that take up too much space in the house. In fact, they can be just as much when they’re smaller and more portable. That’s exactly what theMelissa & Doug Fold & Go dollhouse offers and then some. One of the older kids at my daughter’s day care (4 to be exact) brought in her Fold n’ Go dollhouse and I was impressed with how she was able to open, assemble, and transport her own dollhouse with ease.
This small dollhouse also comes with a complete set of furniture like many of the products on this list, and you’d be surprised by how much you can really pack in there. This dollhouse is perfect for preschoolers because it’s lightweight enough for them to transport by themselves, plus it comes packed with all the accessories needed to create scenes and plays.
7. Melissa & Doug Folding Princess Castle
Melissa & Doug makes such a wide variety of wooden toys its fantastic! After I became a little more familiar with their Fold n’ Go Dollhouse, I sought out some of their other folding wooden dollhouse products. I particularly loved their Folding Princess Castle. It’s definitely larger than the Fold n’ Go dollhouse and covers a wider span when it’s folded out completely. This type of dollhouse is also ideal for ages 4 to 6 and features more complex architectural elements like winding staircases and different types of rooms.
The pastel printing on the natural wood surface is particularly charming and appealing, making it a great gift for a princess-themed birthday party. I will definitely have my eye on this when my daughters 4th birthday draws near. This item also comes in a medieval castle theme as well, which is a more gender-neutral choice overall.
8. Camden Rose Three Story Cherry Wood Dollhouse
Dollhouses are timeless toys that should be built to last. That’s why I veer on the side of wooden toys for the most part. The Camden Rose Three-Story Cherry Wood Dollhouse is that great long-term investment toy that can be passed down from generation to generation. At just over $200, it boasts an amazing price point for a top quality wooden dollhouse that’s handcrafted and made in the United States. Camden Rose dollhouses are actually made from 100% natural solid cherry wood from some of the state’s best woodworking artisans. This is a quintessential, classic all ages dollhouse that’s ideal for my 6-year old nieces realistic figurines to my own daughter’s dolls.
This dollhouse is the real deal up close, and the cherry wood smells amazing! To keep it looking its best for years, treat it as you would any other fine wooden furniture.
9. KidKraft Beachfront Mansion With Furniture
KidKraft is definitely a popular wooden dollhouse brand that makes a pretty wide variety of themed dollhouses. With Spring in full effect and Summer on the way, their popular Beachfront Mansion(with furniture) would make a huge splash during Summer birthday season. KidKraft dollhouses are large but not difficult to put together, plus they come with colorful, eye-popping illustrations that make dollhouse play even more fun and creative.
Their houses are compatible with most dollhouse brands, but I find they’re particularly suited to Groovy Girls dolls because of the bright colors and design. The beachfront mansion is fine for preschoolers, but it’s more of a big-girl dollhouse than the Plan Toys Chalet or Melissa & Doug Fold n’ Go dollhouses.
10. My First Dollhouse By Plan Toys
Sometimes all you need is a clean and simple wooden dollhouse. I’ve put this dollhouse together many times, and I still admire its retro-style wallpaper, classic architectural features, and spacious 2-story design. Like the Plan Toys Chalet dollhouse, I see this dollhouse a lot at daycare centers and pediatrician’s offices too. Child therapists like Plan Toys because their simple wooden toys help with role playing exercises that encourage kids to better express their feelings.
When it comes to choosing dollhouses this year, it’s important to weigh more than just popularity when making your decision. You want a dollhouse that’s going to withstand a lifetime of play and still excite that next generation of kids in your family. Make sure to keep this list on hand for upcoming birthdays and the holiday season!