In this guide we’ll take a look at the best children’s playhouses for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Children’s Playhouse?
More Detailed Children’s Playhouse Reviews
LittleTom Children’s Playhouse Review
This LittleTom Children’s Playhouse has cute cottage styling and comes with a picnic table and two little bench stools. The picnic table can be attached to the house either on the inside or outside. The house also features a door and two window openings with shutters. The doors and windows do not have any catches and have finger gaps to make them safe for little hands. One of the inner walls also includes some interactive games for extra playtime fun.
The fun playhouse is made from high-quality weather-proof plastic, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It is also durable and easy to clean, and the rounded edges make it suitable even for toddlers.
The overall dimensions of this house are 104 x 95 x 118cm meaning this is quite a compact kid’s plastic playhouse. However, the fact that the furniture can be added on outside means this still leaves room for 2 or 3 small children to play inside.
The children’s playhouse is easy to assemble and requires no additional tools as the parts slot together and fittings are attached with large plastic screws that can be tightened with a coin.
This small playhouse is suitable for younger children and toddlers and for use either indoors and out. The included table and seats make this good value for money.
Little Tikes Cape Cottage Children’s Playhouse Review
This Little Tikes Cape Cottage Children’s Playhouse is made from durable plastic and is suitable for use indoors or outside. It features two doors, two window openings with shutters and a mail slot for added imaginative play. It’s one of the most fun playhouses available for the UK market!
It is suitable for toddlers and slightly older children and an adult can even squeeze in if they are lucky enough to be invited for tea. The double doors and windows are a nice touch and are useful if two or more children are playing together. For some reason, toddlers love opening the doors and window shutters, and this house provides plenty to go around.
This is an ideal first playhouse for small children from 18 months as the rounded plastic and catch-free doors with finger gaps mean it is safe for them to use. The overall size is 108.6 x 88.9 x 124.5 cm and it is really simple to assemble, taking less than half an hour from start to finish. The house is built from sturdy and durable plastic and looks good for years of use.
This is a great value small playhouse that is suitable for even very young children. It offers plenty of play opportunities, is suitable for use indoors and outside and is great value for money. it’s also the best playhouse on a budget.
Redwood Lodge Wooden Children’s Playhouse Review
This Redwood Lodge Wooden Children’s Playhouse will make a lovely addition to the garden as well as being the best playhouse for inspiring your children to having imaginative adventures!
The children’s playhouse has a charming wonky design that makes you think of fairy tales or Alice in Wonderland. It is a sturdy wooden structure that has painted wooden trims in soft green, blue and red and these contrast beautifully with the natural fir panels of the rest of the structure. It has a thick green felt covered roof that adds to the charm as well as being hard wearing and durable.
This plastic children’s playhouse features a chimney, little round windows and an opening door and window both of which close with magnets to make them safe for little hands. The thick Perspex windows allow plenty of light into the house making it bright and appealing.
With overall dimensions of H 145 x W 145 x D 110cm this is a dinky playhouse suitable for toddlers up to school aged kids. It doesn’t take up much room, so is ideal if you have a small garden. It is also a lovely feature in the garden so doesn’t need to be hidden away. The house is surprisingly spacious inside and there is plenty of room to add a table and chairs or a mini kitchen.
The build quality on this item is excellent and the body is made from premium fir that is curved and smoothed for safety.
The house is very easy to build as the windows and doors are already fitted. It is just a matter of assembling the 7 main parts for the house and then assembling and attaching the chimney. It can easily be built by one person in about half an hour.
This is a beautiful playhouse made from quality materials that is suitable for toddlers to older children. It’s attractive design makes this the best playhouse for kids with big imaginations!
It also offers great value for money for such an enchanting and well-made little house.
Wooden Den Children’s Playhouse Review
This Wooden Den Children’s Playhouse is an attractive wooden playhouse that offers exciting play opportunities for children aged from 3-10. The structure is built on a tower frame and features a ladder up to the house, a balcony at the front and a fun wavy slide. It’s the best playhouse for exciting adventures!
This large kid’s playhouse is attractive and provides plenty of space and play opportunities for little ones. There is plenty of room inside for toys, furnishings and up to two children.
The playhouse is made from pressure treated timber and has a 10-year guarantee against rot and insect infestation. It meets the Independently Tested Safety Standard EN71 and includes all fixings and safety ground anchors. The overall size is 1.80m x 2.90m. It will require two people to put it together and will take about 3 hours to construct.
This is a well-made product that offers an exciting den for children. The additional height provides excellent play opportunities for bigger adventures and the slide adds an additional fun element to the play.
The good build quality and 10-year guarantee make this product good value for money. The door is only a plastic sheet, so this could have been better, even so, it is an attractive and durable den for little ones of a wide age range. This is the best playhouse for a wide range of ages.
Waltons Wooden Children’s Playhouse Review
This Waltons Wooden Children’s Playhouse is made from quality timber and is roomy enough for several children of a range of ages. The extra ceiling height enables older children to play comfortably and the vast space inside can be furnished with whatever you please as well as providing useful storage for outdoor toys.
The children’s playhouse is built from PEFC Certified Timber with a strudy frame and smooth cladding. It has a 10-year anti rot guarantee and meets the EN71 European safety standard for toys. The windows are glazed with styrene and there are finger gaps around the door to prevent trapped fingers. The five windows let in plenty of light making this a bright, attractive space to play.
The overall size of this kid’s playhouse is 1.83m x 1.83m so it is as big as a standard shed.
This product was relatively easy to put together as it came with clear instructions. It will take two people to construct and can be built in around two hours.
This large playhouse will serve your family well as it is suitable for children from three and is big enough for an adult to fit inside. Once the little ones have grown out of it, you could repurpose it as an additional room for other activities such as crafts or just as storage for outdoor toys or furniture.
For the potential length of its usability, this product offers great value for money and it’s one of the best playhouses available!
Smoby Children’s Playhouse Review
This Smoby Children’s Playhouse comes with lots of features to keep little ones entertained for hours. It has two window openings with shutters and a barn style door. It also has a little shelf that includes a sink and barbecue grill for fun role play. The house has an electric doorbell and 2 flower pots to create the feeling of a real home.
The kid’s playhouse is roomy inside with a main room and a covered veranda. With dimensions of 185x 109 x 148cm, it will easily accommodate some extra furniture while still leaving enough room for two or three small children to play.
The product is made from durable weather resistant plastic that is Anti UV treated to help it stay looking good for years. It is easy to construct and, when built, feels sturdy and durable. The barn door and large opening in the veranda mean this playhouse is quite open to the elements so only really suitable for use on fine days.
This large kid’s playhouse might be the best playhouse for a family with several small children. However, it is a little on the pricy side for a kid’s plastic playhouse.
Things to Know Before Buying a Children’s Playhouse
Young children love to pretend they’re grown ups, and there’s no better place for them to get a taste of independence than in their very own playhouse!
Playhouses can help your child develop a variety of skills, and they offer your child a lovely place to spend an afternoon. Anyone who didn’t have a playhouse growing up will wish they did!
There’s a fair amount to consider when buying a playhouse, so I’ve put together a few pointers to help you make an informed decision!
Benefits of a Children’s Playhouse
First up, why should you even buy a playhouse in the first place?
Playhouses offer a cosy and safe space for your child to call their own. A playhouse is their own personal space that they can enjoy, and these lovely houses can help teach your child independence and help them to develop their own unique personalities.
A playhouse offers an inviting space where your child’s imagination can run free. They’ll be free to develop their independence, and you may not even be allowed to enter without a password!
If you have more than one child, a playhouse is even more beneficial. They can help teach your children to share and play together, developing valuable social skills.
Selecting a Fun Design
Playhouses are available in a huge range of designs, and it’s a common misconception that they are only for girls! Some come with built in picnic tables, windows with shutters, and even an integrated kitchen. They can be decked out with all your child needs to cook elaborate meals!
When it comes to playhouses, there’s really no limit on the number of features you can find. Chimneys, flower pots, tables and chairs and cupboards where your child can store all their things are great design features that add to the charm.
While some playhouses come equipped with all of these plus more, others are more basic in design, allowing your child to put their own spin on their temporary home. Their house could be a secret den, a boat, a fort or even a spaceship!
Choosing the Right Size for your Garden
It’s important to consider how much space you have available, as some playhouses look a lot smaller in pictures than they do in real life.
For very young children, small plastic playhouses are ideal, and these can be used both inside and out. Large, outdoor models are more suitable for older children and will have a longer lifespan.
I recommend working out exactly how much space you have available, remembering that a playhouse which is too large will make your garden look a lot smaller.
High-Quality Materials to Look Out For
The material is extremely important, especially if you plan on leaving your playhouse outside. Those for younger kids are often made from plastic, which is both durable and waterproof. Plastic has the added bonus of being very easy to clean. I recommend looking for a plastic playhouse treated with anti UV to avoid the colour fading over time.
Wooden playhouses are traditional and charming, suitable for older kids. These are a more aesthetic addition to your garden than garish plastic models!
The downside to wooden playhouses is that they aren’t quite so weather resistant. If not properly maintained, wooden playhouses can be susceptible to rot. Look for a pressure treated wooden playhouse with a guarantee against rot and insect infestation.
Remember that wooden playhouses can also be a little more fiddly to assemble. You may need a few tools, some DIY knowledge and an extra pair of hands!
Always check that the playhouse is safe for the age of your child. Little children can easily get their fingers trapped in doors or windows if they are not designed with finger gaps and safety mechanisms.
With wooden playhouses, check for rough timber that could splinter, and make sure screws are well embedded or covered with safety caps.
Ease of Assembly
The larger playhouses for older kids can take a bit of work to set up. You may need a few tools and some basic DIY skills. While a long assembly time isn’t a deal breaker, it’s worth bearing in mind before you make a purchase.
If I buy a wooden playhouse will I need to treat the timber every year?
Most children’s playhouses are constructed with pressure treated timber and these will require no maintenance for ten years. After this, you may want to treat them for extra life using a wood sealer. Look for a structure with a 10-year guarantee against rot and insect infestation for extra peace of mind.
Is planning permission needed for a playhouse?
As playhouses are temporary structures, there is usually no planning permission required. However, pay attention to size restrictions, especially if your playhouse is going to be placed near to your property boundary.
While each planning authority has its own rule, playhouses within 2.5m from the boundary must usually be less than 2.5m high.
Does my playhouse need a base?
This comes down to personal preference. So long as your playhouse is located on flat ground, you won’t need a base.
However, some people prefer to use a base so that the inside of the playhouse is slightly nicer for kids. A playhouse with a base can be used to store toys (including soft toys) and a base will also keep the inside of the playhouse dry. In the winter months, you may find your playhouse gets muddy and wet – which will make your child muddy and wet too!
Where should I put my child’s playhouse?
As already mentioned, there are certain restrictions when it comes to placing your playhouse near the boundary line of your property. It’s important that your playhouse is also placed on flat ground for stability and to ensure the doors can open freely.
If your playhouse is made from wood, ensure you have access from all sides so that you can treat the timber on a regular basis. I also recommend having your playhouse within clear view of your home – so that you can keep an eye on the kids from inside!