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?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
High-quality, weatherproof playhouse for years of fun!
This LittleTom Children’s Playhouse offers excellent value for money. It has a picnic table, bench stools, a hinged-gate door, and window shutters. The house measures 104 x 95 x 118 cm and the table can be fitted inside or out. It’s easy to assemble, made from high-quality weatherproof plastic.
Everything I Recommend
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. Picnics al fresco or teddy bear tea parties inside are all an option.
The house also features a door and two windows with shutters.
The doors and windows do not have any catches, and have been designed with finger gaps to make them safe for little hands.
The back wall also has some built-in interactive elements to encourage playtime.
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 118 cm meaning this it’s quite compact. 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. 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 can be used either indoors and out. The included table and seats make this excellent 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 out.
It features two doors, two window openings with shutters, and a mail slot for added imaginative play.
It is suitable for toddlers as well as slightly older children. 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. 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. Assembly takes less than half an hour from start to finish. The house is built from sturdy, durable plastic and will have a long lifespan.
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 out, and is great value for money. I would say this is the best children’s playhouse on a budget.
Redwood Lodge Wooden Children’s Playhouse Review
This Redwood Lodge Wooden Children’s Playhouse will make a beautiful, quirky addition addition to the garden with its fun, yet stylish, wooden construction.
It’s sure to be one of the best playhouses for inspiring your children to have imaginative adventures – just look at its charming crooked-house design.
The way its been constructed makes you think of fairy tales or Alice in Wonderland.
Complementing the natural fir-tree walls are the painted door, windows and trims. These have been painted in soft green, blue and red, and contrast beautifully with the rest of the structure.
It has a thick, green felt-covered roof that adds to the charming appearance whilst having a practical use. It is hard wearing and durable.
This children’s playhouse features a chimney, little round windows and an opening door. The door and opening window closes with magnets, making them safe for little hands.
The windows and doors have Perspex “glass” panels making it feel even more like a proper house. They allow plenty of light into the house creating a bright and appealing space.
With overall dimensions of 145 x 145 x 110 cm this is a dinky playhouse suitable for toddlers – school-aged kids.
It doesn’t take up much room, so is ideal if you have a small garden. Plus, it really looks great 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 it’s made from premium fir that is curved and smoothed for safety.
The house is very easy to assemble; the windows and doors are already fitted. It’s 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 with a drill in about hour.
This is a beautiful playhouse made from quality materials that is suitable for toddlers to older children. Its attractive ‘wonky’ design makes this the best children’s 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 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 children’s playhouse for exciting adventures!
This large 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 which protects it against rot and insect infestation for at least up to ten years.
It meets the Independently Tested Safety Standard EN71 and includes all fixings and safety anchors.
The overall size is 1.8 x 2.9 m. 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 longevity of this house make it great value for money.
It is an attractive and durable den for little ones, and is one of the best playhouses to suit 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. There is a lot of space inside so it can be furnished with whatever you please and also provide useful storage for outdoor toys.
The children’s playhouse is built from PEFC Certified Timber with a sturdy frame and smooth cladding.
It 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 1.83 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 3 + and is also 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.
Given its potential, and multiple uses for the future, this product offers great value for money and is one of the best children’s 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 toy sink and barbecue grill for fun game playing. The house even has an electric doorbell and 2 flower pots to create the feeling of a real home.
Your little ones will absolutely love it!
The playhouse is roomy inside; it has a main room and a covered veranda. With dimensions of 185 x 109 x 148 cm, it will easily accommodate some extra furniture whilst still leaving enough room for two or three small children to play.
The house is made from durable weather-resistant plastic that is anti-UV treated to help it stay looking great 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. As a result, it’s really better suited to use on fine days.
Given its size and different play areas, this has to be one of the best children’s playhouses for a family with several small children.
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 are a lovely place for them to spend an afternoon playing. Who knows – you might even get invited in for ‘tea’ if you’re lucky!
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best children’s playhouse to suit your little one’s needs, so I’ve put together a few pointers to help you make an informed decision!
Playhouses offer a cosy and safe play space that your child can call their own.
A playhouse will let your children delight in the idea of having their own personal ‘home’. They can help teach independence, encourage personality development, and give kids another reason to love being outside.
A playhouse offers an inviting space where your child’s imagination can run free.
In fact, you may find that it develops their independence and confidence so much that you’re not even 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.
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 integrated toy-kitchen units. They can be decked out with everything your child needs to unlock their inner chef and ‘cook’ elaborate meals!
When it comes to playhouses, there’s really no limit on the number of features you can find.
Just a few of the features you might want to look out for include: chimneys, flower pots, tables, chairs, ‘sinks’, kitchen units, post-boxes and cupboards. These all add charm and unique personality to the playhouse.
It’s not necessary to buy a playhouse with all of these bells and whistles, but you may find that your little one is more enamoured with having features that mimic a real home.
That said, playhouses with a more basic design still offer a world of magical possibilities for your child.
Basic designs allow your child to put their own spin on their ‘new home’. They could even make their own furniture out of boxes and other items, leaving a lot of scope to be creative and develop logistical thinking.
Their house could be a secret den, a boat, a fort or even a spaceship!
It’s important to consider how much space you have available; some playhouses look a lot smaller in pictures than they are in real life!
For very young children, small plastic playhouses are ideal. These can be used both indoors and out. They tend to have rounded corners for safety and gaps around the doors to ensure fingers can’t get trapped.
Larger outdoor-only models are more suitable for older children. You might find them better value for money because children can use them for longer – this is especially true of the bigger wooden houses; they’re not just “little kids’ toys”. In fact, it’s not unheard of for even young teenagers to want an outdoor clubhouse!
I recommend working out exactly how much space you have available by marking out the space beforehand. You need a flat area of garden in a safe location. It’s a good idea to get a scope of the measurements before purchase; a playhouse which is too large will cramp your garden.
The construction material of the playhouse is extremely important, especially if you plan on leaving it outside.
Playhouses for younger kids are often made from plastic which is a good choice for them; it’s durable and waterproof as well as safe and low maintenance. Generally speaking, plastic playhouses have rounded edges and extra gaps to stop little fingers getting trapped.
Plastic has the added bonus of being very easy to clean – even if it gets a bit grubby outside, you can simply hose it down. If you want a plastic playhouse that will last, you should make sure that the plastic is anti UV – this will stop the colour from fading in sunlight over time.
Then there are wooden playhouses. These are traditional and charming, more suited to older kids because everything is just a bit more solid. Wooden playhouses might have sharper corners, and don’t have all the safety allowances (like extra gaps around the doors) that plastic houses often have. Of course, they can stil be suitable for younger children too, but more supervision will be required.
Wooden playhouses are extremely aesthetically pleasing, adding a nice feature to your garden (the same can’t always be said for plastic houses…). They are also more likely to be used for longer, as your children grow up. Children can quickly outgrow a small plastic house, but wooden playhouses stay relevant for longer.
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 one made from pressure-treated wood as this will mean it is already protected against rot or insect infestation. After a few years, you will need to apply a wood treatment to even pressure-treated wood to keep it effective.
Some pressure-treated wooden playhouses even come with a guarantee against rot and insect infestation. They can often guarantee up to ten years of protection.
Remember that wooden playhouses can be a little more fiddly to assemble. You may need a few tools, some DIY knowledge and an extra pair of hands! Plastic playhouses, on the other hand, tend to have pieces that slot into place.
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.
If you do purchase a wooden playhouse, you should consider doing a ‘safety check’ every so often. This way you can sand down any splintering wood and check out other potential problems.
The larger wooden playhouses for older kids can take a bit of work to set up. You’ll need a few tools and some basic DIY skills.
Of course, this longer assembly time isn’t likely to be a deal breaker, but it’s worth bearing in mind to avoid being surprised when it arrives!
Plastic playhouses tend to just ‘slot’ together. They normally have fewer parts and large plastic nuts and bolts. Due to this easy assembly, a plastic playhouse is also more possible to dismantle, if you’re so inclined, during the winter months.
Children’s Playhouse FAQs
Most children’s playhouses are made from pressure-treated timber. These will require no maintenance for up to ten years. After this, you may want to treat them to extend their life, using a wood sealer. Look for a playhouse with a 10-year guarantee against rot and insect infestation for extra peace of mind.
Given that 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’s boundary.
Whilst each planning authority has its own rule, playhouses which are less than 2.5 m from the boundary usually need to be under 2.5 m high.
This comes down to personal preference. As 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 nicer for kids. A playhouse with a base can be used to store toys and a base will also keep the inside of the playhouse dry. Without a base you may find that the playhouse gets muddy and wet.
You can use paving slabs or decking, or leave it just as grass. With harder bases you may wish to cover them with safety mats or softer materials like bark.
There are certain restrictions when it comes to placing structures near the boundary line of your property, especially if they’re over a certain height. Check the restrictions for your area before putting up the playhouse. 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!