Dollhouses are a bit of an obsession around here. With three girls, we’ve had the opportunity to test-drive many different kinds. I’ve also worked with childcare organizations and teachers who have used these dollhouses in their practice. The consensus: WOOD is GOOD! The more open-ended the dollhouse, the better for the imagination. Look for dollhouses that are “open-concept” and can be played with from a variety of sides (this encourages cooperative play). Here are some of my favourites (and fall within a variety of budgets):
Kids love to play with dollhouses that are at their level, so try setting it up on a shelf (20″ high or so).
I like to place a basket underneath to store wooden dolls, furniture and accessories. This keeps things organized and inviting for children.
The great news is that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on dollhouses (although, I believe if you are going to invest in quality wooden pieces for your playroom, a dollhouse is at the top of the list!) Shadowboxes make great open-ended “houses” for wooden dolls. These were purchased at Michael’s for under $20.00.
I’ve seen many creative hacks for dollhouses, but these IKEA KALLAX hacks have got to be my favourite:
Whatever your budget, whatever your child’s interests (boy or girl), a dollhouse is a MUST for any playroom. Dollhouses encourage dramatic play, where children mimic all the activities that go on inside a home. From cooking, to cleaning, to caring for loved ones, to solving problems; children who pretend and engage in dramatic play actively experiment with the social roles in life. Through dramatic play, children explore their own thoughts and feelings, and practice conflict resolution. All children benefit from pretend play!