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If your little one loves playing with dolls, a dollhouse is an absolute must. So much more than just another toy, a good dollhouse will not only provide years of entertainment, but it will also help develop social skills, spark imaginative play, and hone fine motor skills. It can even help improve vocabulary. And besides, where else are her dolls supposed to live?
If you've decided to spoil your little one with her very own dollhouse – but you find the dizzying array of options on the market somewhat daunting – you've come to the right place. At BestReviews, we take pride in providing consumers with the best product reviews around. We never accept free manufacturer samples, so you can rest assured that all our reviews are honest and accurate.
If you already have an idea of what you're looking for, skip straight to our top five picks above to select your favorite dollhouse. Need a little help? Our detailed guide below will make finding the perfect dollhouse child's play!
Helping your child decorate her dollhouse can be an incredibly rewarding bonding experience for both parties.
When choosing a dollhouse, there are a number of factors to consider. Identifying the qualities that matter most to you and your child will help narrow down your options, bringing you one step closer to finding your “dream home.”
Dollhouses come a wide variety of sizes. While any child would agree that bigger is better, playing in cramped quarters can quickly lose its appeal. Once you've established where the dollhouse will be kept, measure the designated area, and keep these numbers in mind when reviewing your options.
Unless you'll be purchasing dolls designed by the manufacturer to perfectly fit the dimensions of your chosen dollhouse, be sure to factor in the size of your child’s favorite dolls. While you could probably get away with a slightly oversized dollhouse, one that's too small to comfortably accommodate your little one’s dolls would only lead to frustration and disappointment.
If you plan to share a dollhouse between two children, opt for a model that's large enough for both to play at the same time.
Not every dollhouse is appropriate for every age. Although an intricately detailed dollhouse with realistic miniature décor and furnishings may appeal to all ages, tiny accessories could pose a choking hazard to younger children. If you're buying a dollhouse for a toddler, there are many options available that are specifically geared towards this age group. Still another option is to buy a “big girl’s” dollhouse and remove smaller pieces, adding them as your child gets older. This allows the dollhouse to grow with your child and is the most feasible option for parents who wish to purchase a single dollhouse without needing to upgrade later in life.
Durability is determined not only by construction materials, but also by the overall craftsmanship of the dollhouse. While traditional models consisting of solid wood generally tend to be the most durable – especially for parents hoping to pass the dollhouse down through generations – there are plenty of robust plastic dollhouses available, too.
Keep in mind that if you choose a dollhouse with working lights and doorbells, you'll need to purchase batteries.
With a vast selection of dollhouses on the market, finding one to suit your budget shouldn't be too difficult. Prices range anywhere from around $20 for a basic dollhouse to $100+ for an exceptionally large or intricately detailed dollhouse. While size is generally the biggest determining factor, construction materials, brand, and included accessories likely also play a role in the overall cost.
Once you've pinpointed all of your most essential dollhouse requirements, the real fun begins! Listed below are a few of our favorite dollhouse features.
A working doorbell adds a fun element to dollhouse play, and little ones will have a blast helping “visitors” ring the doorbell.
Lights that can be switched on instantly make any dollhouse feel cozier and are great for acting out bedtime routines.
Windows that open may seem like a basic feature, but they add a nice touch that makes playtime more believable and allows little fingers to practice dexterity.
A garden or outside area extends the overall area of the dollhouse, and if your child enjoys acting out family scenes, she may enjoy having a place for the “kids” to play.
While there's certainly no need to go overboard with extra features, opting for a dollhouse with at least a couple of the fun features mentioned above is sure to make playtime more enjoyable.
Q. My daughter already has a collection of Barbie-like fashion dolls. What scale of dollhouse should I get?
A. To ensure that your fashion doll can fit through doorways and comfortably stand up indoors, a 1:6 scale dollhouse is required. This dollhouse scale size is generally easy to find thanks to the longstanding popularity of fashion dolls.
Q. Which dollhouse should I choose for a toddler?
A.The best dollhouse for a toddler is a solid one that's easy to clean. Parents of younger children often prefer a sturdy plastic dollhouse that can withstand a bit of rough handling and is easily wiped down with a damp cloth at the end of the day. Many plastic dollhouses are specifically designed for toddlers, with bright colors and chunky accessories that are easy for little fingers to grip. That said, there are lots of sturdy wood dollhouses available that fare just as well at the hands of enthusiastic toddlers.
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At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.