Christmas, birthdays, or just because – dollhouses are always a hit, and it’s easy to get just as excited about them as your kids do. Finding the perfect one, though, can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re shopping for a toddler. You’ll have a few extra factors to consider when it comes to safety and durability, but finding a great dollhouse for your toddling tot doesn’t have to be difficult.
To help you out, here is our quick guide to choosing the best dollhouse for toddlers!
Durability: Can it take the toddler treatment?
To survive through the rough-and-tumble toddler stage and into the school years, that dollhouse needs to be durable and made of high quality materials. Dollhouses made from plastic may be more prone to breaking well before your child reaches school age years. On the other side of the coin, that lovely antique or handmade dollhouse you inherited may be well-made but is likely too delicate to stand up to toddler play.
Generally, sturdy wooden dollhouse are the best bet to make it through these slightly destructive but completely adorable years of play.
Doll size: Who’s living there?
Whether you already have a family of dolls looking for a home, or you’re buying the dolls and the dollhouse all at once, make sure they’re compatible sizes. Dollhouses usually specify what size doll they’re made for, and common sizes include 5”, 12” and 18”. If you think that 12” or 18” dolls are still a bit too big for those adorable chubby toddler hands, then opt for a dollhouse meant for smaller dolls.
Safety: Does it have small pieces?
We’re all familiar with the warning labels, and we know kids under three shouldn’t play with toys that could pose a choking hazard. Obviously, the dollhouse itself isn’t a choking hazard but small pieces that come with it could be. Check the suggested age range on the dollhouse to make sure it’s considered appropriate for toddlers, or remove all accessories or detachable pieces that could be potential choking hazards. When in doubt, consider anything that your child could fit entirely in their mouth to be a choking hazard. Put it away and save it for when they’re older!
Size: How big is a dollhouse?
Pictures can be deceiving, and the last thing you want is to end up with a dollhouse twice as big as the space allotted for it. Double check the measurements, and if necessary measure the space it’s meant to fit in to avoid any surprises.
Consider what size will work best for your children come playtime. If you plan to upgrade to a larger dollhouse when they get older, you may opt for a smaller dollhouse now. If you plan to keep this dollhouse for years, then don’t let larger sizes scare you – they’ll still enjoy playing with them now, and they’ll grow into them before you know it.
Look: What’s your style?
Finding a dollhouse that meshes well with your decor is always a bonus, especially if it’s going to be in a common area of the house. You’ll have the best luck with brands that offer a wide variety of colors and styles. Shameless plug time: Not-so-coincidentally, we just happen to meet that description with our collection of artfully-crafted wooden dollhouses that are built to last and look great in your home.
The little things: What makes your toddler beam?
Last but far from least, what little touches or features would make your toddler extra excited about their new dollhouse? Whether it’s their favorite princess or the chance to decorate it and make it their own, look for those special features or accessories that make the dollhouse perfect for your toddler.
Want to explore KidKraft’s selection of dollhouses by age? Discover our dollhouses for 2-to-4-year olds, 3-to-5 year olds, and 5 years and up now.