Apart from the obvious charm and beauty a dollhouse brings to a space, they are a perfect way to encourage your children to use their imagination and keep them entertained. After your kids grow up, they can keep it as a precious collectible.
A few vital things you need to consider when choosing the perfect dollhouse for your home. Our guide below will explore different types, styles, and features to help you make the right decision.
How to select the right dollhouse for different age groups?
The younger your child is, the more likely you are to be concerned about sharp edges and small objects.
Toddlers have not yet fully developed their motor skills, so a tiny dollhouse can be frustrating since they will struggle to grip the toys. You need to make sure all the dolls and furniture are too big for them to fit in their mouth.
3 to 6-Year-Olds
At this age, kids will have acquired fine motor skills, but it still a good idea to stick to big accessories. Look for ones in colorful shapes, especially ones that relate to color and shape matching. The whole dollhouse should be one large piece still to ensure safety.
7 to 11-Year-Olds
Children at this age will be aware of their environment, so they will start asking for particular things and toys they have seen other kids have, such as castles and movie merchandise. It is very important to listen to and find suitable toys to match their interests or fantasies.
12 Years and Older
At this point, your little one is not so little, and they will stop seeing the dollhouse as a toy but more as a collectable. Look for more intricately designed dollhouses, which can then be family heirlooms and a proud collector's piece.
Which material should a dollhouse be made of?
The most common dollhouse materials are plastic and wood. Each of them comes with their advantages and disadvantages:
Plastic is easier to clean and disinfect. Due to its soft corners, it is better for rougher play. A plastic dollhouse is an excellent choice for younger toddlers.
Not only is wood eco-friendly, but wooden dollhouses are made to withstand any damage and decay slower. They are the better pick for kids over three years of age. Nevertheless, wooden dollhouses can be made of different types of wood. Inexpensive wooden houses are usually made of plywood. The best dollhouse would be one constructed with Baltic birch or MDF.
What size dollhouse should I pick?
To determine the size of the dollhouse, ask yourself the following three questions:
- Where are you planning to place it?
- Will a life-sized dollhouse leave enough room for people to move around freely?
- What scale do I want?
Depending on your answers, you will then find a huge variety of sizes to choose from. It is best to measure the dedicated space first to make sure it will fit. The size of the dollhouse also depends on the size of the dolls and furniture you would place inside. In dollhouse terminology, scale relates to how a miniature is sized down.
The most common scale you will come across is 1/12, which means if an object is 12 inches in reality, it is sized down to one inch as a miniature. Another scale, which has become very popular is the 1/24 since it is a real space saver and is more economical.
Other scales you can come across include 1/6, 1/16 and 1/18. The 1/6 scale is mostly known as a fashion doll scale such as Barbie; it is the largest available, so you will need to provide the most space for it.
You should also think about the furniture scale to match if bought separately. The largest scale houses such as 1/6 and 1/12 need to have the same scale furniture, so it does not look weirdly spacious. The other scales would still look good even if you choose one furniture scale up or down.
What style dollhouse should I select?
Children's dollhouses should include features such as painted exteriors, lift-up roofs, and opening windows and doors. It is best to look for a house with an open face design, which allows easy access. Kids can enjoy an abundance of themes related to their fantasies. It is best to ask and let them make the decision, but most common themes such as princess castles, majestic mansions, and modern homes are the most popular.
The best choice for a dollhouse collector is a kit, which turns into a collection building or home decoration. Look for a dollhouse made of MDF if you would like to add lights. Miniature dollhouses, which are in the range 1/16 to 1/24, would look best within your living space. The last thing you would like is an oversized dollhouse screaming for attention and taking up extra room. Adults and teens would much more prefer a closed-side dollhouse because their intention is not to play with it. Depending on your personal taste and home décor, the most common styles you will come across are Victorian and other century aesthetics, luxury villas, and rustic libraries.