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How To Choose A Kids Playhouse

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Playhouses are guaranteed to get your children outdoors for their daily dose of sun and sand. A much needed respite in current times when technology is invading childhoods and robbing it of the fun and frolic that it much deserves. 

Playhouses also have other benefits: 

All said and done, shopping for playhouses is far from easy. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, right from one-child models for a tiny backyard to sprawling mansions for a group of kids. 

Here are some of the important factors to consider when you go shopping for kids' playhouses.

Indoor vs. Outdoor playhouses - which are better?

Indoor playhouses are ideal for toddlers and small kids who are not old enough for unsupervised, outdoor playtime. These are typically made of plastic. But wooden models are not uncommon either.

Don't let the 'indoor' prefix fool you into believing that these are lesser than their outdoor counterparts in any way. Indoor playhouses are available in a wide range of designs, sizes and price points. 

If your child is old enough to play outside, go for an outdoor playhouse by all means. These will be more expensive and expansive as compared to indoor models. But they are totally worth it for a number of reasons mentioned above.

Solid Wood Indoor Outdoor Playhouse
Brown Manufactured Wood Outdoor Luxury Playhouse
Castle Sky Blue Solid Wood Playhouse
Blue Cabin Cedar Outdoor Playhouse
Polka Dot Indoor Kids Pop Up Play Tent
Pink Princess Castle Play Tent With Carrying Bag

How big a playhouse should be?

Parents these days don't mind splurging the extra buck as long as their kids are happy. Gone are the barebones, four-walled structures of yore. Instead, we have mini-mansions that are nothing short of luxurious. That said, you don't necessarily need a capacious castle to give your children a safe and enjoyable retreat. 

What are the pros and cons of different playhouse materials?

While buying prefabricated, you'll be met with two options primarily, wood and plastic. Both materials have their own pros and cons which must be weighed carefully before narrowing down on one. Fabric and cardboard are not as common as the other two.

Plastic

Tip: In the United States, Plastics are coded from numbers 1 to 7. Numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are relatively safer as compared to 3 & 6. 3 is PVC by the way. Anything coded 7 is downright toxic and should be avoided at all costs.

Novelty Green Plastic Indoor Playhouse
Purple Yellow Plastic Tunnel Playground
Brown Cabin Plastic Outdoor Playhouse
Beige Novelty Plastic Outdoor Playhouse
Brown Plastic Cabin Cottage Playhouse
Red Cabin Cottage Plastic Playhouse

Wood

Cedar Solid Manufactured Wood Playhouse
Honey Brown Kids Wooden Playhouse
Beige Cottage Solid Wood Playhouse
Cedar Cabin Wood Outdoor Playhouse
Gray Cottage Solid Wood Playhouse
Metal Cedar Wood Outdoor Playhouse

Cardboard

Brown Wildlife Indoor Cardboard Playhouse
White Novelty Indoor Cardboard Playhouse
Kids Cardboard Coloring Indoor Playhouse
Big Castle Indoor Cardboard Playhouse
White Castle Cardboard Indoor Playhouse
Food Truck Indoor Cardboard Playhouse

Fabric

Kids Portable Indoor Outdoor Fabric Play Teepee
Pink Victorian Indoor Outdoor Fabric Playhouse
Fabric Indoor Outdoor Play Tent With Carrying Bag
Fire Engine Truck Fabric Play Tent
Blue Polyester Pop Up Play Tent
Blue Novelty Fabric Play Tent

How are playhouses installed? 

How to make sure the playhouse is safe?

The safety of your children will no doubt be of utmost importance to you. While selecting a playhouse, ensure that it complies with all safety standards for outdoor toys as set forth in your country of residence. 

In the EU, playhouses are rated according to the EN 71 safety standard for toys.

U.S. toymakers must follow Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, created under ASTM International. It differs in the United States, but it should be mentioned clearly on the product information page on the website. 

There are also a few general safety features to look out for.

What accessories and features can playhouses come with?

While selecting accessories and features in the playhouse, take into account the interests of all the children who will be using it.

Brown Plastic Double Slide Climber
Tan Red Plastic Outdoor Climber
Cedar Wood Plastic Swing Set
Brown Solid Wood Swing Set
Natural Cedar Swing Set With Wood Roof
Wood Tower Swing Set With Wood Roof

Build vs. Buy

If you take pride in your woodworking skills, then building an outdoor playhouse from scratch might be an interesting DIY project for you. You can build it to your liking with almost endless design and accessorizing possibilities.

That said, it will depend heavily on your skill levels. A playhouse, no matter how basic the design, is an advanced project that requires a fair bit of carpentry expertise. If it's too much for you to handle on your own, you can consider outsourcing it to contractors. 

Bear in mind that the cost for a custom build playhouse can be twice or thrice as much as what a prefabricated model costs. You have to account for lumber, paint, roofing material, accessories and furniture among other things which can run up to a sizeable figure. If you are shopping on a limited budget, it's always cheaper to buy a premade model. 

There's no dearth of options mind you. 

The playhouse will be an integral part of your child's growing years. So take your time with the selection process. Make a checklist of the most important features that you are looking for and prioritize them. With some solid research, you should be able to narrow down on one that fits your yard and your pocket. Good luck!