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Article:   Best Dollhouses for Children: Comparisons

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A doll house is not only pretty to look at—it encourages imaginative play, which in turn presents many opportunities for self-expression. Children learn to build and verbalize, or articulate, their very own stories. Even those who play quietly will formulate stories in their minds. Role-playing games can also be wonderful mediums for expressing the emotional worlds inside children. When pretend play is shared with other siblings or friends, wonderful social opportunities result.

There are a number of dollhouses on the market, and we review and compare some of these below. Some children are delighted with details such as bureau drawers or stoves that open and close; others are quite happy with the basics. Weighing the costs and considering factors such as space limitations and long-term value will be important. We are somewhat disappointed by the fact that most dollhouses offered are geared and marketed towards little girls. However, there are some good choices available that are appropriate for all sorts of children who love to "play house". 

 

Glitter Dream Dollhouse

This dollhouse will hold its appeal longer than most dollhouses, simply because it is designed to accommodate 12" fashion dolls (Barbies, My Scenes, and the like), so that it grows with a young child. Besides the pink decor, there's an elevator with a crank that kids always love. The dollhouse comes with some wood furniture, and the walls are detailed backdrops. The dollhouse is tall, sturdy, and looks fabulous -- it would make quite a statement under the tree!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Glitter Dream Dollhouse at Amazon.com] 

 


Loving Family Sweet Sounds Dollhouse

This Fisher Price Loving Family Sweet Sounds Dollhouse set featuring Loving Family figures lends a Victorian look to imaginative play. First off, kids get busy placing the stickers of such things as rugs and pictures for the wall. Included is a set of figures -- mother, father, girl, and baby. Also included is a pony that neighs when a child places it near a family member. The dolls are plastic and poseable, although not as flexible as some. A few furnishings are included, and some of the furniture is permanently attached to the house for the sake of the electronic sounds. However, many children will want more accessories--these are available but sold separately. The price of the dollhouse is somewhat steep, and do note that there are not a lot of extras included in the box. The rooms are spacious enough for relatively comfortable play, but do also consider the Glitter Dream Dollhouse, which accommodates 12" fashion dolls, above, before making your decision.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Loving Family Sweet Sounds Dollhouse at Amazon.com]

 


Deluxe Hello Kitty Dollhouse with Furniture
 

This dollhouse is not as large as some, but the details are very sweet and impressive. It comes with 2 inch dolls: Hello Kitty, Mama, Papa, and Mimmy. Adorable furniture sets are included in this deluxe set--including a flushing toilet as part of the bathroom set (a winner with the kids!), kitchen set with cookware, living room with a plant and picture. The only thing that is missing is a bedroom set! Otherwise, the set is very popular, not only because of the adorable Hello Kitty characters, but also because there are more details than most sets, which means more imaginative play opportunities and greater replay value. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Deluxe Hello Kitty House with Furniture at Amazon.com]

 


Folding Portable Dollhouse 

Those who prefer the aesthetic qualities of wood--and families with space issues--will fully appreciate this delightful wood dollhouse. Although it is not as detailed as some, this dollhouse folds up nicely and compactly so that it is easy to move from one room to another. Best yet, it folds out to a satisfying length (almost 3 feet). This is a solid set but note that it is a little bare bones -- you'll likely want to accessorize the house. One of its best features, in my mind, is its overall gender neutrality. Its lack of gender-specific colors means it speaks to both boys and girls. (But you'll want to purchase more doll figures to help round out the imbalance!) 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Folding Portable Dollhouse at Amazon.com]

 


Calico Critters Deluxe Village House

This house is for families with a serious interest in purchasing a lasting and charming dollhouse set, but who don't mind putting quite a bit of money in the process. The house is beautifully constructed and the accessories designed for the house are charming indeed, but they are sold separately. Kids can choose from little bunnies, cats, squirrels, and other adorable families of "critters". These figures are plastic but covered with soft and slightly fuzzy "fur"--and they're poseable. This is a gorgeous, albeit expensive, line. Note that this dollhouse is comparatively small, and the pieces are as well. It's better for older children, certainly above 3 and preferably over 7.

[Sign up for a subscription to Calico Critters Deluxe Village House at Amazon.com] 

 


Little People Sweet Sounds Home

This is perfect as a starter dollhouse for very young children. Before investing in an expensive or large dollhouse, families might want to see how much their child enjoys this form of pretend play. This one features the Fisher Price Little People--those adorable and appealing chunky characters. They are not poseable, but they are safe for little ones and they fit nicely into place in various accessories, such as a stroller. Little People is a well-established line and each character is compatible with other sets in the series. This play house opens up to offer a two-story play area; and it closes nicely for storage (the figures and accessories can remain inside). Three figures are included in the set, as well as a few accessories (pictured). 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Little People Sweet Sounds Home at Amazon.com] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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