When children begin developing their own games during free play, the imitation and simulation of the life that they watch you lead is inevitable; they may pretend to cook in play kitchens or pretend to drive with toy cars. But for young girls everywhere, the dollhouse serves as one of the most popular options for imaginative free play. They can sculpt and create their own worlds within the larger world of your home, and actually, learn some of the importance of your daily routine as they try and clean and organize their own home.
The products we’ve selected for this list are perfect for the development of these creative and utilitarian habits that you will want to instill in your daughter for her future. You can help teach her how to clean and maintain her room through the better maintenance of her dollhouse, or teach her the forms and functions of all the rooms in your home through the avatar of her miniature home. Take these suggestions, and help the imagination and organization of your child thrive.
Our Top 3 Picks
- KidKraft Chelsea Doll
- Big & furnished
- Melissa & Doug Victorian Dollhouse
- Elegant Victorian style
- KidKraft My Dreamy Dollhouse
- Fully furnished
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Best Dollhouses
The imagination of a young child is an impressive and even formidable force for you as a parent: you are constantly finding yourself trying to keep up with the expansion in the mind of your child, constantly trying to find ways to improve and accelerate this growth. Children often use toys to impersonate us as their parents, often take on an impression of our roles around the home in their free play alone and with others.
Knowing this, a child’s fascination with a dollhouse should be no surprising thing; the miniature home offers them a space to operate with the sort of authority and autonomy that they observe in you. It is important to teach them healthy ways to exercise and explore this authority over the world around them, how to take control of their situation without oppressing or annoying their peers.
Dollhouses are a perfect tool for you to this end, giving you a medium to not only teach them the names and functions of the various furnishings and rooms in your home but also to teach them some of the proper etiquette and arrangement involved with domestic living. Teach them how to keep their own room clean through the example of the dollhouse, and teach them how to interact with their friends and family members in the context of the home.
When we chose our products, we made sure to select quality products from trustworthy producers of toys. While some of these dollhouses may include pieces and parts not safe for toddlers, we did our best to add in friendly alternatives for that first dollhouse for your daughter. But the larger dollhouses are all composed of sturdy materials and nontoxic materials, making them safe for your children and your home indefinitely.
The burgeoning creativity of your child is a wonder to behold, and toys are the immediately available resource to them in expanding their imagination and gaining a greater understanding of the world in which they live. Dollhouses are a prime option for young girls, as they often are more interested in the compassionate social tasks surrounding home life. With these dollhouses, they can arrange and decorate their own rooms, wash pets and babies, or play house with their friends, learning important things about life all the while.
With the development of your child’s creativity and intelligence, there will also come the responsibilities and difficulties of social interaction. She will need to learn how to have positive social interactions and how to maintain control of situations, and you can use dolls and playhouses to educate them on how best to do this. Your child is a sponge for information, names, and faces, and she’ll want to know the best ways to make friends and keep them in her future. The controlled environment of the dollhouse within your home can help you to educate her, as well as let her loose with her friends for free play.
You have a bright mind coming up in your home, and you are interested in improving her life as well as her enjoyment of her own room. Dollhouses are not only attractive to young girls, but they are also didactic and useful for developing friendships as they expand their network of friends. A dollhouse is a small place for experiments in the larger world for her, a way to play out certain decisions and observe the consequences, without some of the social stigmas. She can voice opinions in the character of her doll, and she can see how her friends’ characters respond to the opinion. Play time is useful for you and your child in this way, allowing them to observe and remark on what they see in the world in a safe context.
How We Chose Our List
We have listed here the 16 best dollhouses for girls this year. The list is a product of extensive research that had to factor in the play set’s educational usefulness, developmental appropriateness, safety, and the overall quality of the product. We also had to consider what other parents are saying about these dollhouses and whether they would recommend it to their relatives and friends. Lastly, we also had to look at the overall trustworthiness of the dollhouse manufacturer and look for signs that it is really striving to achieve excellence in all of their products.
Hopefully, you will find our list useful in your search of the best and most suitable dollhouse for your own young girl. Be sure to check out our best baby doll strollers too.
Choosing dollhouses for your little girl may be quite intimidating. Confidently, our list of the best can help you narrow your choices to one or two.
For other great products like this, be sure to check out our girls gift idea category.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My daughter is 13 and she still likes playing with her dolls and dollhouse. At what age does playing with dollhouses become inappropriate?
A: Frankly, as long as the play time isn’t impending in her life in a serious way, she can play with dolls for as long as she likes. Typically, companies put a cap on the age range (like 3 to 7 years) because it’s at the latter age that children tend to lose interest in the toy. But if your daughter is in her teens and still finds dolls and dollhouses enjoyable, then that’s completely fine.
However, if the dolls are affecting her life in a negative way, like she won’t socialize with other teens because of it, then you might have to intervene. This might just be typical teenage rebellion and anti-socializing tendencies, but it might also be a sign of depression or trauma. Just keep an eye on her, and if everything is going smoothly, then it’s perfectly fine that she plays with dollhouses and dolls.
Q: My son wants to play with dolls and dollhouses. Should I stop him, or try to steer him towards more masculine toys?
A: If your son wants to play will dolls, dollhouses, and more feminine toys, let him. There is no evidence or proof that boys playing with girl toys negatively affects their development or growth. In fact, when you let children play with the toys they want, they become more independent and have improved social skills because they feel more comfortable in expressing themselves to others.
So, no, you should not be concerned with your son wanting to play with girl toys. If you’re uncomfortable, that’s completely okay. But as long as you put aside those negative feelings and understand that this will not hurt but benefit your child, you’re good to go. And to help with your discomfort, you could play with your son and see that this is just play time; it’s all fun and games!
Q: Can playing with dollhouses improve my child’s social skills?
A: Yes! In fact, playing with dolls and dollhouses is one of the best ways to improve your child’s social skills. For example, if you plan a play date for your child and another child, incorporating the dollhouse gives both a chance to exercise their creativity together. They can either independently create something, like a storyline or a fantasy world with their dolls, or they can create something together.
This not only helps their creativity, but also their teamwork and cooperation skills. And by having the children collaborate together, they begin to form a close bond and create a friendship through this act. And that’s ultimately what we want to accomplish in cooperative play time, lifelong BFFs!
Q: Will playing with dollhouses improve my child’s cognitive skills?
A: Playing with dollhouses and dolls can definitely improve your child’s cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities can refer to memory, judgment, reasoning, and perception. Because of the way most dollhouses are sectioned, the child has to judge distance and depth. The dolls themselves help your child’s memory because, usually, children create characters out of their dolls and little stories to go along with them.
Reasoning is typically for older children, but playing with dolls and dollhouses places your child in the mind space of the scenario they’ve created. This makes them look critically at situations they’ve imagined and make decisions based on the rules of their created world. But it’s not just dolls and dollhouses that help improve your child’s cognitive ability.
Most acts of pretend play assist some aspect of cognitive development. So, if you’re ever concerned with your child’s cognitive progression, then incorporating pretend-based play time, like dollhouses, can greatly improve that portion of their skillset.
Q: What age is too young for playing with dollhouses?
A: Under the age of 3 is typically too young for dollhouses. This is because the dollhouses usually come with smaller pieces that young children can choke on if they’re not careful. But, if a dollhouse has rather large pieces, ones that are child-proof, then they could play with the dollhouse in theory. Before purchasing anything for your child, look at the recommended age range and follow that guideline strictly.
Now, you know your child very well, better than anyone else most likely. But the recommended age range is just for general safety measures and should be abided by to keep all parties safe. If there is no recommended age on the product, the manufacturer’s website will typically have that information. If you still can’t find the recommended age range, then you should not buy the product. A company that doesn’t put forth those safety measures should be avoided.
Q: Can dollhouses help build my child’s creativity?
A: Yes! Dollhouses are great for building your child’s creativity and imagination. I would go as far to say that dollhouses are one of the best ways to instill creative and imaginative skills within your child in an engaging way. This is because dollhouses are so fun. All kids love to play dolls and action figures in some capacity, and dollhouses facilitate the fun and wonder of a child’s imagination.
Dollhouses allow not only for the child’s imagination to flourish, but also to envision themselves in the situations they create. Practices like this are great for future communication and socializing with other children. It also gives them the opportunity to escape the world for a minute and gather themselves in their own little world.
So, while dollhouses and playing with dolls give children a lot of creativity, it also allows the child to be creative on their own. And that’s the most important part of these kinds of toys. They actively build your child’s imagination while also giving them the ability to be themselves.
Q: My young daughter, age 3, likes to play with her big sister all the time. My oldest daughter wants a dollhouse for her birthday, but I’m very concerned with purchasing it because of all the little pieces. How can I keep my children safe and happy?
A: Oh, this is a tricky one! Lots of parents face this issue, and I can see the dilemma. While you want both of your children to play together and grow closer, you also want to keep them both safe. The best advice I can give is just to be there while your children play.
Keep a watchful eye on both of them, and if you’re older daughter is old enough, have her also look out for her younger sister. Don’t put all the responsibility on her, but try to instill a sense of duty and protectiveness towards her little sister. And if the little sister is old enough, teach her how to properly play with small toys. Also, teach both your daughters how to deal with broken or damaged toys. If a toy breaks into many pieces, they should immediately tell an adult and be careful of the area as to not injure themselves.
Q: What materials are dollhouses and doll furniture usually made of?
A: Usually, dollhouses and doll furniture are made of a treated wood or of a plastic compound. Both materials are great options, and choosing between either comes down to aesthetics and pricing. A hand-carved dollhouse made of sturdy oak or birch will cost way more than a large, plastic dollhouse. The plastic dollhouses are just as durable as the wooden dollhouses, usually, and they are often safer.
This is because the plastic dollhouses aren’t as likely to break or splinter. But plastic dollhouses do, at times, lack the charm and character of a wooden dollhouse. So, if you’re trying to decide between materials, shop around and pay special attention to price and atmosphere. And, the most important factor, see which one your child gravitates toward.
Children, even at the age of 4, are already forming their own style and know very well what they like. So, whether you choose a plastic dollhouse or a wooden one, know both materials have their ups and downs. It all depends on the individual, and of course, what the little ones’ love!
Q: How can I keep my child’s dollhouse clean and orderly?
A: If you’re referring towards to outside appearance, like scuff marks or dirt, then you first need to identify what the dollhouse is made of. Usually, the manufacturer’s website has not only the materials, but also tips and tricks on how to best clean the dollhouse. If you can’t find that information, a good rule of thumb is to clean the house with warm water and a gentle cleaning solution.
But, if you’re referring to the pieces in the dollhouse and how to teach your child to properly pick up after themselves, that’s a whole other beast. The best option is this situation is to make a game out of it. Act as if the dolls want to have their house clean and spiffy. This incentivizes the child to clean up themselves to keep their dolls happy. If your child is a bit too old for that technique, then they’re usually old enough to listen to reason. Simply talk with your child, and maybe set up rules and consequences for play time etiquette.
Q: What fun, educational games or activities can I incorporate with my child’s dollhouse during playtime?
A: Playing with a dollhouse and dolls can already be a very fun and educational experience. If your child is 9 or younger, then playing with a dollhouse contributes to both their imagination and their communication skills. This is because the act of playing with dolls in an environment that your child controls gives them practice in social situations. For example, your child probably makes their friends or family members.
They then re-enact certain social situations such as playing games or having conversations. This re-enactment gives them not only practice for these situations in real life, but also the opportunity to craft an appropriate response. One thing you can do is use doll time as a way to teach your child about stranger danger. Set up the situation and then show your child the correct response towards strangers. This is both fun and educational, and it also gives you the opportunity to play with your child in their own environment.
Q: My child doesn’t show interest in dollhouses or pretend playtime. Should I be concerned by this?
A: Well, it’s important to take into account your child’s age. If they are over the age of 12, then dollhouses might just be too young for them now. There’s nothing wrong with a child’s interests changing as they get older. In fact, the changes are often a sign of maturity and growth that should be rewarded. If your child is younger and doesn’t play with dollhouses, but still performs some type of imaginative play, then that’s also fine.
The time to be concerned occurs when your child seems to never engage in pretend time or imaginative playtime. This could point to deeper issues such as autism or Asperger’s. Because children with these developmental conditions have a hard time defining things in non-literal terms, their social skills and educational development can be adversely affected. If you’re noticing a lack of creativity in your child along with other issues with socializing or communication, speak with your pediatrician on a possible diagnosis.