Did You Know?The oldest known miniature houses furnished with accessories were found in Ancient Egyptian tombs. Created nearly 5,000 years ago, these wooden miniatures served religious purposes.
Dollhouses are magical. In this tech-savvy age where endless new gadgets and toys are made every day, dollhouses remain popular not just among kids but many adults as well. They can range from simple cardboard boxes stacked one above the other to multimillion-dollar miniature houses displayed in museums.
There is something about miniature houses with their detailed furnishing and accessories that entices everyone. It is the perfect toy for pretend play as it stimulates the child's imagination and allows him/her to create the perfect dream world.
With so many types of dollhouses available in the market, from the traditional wooden dollhouses to modern-day Barbie houses, picking the right one for your child can be really confusing. Here are a list of things that you need to consider when choosing a dollhouse for your kid.
Choose the Right Material
Dollhouses are made of either plastic, wood, or cardboard. Traditional wooden dollhouses, being quite popular, are mostly made of 9 mm thick MDF board or plywood. Due to their sturdiness and durability, these dollhouses remain a favorite among kids as well as miniature collectors. Moreover, they can become a wonderful family heirloom that is passed on to the next generation. If you are looking for wooden dollhouses, then you should take a look at the Melissa & Doug Multi-Level Wooden Dollhouse
and KidKraft Kayla Dollhouse
. These dollhouses, however, are quite expensive, and some may not accommodate all your existing dolls.
Apart from wooden dollhouses, modern plastic dollhouses also find favor among kids since they are available in bright and colorful designs. Also, they are cheaper than wooden dollhouses. The hard plastic is durable, easy to clean, and can be molded easily for beautiful details. Moreover, you can buy a range of accessories and furniture for these dollhouses at lower prices. Some popular plastic dollhouses include: Barbie Dreamhouse
, Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle
, and Fisher-Price Loving Family - Family Manor
If you are interested in DIY crafts, then you can make cardboard dollhouses at home. Not only are they fun to play with, but can also be made at virtually no cost. All you need is some cardboard boxes, colorful paper along with glue, scissors, and other craft supplies. Cardboard dollhouses made at home may not be sturdy, but they are really fun to make, and you can easily customize them.
Various scaled-down versions of dollhouses are available in the market―1:12, 1:24, and 1:48. If the dollhouse is 1:12 in scale, it means the dollhouse and all its contents are one-twelfth the size of its life-sized equivalent. The 1:12 scaled dollhouses are the most popular ones among kids. The other scales are usually smaller and are meant for collectors rather than for a child's play.
Larger-sized dollhouses, also known as playscale dollhouses, are meant to accommodate play dolls such as Barbies. Usually these are made of plastic, but you can find some large wooden ones that accommodate your existing dolls as well. These large dollhouses are really handy when there are a group of two or more children at play and can also store the child's toys as well. This means lesser clutter.
Choose the Right Styles and Themes
When buying a wooden dollhouse, you need to check the type and styles of dollhouses in the market. Usually, dollhouses are modeled after popular periods of architecture. This include: Georgian, Tudor, Victorian, Antique, and Edwardian dollhouses. Of course, there are modern dollhouses as well. If you are a collector, then it is a good idea to decide the period you plan to decorate and furnish it in.
Dollhouse Accessories are Important
Like the dollhouse, its accessories are also extremely important. These include furniture for different rooms including miniature sofa sets, coffee tables, beds, and even small bassinets for nurseries. Décor elements like lamps, wall arts, tiny plants, and miniature rugs add a personalized feel to the dollhouse. Kitchen appliances such as ovens and refrigerators, outdoor elements like swimming pools and swing sets, and cars can be purchased to complete the life like feel of the dollhouse. You should also ensure that the accessories are either included or easily available.
You can either choose a fully-assembled dollhouse or buy a dollhouse kit that your child can assemble. While you may want to buy a completely finished dollhouse for a toddler or a younger child, an older kid may enjoy assembling and customizing her own dollhouse.
Consider the Age of the Child
The younger your child, the more concerned you are likely to be about small parts and sharp corners. While rich detailing may look good, it can raise concerns about small pieces and parts. This is the reason why parents tend to opt for dollhouses that are designed for young children and do not have tiny, intricate details. These are much better for older kids and collectors. Check the warning and the age limitations when buying a dollhouse.
There are dollhouses made for every budget. From cheap, mass-produced plastic houses to handmade dollhouses costing thousands of dollars, you can choose one that suits your budget. The accessories often add to the cost, so if you are looking for a cheaper dollhouse, then ensure that you get one with accessories that are included.
You also need to consider whether the dollhouse is suitable for solitary play or for a group of kids. With the bewildering choices of dollhouses, it can be difficult to get the right one. Do not just blindly choose the one the salesperson recommends. Look at the features and quality before choosing the best dollhouse that is sure to enthrall your child.