10 Best Outdoor Playhouses in 2017

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This Christmas, parents all over the globe will again be crowding department stores, novelty shops, specialty retailers, and even toy stores for the perfect gift they can give to their most precious loved ones – their kids. One of the perennially popular Christmas presents is a playhouse for kids. Available in different shapes, sizes, styles, and designs, playhouse kits are a sure hit every time the season of giving draws near. This year, you can surprise your kid with one of our top 10 outdoor playhouses and watch their eyes glow with amazement and their hearts jump for joy.

Here are our 10 best and most amazing garden playhouse sets for your child.

How We Chose the Top Outdoor Playhouse Kits in Our List

How difficult can it be to pick the top 10 outdoor playhouses, right? It’s as simple as getting the best-looking product at the most affordable price. Unfortunately, there can be literally hundreds of “best-looking” and truly “affordable” children’s playhouses. This means that you have to scrutinize each one of them. And this is exactly what we did.

First, we made sure to list down all the best-looking and realistically affordable kiddie house kits. Yes, we also included cheap playhouses just for those of us who are not really into buying very expensive stuffs that will only be used for a few years by our kids. We ended with less than a hundred items that match our preliminary criteria.

Next, we determined the developmental appropriateness of the product. Many of these products have features not found in other playhouse kits. In such cases, we knew we had to scrutinize the product feature and determine its implications in the overall development of today’s young kids.

We then evaluated each one for the soundness of its overall design. This included the safety and quality of the materials that were used in its design and manufacture. As much as possible we tried to look for indicators of superb quality control measures such as certifications from recognized federal testing and evaluation agencies and third party quality testing organizations. If the product also received a particular award for its design or even its intended use, then we had to consider this, too. This also addressed our inherent need to make sure the company can be trusted to provide us with products that are of the highest possible quality and safety.

We then had to read volumes of customer feedback as well as comments regarding the product. We had to feel confident that we are also making the right choice in including a particular product in our list of 10 most amazing outdoor or garden playhouses. So, our evaluation of the products must be somewhat similar to what parents and other consumers think about these kiddie house sets.

The process was not really easy but somehow, we’d like to believe that we did a really excellent job.

Playhouses and Your Kid’s Imaginative Play

Imaginative play among kids has always been equated to the development of their cognitive skills as well as emotional and social competence. One of the most useful toys or play sets when it comes to encouraging the full use of imagination by kids is a play house. It doesn’t really need to be as real as what we adults call home but it should provide just enough structure to allow kids to use their imagination to fill in the gaps.

For example, a kiddie home that has only 4 walls, a roof, 3 windows, and a door is often enough to help encourage children to use their thinking abilities. They will have to think about how they would like their “home” to look like, where to place the kitchen, and how to improve the overall appearance of their home. Children will still look to what they have in their real house and then try to modify these a bit to fit in the small space of the kiddie home. This requires problem solving and a good sense of proprioception and spatial relations. For instance, they may require a kiddie refrigerator to complete their kitchenette. With their spatial understanding, they will know just how big, or small, their play ref should be to fit inside the already cramped space.

While playhouses can help children hone their cognitive prowess, it is the enhancement of their social and emotional skills that is worth noting. Children prefer to play kiddie houses with their respective friends. Each one will typically play a different role so that the home will be managed effectively. For example, one will serve as the Mom, the other as the Dad, and the rest as children in the family. The important thing to remember is that imaginative play using playhouse kits help develop social and emotional skills by giving children the opportunity to interact, cooperate, and collaborate with other children regarding the different roles each one has to play. We can look at the playhouse as a venue for these kiddie social interactions.

The Bottom Line

Getting a playhouse for kids this Christmas to give to your precious child could be the most amazing thing we can do for them this year. Not only are we giving them the instrument to have lots of fun, we are also providing them the tool to grow and develop better. With the 10 best outdoor playhouses we have listed herein, we are confident your kids will have a merrier Christmas this 2016.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!

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