Gift Guide: The Best Doll Houses & Accessories For Your Doll-Obsessed Girl (or Boy!)
Greetings! We're so glad you've landed on one of our incredible 2016 What Moms Love Gift Guides for Kids. If you’re in the midst of frantically searching for the perfect toy for your child (or niece, or nephew, or friend’s kid, or…well, you get the picture) you can breathe a sigh of relief, because this is where you’ll find it. The gift that will not only get gasps of excitement when opening, but one that won’t be relegated to the bottom of a deep, dark storage bin.
In case you’re not familiar with our guides, we work year-round testing toys with kids of all ages and stages, and feature only the ones that repeatedly knocked their socks off. We arrange these gems in our different guides based on a child’s interests because we asked parents how they typically shop, and the overwhelming response was that they search for what their child is currently obsessing over – you know, that one “category” they just can’t get enough of.
For this particular guide, the child you're gifting must get pretty dang excited about anything to do with dolls, right?
Well can you imagine giving a gift to your child that will be played with almost every day for years, and will ultimately be saved as an heirloom to pass down to their own children? Kinda puts the pressure on to get the “right” one doesn’t it?
But a doll house is that special, and the decision shouldn’t be made lightly. But we understand, knowing which one is best for your child’s age and interests can be tricky – the number of choices is overwhelming, and it’s hard to know if they’re going to withstand the test of time.
But not to worry, we've done all the hard work for you. We’ve researched, assembled (tip: use a power drill with screwdriver tip!), and put these doll houses to the test with girls (and boys) of all ages. And it didn’t turn out to be that tough to make the final cuts – the cream definitely rose to the top quickly, and you might be surprised by some of the picks (spoiler alert: 2 of them don’t have any walls at all!)
And after you’ve made your perfect selection, don’t miss our Doll House Accessory section which will add to their house to make it the best one on the block.
But one last thing before we get to all the doll house winners - if you'd like to be alerted to any sales or special deals we receive on any of these gifts, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter. We'll also let you know when new guides launch (and we're always working on more!), and hook you up with our other exclusive content like our popular report: 10 Screen-Free Toys for Guaranteed Quiet Time That Will Let You Relax, Recharge, Or Put The Laundry Away.
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*recommended ages are from manufacturers; prices may vary from what is listed
Best Dollhouse Picks
Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Doll House (age 3+), $32.98
We love the Melissa & Doug Fold and Go dollhouses for young kids as the perfect introduction to living quarters for their small dolls, or as a nifty travel set to take to Grandmas. Open up the durable wooden house and arrange the included 11-piece furniture set and 2 movable play figures amongst the various rooms and 2 floors. Beautifully crafted, this set doesn’t take up a lot of room (perfect for smaller rooms or cluttered play spaces) and kids aged 3 and up will love to use it for all their smaller 3” creatures (think Calico Critters, Peppa Pig, Playmobil people, Little People, My Little Pony and more!) Our only beef: we wish it had a latch to safely secure it shut when in transit.
If you’re looking for something for a boy or a non-pink lover, Melissa & Doug also makes this Fold and Go Dollhouse in a slightly larger, plain wood version (that is actually super fun to paint and make your own) which also includes a cool garage with working door!
Also take a peek at our Princess Lovers Gift Guide which includes another foldable dollhouse in the form of a Castle!
KidKraft Chelsea Doll House (age 3+), currently on sale for $68!
If you’re looking for the perfect dollhouse for your 3-6 year old, look no further. The Chelsea Doll House from KidKraft isn’t an Amazon best seller by accident – it’s the high-quality construction (which warning: you do have to spend about an hour assembling), 3-levels, working open/close shutters, 17 pieces of wooden furniture, and 2 staircases that really propel it to the top.
Plus, it’s one of the few full-sized wooden dollhouses that isn’t a huge monstrosity: at under 3 ft. it’s the perfect size for a 4-year old to sit and play. The colors aren’t jarring and the styling is the perfect mix – not too modern, nor too vintage, just contemporary enough so they feel right at home. (editor’s note: my daughter absolutely adores her Chelsea Doll House, and every play date she has, it is the first thing they gravitate towards. It is the perfect size and can accommodate her beloved Magiclip princess dolls, Strawberry Shortcake girls and other 4” figures. You can do no wrong with this purchase!)
Hape DIY Dream Doll House (age 3+), $123.74
If you’re looking for a more modern-looking (and modern functioning) doll house, you can stop your search right here. The Hape DIY Dream Doll House has features that no other dollhouse on the market does, the most notable being the magnetic wall décor (frames, lights, TV, clock and more) that can be easily moved around on the walls. So cool, right?! The frames/TV pieces can even be customized with actual photos.
The layout of this doll house mirrors what people are looking for in real homes these days: an open floor plan. The rooms have few dividers which makes it easy for kids to move around the furniture without knocking it over, and great for multiple children playing at once. The fun colors and see-through railings and elevator add to its modern appeal, and the chalkboard walls on the backside adds another opportunity for creative play.
If you’re not sold already, you’ve got to go watch the video here and you too will be singing “I love it”.
If you’re looking for a dollhouse that will accommodate Barbie-sized 12” dolls, we have 2 top picks, both from KidKraft, which any child will instantly fall in love with.
KidKraft Majestic Mansion (age 3+), $141.99
The first is their Majestic Mansion, which has 4-floors, 8 rooms, 33 accessories, an open/close garage and a gliding elevator. We love its muted color scheme, and the nursery theme on the top floor, which can be used for your little girl's beloved babies.
KidKraft Girl’s Uptown Dollhouse (age 3+), $154
If you’re looking for something a little more modern and colorful, the Girl’s Uptown Dollhouse may be a better fit for you. It has 3-stories of living space, including an outdoor roof deck and pool (which you can really fill with water!), 35 wooden furniture pieces, and some neat working features like an on/off lamp, musical keyboard and flushing toilet. The elevator goes from the ground floor to the top which is a really nice feature for play.
Make sure you look at the measurements for these dollhouses and make sure you have enough space in your child’s room or playroom to accommodate them. They are BIG and will likely tower over your child (which does adds to the fun as they feel they’re really “part” of it), so triple check before you purchase (and assemble!)
KidKraft Everyday Heroes Play Set (age 3+), $87.88
If you have a police, firefighter or general car and truck lover in your brood, this “dollhouse” is a gotta-get item. Again with KidKraft’s quality construction and design, the Everyday Heroes Play Set comes with a ton of fantastic pieces including 3 vehicles (helicopter, motorcycle and fire truck), 2 bendable figures, 2 bendable dogs, a working bell, sliding pole and 28 pieces of wooden furniture!
But what we love the most is that both sides can fold inwards so that it becomes half the size – perfect for smaller spaces (and for hiding any clutter inside). The little boys we had playing with this did not leave its side for hours.
Land of Nod Carry Home Dollhouse (age 3+), $79
Now for something a bit (OK, a lot) different. The Carry Home Dollhouse from Land of Nod is a soft and flat version of every little girl’s dream home. Unlike regular dollhouses, this one is easy to carry and store-away, and perfect for taking on road trips or sleepovers. Open up the plush house and you’ll find beautiful appliquéd and embroidered details like a pull-down oven, tie-back curtains, and a tuck-in bed. It comes with a set of dolls and a full wardrobe of Velcro clothing to dress them up.
It also comes in an amazing Rocket Ship version with dress-up astronauts, robots and aliens!
Luca & Company IVI Play House Play Carpet (all ages), $99
Carrying on the theme of wall-less doll houses, the Luca & Company IVI Play House Play Carpet is a truly unique “house” that encourages open-ended play and unlimited creativity. If you look at the carpet, you’ll see that it’s actually the floor plan of a house, with raised sections to create walls and furniture, including bedrooms, kitchen, living room and even a bathroom. Kids can add real doll house furniture on top to make the scene really come to life, and easily move around any sized doll or figurine without being confined by walls. And bonus, it doubles as a soft rug!
best dollhouse accessories
Most of our recommended dollhouses come with a variety of furniture and accessories, but we recommend the following pieces to increase the play-factor even more.
Hape Modern Family Dolls (age 3+), $8.99 each or $39.99 for family of 5
If you’d like to fill your child’s dollhouse with some appropriate-sized figures, these 3 ½-4” Modern Family dolls from Hape are the best around. The high-quality wooden family members have bendable arms and legs, and feet big enough to stand (although like all figures of this type, you do have to find the right balance). And unlike some of the other wooden dolls, these ones are decidedly cool – no fuddy-duddys in sight.
You & Me Happy Family (age 3+), $16.22
Now although we are big proponents on the hard-wearing wooden figures, we have to admit, kids often gravitate to the plastic family set like peanut butter to jelly. We’re not quite sure why, perhaps they seem more “life-like”, but we do have a fondness for the You & Me Happy Family which includes mom, dad, sister and baby. And we’re warning you now, that baby is like gold. You’ll end up buying more sets just to get an extra baby!
Plan Toys Doll House Nursery (age 3+), $24.14
If your doll house didn’t come with a baby room set-up, it is an absolute must-have. We think this Doll House Nursery from Plan Toys is pretty darn great, and includes a changing table (with working drawer), high chair, crib (with bedding and mobile), a stroller and the most important part: a baby!
Plan Toys Family Pets (age 3+), $13.85
Another fun accessory to add to your child’s doll house are some cute little pets. The Plan Toys Family Pets is an adorable set with a dog, cat and bunny with accompanying home, food item and food dish. Your child will love to welcome these critters to their home, increasing play opportunities and storylines for their dolls.
Magic Cabin Blooming Fairy Fayre (age 3+) $24.98-$34.98
It’s always fun for kids to have a set-up outside their doll house to take their dolls for an “outing”. And what better place to take them than an amusement park! With the Blooming Fairy Fayre set from Magic Cabin, kids can bring their littlest friends for a spin on the Ferris Wheel, or a ride on the Merry-Go-Round. It's a beautiful, colorful set that our kid-tester's couldn't get enough of.
Fisher Price Loving Family SUV (age 3+), $20
And if your dolls are in need of a vehicle to get to said “outing”, the Fisher Price Loving Family SUV is the clear winner. Not only can it fit 6 dolls (with car seats for babies!), but the doors and tailgate open and close, the 3rd row flips up, the radio plays a tune and it even makes revving sounds as it rolls along. It’s your choice whether you add the batteries or not, but either way, this SUV is full of creative opportunities for your kids.
Well, there you have it, the-best-of-the-best doll houses that won't just collect dust in the corner.
If you liked this guide, make sure to click over and visit another one of the incredible 2016 What Moms Love Gift Guides For Kids:
- The Best Vehicle Toys For Car, Truck and Construction Junkies
- The Best Building Toys For Kids (From Blocks To Robots)
- The Best Gross Motor Indoor Toys For Active Kids (To Get That Energy Out!)
- The Very Best Babies, Dolls & Doll Accessories For All Ages & Stages
- The Best Princess-Themed Gifts For Your Little Princess
- 200+ Unique Stocking Stuffers For Babies To Teens (That Aren't Junk!)
And we're in the midst of testing products for new guides that will be released in 2017:
- The Best Arts & Crafts For Boys & Girls
- The Best Board Games For Solo, Sibling and Family Play
- The Best Toys For Super Hero & Star Wars Fanatics
Make sure you don't miss them by subscribing to our newsletter and we'll let you know the moment they launch. We’ll also inform you of any exclusive discounts or special deals on any of the toys included on our list:
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And if that’s not enough, if you’d prefer to gift something that isn’t a toy but rather an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime, an educational present that can expand their horizons, a fun practical item that can be used every day, or a sentimental treasure with deeper meaning, head over to our Unrivaled Guide To Non-Toy Gifts. 200+ Presents For Kids Of All Ages (That Aren’t Toys!)
This ultimate guide includes 5 parts:
- Non-Toy Gifts For Learning & Expanding Horizons
- Non-Toy Gifts To Spark Creativity, Imagination & Special Interests
- Non-Toy Gifts That Are Practical (But Far From Boring)
- Non-Toy Gifts For Making Memories
- Non-Toy Gifts To Receive In The Mailbox
BONUS! Free Printable Coupon Book
If you haven't made it to our Making Memories guide yet, we don't want you to miss out on our free printable coupon book. This includes 12 super fun coupons in Christmas, Hanukkah and Birthday designs that your kids will go gaga over. Plus blank templates for you to personalize your own. These make a wonderful stocking stuffer! Get more details and get the link to download here.
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