Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about the best toys for kids before — including the best dollhouses, the best toy kitchen sets, and even the next unicorn toy craze — here we’ve rounded up the best playhouses, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated kids’ playhouse
With over 1,100 reviews, the USA Toyz Rocket Ship Play Tent is by far the most loved playhouse on Amazon. Reviewers are consistently impressed by the overall design, the included projector flashlight, and the well-made materials, specifically the nylon cover and the tent poles. “Full marks for the design and concept,” writes one reviewer. “This tent is defiantly kid-proof — the design of the poles makes it impossible to break despite how rough the kids can be on the tent sometimes, and the fabric of the tent hasn’t ripped — it’s such good quality and [well-sized and] the kids love it,” raves another.
Lots of reviewers also note how spacious the tent is, along with the ease of assembly. “Setup time was about four minutes,” writes one grandparent with a 4-year-old grandson. “This tent is fantastic! It’s a big 3.5 feet across at the base by over 4.5 feet tall! I was able to easily climb inside! The whole thing easily folds away into a small bag that measures just 15 by 18 inches,” writes another.
Best-rated (less expensive) kids’ playhouse
At a (slightly) more affordable price, reviewers love this pop-up playhouse for its overall design and durability. “I was so tickled with how cute it is!” writes one grandmother. Adds another parent: “This garden-patterned tent is so beautiful.” The tent has also been praised as being “[high]-quality and easy to set up.”
Reviewers were impressed that the house includes four windows and a door so it doesn’t get “stuffy when [kids] play inside all day long.” It’s also a great pick for larger families: “This tent is very big!!! It fits my 8-year-old and my 14-year-old son, and he is large for his age. It takes up half my living room.”
And now, some micro-picks for every type of playhouse you might be looking for.
Best kids’ outdoor playhouse
“This has quickly become a favorite item for my two little ones to play with every time they go outside! It has become a perfect shaded water play area,” says one reviewer, summarizing the appeal of this Playtime Patio from Step2. And kids enjoy it, as well: “The girls absolutely loved it. Couldn’t get away from it the second they saw it. It was even bigger than I thought it would be from the picture, so I’m happy with the purchase.” One reviewer says that the open-air pavilion design of the outdoor playhouse is especially great because “kids can play both on the inside and outside of it,” and another loves it because she can “see if [the kids] are playing nicely.” The covering also “provides good shade so you don’t have to worry about the sun” while your kids “play in it for hours.”
Best outdoor kids’ playhouse with slide
“We love it!!!! My daughter is almost 2 and has a blast on it! Even her 3-, 6-, and 8-year-old cousins can enjoy it!” writes one reviewer. Many reviewers note that while “the instructions were frustrating” and that “you will definitely need to have a power drill handy,” assembly is relatively quick. One grandmother writes, “I ordered this for my grandkids (1, 2, 4 years) and they love it! It seems really sturdy and I think they will get a few good years out of it. It took grandpa and dad about two hours to put it together, from start to finish.” The slide is another feature that’s loved by both parents and kids: “What a great outdoor play place! The slides are a great height so if my kiddo falls it’s a learning lesson, not a medical issue.”
Best playhouse for toddlers
Reviewers say this ball-pit playhouse is “hours of fun!” and “a huge hit” with toddlers. One reviewer says, “When assembled, this thing is a fortress! I know this playhouse will last a long time because of the durability of the structure.” “We have 1-year-old twins and they love this! It seems sturdy enough that we don’t mind them climbing all over it. Nothing has broken on it yet and if there was something that was easy to break, these boys would have found it,” echoes another.
Best kids’ indoor playhouses
Reviewers call this playhouse “absolutely adorable,” “sturdy,” “seriously cute,” and “perfect for your princess!” In general, they recommend using it mostly for indoor play, although you “can take it outside on sunny days.” The taffeta, princess-themed playhouse also comes with a string of star-shaped lights to decorate it with. “My niece is 6 and it’s almost impossible to get her to come out of this thing.”
The Easy Playhouse is made of 100 percent recyclable cardboard. Many reviewers noted the fun and creativity the blank-canvas design fostered, as well as the remarkable durability. “I was originally against the idea of this playhouse. I mean, it’s just as good as a giant cardboard box, right? WRONG. This playhouse was a gift on Christmas morning and became THE favorite gift. Guys, it’s March now, and this thing is still intact and still played with DAILY and is really only getting cuter the more and more my kids decorate it,” writes one reviewer. “Over a month after opening and my rowdy toddler is still having fun with this! I could not be more pleased with how it has held up to his activities, considering it is made of regular cardboard,” seconds another.
“As a mom of five kids — aged 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 — I think you cannot put a price on sanity. This tent is worth the money for a few days of peace,” one parent writes. One reviewer with a 2-year-old was impressed that “it’s large enough for mom and dad to fit inside and play.” Another reviewer writes, “Who doesn’t remember loving to build forts as a kid or having your own clubhouse?? My niece and nephew (4 and 6, respectively) LOVE this tent! My 4-year-old niece helped me put this together as it is soooo easy a monkey could do it! Stands up great and is super roomy for adults to join in, if necessary!” Another parent notes, “It is pretty flimsy and can be knocked down very easily (my 3.5-year-old likes to instigate his little brother to knock it down so he’ll get into trouble) … But for the price and the amount of use they get out of it it is worth it.”
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