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Doll Houses- what to consider?

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#1 MsLaurie

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:06 PM

Miss nearly-5 seems to love playing with doll houses at Kinder and at friends’ places, and always checks them out at the toy shop.
So, thinking this will work for a birthday gift (& maybe ask the grandparents to furnish it!), but not sure what to look for-
With a door front or open?
With or without stairs?
How many levels?
What furnishings are important?

She usually takes good care of her things, but her baby sister will very soon be a toddler so that’s a factor in terms of required durability!

Suggestions? Recommendations? Things to definitely avoid?

#2 Lunafreya

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:16 PM

Have you thought of Sylvanian Families?  They are quite durable and have doors that open, stairs, working lights as well as cute little animals.

My DS5 loves his "Meow House" and they were very good for his pretend play.

#3 BornToLove

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:23 PM

DD loves a good doll house, she’s 9.5 and still can be found playing with hers (got it when she was 2).

I think it could be a series of boxes sticky taped together, but as long as it has furniture and a few dolls, she would be happy with it. My only advice is get something durable and try to kit it out as much as you can (and yes, have grandparents and relatives help out in this regard).

#4 Jingleflea

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:35 PM

I wouldn't do Sylvanian Families if there's a baby in the house.

SO MANY tiny things in those sets!

I bought DD the Le Toy Van (one of anyway) dolls house from Peters of Kensington a few years ago. It's 3 levels and the roof comes off.

I'd go a sturdy wood, 2 levels, you can get good furniture and dolls from Kmart and Aldi these days.

#5 Lunafreya

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:41 PM

The tiny things I have found are in small bags. When we got them we took these out and put them away.

#6 Charli73

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:43 PM

I found a wooden one with furniture on marketplace for $45, 3 stories and big enough for her Barbie dolls so she could use them in it.

Something to think about if she loves Barbie. I’m sure you don’t have to spend a lot.

#7 rosie28

Posted 26 September 2019 - 05:44 PM

We have a Le Toy Van one my MIL described as a “starter” dolls house. It has two levels, a roof that opens etc. We’ve added a car for the family and a cat and dog as pets. It gets a workout!

#8 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:13 PM

Check out Kmart. They have a range of wooden doll houses. And you can repaint, glue up scrapbooking paper etc to redecorate if you don't like the colour scheme. At Kmart prices you won't feel bad doing that. They do also have a small range of furniture but you could just buy the Slyvanian Families/Calico critters furniture sets to decorate with.

#9 BeAwesome

Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:25 PM

My kids had a KidKraft wooden one, that was 3 stories.  I thought it was cool, but neither of my girls ended up liking playing with dolls, so it only typically got used when other kids were visiting.

#10 EmmDasher

Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:35 PM

Think about the cost and availability of all the furniture. Some of them have odd scales and you’re locked into a really expensive brand. My girls have my old wooden one and the only compatible and readily available furniture was Sylvanian families.

If I was choosing from scratch I’d get a really simple wooden one from Kmart/ikea and very basic furniture items. Too many pieces is overwhelming.

#11 Grrrumbles

Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:50 PM

We have a Kidcraft one (pre loved) furnished with KMart Wooden Furniture. Our Little Shops live there too so the baby doll has nappies and the dog has dog food.

It gets a little use but not enough to spend hundreds on. It sits directly on the floor so does get dusty too - factor in cleaning staircases and bannisters if you get a fancy one.

#12 seayork2002

Posted 26 September 2019 - 08:12 PM

My dad made me one I wanted a plain one so I move the rooms around myself, no doors for me

#13 laridae

Posted 26 September 2019 - 08:59 PM

We have a big open one for barbie sized dolls which came with furniture and a number of Sylvanian families ones.
The Sylvanian families get played with a lot more and take up less room.

#14 Riotproof

Posted 27 September 2019 - 11:07 AM

Can I please jump on your thread to ask

Are there any Barbie suitable doll houses that are not ginormous?

#15 *Melstar*

Posted 27 September 2019 - 02:22 PM

We love our Sylvanian Families stuff. And we got it when there was a baby in the house. Kinda like anything, just have to manage access to it!

The quality of Sylvanian F stuff is good. Prices are decent too. There's always sales around on it, especially at online stores. Plus anyone can contribute. We now have two houses, two cars, about 15 different animals, decorations, accessories, furniture... collected across four years so far, Christmas and birthdays. It definitely gets played with still, at age 8. I can see it lasting for quite a while longer too.

#16 Ayr

Posted 27 September 2019 - 02:40 PM

We had several kinds both wooden and plastic and found the fisher price one the best. We bought a set for each room and the people and it was done. It got the most use and was very sturdy.

#17 Little Bean

Posted 27 September 2019 - 03:31 PM

We have lots of Sylvanian Families stuff too, it is loved by both DD and DS. I find it is a good scale for lots of smaller dolls including, if your daughter is into them or gets into them, LOL Surprise.
DD also has a Kmart dollhouse but it gets less use than the Sylvanians ones.
She did have a huge Barbie dreamhouse she got when she was about 3 but it didn't get a lot of use, despite her being very into Barbie at the time. I think it's because all the Barbie stuff is much bigger, the smaller sets are a good fit for small hands.

#18 Riotproof

Posted 29 September 2019 - 05:24 PM

Just stumbled on this and thought I’d share. Very good value for dolls house furniture I think. https://cleverstuff....ture-set-26-pce No experience was just browsing.

#19 MsLaurie

Posted 29 September 2019 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for input everyone!
Thinking i’ll go with one of the ones that close, so it looks a bit neater when not in use.
Also thinking i’ll divide the rooms up between the grandparents so one can buy kitchen & bedrooms, the other lounge & bathroom. Will give them something to hunt down and reduce the number of other presents!!

#20 aprilrainatxmas

Posted 29 September 2019 - 10:27 PM

Instead of a doll's house that fits Barbies I'd go with this


My daughter had a previous issue 2nd hand one  and basically played with it like a dollhouse with Barbies and Monster High dolls.

I did buy a small doll's house at some stage which was fine and got lots of use.

I also bought  one of these from Big W massively marked down. Barely got played with. It was just too big.
I think I left it too late too. I really thought she would play with it until about 12 but 9/10yo all over!

For a big one go secondhand. If it's ends up being not flash enough it will be easy to sell and upgrade.

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