Doll Houses Provide a World for Your Child's Pretend Play
When I was a child in the UK, my Dad built a dollhouse for my sister and me. It was a duplex, with two homes back to back, one section for each of us - and yes, I played with it too, though my half of the house was used more a starting point for my trolls, who went off exploring the Amazon, flying to the Moon, or climbing Everest!
Later, Dad remade the dollhouse into two separate houses so that one of them could to come to my daughter in Canada - that's her in the picture with her dollhouse.
Dollhouse toys provide a framework for a whole range of pretend play that your child can create for her or himself. The doll house itself can be created using a range of methods to suit your family, from home-built using stacked cardboard boxes, decorated by your child, to a purchased mansion complete with lighting - and everything in between. What matters is not the materials or the cost, but what your kids make of it in their own minds, and the fun they get out of creating stories around the doll house and its people.
Dollhouse Toys are for Girls and Boys too
Granted most dollhouse aficionados are female, some boys do like to play with them too, and there's nothing to be worried about in that. Boys may grow up to be fathers, after all, and they will be part of a household just as much as girls will. My daughter's small friends enjoyed playing with her dollhouse as much as she did, including some of the boys - here at a birthday party, hence the spiffy red tie and sweater vest!
Dollhouse Toys from Melissa and Doug
One of the best lines of traditional-style dollhouse toys for kids comes from Melissa and Doug. These are good-quality toys with very high play value and will give your kids lots of fun with creative pretend play. Here's a selection of doll houses from Melissa and Doug.
More Doll Houses
What to put in the Dollhouse?
An empty dollhouse is pretty sad. It needs furniture, and accessories, and most of all, people.
The people don't need to be human. I've seen dollhouses inhabited by trolls and dinosaurs and they both seemed to work just fine! As long as your kids can invest the characters with personality, they will be happy with them.
Dollhouse characters and people available to buy run the gamut from realistic people, through cartoonish people, to animals. People from other toy series like Playmobil or LEGO can also be used. If your child loves a specific set of stories, books or TV shows, and the characters from that are available, they may make great "people" for the dollhouse. Kids don't care if the people are not in exact scale with the dollhouse!
Dollhouse Characters and People
Dollhouse Furniture and Accessories
I used to make my own dollhouse furniture - to fit the trolls living in the house - out of balsa sheet and model airplane glue. In fact I made so much of it that the trolls had to open a furniture store! It did break pretty easily, though, so we used it all up in the end and went back to the much better furniture that my Dad made for us - mine in light oak, my sister's in mahogany.
You may want to make or buy furniture for your child's dollhouse. Most important for very young children is sturdiness - no spindly chair legs! It's also important that the people in the house, fit in the furniture. Most kids won't care if they are not to the same scale, but if the furniture and accessories don't do what they are supposed to, frustration will result.