your first dollhouse

by mari

Melissa and Doug Natural Wood Fold and Go First Dollhouse and Furniture

The thing that Birdie wakes up and runs to, finishes eating and runs to, and carries around the house? Her vintage Fisher Price Little People Tudor Doll house. I was so excited to find that thing. It’s always so invigorating when she actually agrees with me! Yes, the toys are technically unsafe (the original Little People are now considered choking hazards), and it’s a little worn around the edges and only cost me five dollars at a random garage sale last spring. But she’ll spend more time with her peeps, their chairs (in and out and out and in), their beds and the door than with any other toy or non-toy in the house. Though one could go to etsy or ebay and find the same house for a chunk more than I did, we need more options! As I’m preparing to launch this year’s coveted, long-awaited SfB Holiday Gift Guide 2010, I’m realizing that a first dollhouse is a paramount item for the under 3 set.

But when you search for one? It’s mostly Dora the Explorer’s Dollhouse – which is apparently this season’s girly must-have. Or you’l find the other extreme where every dollhouse is amazing but costs at least $125. I thought I’d pull out a couple that fit Birdie’s play pattern, and our coin purses.

My favorite is the natural wood version of Melissa and Doug’s Fold and Go Dollhouse (shown above). It has all the basic features that make our Fisher Price house fascinating for a toddler – it opens and closes, has a handle, and a garage. However, it must be discontinued because it’s a little harder to find – snatch one up now!

The newer version of the Fold and Go Dollhouse appears to be painted – surprise – pink and purple. It’s still very nice, but you know, it’s pink. And it’s purple. Plus, they made it extra girly and removed the garage? Okay, whatever. I won’t go down that path – er, driveway?!

Playmobil Take Along Dollhouse is a starter home with, as the others, the same basic handle and open/close features. However the parts are smaller, the graphics are a little insipid, and the age grade is 4 and up. (I don’t always follow age grades, but I can see where this one has more details than you need).

And, moving away from fold and go with a second floor view, Educo makes a cute house called the Educo My Rooftop Garden Home Dollhouse It’s more open for easier access,but is geared more to the imaginary play side of things – which most toddlers aren’t ready for yet. Still, it’s a nice house that your tot would happily grow into and use for years.

So which house would you pick? Let us know in the comments! And if you have a dollhouse you already love, share that too!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen November 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

Fun post. The Playmobil Take Along Dollhouse looks great. I love items that close up and have handles. Portable and self contained!


2 Miz Big February 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Folding it up and putting it away has been fun for her – and a big help for me too when it comes to keeping things organized!


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