December 5, 2016

Gender Neutral Dollhouses

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When I was three, I got a dollhouse for Christmas, built by my talented Papa (he went on to make grandfather clocks and I’m honored to have one in my dining room.) I was so excited; it was a memory I’ll never forget. As I got older, I remember decorating the walls inside with wrapping paper for wallpaper and placing the delicate furniture my grandmother got me in the different rooms.

I’m grateful for my thoughtful parents who carefully saved this dollhouse that is now sitting in Sienna’s room here in Portland (all the way from Arkansas via a stint in Nashville) and I’m so glad we lugged that around all these years. The coolest part? My papa painted the house yellow with white trim all those years ago…the exact colors of our new house in Portland. (Cue all the tears).

I know not everyone can have a talented Papa around to make a custom dollhouse, but I’ve found some seriously cute, high-quality options that will bring years of joy for your little.

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Why gender-neutral?  Well…for two reasons:  First, here at TME we strongly believe in moving past old, limiting stereotypes and embracing the child you have, whatever that may mean, and….as it turns out, non-gender biased dollhouses are less-gimmicky, more décor-friendly dollhouses, too.  The simpler designs allow for kiddos’ imaginations to run wild and give us mamas who enjoy a peaceful looking home a great option we don’t have to relegate to the toy closet. When on the hunt for these little houses, the designer in me was tempted to only choose the natural wooden ones, but I did find some cute, colorful wooden houses, too.

(My poor child and her black & white, neutral-toned life, haha. Except for the yellow dollhouse, of course.)

Check out the fun options I found below.

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Wooden Options

Left to right:

Small World Toys Ryan’s Room Home Again Home Again – This is probably my favorite of the dollhouses for younger kiddos. This one is so adorable with two rows of little flowers on the balcony. It also has a top handle making it easy for kiddos to carry. You can add on a Relaxing Style Living Room Furniture Set (rather than the non-relaxing living room?) and family sets in Asian, Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian options. Super cute.

Plan Terrace Dollhouse with furniture
(2 rooms) – I’ve always wanted a house with a terrace and an open feel, but I think I’d skip out on the blue roof. Plan Toys make really quality toys for kiddos. I love the accessibility of this design for multiple kiddo play.

Plan Toys Green Dollhouse – OMG. Can I please live here? This one is selling out and I think you can see why. Adorable, modern and seriously eco-friendly. This one includes a wind turbine, solar cell panel, rain barrel, biofacade and furniture. My move-in date TBD.

Plan Toys My First Dollhouse – This is another great sturdy, last-forever option. It’s larger than it seems here at 25″ high and 23″ long. Plenty of room for play on this one.  There’s a tiny floral spring wallpaper on the walls but it looks very subtle in the photos and retro. I love the natural wood tones of this one and how open it is for an A-frame. It also gets ‘easy to assemble’ and ‘sturdy’ reviews.

Small World Toys Ryan’s Room Home Is Where The Heart Is  Sienna’s preschool, The Peanut Gallery (yes, the name was part of the reason we chose it), has this dollhouse. It is a staple in the school and Sienna has loved it from day one there. This one is large enough for multiple kids to play with and I like how open and accessible it is from all sides. It is a bit more of an investment, but super high quality, a workhorse and a cute one at that. They’ve had this for years with heavy, heavy wear, as you can imagine at a preschool, and it still looks great. This would be one that will last for years and you would pass down to friends or family.


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Colorful Options

Left to right:

Melissa and Doug Hi-Rise – This Melissa & Doug house comes with 15 pieces of furniture and has a working garage and elevator! Whoa. I love the checkered floor in the entryway, too. If you’re looking for a colorful option, this one is on sale for almost half off right now. We have quite a few Melissa and Doug products and I’ve always been happy with the quality.

Plan Toys Chalet – This chalet style comes in two pieces so kids can rearrange the layout. Plan Toys uses non-toxic, organic products like rubber wood in their dollhouses. Serious thumbs up for that. This is one of the largest houses at a whopping 23″x 14″ x 30″…SO much room for play in a super cool modern style. I adore this color way and the style of this one, but it’s selling out quickly. It also comes in a slightly different version with furniture included.

Plan Toys Creative Play – This adorable house is a great smaller size but in a cute modern design. It has 3 units that can be arranged in over 10 different ways. It features 1 movable staircase, 2 solar cell roofs that can flip and create into a garden, 6 movable decoration walls, 2 glass fences and sets of modern furniture for the bedroom, a living room, a bathroom, kitchen and dining room. (Includes total of 28 pieces) SO cute, and a great choice for a compact option.

Hape Geometrics – I love this simple little house for younger kiddos (3+ as small parts are included) It comes with the people and furniture shown and you can rearrange the house shapes to create a variety of interesting home layouts. SO fun. It’s a manageable size but still room for play at 23″ x 5″ x 11″

Abigail Dollhouse with furniture – This one is one of the brightest color-wise and includes, check it, 54 pieces of furniture, 4 dolls and a pet dog (because, of course!) It has moveable stairs and a handle on top for easy carry. This definitely has the most bang for your buck if you’re cool with the color.

Hape All Seasons – This is one of the more popular houses, with 202 4.75-star reviews. It comes furnished with insanely adorable furniture, has solar panels painted on the roof and even some landscaping in the front. This is a larger sized house, too, at 23″ x 11″ x 29″

 

Are you all done with your holiday shopping yet? I keep thinking I’m close and then realize the list keeps growing. We’re trying to focus on the ‘something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read’ formula for our immediate family this year. It helps to approach it that way, but I’ll admit it is tough to stick to a plan when you get tempted by all the fun stuff.

We’re off to get our Christmas tree now since we were gone until Monday. I’m gonna blast the Christmas music all the way there and back. Sorry Pinky! It’s the most wonderful time of year, after all!

L

16 Comments
  • Christy Hartman
    December 5, 2016

    Santa gave our four year old son a dollhouse two years ago. About a week before Christmas, “Santa” spent two hours putting together over 100 pieces. The next day when my son told my father he asked Santa for a dollhouse, my father’s response was, “But dollhouses are for girls”. Needless to say, Santa was PISSED, ripped into my father via text, my father had to do some serious damage control. Ultimately, he was successful in getting my son excited about the idea of a dollhouse and he still plays with it.
    BUT I’m glad to see the selection is better than it was two years ago. My son’s house has a couple purple and pink walls, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

  • Rachel
    December 5, 2016

    My 4 year old son has been asking for a doll house! These are perfect. My only hesitation is that I don’t really want a huge thing sitting out all the time…. I may just have to get over that. Thank you for the gender neutral slant! My son has a lot of traditional girl preferences (including wearing dresses) that some people balk at. It’s nice to see some mainstream content reflecting my unique and perfect son.

    • Laura Jansen
      December 5, 2016

      I’m so glad to provide a few ideas! And your son is unique and perfect! I hope you find the perfect house for him. xo

  • Suz
    December 5, 2016

    I have 2 boys and struggled to get them things like play kitchens and doll houses that didn’t look like Barbie threw them up. I got my younger son a Playmobil house and it’s great. The pieces are very, very small, though, so I wouldn’t get it for a kid younger than 4.

  • Holly
    December 5, 2016

    We have a Calico Critter house, both my son and daughter LOVE it, and pretty much all children who come over play with it. I can’t find a link to the one we have (it’s about 3 years old) but I seem to remember they have a variety of them. If you don’t know Calico Critters, look them up- adorable animal families.

  • Leslie
    December 5, 2016

    I wanted to get my 2-year-old daughter a big, gender-neutral, wooden, Waldorf style dollhouse for Christmas this year, so I have been nerding over these choices for months! I went with the unfurnished Hape All Seasons based on the reviews and I can’t wait to put it together.

  • Hayley
    December 5, 2016

    Take a look at manzanita’s various houses. Very open ended and you can change them around. Also, they’re made in Seattle! http://www.manzanitakids.com/modular/

    • Adrienne
      December 6, 2016

      I’ve gotten a few things from Manzanita in the past, including the modular dollhouse. Great design and workmanship. Highly recommend too!!!

  • annasoon
    December 5, 2016

    Oh my goodness!! I never thought of a doll house for Elliott, but now I want to add it to his Christmas list! Thanks so much for the info!!

  • LauraB
    December 5, 2016

    Last year we got our then 3 year old son a dollhouse (Melissa and Doug) for Christmas after he asked for one (complete with a baby blue convertible car). It has held up well and is super cute. He find that he mostly plays with it with others and it get more use as “hot wheel” house. The play kitchen we bought him the same year was a near bust, but again gets lots of use during play dates. I think kids have to be into a certain kind of imaginary play to get daily use out of a doll house, and since it is SO big…I don’t think it is a must for every kid. Great choices though.

    • Laura Jansen
      December 14, 2016

      Totally. My daughter definitely plays with her dollhouse and kitchen more when friends visit. But so great for imaginary play!

  • lilchickshan
    December 6, 2016

    We just got a dollhouse for our turning 3 this month birthday girl. We have 2 girls, but still went with a big gender neutral kid kraft one. The idea behind the big all sided one was that multiple kids could play at once and it could accommodate up to Barbie size dolls for more years of play. Our play kitchen from last year still gets regular use, so looking forward to this one getting several years of good use too. These are so great that they are gender neutral, big and open, for lots of kid play.

  • Hope
    December 9, 2016

    I wish I had seen this post last week! I bought this one two days ago. I was drawn to the all wooden ones, but didn’t want to have to buy furnishings and dolls separately. This is a good price point, too! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N2IPITD/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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