Gender-neutral alternatives to a pink, plastic dollhouse

by Whitney Moss on November 15, 2013

in Big Kid,Indoors,Link love,Preschooler

Dollhouse recommendations from Rookie Moms

The dollhouse above, aka Mrs. Goodbee, is pretty great. It has two sides so more kids can play at once; it features audio effects (my daughter loves the toilet flushing sound); and, it was designed to teach manners. After the toilet flushes, a voice calls out, “Wash your hands!” But my kids don’t play with it much anymore because it reads GIRL and neither Julian or Scarlett are super girly.

When I was recently asked about dollhouse recommendations, I quickly thought of a bunch of ways we could get more play value out of a dollhouse-like product, that’s not your standard pink mansion.  Here are my picks for imaginative environments that provide the fun of miniature accessories and the benefit of acting out family dynamics through play.

A house that is created through construction play can be accomplished with this DUPLO set.

Dollhouse alternatives and recommendations from Rookie Moms

Or, StoryWalls, launching any minute, by start-up Build & Imagine, which enables children to construct a play environment with themed magnetic panels. {Pre-order now – ships next month.}

Dollhouse recommendations from Rookie Moms

Children who love animals may get into the Calico Critters franchise. These little forest animals have houses, and you can buy more components to expand the collection over time.  Get a tree house or a regular house. Or a tent. More little animals could be stuffed in stockings. This is the “Luxury Town Home”. Warning: All creatures sold separately and a pack of four small animals appears to be about $23. Yikes!

Dollhouse recommendations for boys and girls from Rookie Moms

 


Another direction is to skip the doll house and just buy furniture and a family. Children can play with them in cardboard boxes, on blankets, or on a small table you assign for this activity. I’ve even cleared out a bookshelf and laid scrapbook paper down to evoke a living space.

Wanna buy a dollhouse? Recommendations from Rookie Moms
I like the accessories from Plan Toys (bunk beds!), but also think their modern, wood, eco-friendly dollhouse looks pretty great:

Dollhouse recommendations from Rookie Moms


Playmobil is another strategy. Instead of a house, think castle or farm. (Or get a house.) This is their “Farm House Construction Set with Market”

Dollhouse alternatives - a list of recommendations from Rookie Moms

Magic Cabin is the seller of non-electronic, non-plastic, Waldorf- approved toys – for people who are into faeries and woodland creatures. This Tree Fort Kit is so cool, and so are many of their other dollhouse alternatives.

Dollhouse alternatives for boys and girlsDo you have a dollhouse? Does it get a lot of use?

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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