Lots of kids want a playhouse, but not all of them get one. For many parents, the easiest option is to go for a collapsible one made from poles and material – something that can be put up and enjoyed and then put away again.

But there’s a lot to be said for something more permanent. A playhouse made from wood is the ideal solution and it can be finished in all kinds of ways, too. A natural wood stain will protect the wood and make it fit in with the rest of the garden. Alternatively, a bright colour chosen by your kids will help them make it their own.

What’s the appeal of playhouses?

Where to begin? Kids have boundless imaginations, and a playhouse can become anything from a pirate ship to a treehouse, or a shop to a mansion. The choice is theirs. The playhouse is just the beginning.

If you’re wondering whether your kids would benefit from a playhouse in the garden, just think of the inspiration and imagination it would give them access to. Something that looks like a normal playhouse to us could be a door to another world or universe for our kids. They can also benefit from outdoor play possibilities and the chance to enjoy some fresh air.

We’ve made it easy to choose the ideal playhouse for your kids, with a selection of five of the finest and most versatile choices from our current collection. Which one will spark some imagination in your kids?

Hartwood 5' x 4' Giraffe Playhouse

The Hartwood 5’ x 4’ Giraffe playhouse

If space is making it difficult to find a playhouse to fit your garden, don’t worry. The Hartwood Giraffe playhouse measures just 5’ by 4’, but still offers enough space for your kids to have fun. This affordable choice comes unpainted so you can finish it in the colour of your choice – or even get your kids to join in. Why not let them take ownership of it and choose the colour scheme both inside and out?

Hartwood 8' x 5' Crocodile Playhouse

The Hartwood 8’ x 5’ Crocodile playhouse

The Hartwood Crocodile playhouse is ideal if you like the idea of a roofed outer area as well as the actual playhouse. The great design features a bench inside the covered area, and a window and shelf into the adjoining playhouse. This creates possibilities to play shops and create many other play situations too. The playhouse itself features a stable door. The unpainted finish allows you to stain or paint the playhouse to suit your needs.

Avon 6' x 6' Jellytot Dutch Barn Playhouse

The Avon 6’ x 6’ Jellytot Dutch Barn playhouse

How do you fancy a Dutch barn in your garden? Not a real one, of course, but this Dutch barn-style playhouse from Avon certainly fits the bill. It measures 6’ by 6’ and features a large central door and plenty of windows, including one above the door itself. The playhouse is supplied in raw wood, so you can choose a paint colour to help it blend into the garden, or to make it stand out. The choice is yours, but the high roof design ensures your kids have plenty of space to play in.

Avon 8' x 6' Jellytot Manor Two Storey Playhouse

The Avon 8’ x 6’ Jellytot Manor two-storey playhouse

There is surely only one thing better than a playhouse, and that’s a two-storey playhouse. The Jellytot Manor not only has a great name, it also provides a large airy space inside, a ladder up to the second mezzanine-style level and lots of play possibilities. It even comes with window boxes on the two front windows, offering the chance to make a home-from-home for your child to play in. Will you end up letting your kids sleep in this overnight one summer, for a taste of independence?

Avon 7' x 7' Jellytot Mansion Playhouse

The Avon 7’ x 7’ Jellytot Mansion playhouse

Have room for something bigger? Check out the Jellytot Mansion from Avon, and it has everything a kid could want. The generously-sized playhouse has a built-in veranda at the front, so there is shelter from the elements when needed. Inside, a ladder goes up to the top floor, which has an L-shaped play section and two windows overlooking the ground outside. Whatever your kids imagine when they play, it’s hard to believe they won’t love this.

Kitting out the interior

There are lots of ways to enjoy a playhouse, especially since they can be used by girls and boys alike. We’ve also seen they come in many shapes and sizes, with features that inspire lots of play situations.

Chairs and tables are good to add in if you like, but make sure there is plenty of floor space so your kids can enjoy playing all kinds of games. A playhouse can be used for toy storage too, so think about adding in some large toy chests to complete the look and finish off your chosen playhouse to perfection.