A reader e-mailed us because she had concerns about the Melissa & Doug Victorian Dollhouse ($150, unfurnished) she had purchased for her daughter. After checking out the research we e-mailed her, she felt comfortable keeping this child-safe dollhouse.
Melissa & Doug manufactures in China and many parents are understandably concerned about the lead paint recalls. We have faith in Melissa & Doug’s safety procedures and testing and Melissa & Doug has not had a single recall for lead paint or hazardous materials. We know of several retailers that perform additional lead paint testing on their stock and they carry Melissa & Doug with confidence. By manufacturing in China, Melissa & Doug puts quality wood toys in the price range of many families that would otherwise be unable to afford even a handful of USA-made or European-made wood toys.
However, we know that some families still prefer not to purchase Chinese manufactured goods and we found these alternatives…
Play Dollhouses for Young Children
Le Toy Van: One of the closest matches is the Lavender Dollhouse by Le Toy Van ($350), made in Indonesia.
Easily assembled by an adult, and arriving complete with furniture, this dollhouse is a good bet for older toddlers and pre-schoolers (ages 3+). This cute dollhouse and other models by Le Toy Van are available at Tiddley Widdley.
We also found Imagine My Place Dollhouses ($129 for the mansion, $240 for the three house villa set) at HearthSong. We called and found out these are made in Germany, though some of the company’s accessories are made in China.
Other Play Houses
If you aren’t wedded to a traditional house style, we found these two options from Plan Toys and available at Kangaroo Boo: Chalet Dollhouse with furniture ($170) and Contemporary Dollhouse ($110). Both are very open and allow for lots of play even for younger tots. Oompa Toys also sometimes carries these modern dollhouses.
If you are interested in something more outdoorsy or magical, we adore this The Tree Fort Kit by Treeblocks ($269), manufactured in Poland and a favorite of elves everywhere, available at Magic Cabin.
GreenLeaf DollHouses (made in the USA): If you are looking for a dollhouse kit (assembly required) made in the USA, GreenLeaf Dollhouses has a wide selection of play and collector quality houses. From the modestly sized and sweetly Victorian Fairfield Dollhouse ($55), to the large and impressive The Garfield Dollhouse ($208 – pictured), you are sure to find a house that suits your budget and style. Also check out the The Beacon Hill Dollhouse ($156), and the Glencroft Tudor-Style Cottage Doll House by Greenleaf DollHouses ($85). We found the best buys for GreenLeaf Dollhouses at WillyGoat and MiniTots.
5% off any purchase at MiniTots! Use coupon code 5CJ
Real Good Toys: Real Good Toys also produces classic dollhouses. These houses are manufactured in Thailand, a country which has not been implicated in the recalls, and have undergone rigorous testing for lead paint. They carry a range of styles and sizes, made of plywood or draft board, depending on your price point. At the lower range, you’ll find the Cherrydale Lilliput Doll House Kit – Smooth Plywood ($108) and the Lilliput Plum Pudding Doll House Kit – Smooth Plywood ($109). Or, for a memorable family project that will become an heirloom, check out the Hawthorne New Concept Doll House Kit – Smooth Plywood ($398).