Saturday, August 22, 2015

Every Little Person's (and mom's!) Dream Dollhouse: Amazing Design, Fun and Non-Toxic Too!

Did you havea doll house growing up?  My sister and I did.   Our entire playroom was actually christened Barbieland (I  know, how original).  We had the mansion, the apartment complex, the hair salon and the Home and Office barbie complex and we spent hours playing; making up stories for our dolls that inhabitated Barbieland... oh yeah and it was all plastic.

Fast forward a couple (or maybe more than a couple!) of years .....  many little girls, and even boys, still like to play with doll houses but wow have they come a long way.   There is a plethore of options (for Barbies and not for Barbies) for doll houses today and many of the most natural and least toxic options have some of the best designs.

Plastic dollhouses will always cost slightly less, however when purchasing a toy your children will be using, possible daily, keep in mind the chemicals you might be exposing them too.  As The Ecology Center clearly explains:

"Some plastics we know are toxic, such as #3, which is also known as PVC or vinyl. PVC contains phthalates and heavy metals, and creates dioxins when it burns. Other plastics contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been identified as a chemical that disrupts hormones. Plastics can contain thousands of possible additives, and manufacturers are not required to disclose what their recipes are. Any plastic can leach, depending on the conditions (light, heat) and what additives it includes. The Ecology Center recommends avoiding plastics when possible, particularly in toys and products for children, and products that come in contact with food or drink."

Since I have two boys who don't play with traditional dollhouses (they do have a great Plan TOys airport they love) I spent the morning at my favorite Santa Monica toy store, The Acorn Store. They have an amazing selection of non-toxic wooden toys that any parent would appreciate and that kids love.  The owner, Ellen, showed me some of the newest doll houses available in the market. All I can say is : I wish I were a kid again!! This new batch of doll houses are aesthetically and thoughtfully designed and are all made impecably well - they are sure to become heirlooms within your family

Here are some of my favorites

Hape - Happy Villa Doll House - Furnished Playset

Why we love it:
  • Made out of wood and non toxic paint in Europe
  • Smaller size is ideal for little girls or small spaces
  • Includes 3 dolls and home furniture
  • Price point: $75-$100

Hape All Season House - Unfurnished

Why we love it:
  • Heirloom quality: made out of wood and non-toxic paint in Europe
  • Multiple levels = more dolls and furniture = so much fun!
  • Bright colors (non- toxic) and modern architecture
  • Comes with or without dolls and furniture (The Acorn Store sells it with the furniture and dolls)
  • Price point: $117 (without accesories)-$199

Plan Toys The Green Dollhouse with Furniture

Why we love it:
  • Heirloom quality: made out of wood and non-toxic paint in Europe
  • Sustainable & eco-conscious architecture are pretty awesome and great for eco-conscious kids:  features wind turbine, solar-cell panels, rain barrel for collecting water.  A biofacafe grows plants for shading.
  • Set includes furniture and recycling bin for the entire house. 
  • Price point:  $156-$250

PlanToys Farmhouse

Why we love it:
  • Made out of non-toxic organic rubberwood and vegetable and soy dyes
  • Small compact size ideal for small spaces
  • Farm accessories (plants, gardens, animals) sold seperately
  • Price point: $79 - $100 

Selecta Dollhouse

Why we love it:
  • Made in Germany out of wood
  • Modern and bright design
  • Price Point:  $129 and up 

Reclaimed Wood Tree House
Why we love it:
  • Hand made in Poland (this is the last one th Acorn Store has!) with real repurposed wooden branches
  • Great imaginative play for both boys and girls
  • Price:  $175 only at the Acorn Store, Santa Monica
  • a similar design made in the US by Magic Cabin is the Rustic Wooden Tree Fort

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