Doll Houses/Calico Critters

Updated on August 21, 2012
C.S. asks from Rockford, IL
7 answers

Hi - I would like to start a doll house collection for my daughter who will be 3 in January. My goal is to have a nice set to give her for Xmas but I want to start buying pieces now so it's not so expensive in December! Any suggestions on sets? Right now we have a few Loving Family pieces (the RV) she got for her b-day and a small plastic doll house with Little People which I think she'll outgrow. Does any one have Calico Critters? When we go to the store my daughter loves to play with the samples they have out but she also loves the gigantic wooden doll house (it's taller than her!) so I'm torn. Just looking for opinions!

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So What Happened?

I was concerned with all the super tiny pieces in the Calico Critters packages but I like the idea of just doing a small set of those and then a doll house. She loved the super tall one at the toy store but I'm thinking a tabletop one. I don't have a spare corner for a gigantic one even though they do look like fun! Maybe I'll build on the Loving Family. Thanks!!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

We have the Kidkraft Majestic Mansion:

All of the furniture comes with it - a fabulous deal for the money. It is highly well made. My daughter received this for xmas at 2 (she will be 3 on Sunday)...and she plays with it DAILY. It is probably the most used toy in the house. All of the pieces are wooden so they have longevity and can hold up to my 1 yr old boy bashing them over and over ; )

She does use a stool to get to the higher floors bc it is about 4 ft tall. It's awesome! In my opinion this is a one and done purchase. No need to re-buy cheap sets that break in 2 seconds.

Good luck and have fun!



answers from Dallas on

We have both the Loving Family Doll House and the bunny family and the Cozy Cottage from Calico Critters. I would say my 3.5 year old plays with them both pretty equally. She likes that she can move the bunny house around and play in other rooms. With the Loving Family set I think she gets a kick out of the "realness" and the fact that it's so big and she loves, loves, loves the nursery set and babies. There are many times that the bunnies visit the family. :)

For us one Calico Critter set has been plenty. I do like that it came with plenty of furniture at a reasonable price. It's adorable and durable.

I like that we have been able to add to the Loving Family Set. I also think that is a toy that she will continue to grow into and enjoy. When older girls come over to play they enjoy the doll house.

So I am glad we have both, but if I HAD to choose, I'd probably pick the Loving Family Doll house simply because I think we will get more use out of it in the long run.



answers from Columbus on

My brother in law purchased the loving family set for my daughter when she was three. She still loves it at age 10. However, had I been the one purchasing it, I probably would have gotten the Calico Critters -- just because I think they are so cute and I would have loved them when I was little. That being said, my friend's daughter has it and there are a lot of little pieces to get lost!



answers from Chicago on

Personally I would start her on the Playmobil houses. They are something that she can build a collection of over time. My kids are 10 and 13 and they still play with our playmobil ALL the time. The 13 yr old's friends come over and play it even!
The playmobil was played with more then any other thing except Barbies (and the Barbies were not really played with lots till each girl hit 9 yrs old, so hold off on those).
I know playmobil are small pieces but that is part of the appeal to the kids. There are so many ways to take a collection as well.

I gave each nephew/niece a playmobil set when they turned 3 or 4 and every single one of them played with their set for hours every day.



answers from Honolulu on

Look at the overall costs.
And the having to buy more and more.
Calico Critters are more expensive. Its cute, some people (adults) actually collect it.
Then, will your daughter really like, a doll house and the figures for it?

ie: when my son was little, he LOVED playing with the Thomas the Train, train table and figures for it, when he was at the store.
He got one for Christmas from an Aunty. But.. .once it was home at our house... he was not as "into" it like he was at the store, playing with it.
He was about 3, when he got it. I think Aunty was more excited than he was, when she bought it with all her ideas in her head about it and how my son would like it.


answers from New York on

My daughter has the Fisher Price Loving Family dollhouse and accessories(with furniture sets, dolls, pets, SUV, RV, Vacation Cabin, etc.). She got them when she was around 3 1/2; she's now 5 and still loves and plays with them as much as ever. I find the items to be well-made, and there are a lot of available accessories. She used to have the Little People dollhouse, princess castle, etc. We found that this was a good product line to progress to as she grew older and grew out of the Little People stuff.


answers from San Francisco on

My 7 year old has had Calico Critters for several years now. She LOVES them. Loves, loves, loves. Instead of the giant dollhouse (which we had for a while, but seriously, who has room for that thing?), they have other, smaller "houses" that you can get. For instance, we have the Toy Store (which is a little, one-room dollhouse that comes with all the tiny little toys, merchandise shelves, a tiny cash register, etc), and the Restaurant (which has tables, chairs, little plates of food, teeny-tiny utensils). She plays for hours with these things, and seems just fine with not having the great big dollhouse, actually. They've held up well (even inside the pool filter... don't ask!).

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