Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Green Dollhouse Challenge!

The Green Dollhouse Challenge, is open to all ages, from pre-schoolers to experienced architects! Build model play-houses to explore sustainable engineering, energy use, efficiency, materials, architecture, utility, aesthetics, appreciation of nature, and renewable resources.

to learn more about participating in this challenge!

You may also enjoy this great book, "Green Dollhouse - Creating a Doll's Eye View of a Healthier World," by Emily Hagopian (Author), Jill Boone (Author).

Friday, May 21, 2010

The House that Jack Build Wooden Dollhouses

As I clear away old toys from my children's playroom, I feel a little sad. Most of the toys are not really recyclable, and they didn’t last long either. I remember purchasing them with excitement and the look of excitement the kids had when they first played with them. Soon, most of the toys joined the other toys in the land of misused or abandoned toys.

I am also reviewing my offerings in my stores for the 2010-2011 selling season. I am cleaning house there too. The world does not need any more cheap plastic, electronic, faux wood or otherwise disposable, temporary toys! My family and I went on a tour of the House of Seven Gables in Salem MA last fall, and I was amazed at the beautiful furnishings, the gleaming woods and rich fabrics that have endured the test of time. They are heirlooms. That is what good lasting toys should be as well.

That is what a nice wooden dollhouse should be. An heirloom is lovingly past from one generation to next, sometimes remodeled, but always enduring and endearing. I see some of my favorite manufacturers starting to see this need too, and I am thrilled!

In 2010, Melissa and Doug, one of my all time favorite toy manufacturers released their newly acquired line of dollhouses called, “The House that Jack Built.”

Each beautiful dollhouse is natural, unpainted wood, ready to assemble, shingle, and decorate by its owner’s family. There are enchanted Victorians, classic colonials, and warm cottages to choose from. The dollhouses are crafted from 3/8” plywood and are 1:12 scale, to fit 6 inch dolls. They take some time to complete. They are not for a quick last minute gift-giving idea! These dollhouse are heirloom quality and say “with Love” from the gift giver to the recipient.

These houses have what it takes to look and feel like a house you could just live in yourself. They are available in many sizes and styles to suite every miniature enthusiast. The grand dame of the line is the Lady Anna

followed closely by Holly Ann, and Katherine Victorian dollhouses.

Details include oval pane windows in the tower and a window’s peak walk. The Katherine has hinged doors that open to reveal 6 rooms and 2 additional attic rooms. The Katherine is 37” x 31” x 20” when assembled.

For a city dwelling, consider the Mansard townhouse, reminscient of the classic Bostonian brownstones! This townhouse features 4 floors of spacious living in a 23” x 40” x 14” wide.

If your dolls prefer a country home, you may consider a large country colonial like the one the TV classic family, the Walton’s lived in! The appropriately named “walton” includes a covered front porch and 3 floors of living space including the attic. John Boy would be proud. Others in this style include the Lisa Kay with a double front porch on the 1st and 2nd floor and French doors.

For a simpler look, try the moderate Lit Bit or Aunt Ellie, or Cassie.

Have a vacation getaway home in mind? You may consider the smaller sea or lakeside abode, the cute gingerbread cottages: Christy’s cottage, Kotton Kandy ( keep Hansel and Gretel away!) or the Mary Jo.

Whatever your choice, you will not be disappointed in your “House that Jack Built” dollhouse. You can find these fine dollhouses on

You may prefer other dollhouse retailers specializing in dollhouse miniatures:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Eco Dollhouses Environmentally Friendly Wooden Dollhouses

Think about environment from the very start by selecting an environmentally friendly wooden dollhouse for your little ones that also teaches about the environment, and conservation. these beautiful modern wooden dollhouses are a delight for young and old!
Eco Dollhouse

SmartGear (Wonderworld) is an advocate of protecting the environment. The Eco Dollhouse is part of Wonderworld's(SmartGear Toys) new collection of products to educate children about importance of recycling, saving energy and prtotecting our environment.

This modern dollhouse features all hardwood quality construction. It has water-based nontoxic paints and lacquers.

The multi-colored wood dollhouse comes with furniture and a 3 member doll family. This dollhouse measures 21.26 w x 23.23 l x 19.69 h in inches.

This dollhouse teaches through play about recycling, planting trees, solar panels and energy, conserving energy by riding your bike instead of riding a car, and collecting rain water. Lots of play value at home or in your classroom!

Plan Toys is another company well worth yout time and money! Their wooden toys are superior. They have been doing the right thing by the environment long before it became cool to Be Green!

Plan Toys have real world functionality to encourages creative play. They are "Committed To Minimizing Our Impact On The Environment" Plan Toys has a few Envrionmentally friendly Eco dollhouses to offer.

Eco Home

Plan Eco Home is the dollhouse of the future! "Wind turbine, solar panels, and a living roof are the clean energy sources used in the Plan Eco Home. There is even an electric scooter instead of a car! This set includes the house, two dolls, an electric scooter, and furniture for two rooms. This wonderful set is crafted from recycled, natural rubber wood, dyed with vegetable and soy dyes, and assembled in an earth-friendly process."

This dollhouse is a good starter home for younger children. For older children and even adult collectors of modern dollhouses, PlanToys The Green Dollhouse is beautiful!

Green Dollhouse

This dollhouse features a stylish open concept modern design. "The Green Dollhouse is an amazing, energy conscious inspiration. The energy efficient design includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, and an electric inverter for generating electricity, a rain barrel for collecting rain. There is also a biofacade, which uses the natural cycle of plant growth to provide shading, and a blind that can adjust to the amount of sunlight and air circulation. Recycling bins are also included with the house. This beautiful dollhouse is crafted from recycled, natural rubber wood, dyed with vegetable and soy dyes, and assembled in an earth-friendly process."

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Video Kidkraft Savannah Dollhouse

Kidkraft has released a great video showing the many features of this lovely dollhouse!

The reviews for this dollhouse have been excellent as well. You can see all the reviews it has received on IT has 5/5 stars! Reviews for Kidkraft Savannah Dollhouse

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cherry Hill PlayKraft Dollhouse

New Cherry Hill Wooden Dollhouse Collection by Kidkraft

Beautiful and Bright this new dollhouse from Kidkraft comes with furniture and more sets are available to expand your decor. This dollhouse is on a swivel for quick and easy access to any room at any time and by mulitple children. This dollhouse is brightly decorated in fun eye catching colors that also depict typical home scenes. The furniture is block style but with a new update look with splashes of color and some unique designs.

This is more of a child's play dollhouse than a collector's piece. Some of the furniture can definitely find their way into modern collector dollhouses. The lime green, hot pinks would add a nice splash of color to modern frame dollhouse too!

The Cherry Hill dollhouse is part of a new line for Kidkraft called Playkraft. This line includes min play sets which can be added to the Cherry Hill dollhouse. The play sets include a ballet dance studio, ice cream parlor, and more.

The boys counter part to the the Cherry Hill collection is the Playkraft town line including new cool interactive wood train sets and town play sets.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kidkraft Dollhouse Cottage 2008 Review

Kidkraft Cottage Dollhouse Review

Pretty in white and pink, the Cottage Doll House from KidKraft is a perfect first real wooden dollhouse. Featuring a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, this sturdy house is sure to provide little girls with hours of fun and imaginative play. There are 3 levels with charming touches like flower boxes and scalloped trim.

The dollhouse has a Kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, and sitting room. It includes 15 pieces of furniture and a smiling family of 4 dolls. The cottage dollhouse is constructed of environmentally sound rubberwood.

It is very easy to assemble! Allow 15 minutes. The directions are excellent, as usual for Kidkraft! The only tool required is a small phillips head screw driver. The pieces are pre-drilled and line up perfectly. The dollhouse is finished in a high gloss, wipe clean paint.

An interesting note is this same dollhouse is also available under the Little Tree label, made by Kidkraft for Target Dept stores.

Where can you find a good price for this dollhouse? Try ebay:

Kidkraft Cottage Dollhouse on eBay

Or for the best prices:

Kidkraft Cottage Dollhouse Review

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wooden Dollhouse Bookshelf

In my post, How to Build a Wooden Dollhouse I provide some examples of cool bookshelves that can easily double as a durable and stylish wooden dollhouse.

There are also some excellent wooden dollhouse bookshelves available on the market for a reasonable price.

The best is Guidecraft's Dollhouse Bookshelf:

This sturdy bookshelf is solid wood, and does double duty as an attractive dollhouse, complete with window cut-outs, and storage unit. The dimensions are 47”H x 43 1/2”W x12"D", Weight: 84 lbs. this does require adult assembly. Assembly is very straightforward!

If used as a dollhouse, this would fit 1:12 inch scale dolls, or dolls up to 10 inches doll. My girls also use their bookshelves as a home for their Little Ponies, and Littlest Petshop critters!

Another good choice is by Kidkraft

The Kidkraft Dollhouse Bookshelf is wooden, or made of MDF.

The Kidkraft Dollhouse Bookshelf is brightly detailed in pink, yellow, and violet pastels. It features a flip-top hidden shelf or roof. This lovely choice is also for doll up to 10 inches in height, meaning a bit to tight quarters for Barbie and friends.

The dollhouse bookcase has three subdivided shelves with room not only for books, but for plush animals, dolls, and jewelry boxes too. Plus, the little door on the lower shelf opens to reveal a hidden cubby-hole for all sorts of treasure.

There are four cut-out windows that add to the house-like look and feel of the bookcase, and provide your little one's dolls with excellent views. The dimensions are 30"L x 13.5"W x 40"H, weight 31 lbs.

You can fidn the best deals for this dollhouse bookcase on eBay because there are alot of sellers offering the same item!

Kidkraft Wooden Bookshelf

There are other similar options available. I have found a cute dollhouse bookshelf at Target, and other department stores. However, the display models on the shelf show that lots of wear and tear. I woudl not recommend them because simple nicks and bumps in the wood reveal the ugly MDF underneath.

For a variety of choices, check-out eBay: