I ordered Serenity the Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Mini Dollhouse ($35.93 & free s/h w/Prime) from Amazon last week and it arrived today. I was looking for a small, quality wooden dollhouse to take with us when we visit friends and family in Mississippi and on vacation trips.
Serenity loves it! She immediately started making up tasks for the dolls to do. She talks to the dolls and creates stories for them - all out loud. It's so funny to listen in! She's even named the dolls - Princess and Boy! Funny! And a little amazing too, since before today all her dolls were named Baby. It's so neat to see how much she changes day to day and how each day her comprehension grows.
I love that the dolls are the perfect size for her little hands. They are somewhat posable too - their arms move and their legs bend so they can sit and it's easy enough for her to pose the dolls by herself. It comes with 11 pieces of wooden furniture - plenty to keep her busy making up all kinds of activities for her dolls to do!
The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of a latch on the outside of the dollhouse. It's hard for Serenity to carry it without everything falling out. AND if you're traveling with it, you'd have to make sure it doesn't fall over and the pieces get lost. I'll probably buy a tiny latch and install it myself to take care of the problem.
But overall, it's a great toy that will probably last a long time. I didn't want another piece of plastic that only lasts about a minute before it's ready for the trash and does nothing to inspire Serenity's imagination.
I've been checking out M&D's Folding Castle ($62.64 & free s/h w/Prime) for maybe Serenity's birthday. This is something that will last well beyond her toddler years - I love a toy that will be durable enough to handle years of serious play. This castle is big. It's 3 feet long when it folds out! The reviews on Amazon full of praise for this toy - it has an unbelievable 5 star rating! It has matching furniture and Royal Family dolls that's sold separately. And shouldn't every castle have a dragon?
M&D has a darling pink smaller wooden Fold & Go Castle ($49.99 & free s/h w/Prime) and a more "boy friendly" Fold & Go Castle ($31.19 & free s/h w/Prime). I like their fun Fold & Go Mini-Barn ($32.23 & free s/h w/Prime) too!
I wonder why the pink castle is so much more?
In the picture below, the dollhouse by Plan Toys is shown with the optional extra floor ($91.90 & $5.95 s/h). Plan Toys has high quality dollhouse furniture, accessories, and dolls too.
When I showed pictures of this dollhouse to Serenity, she says, "Yes, that's right, that one! It's big!". I kinda want it too - I wish I had a huge dollhouse like that when I was a little girl!