Should You Choose a Plastic or Wooden Playhouse for Your Kids?

You Are Considering an Outdoor Playhouse for Your Kids!

I’m sure that deep down, you’re just as excited as your kids are. There is something so magical about a playhouse that the thrill of it stays with us well into adulthood. If you think back, I bet you can remember at least one or two friends that had outdoor playhouses - and you probably remember exactly what those playhouses looked like on the inside and what types of creative games you came up with to play inside of them.

The great news is that you’ve got some pretty incredible and flexible options these days - so finding the perfect outdoor playhouse for your kids is 100% possible. Whether they want one that looks like a miniature log cabin or a quaint little cottage in the woods or one that has a more treehouse feel - almost anything is possible if you’re willing to dig a little deeper or be a little more creative with your playhouse.

But if you’re first beginning your search for the best and most cost-effective kids playhouse, then you may be asking yourself, “Should I go with a wooden playhouse or a plastic playhouse?” While this is a widely debated online topic and many individuals have their personal preferences, in this article, we’re going to share with you exactly why a wooden playhouse is, generally, the preferred option.

Wooden Playhouse is Environmentally Friendly

When it comes right down to it, natural is always better.

It’s better for your kid, better for your yard, and better for the environment. Not only is the wood sustainably sourced, but a wooden playhouse can be used longer, it will provide a warmer feel, and can be resold when you’re done with it, ensuring that the playhouse gets the most use possible. When the wooden playhouse does begin to age and break down, its wood can be easily recycled into something else or disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

You can’t say the same about plastic playhouses. Not only do many recycling centers refuse to take plastic, but they are overproduced, underused, and can leak out chemicals which can be harmful to your children and our world alike. How come plastic outdoor playhouse production is worse than a wooden playhouse production? Wooden playhouses are often produced by hand with the help of hand-held tools or with specific machinery whereas plastic playhouses are molded after highly energy-consuming chemical processes which are required to produce plastic. When a wooden playhouse can be made of a renewable sustainably acquired resource in a small workshop, plastic playhouses are made by melting plastic pellets shipped from large chemical plants. The plastic required for your kids playhouse requires two extensive processes, first the polymerization of the raw materials to produce plastic and then the melting of the plastic into the shape that is required for the playhouse.

If you do not find a recycling center that would accept your kids playhouse, what will happen to your old plastic playhouse? As reported in Science Advances, three quarters of all American plastic waste is landfilled, thus it is reasonable to expect that your kids playhouse will end up in a large landfill. Why would that be bad? Besides taking up space that otherwise could have been untouched nature, one of the main hazards plastic landfills is the leaking of chemical compounds into groundwater and thus polluting nature and drinking water. Plastic waste that is not recycled or landfilled is burnt – we all know the impact that has on our climate.

"It is our collective and individual responsibility … to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live."
- Dalai Lama

Wooden Playhouse Can Grow with Your Child

If your child has already exhibited a love of the outdoors and a vivid imagination, then there’s a good chance they’re going to want a playhouse for longer than a year or two. Plastic playhouses are typically designed for toddlers and are outgrown quickly. They also don’t offer much in the way of expansion options. Once your child is 4 or 5, they don’t have much use for the plastic versions.

By going with a wooden outdoor playhouse, the possibilities are literally as limited as the internet’s imagination. There are countless ways to expand wooden playhouses, and, in general, they tend to be larger than plastic versions, ensuring that your child can enjoy them well into their teens.


 Yellow Wooden Playhouse Sunshine with a wooden terrace with white railing  by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Sunshine

Wooden Playhouse Snowy Owl with black trims, wooden terrace and flower boxes in the garden by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Snowy Owl

Kids Wooden Playhouse Boy Cave With Black Metal Roof, Grey Walls and Red Half Glass Door in a backyard By WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Boy Cave

Kids Playhouse Should Be Sturdy

Woodworker on a playhouse structure by WholeWoodPlayhouses

While plastic can last almost forever, it does not hold its appearance well and is far more challenging to maintain than a wooden one. The colors fade. Plastic can crack after long-term exposure to the elements. And a brightly colored plastic playhouse can quickly look drab and dingy. By going with a playhouse made out of wood, you’re ensuring that it will hold up to the elements and not require as much year to year maintenance. Every couple of years, you’ll need to power wash and re-stain, but your wooden playhouse will look brand new afterward.

In addition, the wood can hold more weight, ensuring that your child gets more years of use and can enjoy it with more friends at a time. If there happens to be something that needs repairing, a simple trip to your local hardware store will be all that’s required, as opposed to tracking down the manufacturer and requesting specially made plastic parts.

Wooden Playhouses Are Easily Customized to Suit Your Kids Needs and Preferences

When considering what type of playhouse is best for your child - take a moment to consider how often they complain that they can’t go outside during inclement weather.

With a wooden enclosed playhouse, “you can’t go outside - it’s raining” will never be your answer again Many of the wooden playhouses available on the market offer decent protection from the elements - or more comprehensive protection with a bit of tweaking and customization. This means that your little one can play outside during rain, wind, and even snow, allowing them to get the most out of their favorite little hideaway.

This also means that wooden playhouses, in general, hold up to the elements well. Wooden outdoor playhouses are built with specially treated wood, much like a deck, that allows them to maintain their color and durability even through the harshest of storms and winters.

Just imagine how much you would have enjoyed watching the snowflakes fall from your very own kids playhouse.


Wooden DIY Playhouse Kit on stilts and covered porch on white backround by WholeWoodPlayhouses

DIY Playhouse Kit Little Bungalow

2- story  Wooden DIY Playhouse Kit with dormer windows and wooden flower boxes by WholeWoodPlayhouses

DIY Playhouse Kit Little Farmhouse

Outdoor Playhouse Should Offer Some Protection from the Elements

There is no shortage of customization ideas available online. From parents who have designed one-of-a-kind outdoor playhouse for their kid to others who have added rain-catching gutters to collect water for their garden, there are so many ways to get great use out of your wooden playhouse and truly make it perfect for your child.

A quick online search is all you’ll need to see just how creative families have gotten. If you happen to be pretty handy yourself (or if your significant other is), then you can add on, expand, include specialized accessories, or convert your wooden playhouse to meet your child’s needs and preferences for years to come. This is something that just isn’t possible with a plastic version. For the more handy parents, WholeWoodPlayhouses offers a variety of DIY outdoor playhouse kits and an untreated wooden playhouse Natural Wonder as the perfect base for your customized outdoor playhouse. Do not worry if you do not have time or the confidence in your painting skills, WholeWoodPlayhouses also cater to special customizations on their current outdoor playhouses product line, just contact us and we will bring your kids dreams to life!

Let’s Be Honest - You Want Your Outdoor Playhouse to Look Nice

If you’re a family that spends a lot of time outside, then you probably spend a fair amount of effort ensuring that you’ve created an eye-catching and soothing environment. When you set a plastic playhouse down in the middle of that, it can look, well, a little tacky.

A wooden playhouse looks much more natural and can be stained to complement your home and deck or even be incorporated into your landscaping. I’ve never once looked into my backyard and cringed at the sight of my kids playhouse. If it starts to look a little worn, all I have to do is get out the power washer and apply a little bit of stain, and it’s back to looking like a brand new playhouse!

There’s also the option for vines, a flower bed around the playhouse, or a whole host of other things that make a wooden playhouse fit right in, regardless of what your landscaping preferences are.

Wooden Playhouse in blue color with a white roof and a porch and flower boxes on green lawn with forest on the background by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Bluebird

2- story Wooden Playhouse with pink flower boxes and slide, wooden terrace in the backyard by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Princess

White Wooden Playhouse with black roof and flower boxes by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Blackbird

Wooden Playhouse Can Be Sold

This is best described in the words of one of us latest clients: "Two years ago, when I set out to track down a wooden playhouse for my children, I knew that a brand new one was not in my budget. So I began watching Craigs List, FB Marketplace, and our local newspaper ads. Every single time a wooden playhouse came up for sale, it was gone by the time I inquired about it. Especially with everything going on in our world right now, playhouses are in high demand, and people are willing to pay (and even disassemble) used ones."

If your kid happens to outgrow it or their interests change over the years, then you can easily list it- kids playhouse for sale and probably have it gone within a week or two if that’s what you decide to do.

Many parents also convert their kids outdoor playhouses into storage or garden sheds. Besides looking more beautiful than a traditional shed, a wooden playhouse will provide enough room to store bikes, toys, gardening tools or hobby equipment such as fishing gear.


Wooden DIY Playhouse with flower boxes and porch on white backround by WholeWoodPlayhouses

DIY Playhouse Kit Little Cottage

Wooden DIY Playhouse with loft and flower boxes by WholeWoodPlayhouses

DIY Playhouse Kit Little Clubhouse

So Which Is the Best Playhouse for You?

Ultimately you need to go with the best choice for your children. You know them better than anyone. Do their interests change frequently, or do they tend to hold on to what they like for long periods? For a kid who loves the outdoors and really loves going over to that “one friends’ house” because they have a wooden playhouse in their backyard and it’s near impossible to get them to leave once they’re there - a wooden playhouse that can grow and adapt with them is probably a safe bet.

While a kids playhouse is a bit more of an investment, it’s one that will serve your family well for years and years to come. If you take good care of it, it may even still be there for your grandchildren, which means that your kids will get to pass on some of their favorite childhood memories to their own children.

There is no shortage of wooden playhouse options out there for you. Whether you choose to build your own outdoor playhouse from a list of free plans online, go with a DIY kit or pre-designed playhouse option, or even hire someone to build a wooden playhouse for you, you have a wide variety of sizes, designs, and possibilities.

"Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy"
- Anonymous

Written by WholeWoodPlayhouses


Wooden Playhouse with White Walls, Black Roof and Flower boxes  by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Arctic Auk

Wooden Playhouse with Gambrel roof and  wooden terrace with white railing by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Sunny Sadie

Pink Outdoor Playhouse Unicorn with white metal roof and white doors on green lawn in a backyard by WholeWoodPlayhouses

Playhouse Unicorn