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Toddler Talk: Dollhouse Time

The dollhouse is like a childhood rite of passage—and even if you think your little ones are too young, it won't be long until pretend play consumes their imagination. Typically "the dollhouse" is a playtime staple before toddlerhood comes to an end, but it'll clock even more play hours throughout the years.

When I was a kid, there were two basic types of dollhouses: The big Victorian masterpiece, with real shingles and an "I'm too pretty to play with" aura, or the bland plastic houses that were inevitably spruced up with markers and Lisa Frank stickers.

But today? Man, today's dollhouses are cooler than ever:

For Modern Tots

All Season House

With six rooms, a movable staircase, and a reversible summer-to-winter exterior, this brightly colored playhouse is far more modern than the traditional Victorian dollhouses of yore. And, in Hape tradition, the All Season House is made with sustainable bamboo and water-based color.

To buy: Hape, $135, furnished

Modern Dollhouse

Keep your little one's dollhouse in sync with your own personal aesthetic — crisp lines, minimalist styling, and modern design. This dollhouse — in unfinished birch plywood — features sliding "glass" floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious outdoor terrace, in a design that any modern-loving parent will envy.

To buy: Land of Nod, $349, furnished

For Eco-Minded Tots

The Green Dollhouse

Not only does The Green Dollhouse instill a normalcy about eco-conscious, energy-efficient practices (the dollhouse has a wind turbine, solar panels, rain-collecting barrels, biofacade, and recycling bins), but the entire house is made from natural, recycled materials, with vegetable and soy dyes.

To buy: Plan Toys, $166, furnished

Bamboo Sunshine Dollhouse

Eco-conscious features include fully functioning solar panels (which power working LED lights, naturally), renewable bamboo floors, and sustainable materials like birch plywood.

To buy: Hape, $340, furnished

For Builder Tots

Cinderella's Castle

My son actually has and loves this Cinderella's Castle—and not only does he change up the castle's design on a weekly basis, but he uses it as a dollhouse for ALL of his little figurine characters.

To buy: LEGO®DUPLO®bricks, $40

Olivia's House

You'll need to help your little one build this LEGO playhouse (or maybe an older sibling?), but it's an intricate dollhouse for your kids to grow into.

To buy: LEGO®DUPLO®bricks, $75

For On-The-Go Tots

Mini Dollhouse Set

This toddler-sized wooden dollhouse—complete with furniture, play people, and even a dog—has a thick rope handle to tote from room to room and house to house.

To buy: Pottery Barn Kids, $39, furnished

For Traditional Tots

Cozy Wooden Dollhouse

This three-floored, traditionally designed dollhouse is big enough for full-size dolls, and includes intricately painted walls, oversized furniture, two staircases, and a balcony.

To buy: Imaginarium, $97, furnished

My First Dreamhouse

A super-sweet cottage-like dollhouse with functioning windows and shutters, a glittery roof, and all of the furniture—including a dining room set, kitchen sink and stove, children's room furniture, and a baby nursery.

To buy: Le Toy Van, $165, furnished

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