Is there anything more enticing to a toddler than a small space of their own? Kitchen cabinets, old boxes, pillow forts–there’s something completely irresistible about a world that’s just theirs. But if you’re tired of finding your pots and pans and couch cushions on the floor, or if looking at that floppy old box is about to send you over the edge, it may be time to consider an indoor playhouse.

Indoor playhouses provide toddlers and big kids a place to let their imagination run wild. Even the simplest play tent can become a school for their stuffies or a castle to act out their royal fantasies. They’re also an ideal place to snuggle up on a rainy day. Throw in a couple of blankets and a stack of their favorite books to make a cozy reading nook and hours can disappear in a flash.

Related: 8 outdoor playhouses that kids will play in for hours and hours

While there are tons of options out there, indoor playhouses are generally affordable and easy to put up and take down. (Play couches make great indoor playhouses as well!) We’ve rounded up some of our favorites that welcome hours of play but also look good enough to keep up when they take a break. (After all, you’re the one on the outside who has to look at it.) See ya, cardboard box. There’s a stylish new abode in town.

Best indoor playhouses for toddlers and kids

Make It Cute Modern Farmhouse

Make It Cute

Modern Farmhouse


One look at the immaculate design of the playhouses from Make It Cute and it’s obvious they’re the brainchild of innovative moms. The company was co-founded by three moms in fact–Amanda Seyfried and two childhood friends–who wanted to create a playhouse that wouldn’t clash with your decor. They offer two equally aesthetic designs, a farmhouse and a cozy cottage, each made from impressively durable corrugated cardboard that’s both recycled and recyclable. Because it arrives in just three pieces, the assembly couldn’t be easier (kids can even help!), and when you want to put it away, it folds completely flat for storage. And while it’s so gorg we love looking at it during the day, it’s the nighttime play that gets all the oohs and ahhs thanks to the big and little dipper cut outs in the roof. I mean, is there anything sweeter than stargazing from inside your coziest spot?

And according to Motherly’s co-founder Liz Tenety, “Our toddler and preschooler took to the Make it Cute playhouse immediately and it’s already provided hours of entertainment playing house, school and peekaboo. I’m obsessed with how darn cute it looks in our playroom. We are excited to dress it up for Easter and the holidays. Make It Cute made it super fun too!”

Air Fort Inflatable Cabin

Air Fort

Inflatable Cabin


If real estate is at a minimum or you just can’t abide by having a playhouse taking up space, the inflatable playhouses from Air Fort are a no brainer. All you need is a box fan to set it up in seconds and when playtime it over, it can neatly be folded and tucked away! They come in a variety of tent shapes and designs to choose from.

Superspace Big Set


Big Set 22-Panels


Take everything they love about Magnatiles, and the innate desire to hide out in a club house, and you’ve got Superspace. Their insanely cool building sets are made of lightweight magnetic panels (made from recycled bottles) that can be configured in endless combinations to create everything from castles to pirate ships or just some random mish-mash. The magnets are the most clutch part about it, keeping their build together, but not too strong for when they’re ready to inevitably destroy it. (Because let’s be honest–that part is pretty fun too.)

Gushante Cotton Playhouse


Cotton Playhouse


We love the simplicity of this fabric playhouse. The natural base and cheery colored banner won’t clash with your decor and provides an opportunity to imagine it as anything from a cottage to a grocery store. It’s roomy and durable with plenty of space to play or curl up with a pile of their favorite books. Short on space? No worries! The simple design is easy to put up and take down and packs into its own suitcase when ready to store.

Avenlur Flair 5 in 1 Indoor Playhouse


Flair 5 in 1 Indoor Playhouse


What’s better than a playhouse? A playhouse that’s also a creative learning station! The Avenlur Flair is basically a one-stop shop for all things play, learning, snuggling and hanging. The fabric draped playhouse features a cozy place to play with a cushion floor on one side and a tabletop surface and matching wooden chair on the other. Additional details like a chalkboard and abacus offer more imaginative ways to use the space. We also love how easy it is to put together and how durable the materials are!

Delta Children Homestead Playhouse

Delta Children

Homestead Playhouse


Similar in style to Waldorf playstands that cost three times as much, this simple structure offers unlimited options for play. Sheets or blankets can be thrown over top to make a fort or adorn with light, airy fabrics for their next dance performance. As they get older, it easily transitions to becoming a cozy reading nook.

My Very Own House Cardboard Grocery Store

My Very Own House

Cardboard Grocery Store


What’s more fun than a cardboard box? How about one that’s also a grocery store? Kids will love to color their own little market and climb inside to welcome shoppers. The doors and windows pop open and closed and when playtime is over, it can easily fold for storage. Best of all, when it’s time to move on, all you have to do it put it on the curb for recycling.

Razee Playhouse


Play Tent


Another simple option, we love the ethereal feel of this tent-style playhouse. There are three windows to keep it light and airy while the gauzy front can be tied open or closed. Wrap some tiny twinkle lights around the supports and you’ve got the perfect fairy house!

FoxPrint Rocket Playhouse


Rocket Ship Tent


If you’ve got a budding astronaut on your hands, this rocket ship tent is a must-have. It’s super simple to pop up and down and can comfortably fit a couple kiddos. The material is durable enough to hold up to rough toddler play and it’s tall enough at the point for them to stand.

Figgy Play Couch


Play Couch


Like we mentioned above, play couches are a great buy since they can check the box of both furniture and fort. There are a bunch of versions on the market (which you can read about in our Nugget dupes round up!) but for structure building we have to go with the Figgy. It comes with four separate pieces that can be infinitely rearranged and additional pieces like wedges and rectangles can be purchased as add ons. The best part? Now they’ll leave your actual couch intact!

A version of this article was published May 10, 2022. It has been updated.