Playhouses come primarily in two different types of material: plastic and wood.
Plastic. A plastic playhouse is often the cheaper option. It is usually smaller and may come with creative designs and patterns on walls and ceilings. Due to its smaller investment and size, it is best suited for small children – perhaps as a first test to see if they use the playhouse.
Wood. If the playhouse is a hit, you might want to consider upgrading to a wooden playhouse. A wooden playhouse will last longer, and often fits in with your other garden furniture better. You can also paint a wooden playhouse according to your personal preference, which can be a nice project for you and your children when they get older.
Most playhouses require some sort of assembly. This can be anything from very simple to quite complicated. So consider how handy you are and adapt your purchase to your skill to ensure safe assembly.
Also remember that the playhouse should be positioned on a level surface, and in some cases also have some form of foundation.
When it comes to children, safety is the first priority. For playhouses, there is a European safety standard called EN71 and, before you buy a playhouse, you should check whether the playhouse you are looking at meets this standard. Other things to take into account are whether the glass in the windows is shatterproof, and whether there are gaps between the doors and walls to avoid the risk of pinching your children.