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Need some advice please


Roni
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I have been asked by a friend at work to build a dollhouse for her 2 granddaughters ages 3 and 5. Any recommendations? I love Greenleaf houses but have heard that die cut houses are best for display . Do you all agree? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Greenleaf dollhouses are great for play or display. For this age, I'd suggest an Orchid. It has 4 rooms for creative play but is small and light enough that they can move it around if they want to. I'd pass on the Arthur because of the porch; it will get broken. For a larger house, I'd think about the Willow.

For small children, you'll want to reinforce the inside wall corners. Sooner or later, one of them will sit on it. A square dowel glued in will do the trick. Havana Holly likes to add staples for extra strength. Glue wooden channel pieces on the rough outer floor and wall edges to protect little fingers.

Don't use acetate in the windows, it will get scratched and broken almost immediately, In fact, you may want to leave the cross pieces of the windows out so little hands can reach inside. Maybe leave the door off for the same reason. I'd think about not putting in stairs. At this age, they won't balk at having their little people fly from floor to floor. :groucho:

As for decorating, I'd suggest paint, maybe a semi-gloss that will wash easily when they decorate with crayons. They can use peel-off stickers on the painted walls to create their own decorations for more creative fun.

Paint the roof instead of using shingles. Maybe paint a medium shade and sponge lighter and darker shades to give it some texture? Too tempting for little fingers to pick the shingles off and get splinters. Also, leave off the gable gingerbread and decorative roof bits; it won't last.

I'm sure others will have more suggestions, but this is what flew off the top of my head. :nana:

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Kathie has some great ideas. Also try to avoid MDF. It is not fixable if corners get smashed ( like falling off a table). It is also easily split. I made my sons a Duracraft MDF cabin and the door split in half because of the pegs used to make it a working door. It can't be fixed either.

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Thanks for all of the imput. Kathie, I think you hit the nail right on the head. You brought up things I never thought of. Think I will print out pictures of he different houses and let "Nanny" pick.

Thanks again

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I disagree about the door and stairs, those are the two things essential in a child's dollhouse my daughter loves sending her little people through the door and up the stairs and will do so over and over and over again ;)

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I disagree about the door and stairs, those are the two things essential in a child's dollhouse my daughter loves sending her little people through the door and up the stairs and will do so over and over and over again ;)

Suzy, how old is she? I think 5 will do that but 3 would just as soon rip the doors off if she thinks they're not cooperating.

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When I was first commissioned to build dollhouses for children to play with the two kits I built were the Buttercup and the Sugarplum, and I started adding the 1/4" square stripwood to the interior corners, as Kathie suggests, after one of my stapled houses got kicked to pieces by three little boys visiting the child whose house I'd built (don't ask... the grandma in question just mentioned it with a tone indicating the little boys might never darken her door again).

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