Here’s a fun dollhouse set – instead of being limited to one configuration, this dollhouse can be built in many different ways! It can even be built into a fort or police station or whatever you child wants it to be.  Fun STEM play for preschoolers!  They will be exploring concepts of shape, length, height, balance, and more, without even realizing they are learning.

This project was primarily for Janie (3), although Jonathan (5) will still play with this quite a bit too.  My goal was to create a building set that would encourage her to build and tinker while also providing a chance to play imaginatively with little dollhouse people and accessories.  She LOVES little accessories!

For our set, we used our Melissa & Doug Wooden Blocks, and then added three floor boards, three roof blocks, and one extra rectangle block.  The large floor boards were inspired by this fabulous block post from Adventure-in-a-Box.

Janie got the idea right away!  She and I worked together to build a house for her Playmobil people.

By adding the flat boards as floors, it was suddenly easy to make a two story house!

I knew she would want furniture for the house, so during our nap time I had assembled some simple LEGO furniture. I also used a cardboard jewelry box to make a bed.  I cut out pieces of felt for a blanket and pillow.

Janie was pretending that the kids were asking their mom if they could eat chocolate chips and the mom was saying no.  Hmm, I wonder where she got that from?

Here’s a close-up of the LEGO furniture:

Owen built the recliner for the mom – isn’t it cute?

Here’s another way to construct the house.  This version has a garage for parking the car!

I can’t decide which version is my favorite!

Jonathan wanted to build a police station to go with his Playmobil police guys.

Ready to make a set?

Here are the materials I used:

  • 1 – select pine board, 1″ x 12″ x 8 feet long
  • 1 – common pine board, 2″ x 8″ x 8 feet long (A 2″ x 6″ would have been better.)
  • Sand paper
  • Wood stain – I used turquoise and navy blue
  • Wood varnish
  • Acrylic paint
  • Also pictured is the Melissa and Doug Unit Blocks Set – The blocks we made were to supplement this set.

The Playmobil figures pictured came from this Playmobil Playground set.

The three floor boards are made with 12″ x 1″ select pine.  My husband cut three 14″ long sections from the board we purchased. Select pine is great for a project like this because it’s free of knots and the board had very little warping.  Common boards would be fine, though, and the cost is much less.

The roof pieces were cut from 8″ x 2″ common pine boards.

We finally broke down and bought a miter saw for this project.  We have wanted one for so many things and chose to cut them by hand instead.  This is going to be MUCH easier.  Now we just have to find a spot for it in the garage along with all the bikes and scooters we own – yikes!

We ended up decided that 8 inches was too high for the roof blocks, and we cut them down by a couple inches. A 2″ x 6″ would have been better.

After the boards were cut, I sanded everything to make it nice and smooth.  I also sanded down the edges to make them slightly rounded.

Then it was time to stain the wood!  I love these colors that I found at Home Depot!  If you haven’t used wood stain before, keep in mind that it’s not the same as paint.  Brush on a coat, and then wipe off the excess with a dry cloth.  The grain of the wood will show through the stain.  Use something that you don’t care about because it won’t wash out!  I usually use scraps cut from old t-shirts.

For the roof pieces, I decided to use acrylic paint.  I used tape to mark off the brown roof section.

After the wood stain and paint were dry, my husband varnished all the blocks for me.  If we had any kids who were still putting things in their mouths, I would have just left the boards completely unfinished.  I’m not sure that varnish would be safe to chew on!  But thankfully we are well past that stage now.

I let it all dry for a good 24 hours, and then it was time to play!

Have fun building! 

Looking for more creative preschool ideas?

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