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Brio World Family House

(Brio/Ravensburger $69.99)

Unlike most dollhouses that are pre-assembled, Brio’s Family House is a versatile modular dollhouse with four units that can be connected horizontally or vertically. Our first tester loved rearranging the units and playing at being a designer, making choices and trying out new schemes. In a sense, this is what children also do with Brio train tracks, patiently fit the pieces together and in the process use their problem solving skills, dexterity, fine motor, and imagination. However several other testers found it very difficult to fit pieces together without adult help. Made of wood and plastic this is a small but clever open-ended setting for dramatic play; however if a child is expecting a classic dollhouse, this will not be it. It's more a building toy than a true dollhouse. The set comes with some wooden furniture and four play figures, the latter are truly way too small to be safe for children who still mouth their toys and in some instances are hard to identify. It is marked for age 3-7 and we urge parents and grandparents to respect that label. There are other modules and vehicles that can be added to the basic set.

Ages: Preschoolers, Early School

Award pending

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