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A good playset can provide a child with endless enjoyment.
In essence, a kids' playset is an array or collection of toys, usually of a shared theme, that come packaged in one set and are designed to be played with together. The best toy playsets will be innovative, well-made and able to spark imaginative play.
Many involve miniature toy figurines and some sort of setting or scenery, enabling kids to create their own complete world and populate it with imaginary inhabitants. Others include toy tools to facilitate role-play; the medical instruments of a doctor, the food and kitchen utensils of a chef or the goods and cash register of a shop keeper, for example.
There are countless themed toy playsets out there that are attached to well-known kids' films and franchises; Marvel, Disney, Harry Potter, Peppa Pig and Frozen proving some of the most popular examples, though there are everything from Teen Titans toys to Dr Who toys available to buy. Sports toy sets, complete with football figures or mini basketball players, are a good idea for mini sports enthusiasts, and old favourites featuring Barbie and Action Man toys still do pretty well in today's market.
Hamleys, Smyths Toy Shop, Toys 'R' Us and John Lewis are all good places to pick up good playsets, and the selection of Argos kids' toys also includes many a comprehensive set. The Great Little Trading Co. is well worth a look if you're hoping to pick up high-quality, thoughtfully-designed toys and role play sets with a more traditional, hand-crafted look.
When it came to choosing the playsets featured in our list, we looked for good quality, beautifully-designed products that were proven to be popular with children and were sure to spark the imagination. Take a look at our picks below and find your favourite playsets.
If you're looking for more toys, why not take a look at our guides to the best farm toys for toddlers and if you need gift ideas, take a look at our pick of the best Disney gifts for kids of all ages!
Our Top Choice
Le Toy Van Cherry Tree Hall Doll House
Dolls' houses make wonderful playsets for boys and girls, a miniature little home complete with furniture and people for kids to act out all sorts of imaginary storylines. This beautiful four-storey house from wooden toy specialists Le Toy Van is really special. Everything from the hand-painted slate roof to the pretty working shutters to the name - Cherry Tree Hall - is quaint and charming. It doesn't come cheap, but you get what you pay for; at almost a metre high and with six spacious rooms inside there's plenty of space for as much miniature furniture as a child could ever want. The house itself is crafted from top-quality Rubberwood and hand-painted with non-toxic paints, and there are so many thoughtful details, from the removable chimney pots to the flowers in the window boxes to the delicately-crafted staircases. It's a great playset for sharing between siblings and promoting collaborative play and because it's an ethically-produced wood product, it's a durable and sustainable purchase, too. There are other models in the collection that feature different, almost equally lovely designs (some of which are smaller and more affordable), but Cherry Tree Hall really stole our hearts. A beautiful, well-made playset that children will treasure for years.
- Price: £233.14
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Animal-Lovers
Playmobil 4093 City Life Animal Zoo
A Playmobil set had to come high on our list; the company do so many great themed playsets, each helping to promote creative role play and aid the development of fine motor skills. We particularly liked this miniature zoo, which is sure to appeal to any child who loves animals. There are several tiny enclosures for each little Playmobil figure to visit, each with its own array of plastic animals to observe. We love the swinging monkeys, tree-climbing pandas and cute little elephants, who you can feed with the bottles and other feeding accessories included. The best part, though, is the little vets' corner where kids can attend to sick animals, a feature sure to delight little animal-lovers. It takes some patience to put it together but the end result is well worth it.
- Price: £90
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Imaginative Play
Sylvanian Families Grand Department Store Gift Set
The Sylvanian Families range has become hugely popular over the years and it's easy to see why. The sweet woodland creatures and old-timey set pieces are so charming; great tools to promote imaginative fun. This Amazon Sylvanian Families playset is part of the 'town' range, and features a fancy two-storey high 'Grand Department Store' complete with tons of delicate little accessories and a rabbit figurine. It's a really detailed set with plenty of fun, interactive features; we were particularly impressed with the little balcony, revolving door and real working lift. Inside, there are the pieces to create a fashion boutique, chocolate shop, makeup counter and clothing emporium, and the set is compatible with the rest of the Sylvanian Families range, if your child wants to expand their little world. A lovely, well-made set with fine attention to detail.
- Price: £79
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Early Years
Le Toy Van Noah's Ark Shape Sorter
This lovely wooden Noah's Ark playset from Le Toy Van is a great choice for younger children. Featuring a gorgeously-crafted wooden ark and seven pairs of toy animal figures (as well as Noah and his wife, of course), there are plenty of pieces to keep little ones entertained. Better still, the shape sorting element adds a valuable educational component; by pushing the flamingos, elephants, zebras and others through the corresponding holes, toddlers can improve their problem-solving skills and further develop good hand-eye coordination. It's a beautifully made kids' toy, one that will look lovely in the nursery or playroom. Made from a solid durable wood that will last for years, it's practical, too; the internal pieces can be easily cleared away and stored inside and the attached handle makes it easy to transport.
- Price: £25
- Age: 3+
Best Medieval Toy Playset
Melissa & Doug Wooden Fold And Go Castle
This foldaway wooden castle from trusted toymakers Melissa & Doug is a great playset for fans of knights and all things medieval. The 11-piece set includes an intricately-painted fold-out castle, two knight figures on horseback, and a king and queen with thrones, bed and treasure chest. Kids will love using the little knights to man the battlements and defend the treasure, particularly with the addition of the working drawbridge and gruesome dungeon! As with all Melissa & Doug products, it's very well-made and designed to last, constructed from a sturdy wood and featuring a nifty handle that makes it great for fun on-the-go.
- Price: £43
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Peppa Pig Fans
Peppa Pig World Of Peppa Playset
This Peppa Pig playset is an excellent choice for fans of the franchise. It's such a comprehensive set, featuring home, garden, schoolhouse and outdoor play area pieces, as well as four Peppa Pig toys and several fun vehicles for them to get around in (we particularly love the helicopter!). There's also plenty of furniture and accessories to complete the scene and promote imaginative play. It's super easy to set up and very good value for money, considering how many pieces are included. The chunky plastic is much more sturdy than it looks, meaning the set should last a good while if the smaller, more losable pieces are well looked after. Sure to give endless pleasure to any child crazy about Peppa Pig.
- Price: £80
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Role Play
Great Little Trading Co. Ambulance Doctor's Set
This award-winning toy set is an excellent way to promote role play, providing all the necessary tools for your little one to transform into a competent toy doctor. The 12-piece set is made entirely of wood (making it nice and robust) and consists of a small wheeled ambulance, which can be pushed along to transport teddy to hospital, a stethoscope, syringe, thermometer, reflex hammer and a whole host of other bits to aid ailing toys (or human volunteers!) back to health. Each little article is so sweetly painted, and they can all be easily cleared away at the end of playtime by piling them into the ambulance container. And there are a number of other ranges to choose from if the medical kit proves a hit; we particularly love the seaside fish and chip shop and the cute wooden toolbox!
- Price: £45
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Families On A Budget
Chad Valley 50 Piece Dinosaur Bucket
At only £10, this Chad Valley dinosaur playset is a great option for parents on a budget. There may not be big showy set pieces or handcrafted figurines, but the bucket is bursting with 50 plastic toys, including 20 dinosaurs, a mountain backdrop and over 25 rocks, trees and pieces of shrubbery, and the set makes for absorbing play. The pieces are life-like and nicely coloured, and easy to pack away into the bucket provided. A really great-value set of toys that will delight dino-loving kids.
- Price: £10
- Age: 3+
Best Toy Playsets For Gamers
Fortnite Battle Royale Battle Bus
Fans of the video game will love any of the Argos Fortnite toys, but this battle bus proved particularly popular. Complete with cool blue flying bus (an excellent replica of the original), exclusive Burnout and Funk Ops character toys and a Victory Umbrella, your little one will have the perfect starter set from which to build their Fortnite empire. The bus is perfect for storing additional figurines as well as promoting engrossing pretend play, and is able to hold over 15 compatible Battle Royale Collection action and toy figures. Nice and sturdy and easy to assemble, it makes a great accessory to the game that gets kids away from their screens. And at £32, it's not as expensive as many other playsets.
- Price: £32
- Age: 8+
Best Musical Toy Playsets
Melissa & Doug Band In A Box Playset
This lovely 10-piece set of instruments is a wonderful playset for musically-minded kids, or indeed, kids in general. Musical instruments have amazingly high educational value, helping to accelerate cognitive development, promote creativity, aid sensory development and build fine and gross motor skills. This little set includes most of the classic kid-friendly noise makers, from maracas to clackers, to tone blocks, a tambourine and a triangle. Each item is robust and well made and they all come packaged in a cute little crate that's great for storage. Gift the set to siblings or invite friends over and you'll have your very own miniature band. You'll love watching them merrily play away!
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you like our pick of the top kids' playsets, why not take a look at our favourite Lego gifts? Or for something different, take a look at our guide to the best toy castles on the market.
- Price: £25
- Age: 3+
Originally from Manchester, Olivia has spent the last couple of years living between Toronto and Vancouver. She now works as a freelance writer in London and loves literature, travel and eating anything sweet. Her love of spending time with children began when she worked as an au pair in Paris.