What is a Wendy House?

The term ‘Wendy house’ is often used to refer to playhouses for kids, but its origin remains a mystery to many. In this blog, we’ll take a look at where the inspiration came from and learn more about this playhouse design. Read on and get a better understanding of what these special abodes are called across the globe!

Explaining What Wendy Houses Are and Their Origin

A small Wendy house situated in the garden

(Image Credit: Geograph UK)

Wendy Houses are charming small playhouses for children, usually placed in the garden. These structures are often made of wood and feature pitched roofs, windows, and doors. They resemble traditional houses but in a miniature version.

Their name, ‘Wendy Houses,’ traces back to J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale, ‘Peter Pan,’ where Wendy Darling’s home inspired them. In the story, after Wendy is wounded by an arrow upon her arrival in Neverland, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys build a small shelter to protect her from the cold.

This sweet story sparked the imagination of many and made Wendy’s tiny home famous. This also gives rise to the term Wendy houses for children’s playhouses.

The Design of the Wendy House

BillyOh Bunny Max Playhouse
BillyOh Bunny Max Playhouse

A Wendy Darling house features a peaked roof covering a square footprint. It has a tiny front door and window, sometimes complemented by a quaint porch. While inherently small in scale, these houses come in various sizes and styles.

Wendy houses can be creative havens where children can build their own imaginative worlds, like the Neverland. Make sure you encourage them in how they want their playhouse to look. Here are some fun decor ideas to consider:

  • A built-in kitchen for role-playing scenarios
  • Comfy blankets and pillows to create a cosy lounging space
  • A selection of books and board games for reading and playing
  • A mini dining table and chairs for tea parties or meals with friends (or with their stuffed toys)
  • A small desk area for mini art sessions or other creative endeavours

What age group is suitable for Wendy houses?

Wendy houses are designed to suit the developmental stages and interests of children between 3 and 10 years old. Within this age range, kids are at a crucial stage of imaginative development. Wendy houses offer the ideal environment for them to explore their creativity freely. From role-playing to quiet moments of exploration and discovery, you name it!

What Are Wendy Houses Called Around the World?

When talking about Wendy Houses, many often associate them with the UK and the US. However, they bear different names in other parts of the world!

Wendy house

In the UK and the US, it’s commonly known as a Wendy house, named after the character “Wendy” from J.M. Barrie’s beloved children’s book “Peter Pan.”


In Australia and New Zealand, a Wendy house is referred to as a playhouse. This term is also used in the UK, depending on regional preference – it simply depends on what you’re used to.

Cubby house

In certain regions of Australia, it’s referred to as a cubby house. This term stems from the word “cubicle,” denoting an enclosed space.

Kinder haus

In Germany, it’s known as a Kinder Haus, translating to “children’s house.”


Swedish culture calls it a Lekstuga, meaning “play cottage.”

Palyalyk or Dyhaasukka

In Russia, Wendy houses are known as Palyalyk or Dyhaasukka, both translating to “house for games.”

Small villa house

In China, they’re called small villa houses or xiao ju zhai.

Casita de juegos

In Mexico and Spain, they’re referred to as casita de juegos, which directly translates to “house of games” in English.

There you have it! Now you know the origin behind the name ‘Wendy houses’. It’s also fascinating to discover their diverse names across different cultures, isn’t it?

Browse our fantastic range of wooden Wendy houses and find the perfect one for your little one today! If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 01909 768840.

Up next on your reading list: How to Build Your Own Wooden Playhouse