The most important part of a person's early childhood development is play. Play is important in childhood development because during play, children tend to expose themselves to quasi-realistic life situations. This serves as a sort of practice for experiences that a child may have later in life, and also stimulates a child's imagination to develop creativity. In order to provide their children with a stimulating centerpiece for playful activities, parents can give their kids toys. A great example of a style of toy that lets children develop their imagination and creative abilities is the outdoor playhouse. An outdoor playhouse is a small imitation of some sort of building, made to be placed on the lawn and played in by young children. As with any style of toy, the differences in play behavior between little boys and little girls dictates that most outdoor playhouse models should be specifically designed for only one gender.

Because of some of the ways that girls play differently from boys, little girls tend to use outdoor playhouses more often. The main reason for this pattern is that girls are more stationary in their style of play than boys, who prefer to run around more when they play, so they are more likely to enjoy playing in a small, enclosed play area such as an outdoor playhouse. Outdoor playhouses designed for little girls tend to more closely resemble normal houses because little girls have a greater tendency than boys to mimic everyday adult situations. They also pay closer attention to detail than little boys, which is another reason to make outdoor playhouses for girls more realistic than outdoor playhouses for boys.

Little boys are more attracted to fast moving styles of play, such as racing or tag, so they are less likely to play in an outdoor playhouse than little girls. Even so, boys are just as imaginative as girls, and can still thoroughly enjoy playing in an outdoor playhouse. While girls like to imagine themselves in everyday adult situations, such as cooking and raising babies, boys are more attracted to styles of play that involve imagining themselves going on adventures in exotic places and other things that strike them as exciting. They also tend to engage in more aggressive or competitive forms of play than girls. Because of these characteristics, outdoor playhouses for boys usually do not resemble a house; instead, outdoor playhouses for boys are designed to resemble a fort or castle, and are more likely to include parts for kids to climb around on.

An outdoor playhouse is a fun and stimulating toy for any parent to give his or her kids, but it is very important that you do not give your child an outdoor playhouse that was designed for the opposite gender. Usually, the differences between the two styles of outdoor playhouse are obvious, so you are unlikely to make this mistake, unless you happen to have both boys and girls. In this case, you should probably go for a style of playhouse that is not particularly indicative of either gender.