It may be tempting to buy a very nice kids' couch made from quality materials, and while there is nothing wrong with doing so, remember that kids will generally not treat the furniture with the respect and care it deserves. Kids tend to be rough on furniture, not to mention messy, so it may be better to buy a less expensive sofa that will stand up to wear and tear but also not be missed should the damage be catastrophic. Think carefully about the size of the kids' couch, too, as it should fit in the child's room or other small space well.
A smaller couch can accommodate younger children who may have difficulty getting onto or off of a larger sofa, but remember that kids like to play with their friends on the kids' couch as well. A bit more space will allow for play time with other kids, as well as sleep space for one or two kids. The couch should of course be comfortable for the child when watching television or playing, so the cushioning and upholstery should be soft. Consider buying a kids' couch that is treated to resist moisture damage from spills and food; if such couches are too expensive, consider buying a couch cover that will accomplish the same goal.
The upholstery will also need to be durable, as will the frame and other supporting materials. Try to buy a kids' couch made from durable upholstery that will resist the ripping and tearing that is likely to occur the more a child plays on the couch. The frame should be well constructed from wood; pine is less expensive, but it will also break down faster than other kiln-dried woods that will not warp. Try to avoid couches made with particle board, as this type of composite wood will break down very easily under the strain of a child's playtime. The frame should be screwed together; avoid couches that are simply glued together.
If the space in which the kids' couch will be placed is large enough, it may be wise to consider a fold-out couch. Such a couch can be converted into a bed by pulling out the bed extension. This will make sleepovers with friends much easier and convenient, though this method will require a fair amount of space in a room. Smaller couches with twin size mattresses may take up less space, however, making them a viable option for a child's bedroom or playroom.