{DIY} How to Build a Custom Playhouse for the Little Ones

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At first thought, building a custom playhouse for your child or children can seem like a daunting task entailing a heck of a lot of work. And if you’re not very handy, it might even appear as a gargantuan job. Or what if you live in the city and don’t even have a backyard? How are you supposed to tackle the process of constructing a playhouse and where would you put it anyway?

If these are the questions flowing through your mind when your little one mentions a playhouse, fear not. There are ways around such difficulties in just about any type of living situation and no matter how handy you are with a hammer or saw.

Consult Your Child

The first thing you’ll likely need to do before even considering layouts, designs, or materials for a playhouse is to conduct a consultation of sorts with your child or children regarding what they would like out of a playhouse. Are your boys into pirates and secret hideouts? Is your daughter dreaming of a cozy playhouse in which to have tea with her dolls?

Getting the kids’ thoughts and ideas regarding what kind of playhouse they are interested in and what types of things they are envisioning can give you some framework with which to begin your work. You may have to temper some outlandish or wild requests that might not be within the realm of possibilities (i.e. pirate cannons, or trap doors) or within your budget (an 800 square foot mini-house in the backyard) along the way, but with a little imagination, there are ways to improvise and bring your kids’ dreams to life.

Consider Your Realm of Expertise and Environment

Knowing where your strong points lie when it comes to constructing a custom playhouse can make a major difference in the type of structure you create. A skilled carpenter might have a much broader scope of options available to him than the average parent. Therefore, deciding upon how much effort you can put into the project, how much money, whether you will have help or not, and if you have the needed tools, are all aspects to consider before setting to work on your custom playhouse.

And while you may be a master craftsman, all those skills and abilities might not come to much good if you live in a condominium or apartment where you don’t have a yard. Therefore, your environment may play a significant role in what type of playhouse you create as well.

More Imagination Less Materials

Think back to when you were a kid. What types of playhouses did you have and enjoy the most? You may have been happiest in a playhouse of your own creation from sticks and logs from around your backyard, or built from a cardboard appliance box, or even with pillows and blankets draped over chairs, tables, beds, couches, or other furniture.

Sometimes it’s almost more fun to do more with less and just let your imagination do the rest. Some such playhouses created from household items can be great options for those without yards, and even those with yards during colder months.

Let Them Help

No matter how, where or from what you decide to create your custom playhouse, it can be important to let your children be involved and take part in the creation process. By letting them feel as if they have helped create their playhouse, they will likely take more interest in pride in it and work harder to make it their own. Having a stake in their playhouse can help to foster creativity, use of imagination, and act in building various other skills in the process.

Eric Munoz owns a wood furniture design company in Houstonthat can custom build pieces from scratch or duplicate existing pieces. He has over 10 years of experience working with his hands. Visit his site at http://www.cambiumworks.com.
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  1. Agree. I’ll never forget the little playhouse (shack) my dad built for us. 🙂

  2. I like the idea of using previously used cardboard. The seems like a very sensible way to re-use something that, usually, ends up in the landfill… When I grew up, we had a hayloft. We used to pile up bales of alfalfa to make forts… Ah, pleasant memories… mtdoonmeister at gmail dot com