Children's Playhouses and Play Structures
When We Were Kids...
There are few things that speak more clearly of childhood than children's playhouses. As adults, we can look back and remember our favorite times in the secret hideout for children - the fort - made with couch pillows, dining room chairs, and blankets. We played for hours in our little haven, until mom said we had to take it down. Today, children's indoor playhouses are available in much more elaborate designs. Although, some kids probably still build forts like we used to.
From Cardboard Boxes to Play Box Kits
Cardboard boxes were another favorite material we used for building our playhouses. Now the concept has moved to the next level. Play Box is a corrugated plastic box that morphs into a perfect children's play structure for indoors and outdoors. The kits come in all kinds of designs, from fire houses to log cabins and they're great for kids from three to ten years of age. For around $100 you can have a prefab unit that is big (about 12 square feet), easy to put together with locking mechanisms where you need them, and it can be broken down and stored easily. To clean this little playhouse you just wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Little Tikes Playhouses For Little Tikes
Little Tikes, makers of children's swing sets and children's plastic playhouses (along with a good many other children's toys) have created wonderful playhouses for toddlers through early school ages. By the time your baby is between two and three-years old, she's got several things working well. She's walking and talking (although you may be the only one to understand her fully), and she's coordinated enough to manage a few things on her own. Her imagination is blooming and she loves to play, both by herself and with her friends or siblings. This is a perfect time to introduce her to the cottage playhouse. Inside she can let her imagination run while she plays or she can sit quietly and read a soft book without interruption. Outside of the playhouse she can practice basketball, play soccer (there's a soccer net), or she can cut the lawn with her Little Tikes lawnmower.
DIY Wooden Playhouses...
There's nothing quite like a children's wooden playhouse or children's tree house to feel like the "real thing". Children's playhouse plans can be purchased online at one of the sites that specialize in children's playhouses, or you can find them at the local lumber store or home center. Once you collaborate with the new owner of the home, then you can shop for plans together. A simple, basic design can be built in a weekend and you can dress it up with a few tips from online builders who know the tricks of the trade. What would please children more than to have their own wooden playhouse built for them?
...Or, Custom Built
For those who can, children's custom playhouses are exquisite. They come in a wide variety of styles and there are companies that focus entirely on building them. Mind you, prices aren't in the low range. You can check out some of the fancy children's custom playhouses that have been built in places around the world. There are castles, Victorian manors, New England style homes and Cape Cods. The houses start at about $1,000 and can go up as high at $150,000.
Whether your child plays in a playhouse made of cereal boxes, or has a mansion, the feelings are very much the same. It's their own special place where only kids can go - no adults allowed.