Archive for the ‘Wooden Kids Playhouse’ Category

Time To Weatherize Your Kids Playhouse

January 10, 2011 - 9:12 am No Comments

Your child’s kids playhouse can be an awesome place for him or her to spend their time. It is perfectly kid sized and allows for your little one to just relax and be a child when inside. However, during the winter months, playing inside of the playhouse could get a little too cold for your little one if you don’t weatherize that space.
Kids playhouse frozen windowMost people take for granted how important it is to weatherize the kids playhouse because they don’t view it as another “house”, but as just a play structure. In order to provide your child with long term usage, you will need to take the same steps for protecting it from the harsh winter weather that you take in your own home.

Here’s what you can do to keep the kids playhouse in tip top shape through the wintery season:

1.  Put plastic on the interior windows. There are some window films that can meld to the window to act as a barrier for the cold by heating it with a blow dryer. These are great for this type of exterior space.

2.  Fill all holes and gaps with caulk or foam to keep out drafts. This will also help to keep out pests that may be looking for a place to keep warm during the cold weather also.

3.  Provide your child with draft dodgers for use by the doors when he or she is inside of the kids playhouse. This will keep the cold from blowing in underneath the door. You can either buy a draft dodger at a home or discount retailer or make your own. This could be a really cool activity to do with your child.

Your family’s kids playhouse can be preserved for a lifetime of play. You just need to take the proper steps to keep it safe from the harsh elements that come with winter. Weatherizing today will ensure that your child and his or her friends continue to have a place for fun all year long!

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Looking For A Unique, Japanese Inspired Kids Playhouse?

October 18, 2010 - 9:46 pm No Comments

I loved that this kids playhouse was based on a Japanese wooden tea house theme.  It has a wonderful open concept with many details like a small circle window that acts as a sun dial, a wooden porch-like base that could be transformed into a stage area for plays, decorative lattice work and a small open door way for children to go in and out of the playhouse.

Outside the playhouse, the owner put in a rock garden and a wandering path for a serene and calming effect.

This Japanese-inspired kids playhouse was built with love by Jill for her two daughters.  Great job Jill!

Japanese tea-style kids playhouse

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Amazing Luxury Pirate’s Kids Playhouse

September 29, 2010 - 11:08 pm No Comments

Wow, just when you think you’ve seen it all, a $52,000 luxury pirate’s kids playhouse from Posh Tots comes along to prove you wrong.

This playhouse is handcrafted and comes with a captain’s quarter that can seat 3-4 adults on the faux leather-cushioned benches which can also be used as sleeping bunks for sleepovers, lower and upper decks and a crow’s nest lookout.  Additionally, there are peepholes, numerous windows, an ornate and decorative helm and rudder, and a mast and rigging.

The pirate ship is made out of mahogany, poplar and Douglas fir.  You have to see the pictures.  How could any kid not want a kids playhouse like this one?

Luxury pirate's kids playhosue

Pirate's kids playhouse side view

Inside the pirate's kids playhouse

Kids playhouse pirate ship accessories

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How To Build A Kids Playhouse Foundation From Scratch

August 1, 2010 - 5:26 pm 2 Comments

When building a kids playhouse, a solid foundation is critical to the safety, sturdiness and appeal of your playhouse.  To ensure that the foundation is property prepared, the following step-by-step method is provided so that the resulting playhouse will give your child years of playing enjoyment.

Select a level well drained area for the location of the kids playhouse.  Stake out the perimeter (footprint) of the playhouse using mason’s line or some other string and cut in the grass or dirt using a garden spade.  Remove all grass and vegetation from the area that will be covered by the playhouse foundation.  Construct a form for the concrete foundation using either 1 x 4 or 2 x 4 pieces of lumber.  The form will be held in place using stakes every two to three feet will define the perimeter as well as the thickness of the concrete slab.  The form needs to be level at the top edges so the boards you use for this should not be warped or twisted.   In addition to the wood form you will need steel reinforced mesh, crushed stone aggregate or sharp-sided gravel, sand and cement.  Additionally, you will need to rent or borrow a vibrating plate soil compactor.

Once you have dug out the area for the foundation fill the area with about 3 inch deep layer of grade 5 crushed stone and pack it down using the the compactor.  Cover the layer of crushed, compacted aggregate with 3-4 inches of sand and tamp it down with the compactor.  The layer of sand is critical for the curing of the concrete to maximize the strength of the slab.  The sand layer will also help prevent the cracking of the concrete while the concrete expands or contracts during changing cold or hot weather conditions.

Level the concrete for the kids playhousePlace the wooden form on the prepared area and using wooden stakes on the outside of the form, secure the form in place so that it will not shift or move when adding the cement.  Again, the form must be level so take the time to make adjustments to assure that the form is level at this point.

Lay the steel reinforced mesh over the form and cut the mesh to fit inside the form.  At the time of pouring the cement, you will pull the mesh upwards to the middle of the cement.  Smooth the excess concrete off the top of the form so it is even and level.  Allow the concrete to cure and remove the form and securing stakes.

You now have a solid foundation that is level, sturdy and safe for building that dream kids playhouse for your child.

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A Rustic Kid-Sized Log Cabin Kids Playhouse

July 21, 2010 - 3:18 am No Comments

This kids playhouse is located in northern Wisconsin at a resort that has been around for at least 100 years.  I always walked past this playhouse and loved the rusticity of it.

The kids playhouse is quite small with the door kid-sized, so I had to crouch down to see into the playhouse.  There were spaces between the logs and even a fireplace.  I wonder if the fire place was ever actually used?  My youngest child loved playing in this unique log cabin.  It was a fun experience for her to pretend she was a pioneer, just like Laura Ingalls.

This little log cabin must have provided a lot of enjoyment for many kids over these past decades.

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A Japanese-Themed Kids Playhouse

June 6, 2010 - 10:13 am 1 Comment

There was a fascinating post that I recently read about how architect Bob Borson designed a Japanese-themed kids playhouse.  It was an interesting post because he laid out why he built the playhouse, what inspired him, his research on traditional Japanese architecture and how he narrowed down what elements to include in the playhouse, and what he thinks about from an architects view point as he designed the playhouse.

Japanese Kids Playhouse
Some key thoughts were that he wanted the playhouse to be characteristically Japanese yet economical to build and to be appealing to both the parent and child.

Specific features to note were the wooden platform that the playhouse was built on, the decorative rafters on the outside of the playhouse, the wooden shake shingles on the roof, the small child-sized door, the uniquely Japanese shape and pitch of the roof, and because he wanted to give the playhouse the feel that it was above the ground, the lower part of the playhouse did not have sheathing and was open to the outside environment.

Two elements that were spot on for increased enjoyment by a child was the wrap round shelf or rail on the inside of the playhouse, at just the perfect height for a child to place all their treasures and knick knacks.  The second element was the inclusion of pressed paperboard above the rail for children to pin their favorite drawings or hang items that they’ve collected and want to show off.

Below is the video and end result of his 8 foot x 8 foot Japanese designed kids playhouse.

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A Kids Playhouse In The Tree Tops

April 26, 2010 - 6:42 am 2 Comments

When is a kids playhouse not a playhouse for kids? It’s when the playhouse is built in the tree tops and is used specifically for adults and families looking to unplug and get away from the constant running around, overwhelming work stresses, and distractions of every day life to experience the great outdoors in a unique and memorable way.

Playhouses and tree houses aren’t just for kids. They can be unique get-aways for adults and family members. There are several tree house resorts that cater to people who want a memorable outdoor experience. These tree house resorts move beyond the generalization of the Swiss Family Robinson.

These tree houses don’t require you to rough it, which most families will appreciate, while enjoying a tranquil and rustic outdoors adventure.

If you are in the upper northwest, there are two tree house resorts that are located in the Cave Junction, Oregon area and a third in central Washington, near Mount Rainier. The first is the Out ’n’ About Treesort with 10 different tree houses. The tree houses range from small and cozy to almost grandiose with a tree house suite including a kitchenette.

_Users_Sharon_KPH Blog Articles_Tree house
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

There are two story tree houses with an observation deck or a family complex where the kids and parent tree houses are connected by a swinging bridge. The upper observation tower can be used by all family members for creative kids play, to enjoy the forested mountain view, or for bird watching.

There’s plenty of excitement and uniqueness in getting around the resort using suspension bridges, “Tarzan swings”, and ziplines.

The second resort, Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise, offers three tree houses from rustic cottage, enchanted grandeur (The Shiitake), to elegant Tudor-style (The Calypso) with access only via a bridge.

The Calypso Tree House at Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise
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The final tree house resort, Cedar Creek Treehouse, is upscale and luxurious.  It is nestled in the 200-year old mountainous red cedar forest of central Washington.  It boasts a five story staircase leading to a wondrous tree house.

Cedar Creek Treehouse
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The tree house has a kitchen, refrigerator and bathroom. There are breathtaking views of Osborne Mountain and the Sawtooth Ridge Peaks. Getting away from civilization, it makes connecting to nature and all it has to offer easy in this tree house setting.

Although technically a tree house is not a kids playhouse, it will surely capture the imagination of your children and encourage family interactions with each other and with nature enriching, positive and extremely memorable.

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Hansel And Gretel (Bavarian) Kids Playhouse

April 24, 2010 - 2:50 pm No Comments

If you’ve ever wanted a Hansel and Gretel or Bavarian-style kids playhouse, this one has all the exterior features that make it Bavarian.  This type of architectural detail includes “square” and “X” patterns on the windows, sides, and doors of buildings.

On the roof line, there are decorative, scrolled and scalloped facia board that have been painted dark brown.  In the video, you can see the detail of the facia board.  The window grills or muntins, as well as the cedar shingles, add another authentic dimension to the Hansel and Gretel theme.

The Bavarian-style playhouse is quite large, 12 foot x 12 foot, and has a high ceiling, close to 12 foot at the peak.  There is an adult-sized door and a total of 6 windows on three sides of the playhouse.  There are no windows at the back of the playhouse.  The light from the windows and the height of the roof give the inside of the playhouse a very spacious, open and pleasant feel.

The kids playhouse is built on a concrete slab, the first playhouse that I have seen with a concrete slab.  The concrete extended out from the front door of the playhouse to form a patio.  The concrete patio is a nice feature for placing kids furniture, using chalk to draw creative art work, or for bouncing balls.

Interestingly enough, the inside of the playhouse was done up as a school house theme where there was a pull down United States map mounted on the back wall and a black chalk board.  There were also two old time kid-sized desks.

The playhouse had already been built and came with the main house of the present owner.  The present owner plans to expand upon the interior school house theme with a school bell, a small teachers desk, and posters of the alphabet and number since kids have so much fun pretending to play school.

This kids playhouse is unique in that it has the authentic Bavarian-themed exterior and, with a twist, the interior of the playhouse is themed as a kids school house.

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Four Tips Before You Build A Kids Playhouse

April 11, 2010 - 10:41 pm 19 Comments

You know you want to build a kids playhouse from scratch and you have a pretty good idea the dimensions of the playhouse, but perhaps you don’t know where to go from here.

Before starting, I like to have a clearly defined plan, on paper, that includes the layout of the playhouse in the building site area.  A site plan drawn to at least a 1:100 scale can help you view the overall project before you start the actual construction.

When laying out the site area, it should include the location of the playhouse in the yard, proximity to electrical sources, and where the walls, door, and porch will be positioned.

Kids playhouse plans

The following are four tips that can help you to optimizing your kids playhouse before you even build it.

1.  Begin to develop a basic site plan for your backyard.  On your site plan, incorporate existing buildings (yes, that includes the main house as well) and landscaping or natural areas that should remain undisturbed.

2.  Next, think about the best probable location for your playhouse.  Before you can do this you need to answer the following questions.  Will the playhouse be far away from the house so the kids can have space to themselves, will it be close to the house so that the parents can check on the kids from a main house window, or will the landscape or lot size dictate the placement of the playhouse?

3.  If you will have electricity for the playhouse, you will need to keep in mind where the main source of the electricity will be coming from – the main house or an existing outside circuit like for a garage or swimming pool.  You may need to have a separate circuit installed if you will be building a good distance from the house.  From a safety standpoint, have major electrical work performed by a licensed electrician.  If you are a do-it-yourself person, make sure you follow the approved codes within your area.

4.  Now you are ready to go to your site plan. With the desired playhouse dimensions, begin to layout where the playhouse will be located.  Because the main house is included on the site plan, you can get a sense of how close the playhouse will be from the main house.  If you have opted to be able to see the playhouse from at least one of the windows in the main house, you will be able to confirm this on your site plan.

Pay close attention to where the playhouse porch, entrance door and the windows will be located.  Many parents do not want a window or exit door at the back of the playhouse.

Also, for maximum natural lighting and air movement within the kids playhouse, you may want to indicate on your site plan where the afternoon sun will be (as this will be the typical times when children will play in the playhouse) and how air can move throughout the playhouse with the desired amount of windows and doors outlined.

If your playhouse will not get a lot of sun in the afternoon and you are worried that without electrical lighting it will be too dark, you may want to consider adding an additional window or a skylight.

In terms of air movement, many kids can tolerate heat a lot better than adults. However, knowing that you’ve planned for adequate air movement in advance by incorporating enough windows, that can be opened, will ensure that your child will have a pleasant and comfortable playing environment.

Lastly, if you plan on having a porch, which I recommend, determine if the overhang will be adequate for sun, rain and wind protection for you child when they decide to play on the porch of the playhouse.

Taking into consideration the above tips before you build your kids playhouse will ensure that you have the perfect playhouse location in your backyard and it will be optimized for your child’s enjoyment.

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A Unique Kids Playhouse With A Stone Facade

April 7, 2010 - 3:11 pm 3 Comments

I came across this unusual, older, kids playhouse custom-made from a wood frame with a stone accent front and tan, vinyl siding.  The vinyl siding was the same color as the main house, and although the playhouse did not match the architectural style of the main home, the consistent use of color between structures worked very well together. Older kids playhouse with stone facade

Two unusual features of this playhouse make it a particularly interesting structure.  The two level shingled roof and the stone facade combine to make a unique playhouse.

The lower roof extended over the porch by about 3 feet. The door to the kids playhouse was kid-sized, about 4 feet high, and was reached by stepping up onto a raised, 4 foot wide by 3 foot deep, wooden porch.

The kid-friendly door had a pull to open the door – just right for little kids hands.

There were four windows of various sizes, not including the window in the door, so the interior of the playhouse was very bright and pleasant.  There was no electricity to the playhouse so having all those windows was nice.

The first window was to the right of the entrance to the kids playhouse and was glass only and not meant to be opened. There were no windows directly opposite the door. Kids playhouse stone facade side view

On the lower level, there were two double hung widows on each side of the kids playhouse adjacent to the door.  One of these windows was long and narrow while the other window was more of a standard size.  These windows could be opened for air flow through the playhouse. The last double hung window was on the second level and again, this window was tall and narrow.

The interior floor was wooden and the walls were finished off with wall board that had been painted white.

There was a ladder to a second floor area spanning the entire length of the playhouse.  This area was just the right size for 2-3 small kids and could certainly be used for a sleepover. Kids playhouse stone facade side view 2

The stone exterior to this kids playhouse made it very unique and memorable.  The brightness of the interior was refreshing due to the amount of windows.

The second floor was a nice addition for extra fun and especially for slumber parties and sleepovers.

Overall, this kids playhouse was very unique and nice looking.

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