Kids’ Playhouse Ideas – simple ways to give your backyard playhouse a makeover and take it from “so-so” to the coolest hang-out on the block.
When I was a kid, my backyard playhouse was the favourite hide-out for me and all the kids on my street. My dad built it. It was quite small. But it was up off the ground, 4 feet or so above a homemade sandbox.
There was a large window in the front of the playhouse, and a bench-type table underneath the window. For seating, my dad put in two seats from an old Volkswagen Beetle! Those two seats pretty much took up the whole space, but we didn’t care.
We spent countless hours up there in that playhouse all year round.
Dad would close in the window with a clear plastic sheet in wintertime to keep the snow and wind out for us. We’d cram in there, squishing as many as we could onto those old Volkswagon seats, and we would colour and draw or just hang out in that care-free way that kids do.
Fast forward 30 years, and I had my husband build a replica of that play house for our boys and the daycare hooligans. The only difference was, we made it much bigger. We put in a bench-type table, and a couple of chairs and called it a day.
Like the playhouse from my childhood, it had a large front window, and stood above homemade sandbox. The kids loved it, even though it wasn’t anything fancy.
Well, this past weekend, after drooling over some gorgeous outdoor play-spaces over at Let the Children Play, and Teacher Tom, I decided to jazz up the playhouse, and make it more of an inviting play space. We performed an extreme playhouse makeover!
I gathered some basic Kids’ playhouse ideas from around the web, and transformed our boring playhouse into a rockin’ hide-out for the hooligans!
This is what the playhouse looked like early Saturday Morning. Fun hide-away, yes. Stimulating play-space….not so much.
As luck would have it, we found a slide for 10 bucks that morning at a yard sale, so my husband Mike got to work, cutting a hole in the front wall for the slide, while I raided our cupboards and closets for seldom used items to make the space a little more exciting.
Great playhouse ideas
A wire rack, a milk crate and some dishes and utensils made for a great kitchen.
I hung curtains and we added clothes-line and a keyboard, as well as a chalkboard and an old phone.
My son put the Hooligans’ names all around the rafters with sticky foam letters. And Mike finished installing the slide.
A great weekend with the family all working together. And Voila…take a look at the transformation!
Hellooooo Hooligan Hut!
I hope I’ve inspired you to try some of these awesome kids’ playhouse ideas in your own backyard!
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Sandbox Ideas: Tips and Tricks for the Best Sandbox on the Block
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Looks fun! They’ll have a blast with that play kitchen, and the slide is a super cool way to leave the house. Great job!
I love the play space very inspirational! I bet the kids have a great time with it!
Thanks ladies! The kids LOVED what we did to it! Before the makeover, they would go up there, but not for long. After the make-over…they pretty much spent the entire month of June up there before my daycare closed for the summer. That weekend of effort was SO rewarding for everyone!
Way to go scoring the slide for $10 and the new play house looks like the perfect place for many hours of fun play.
Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam
What an enchanting play house!!!!
Thanks, Rebekah! Giving that neglected space a makeover was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It gets so much love and attention now! 🙂
How adorable is that? Nice work! This is very timely b/c my husband is building a playhouse for our kids. When it’s done I’ll be coming back here for ideas on how to do up the inside! 🙂
Perfect timing, Jessica! I’d love to see pictures when you get your playhouse finished!
Do you have any instructions on how you built your clubhouse? I’m wanting to make something similar this spring.
Hi Melody, sorry, but I don’t have any instructions for our playhouse. My husband and a friend built it, and they’re both in the construction field, so they didn’t follow an actual plan. There would be lots of plans on the internet for playhouses though. You could also check your library as they have all kinds of books on building outdoor structures – gazebos, play structures, tree houses etc.
No problem 🙂 Thanks so much for getting back with me!
Love it! Have you thought of adding “musical instruments” in the form of pan lids and a metal garbage can? Not inside the playhouse, naturally!
I have thought of that actually Debbie! I’d love to! I’m thinking I might take on that project this summer.
Thank you for sharing, Jackie! This is over the top fabulous! You’ve made it a home for imaginative play, and you and/or your kids can add or change things to keep it inviting and fun. Makes me want to be a kid again. Thank you. Sharing on my FB page.
This is AMAZING! I’m so excited to get started our own backyard now. How do you deal with mosquitos when your kids are out there so much? I’m pretty new to the country and we never had them where I was growing up. Thanks 🙂
2 things mosquitos don’t like: wind and sunshine. We get a good breeze in our yard most days so that helps. We stay out of the shade and up towards the top of the yard (away from the cedar hedges) when the bugs are bad. Early morning and evening, when the grass is damp are the worst times. Mid-morning, when the sun has dried the grass and the air is warm and dry, they die off or go into hiding. Some kids wear bug spray – I’m not big on slathering kids with chemicals. If I have to resort to bug spray, I’ll spray hats, shoes, shirts etc, rather than skin. Citronella is a natural repellent – you can plant that. I’m sure there are other natural repellents that you can plant as well.