For a long time I’ve wanted a playhouse for the kids in the backyard. I remember the one my dad made for my sisters. I also remember being jealous and a little upset because I was basically too big for it by the time it was made.
As we couldn’t manage to build a dog house in the 8 or so years we had our German Shepard I have never even considered building a playhouse ourselves. And nicely built ones, even 2nd hand are out of our price range. I’ve looked at purchasing a second hand Little Tikes or Step2 plastic house on craigslist, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. The reasons included cost and space but mostly the inflexible and obnoxious plasticness that they are.
My new solution? Forts. You would think I wouldn’t need the arboretum to inspire this but I did. We live on a relatively small urban lot with fairly new trees we planted ourselves. The previous owners preferred a clear unencumbered slate of grass. If you have the type of property where the kids can spend hours in a wooded area collecting and building forts as they please – good for you. If not, like me, you may need to be a little more deliberate.
I like how the arboretum provided little more than the anchoring corners sunk well into the the dirt and then a pile of branches, stumps and burlap for the kids to customize their own dwelling. I plan on searching for some good corner support branches. I feel this is the ultimate in opened ended nature play. Giving Seth the opportunity, even in the city, to flex his creative muscles to come up with houses, tents, shops and so forth. You better believe the kids won’t be the only ones out there leaning branches , draping burlap and rearranging seating.
If only we had a nice big tree for a treehouse too!