How to Build a Natural Playhouse for Your Kids

A backyard playhouse gives children a place to go to have their own private space where they can disconnect from the outside world. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)
A backyard playhouse gives children a place to go to have their own private space where they can disconnect from the outside world. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Sometimes, it can be difficult for children to have their own private space inside your home, especially if you have several kids sharing a room. Building a playhouse in the backyard is the ideal solution in such circumstances. This is where a kid can go and disconnect himself from the outside world.

“This will be their ‘retreat’ and give them a place to go when they need quiet time or want to enter into their own little world, even if it’s only to take a nap. Giving them the freedom to do this at any time they please will boost their self-esteem greatly,” according to Room to Grow. Here, we cover two methods of building a natural playhouse for your kids.

Willow den

If you are looking to build a playhouse that lasts for a long time, a willow den is a perfect choice. To build one, you will need a few green willow rods of at least 6 inches in length and weed-suppressing membrane. First, you need to place the weed-suppressing membrane on the surface where you will be building the den.

(Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

First, you need to place the weed-suppressing membrane on the surface where you will be building the den. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Puncture holes of 2-3 inches in diameter through the areas of the membrane where the rods have to be planted. Place the rods in these holes to create the frame of the willow den. You can start by deciding the entrance of the den and planting rods on either side of it. Tie the tops to create an arched structure. Use the 1-year-old rods as the diagonal weave and 2-year-old rods for vertical support.

The top section of the den will remain open. Close the gap when you are able to weave and tie up the new growth in the future. Instead of weed-suppressing membranes, you can also use things like straw, jute, and so on. Keep in mind that materials like straw will have to be replaced periodically.

Runner bean teepee den

This is the easier of the two options to build. You will need about 10 bamboo canes that are about 6 to 7 feet in length, some runner bean seeds, gardening string, and chicken wire. First, create a circle patch on the lawn. Push down the bamboo canes into the ground on the circular patch to form a large pyramid or teepee shape. Make sure that you leave a big enough gap between two bamboo canes that will act as the entrance.

Tie the tops of all the bamboo with garden string. It is also a good idea to cover the teepee, except the entrance, with chicken wire. At the base of every bamboo cane, dig a 10-inch deep area that is 10 inches long and wide. Put in some compost and rotten manure.

(Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Tie the bamboo canes together at the top. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Poke two holes about 2 inches in depth and put in runner bean seeds. Pour some water in the hole and cover it gently with soil. Once the seeds start germinating, you need to protect them from slugs by inspecting the plants regularly and removing any you find. Continue removing or exterminating the slugs until the plants are about 6 inches tall.

If the plants fail to find the bamboo on their own, just wrap their shoots on the canes or chicken wire. This will be enough to let the plants grow naturally on the teepee. Prevent weeds from affecting the plants by surrounding them with bark chips. Over time, the den will be covered in bean plants, with green leaves and red flowers giving it a beautiful look.

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