Playhouses and Playsets

The "Sunflower" cedar playhouse

The stories of childhood are full of special places. Knights and princesses have castles while superheroes have secret headquarters. Wizards have towers and lords and ladies have mansions. Even animals have enchanted forests. As children grow towards their teens and then adulthood, they identify having a place of their own with having a place in the world.

Adding a playhouse to your backyard (or other property) makes a fantastic addition not just to your outside décor but also gives your children the gift of a lifetime. However, playhouse construction takes a certain amount of skill. Playsets are lots of fun for smaller children, but older kids might outgrow them too quickly.

Choosing between a playset or playhouse – or opting for both – requires a well-thought out investment of time and money. It’s not a time to make an impulse purchase.

Playset or Playhouse?

Playsets are ideal for larger backyards in areas where children don’t have ready access to playgrounds or other equipment to help them get exercise. But if your house is located near a school or church with a playground, buying your own playset is possibly redundant. Likewise, if your children make steady use of swingsets while at school, a playset of their own might also go ignored.

Playhouses give your children a place to be by themselves, nurturing their imaginations. Making children responsible for its upkeep – cleaning and routine maintenance – also helps teach them responsibility. Their downside is largely a matter of time. Children may outgrow playhouses relatively quickly, abandoning them for more “mature” pursuits. That’s when parents have to either re-purpose the playhouse into a storage shed or other facility. Scrapping or selling the unit are also possibilities.

When considering which to buy, the most important questions to ask remain simple. What will do my child the most good? How long do we expect the playset or playhouse to remain useful? What happens then?

Where to Place Your Playhouse

Playhouses PlaysetsPlaysets obviously go in a wide, sunny area of the yard. Playhouse placement can be a little more tricky. The playhouse should go in a sunny area, out from under tree cover (for safety during thunderstorms) and within shouting distance of the main house.

At the same time, children will appreciate having the playhouse in their “own corner” of the yard or property, away from the figurative shadows of the house. When choosing, look for an area that’s close but still far away by children’s standards. Remember that like time, children often perceive distance differently than adults.

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