Dad knowledge

How to build an outdoor toddler playhouse

best toddler playhouse

Summer’s almost here which means endless hours in the garden – so we’ve spent the past two weekends trying to build the very best outdoor toddler playhouse.

I should make it clear from the start that we cheated a little bit/a lot. As much as I’d love to pretend I’m capable of building a beautiful wooden playhouse from scratch, I most definitely am not.

Evermeadow playhouse

The Evermeadow Playhouse

So we ordered the Evermeadow Playhouse from Big Game Hunters, and it seems like a great decision so far. It arrived in two flat-packed boxes – one for the main house and one for the floor – and it took around an hour for two adults to put together.

The Evermeadow Playhouse comes in something like seven or eight pieces, with all the instructions and screws you need to put the whole thing together. The wood is soft so easy to screw into, but I’d recommend an electric screwdriver rather than doing everything by hand (like I did). There are probably around 50 screws altogether, so you’ll speed things up by going electric.

Positioning the playhouse

We’ve had a redundant patch of soil in the bottom corner of our garden for a couple of years, which I occasionally plant with wildflowers, but for the most part it looks a little bit sad and unloved. The perfect spot for the playhouse. I bought four cheap concrete paving slabs to use as the base, leveled out the ground, then plonked the newly-built playhouse on top.

Our two-year-old boy Sonny is obsessed with the word ‘adventure’ at the moment. “Daddy, can we go on an adventure?” “Daddy, can you find me adventure stick?” “Daddy, can you build an adventure path for my new adventure house?” How could I say no to a cute question like that? So the next job was building an ‘adventure path’ to the front door.

Off we went into our local woods and found a few discarded logs from some recently felled trees, chucked them in the boot of the car, then used them to create the outline of a little path to what would become the door of the playhouse. We dug all the weeds out of the soil, leveled the path, then covered it in woodchip. Adventure path built!

Toddler playhouse garden

Planting the finishing touches

With the Evermeadow Playhouse in place and the path built, we wanted to jazz up the front of it a little bit. There was already a mini pond in the ground next to the path, made using a bucket last year (tips here if you want to do something similar), but Sonny’s new mini garden needed a bit of colour.

So off we went to the market to get some hardy little evergreen plants, which he helped me plant with his mini fork and shovel. Then to finish it off, we scattered a few bee-friendly plant seeds, which we’re hoping will come out early in the early summer months to attract plenty of little flying critters.

Painting the playhouse

From past experience most things made of wood don’t last well outside unless you treat them somehow, so we picked up some Ronseal garden paint to hopefully give the Evermeadow Playhouse a bit of protection, and a bit of colour.

In true Sonny style, he was never going to let me do it by myself, so he grabbed his own mini paintbrush and went to work. To be fair, he was worse than useless and painted all over the inside of the shed and the windows before I demoted him to watching duty.

But we got there in the end! It took a couple of weekends of work, but in our minds we’ve created the best little outdoor playhouse in the world, placed right next to the den we built last year to create a proper little adventure corner of our garden. We’ve got plans to grow sunflowers up the side of it and climbing plants over the roof, but that can wait a few weeks.

Now I just need Sonny to stop growing, so he can actually enjoy it for a year or two before his head smashes through the roof.

Best toddler playhouse

Evermeadow playhouse

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