Getting a first class Wendy house or wooden playhouse for your children could be one of the best decisions you make as a parent. It creates endless hours of fun as your children make up secret club rules, decorate the house as they see fit and act out fantastical scenarios, all in the safety of your back garden.
However, it is important that you choose a playhouse that is both safe and suitable for your children. Playhouses generally come in two different styles; the plastic playhouses for younger children and the wooden playhouses for slightly older children. While the plastic playhouse is a good starting point for very young children, if you want your playhouse to last, you will want to invest in a lovely wooden house for the garden.
So what should you look for? And what else should you be considering for a first-class children’s playhouse?
1. A Solid Roof
Nowadays, playhouses need to be strong and sturdy. They need to hold their own in the tough British weather, which can be rather unforgiving particularly on gloomy and rainy days. If your Wendy house does not have a solid roof or is not fully waterproof, you are certainly going to be hearing all about it from your children. You can buy wood treatment solutions that help reduce the chance of leaks for many playhouses, so this might be an option for you to consider. One of the many joys of having a small clubhouse where your children can play is that they don’t have to run inside the minute it starts showering; they can continue to have fun inside the playhouse.
Even if your playhouse is wonderfully waterproof, that in and of itself doesn’t do a lot of good if the interior is deathly cold whenever it rains. Properly insulating your Wendy house is a must. Good materials for insulation include polystyrene sheets, wool and foil bubble wrap or foam, which can be placed in between the gaps in the wooden frame of the playhouse. If you like you can then board over these gaps with extra wooden boards. It may take a few inches off the size of the interior, but your wooden house will now be toasty and warm, perfect for a fun, rainy afternoon of play!
3. Space for Storage
As children are likely to amass a collection of toys, plastic tools, kitchenware and other items, it may be a good idea to look into getting a good-sized playhouse. You want a playhouse that can store everything but still provides enough room for your children to sit or stand comfortably. Some wooden playhouses come with two floors installed and this can be a good option, as children can easily play on one floor and store their toys on the other.
4. Room to Grow
You will want to think about how long your children are likely going to be able to use the playhouse for. Children grow a lot faster than you realise, so it is important that you get a playhouse that is going to last. Larger playhouses, in general, have more longevity as they are also built to last, and your children can also use them as a den as they reach their early teens.
When you do eventually choose your Wendy house, you want to make sure that it is properly safe and secure. Check for any sharp edges and sand them down if possible. Invest in a padlock or alternative locking method for when the structure is not in use, as playhouses are often used as storage during the winter or for other toys. While it is unlikely that thieves are going to steal from the Wendy house specifically, an unlocked door is always an easy target for thieves!
6. A Creative Interior
If you fancy yourself a modern-day Picasso, why not create a beautiful painted interior? For playhouses, the appearance of the house itself can often be just as appealing to children as having their own space for play. You can always make an activity day of it; paint the playhouse, where you imagine fantastical landscapes covered in dragons, rolling hills, castles and princesses. You want your playhouse to inspire your children.
7. Memories you can Establish Together
Last, but certainly not least, you need to get a playhouse that you feel comfortable in. It is highly likely that you will be the guest of honour in many a tea party or a car race as your children get older, so if the house is not big enough to fit your adult frame, you need to be prepared for this. Remember that your children will want to play with you, so you will need to find a play house that houses adults properly (or at least a house in which an adult can stand up in). Spending time and creating memories together with your children is a big part of their young lives, so don’t miss out!
Mike James, independent content writer & graphic designer working with Hortons UK Log Cabins… and part time playhouse occupant. Although feeling like a giant is great, you just can’t get a decent cup of tea in there.
Until Next Time… Charlotte x