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Kid Playhouse Roundup: For Every Type of House, For Every Budget

A couple of Saturdays ago was one of my favorite days in awhile. My dad and I picked up a playhouse kit that my friends (who live up north too) had bought for their 2-year old. Sadly, it had been sitting in its box, untouched for weeks. Apparently having two kids (the other under a year) in diapers is pretty time consuming:) Anyway, we HAPPILY took on the project. I mean what a win-win. We get a project to pass an afternoon and my friends get what will hopefully be hours of endless entertainment for their sweet but nonstop toddler. I also want to mention that we felt like actual Santa Claus. The pure joy on Otto’s face was soul-filling, to say the least. Then hearing him ask what his mama wanted him to cook from the little window made my ovaries hurt. Her answer was a burrito (duh) a pure example of why we have been friends for 17 years.

Side note: We all kept a VERY safe distance and were wearing masks. I can’t wait for the day I can scoop that little pumpkin up.

This whole little adventure got me thinking. The weather is getting nice (or is already HOT in places like LA) and maybe other parents are thinking about finally ordering a playhouse. Likely most parents are at the “whatever will keep them occupied that isn’t just the TV” stage of this quarantine (my friends were). So I decided to round up three different types of playhouses: wood, cardboard, and fabric. This way whether you have a backyard or live in an apartment, there is “a house” for every type of home and budget (I’m serious there is a very cute $18 tent down below).

But before we move on to the houses please enjoy little Otto’s sweet face and his cute playhouse! My dad and I didn’t install the roof because since it was just the two of us carrying it (again for safety), we didn’t want it to be too heavy. To cover that fact, my dad said that my friends should have do something (typical Les Bunge). So the roof was expertly installed by Otto’s dad as shown in the picture on the right:)


photo by tessa neustadt | via lonny

Let’s start with classic wood playhouses. What’s great about a wood playhouse is the obvious fact that they are likely going to last you much longer (which usually comes with a higher price tag). They also require more labor to put together (unless you choose something like #3 or #7). But it’s pretty undeniable how cute these are and so much room to personalize with paint!

1. Outdoor Farmhouse Style Playhouse | 2. Modern Outdoor Playhouse | 3. Castle Playhouse | 4. Meadow Lane Market Playhouse | 5. Scenic Heights Cedar Playhouse | 6. Hillcrest Wooden Outdoor Playhouse | 7. Castle Rock | 8. Evermeadow House Playhouse | 9. Brown Aspen Playhouse


from: 50+ nearly free ideas for how to entertain your kids (& get you through summer)—updated

I know that buying a cardboard playhouse may seem crazy when you can build one yourself (please see the Henderson’s masterpiece above). But if you don’t have the boxes or you are just wanting something a little more special looking, then have a look at the ones below. #1 blew my socks off when I saw it and #2 is actually a bunch of building blocks so your kids can create all different kinds of structures. Pretty darn cool.

1. Cardboard Magic Castle | 2. Mega Building Blocks | 3. Rocket Playhouse | 4. Cardboard Space Shuttle | 5. Cardboard Playhouse Pirate Ship | 6. Cardboard Playhouse


photo by tessa neustadt | from: little girl’s playful bedroom reveal

Fabric play tents are great if you don’t have an outdoor space, are on more of a budget, or just simply prefer the ease of a tent (no tools required doesn’t sound bad). Just giving your kids a new little place to play and use their imagination is such a gift (especially when they are this cute). First off I can’t handle how funny #4 is. I mean it’s actually a “Palm Springs” house. Clearly reserved for the most design-forward of children. But I really love the classic feel of #1 and the utter sweetness of #2.

1. CIRKUSTÄLT | 2. Play Tent Play House | 3. Indoor Outdoor Fort | 4. Palm Springs Playhouse | 5. Small Colorful Flags Play Tent | 6. Circular Kids Pop-Up Play Tent | 7. Tower Tent | 8. Tent with Beetle Embroidery | 9. Fire Station Playhouse

I hope that if you were thinking of getting a playhouse for your little one that this helped. And I know we shouldn’t be selfish and make it about us (and not the kids) but guys feeling like Santa Claus truly rocked. Happy Thursday:)

Love you, mean it.

Opening Photo Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Building Our Backyard Castle with Wood Naturally + Fort Roundup

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3 years ago

I love that your dad made them take ownership by putting on their own roof. Best part of the story!

3 years ago

Adorable! I still want a playhouse, but I no longer have a little one to use it. Great roundup!

Roberta Davis
3 years ago

My grand kids have a bouncy castle in their backyard- but they keep having to take it down for snow and wind (Colorado)!

BUT- I also have a great idea for how to give mom a break for 1/2 hour or so. I have been reading books to my grand kids via FaceTime while they eat lunch- 4 days a week. Wonderful for them, wonderful for the grandparents, and the mom can make a phone call or have a few minutes to collect herself while this is going on. Highly recommended on all fronts.

Today, my grand daughter told me that during their walk right before our call “we talked about this book on our walk, and pigs don’t say La La La!” Great memories being made, along with a few cute screen shots and videos.

The back yard is about all they’ve got- I’m all for having a fun place to hang out- especially love that Etsy play house and the Target market!

Roberta Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Jess Bunge

It’s fantastic. We’re more in each others’ lives now that they are not so busy. We may have to keep it going even afterward!

Chloe Chapman
3 years ago

OMG is weird that as an adult I really want that Mid-Century Modern looking fabric tent?

3 years ago

I don’t have kids, so my household’s version of this is me planning to get a greenhouse to put on our roof. Us adults could definitely stand to watch a little less tv too! 🙂

3 years ago

I have had and given the Ikea tent to so many people. It is wonderful, so easy to put together and put away, and worth way more than $20.

3 years ago

I love this website, please keep it up

Living Room Sets

Julie S
3 years ago

I came to comment wondering how Emily’s poor butchered trees were doing after a couple years growth! I saw that backyard photo and had to click through. Was actually thinking about those trees while pruning one of my own this week.

We have a playhouse we got several months ago for free from a neighbor who was moving, but my hubby has yet to re-assemble the sections and I’m not allowed to ask him anymore when he’s going to put it together! He does have a very full schedule at the moment, to be fair.