So it’s time to build a playhouse. Congratulations, parents; you’ve reached a wonderful new phase in your kiddo’s growth and development. It’s enlightening and inspiring to watch our little ones figure out the nuances of their preferences, attitude, moods, and independence.
Today we want to talk about playhouses and give you top ideas for decorating. With so much going on in your daily life, it can be overwhelming to find time to add the finer details to a playhouse to maximize playtime.
Here at Blue Squirrel, we have a few decorating tips and tricks to bring the best out of everyone.
What Exactly Is a Playhouse?
First things first, let’s define a playhouse:
A playhouse is any indoor or outdoor structure that constitutes a play space for young children. This is a safe space for a child where they’re free to create an imaginary world all around them.
While they should be free to let their play take them wherever it may, decorating the playhouse helps get the gears going. They can look around and gather inspiration from the items that you add to their playhouse.
Why Is a Playhouse Important for Kids?
A playhouse isn’t a necessary item for childhood to be great, but it can add a lot to your home and your child’s daily experience.
Below are just a few of the top reasons why your child and their friends can benefit from having a playhouse:
Build Imagination and Creativity
Building an imagination and expanding creativity are vital skills for a child’s developing brain. It is during these times of adolescence that kids start to learn, analyze, and understand the world and environment around them.
According to expert opinion, your child will manipulate the outside world to create fantastical images and tales. Children don’t need to have seen or experienced aspects of their imagination for these creative anecdotes to come out and play. For example, a child insisting that chocolate milk comes from brown cows is just one of the lighthearted, imaginative alternatives that tend to pop up.
It’s just a fun way for little ones to expand their brains and make up fun stories, both of which are vital to their development, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving.
A playhouse is a perfect setup to encourage kids to play together. When kids are able to play in groups, they develop social and emotional skills that they take into adulthood.
Social play helps your child develop the confidence needed to build friends. These friendships help us understand, manage, and evaluate our feelings and reactions to different situations.
We know from our own experience that friendships and belonging to groups help us feel accepted and encourage us to be ourselves. There’s nothing like those friends you make that help you define who you want to be and don’t want to be as you age and mature. A playhouse is a great tool to help your child find those early pals.
With the addition of toys to the playhouse (like ring toss or kitchen supplies), your kids will have a lot of opportunities to finetune motor skills. Opening and closing the door, getting up and down from any tables or chairs — all these little norms in a playhouse are areas that present your child with opportunities for physical growth.
Playhouses offer the option for our kids to play with a group or individually, which can fit every unique play style in your family or friend group. From parallel play to cooperative play, children can use a playhouse as a starting point for their comfort level and potentially expand from there as they age.
Entertainment That Lasts
These lessons are invaluable to our kids and their personal growth. Playhouses, thankfully, come in many sizes and price points so that you’ll be able to find what works for your space and budget.
But as parents, we know that there needs to be financial value in anything we purchase. Thankfully, playhouses are one of the most cost-effective toys that we can buy our little ones, and the years of play they offer will definitely prove that. Certain additions like white glove service can make buying and setting up an outdoor playhouse easier than ever.
7 Decorating Ideas
Playtime is important for our kiddos, and decorating their playhouse gives them a space all their own that’s fun and cute.
Here are those details, big and small, not to forget when setting up a playhouse for your little ones to enjoy.
Play With Color
Paint the town (okay, just the playhouse) with as much color as everyone is comfortable packing in. Find vibrant colors for the trim and façade of the house on the outside, and don’t stop there.
Add colorful accent rugs and bright-patterned curtains to the windows. Whatever and wherever you can, add some vibrancy and excitement to get those creative juices flowing.
Add Furniture and Design Aesthetic
Do you and your kids like a farmhouse scheme? Or do you prefer more of a mid-century modern feel?
These ideas might be a little advanced for a playhouse, but find a theme and add furniture and other design elements to accentuate that design. It’s not only fun but a great way to help your child build decision-making and problem-solving skills in exciting and happy ways. They won’t even realize how much their brains are expanding; they’ll just remember the bonding time with you.
Make It Cozy
A cozy playhouse encourages more play. The more comfortable your children can get in their play space, the longer that space will be in use. Then, they’ll be creating games longer, using their imagination more frequently, and overall enjoying their day more.
This means you’ll add a few extra stress-less hours to your day.
Keep It Organized
Even if kids don’t realize it, they need and crave organization. An organized playhouse can help children prioritize their needs or checklists for certain activities, get the items together, and stay focused longer.
This is another building block skill that our little ones will take into adulthood. If they’re introduced to organization and order when they’re young, they’ll grow up with a baseline for how to keep things orderly and structured as they get older.
It doesn’t have to be rigid or boring, though. You can add labels together, use brightly colored bins and decide what goes where together, and so much more.
Don’t Skimp on Details
Pictures on the walls, placemats on the faux dining table — all the little things that seem so small are actually additional opportunities to let kids’ imaginations run wild.
If your little one wants to be an inventor, add a station for kiddie wrenches and nuts and bolts to help them make their first robot. If they’re a painter, add an easel, paintbrushes, and a watercolor palette in the brightest corner of the playhouse.
These details set the scene for social and creative play and are the finer details that make our houses homes. This sentiment will ring true for our minis and their playhouses as well. The small, intricate details that add to the value and authenticity of their spaces will help them add details to their games as well.
Encourage a Green Thumb
Add some potted plants around the playhouse for a cute green detail. If your playhouse is indoors, you can do fake plants to keep the floors dry or add some large planters around the exterior of the playhouse if your setup is outdoors. This is where it’s critical to consider the floor material (and why the first floor of the Blue Squirrel Clubhouse has a rubber bottom).
Watering the plants is another fun activity in which your kiddos can participate. It’s more direct than creative play, but working the upkeep of the plants into their games can lead to new and creative ideas and fun.
Light It Up
Add a string or two of tea lights to the walls or exterior trim of the playhouse for a playful finishing detail. Your little ones will love helping hang fairy lights to their playhouse and will get a kick out of turning them on nightly. Consider opting for string lights with a timer, and always make sure they are outdoors-safe.
Get the Most Out of Playtime
Buying a playhouse isn’t just fun; it’s functional for your child’s growth and development. It doesn't matter how big or small the playhouse you choose is. The important part is supplying your child with a place to learn about the world and feel safe to be themselves.
You never know what your child might come up with, so don't be afraid to play along when invited!