Kids Playhouses – 15 Engaging Ideas for All Budgets

by Sherri Blum

Today we wander into the land of imagination, as we explore kids play spaces with our Nursery and Kids Room Design Expert and Contributor, Sherri Blum. A pioneer specialist for children’s-room interior design, Sherri’s designs for celebrities, and for the baby
next door.

One of the things I love most about summer is the opportunity to be a kid again with my children. Making firefly lanterns, picnics by the lake, fishing and bragging about the big catch of the day, riding our bikes to the local ice cream stand…I love the nostalgia brought forth by these timeless summertime adventures.

Some of my favorite childhood memories were of my brothers and me gathering fallen branches from the woods and leftover boards from Dad’s workshop to build forts at the edge of the woods where we could play cowboys and Indians. We spent endless summer days role-playing and enjoying our homemade playhouses.

Inside Judith Needam Dreaming Spires Willow Playhouse

Today’s children don’t have to put in the hours of sweat that we did, in order to have their summer forts, teepees or castles. The market is full of the most wonderful playhouses imaginable. If only such structures had been available when I was a kid, I might have saved myself from many splintered fingers and hammered thumbs!

1. Dreaming Spires Willow Playhouse (top). As a nature lover, this is my absolute favorite. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it looks so beautiful and natural in the yard or garden. Designed and handmade in England by willow weaver, Judith Needham.

From natural English willow, the playhouse has impeccable environmental credentials. Willow is a material which is annually renewable and which will gradually degrade over about 5 years – which is about the length of time a child will remain interested in using a playhouse. At the end of its life, rather than needing to go into landfill, it can simply be recycled in your own garden. $2,300.

Deluxe Playhouse from Rosenberry Rooms

2. Deluxe Playhouse. This playhouse, full of quirkiness and fun angles, looks as if my brothers and I might have built it ourselves, but is definitely of much better quality. Found at Rosenberry Rooms. $2,599.

Country Roads Gas Station from Posh Tots

3. Country Roads Gas Station. As a mother of boys, I love seeing this playhouse geared more for the boys. And as a tomboy, I’ll admit that I too would have frequently been spotted filling up my “cycle” tank here. From Posh Tots. $12,500.

Grand Victorian Playhouse from Lilliput Playhomes

4. Grand Victorian Playhouse. For those who believe that their little Prince or Princess deserves the very best, this structure, from Lilliput Playhomes, is the ultimate luxury playhouse. Starts at $19,999.

Mini Mansion from Sweet Retreat Kids

5. Mini Mansion. This option, found at Sweet Retreat Kids, comes complete with a loft, window seats and a sun porch. I don’t know if I would have ever gone home again with such a luxurious play space of my own. $36,000.

Barbara Butler Kids Theatre

6. Barbara Butler Theatre. Barbara Butler has some fantastic outdoor structures. I love this sweet and colorful theatre and have just spent the last five minutes daydreaming of the theatrical antics my brothers would have endured, had I been given a theatre like this as a child. $7,740.

Barbara Butler Southampton Treehouse

7. Southampton Treehouse. Budget not an issue? Barbara Butler also has the coolest treehouses, for those who love to climb. $97,640.

Stratford Schoolhouse from Cottage Kits

8. Stratford Schoolhouse. Available as a kit from Cottage Kits. Imagine all the fun the neighborhood kids could have playing school with this! $1,145.

Little Cottage Chapel from Cottage Kits

9. Little Cottage Chapel. Also from Cottage Kits. We probably wouldn’t have complained so much about going to this church in the morning. $1,145.

The Treepee

10. Treepee. One of the most versatile designs is the Treepee. This unique product is a tent, a swing, a trampoline and all around great time for kids of all ages. I wonder if there is a weight limit…this “big girl” really wants to play in one of these! $600.

Willow Pavillion Play Tent from Mommy Couture Designs

11. Willow Pavilion Play Tent. This is so sweet…I could daydream the day away in this beauty. At Mommy Couture Designs. $495.

For those of us with modest budgets, never fear! There are plenty of affordable options.

Paintable Tent from FreeStar Kids

12. Paintable Tent. As an artist, I love to encourage creativity in children. This teepee is great because you can decorate it yourself with basic latex paints and glue-on gemstones or sequins. Little boys could stitch on their favorite patches collected from summer vacations, Boy Scouts and more. Free Star Kids Only $89.99!

Little Cowboy Playtent

13. Little Cowboy Play Tent. We would have adored this tent. Playhouses. $129.99.

Little Tykes Classic Castle

14. Little Tykes’ Classic Castle. Also available at Playhouses. $379.99.

15. Kids DIY. The ready-made structures above are perfect for those with the appropriate budget, or with limited time to dedicate to construction. Of course, the kids can always do like my brothers and me–use their imagination–and have fun building their own.

My Brothers and Me


Designer Sherri BlumSherri Blum loves putting her talents to use designing beautiful rooms for her tiny clients. Sherri’s designs are popular among celebrities and have been featured in numerous TV shows and publications.

Sherri shares with us trends, designer projects and advice for creating beautiful, yet functional kids rooms and baby nurseries.

Sherri operates her design firm Jack and Jill Interiors and she creates her signature line of children’s wall art, clocks and hand-hooked, wool rugs — Sherri Blum Designs. Sherri writes the Jack and Jill blog, and resides with her family in rural Pennsylvania.

Today’s children have endless options available for outdoor play spaces. What are some of your favorite outdoor play spaces?

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2 Comments for “Kids Playhouses – 15 Engaging Ideas for All Budgets”

These are pretty fabulous. Lucky kids that get to play in these. My childhood playhouse was made of cardboard and I had to walk 12 miles in the snow barefoot to get there. 😉

Ha! “12 miles in the snow barefoot.” Didn’t know they had 12 miles of snow in So Cal….Thanks for the belly laugh, Nancy. Sherri found some incredible play structures, didn’t she? My favorite thing about this story though, is the photo of Sherri and her brothers.


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