Via Omaha: 5 ways to personalize your kids’ playhouse
Imaginations are like a garden. They require some seeds to come into bloom. Consider your child’s playhouse to be the garden — it’s up to you to supply the seeds.
Make outside play enticing to your little ones this fall by filling an empty playhouse with fun. When you stock them up with a few essentials, your kids will be set for adventure after adventure.
1. Start with seating.
From playing house to coloring pictures, seats are a must. The addition of a child-size table and chairs will be the start of fun. Lightweight ones are great because they let your child rearrange and take them in and out of the playhouse as their imagination demands.
2. Foster reading.
A reading nook in a playhouse is just the spot to have some quiet time and go on trips to other lands. Start with an indoor/outdoor rug that can take a beating from foot traffic and soil. It will provide cushion for lying down and reading. Add a couple of old blankets or beach towels for snuggling. Older kids might like a bean bag chair or two instead of a toddler’s table and chair. Tip: Tie library visits this fall into your playhouse adventures. Pick up a book on the Old West and the playhouse becomes a fort, or read about pirate ships for a sailing adventure.
3. Organize storage with kits.
Some small plastic tubs, the size your child can handle, are perfect for creating fun “kits” for use in the playhouse. Fill one with toy dishes, plastic food and a few aprons for a pretend kitchen. Another can house art supplies or modeling clay. Use another filled with dress-up clothes. Creating a stack of these kits lets your child pick their adventure for the day. Tip: Dole out the kits like it is your own library. Kids can check out one and can’t get another one until they bring back the first one. This keeps the playhouse from getting too full and cluttered.
4. Get artsy.
An outdoor playhouse is the perfect spot to get creative — without making a mess inside your real house. There are a number of ways to create an art wall. Chalkboard paint on a wall makes a big canvas to fill over and over. Magnetic paint allows for all kinds of art to be displayed with magnets or fun to be had with magnetic letters. A tub with markers, crayons and paper can be fun outside as you show your kids how to rub leaves or trace flowers.
5. Personalize the space.
Have some fun with your child’s playhouse. Adding window boxes are great in two ways. You can enjoy planting and watering flowers with your little one, or fill them with artificial flowers they can enjoy taking them out and rearranging. Add a mailbox to your playhouse and give them envelopes to color while playing post office. A battery-powered doorbell or a knocker is a ton of fun for imaginary scenarios. If you want to play house, you need a few housekeeping things. Toy brooms and garden tools allow them to imitate real life. The inside walls are an opportunity for your children to decorate. Let them hang up artwork or posters. Try using painters’ tape on yours, as it is easily removed from most surfaces.
Keep in mind it doesn’t take much more than a suggestion to start outdoor fun. From packing lunch for a picnic in the playhouse to dressing up as a princess for an afternoon in the “castle,” it’s easy to fill a playhouse with fun.