Gone are the days when a cubby house in the backyard meant a few haphazard boards attached to a tree, or branches leaned up against one another to make a fort.
As kids turn more and more to electronics and personal gaming devices, parents are in turn finding new ways to keep their children engaged and outside playing.
Cubby houses are an attractive option for kids to play, create and imagine. It’s their own little spot to have unstructured play, to have secrets, and maybe have a sleepover or two. Cubby house design is getting more and more sophisticated, with complex designs getting added into new home design, and a wealth of DIY options available at the click of a mouse. Here are some tips for you to build an awesome cubby house for your kids.
DECIDE ON THE PURPOSE
The first thing you need to do is decide why you or your children want the cubby house. Is it for a club hideaway in the yard? A quiet place to read a comic book? Is it going to be a theme cubby playset inside your home? How you build your cubby home may depend on these considerations. For instance, if you build a cubby based on your child’s favourite animated character, you may want a cubby that’s either easy to change or easy to disassemble, since the child’s tastes are likely to change with time. Also, the location chosen and whether it’s inside or outside will affect the choice of materials.
The cool thing is that there are a variety of materials you can use that will fit most budgets. If the cubby house is to be indoors as a playset, then you may be able to use strong reinforced cardboard. The good thing about cardboard is that it’s inexpensive, and you can recycle it when your child is finished with it. It can be fragile, though, so make sure it’s as sturdy as you can get it. For outside, you should go with sturdier and rain resistant materials like treated wood and plastics. If you’re into recycling and reusing, you can salvage materials like old pallets to create your child’s home away from home. You can also salvage old playground equipment to add an extra element of fun. If you’re looking for a more permanent structure, you can lay concrete to have a solid base.
When it comes to cubby houses, the sky is the limit. These are, in essence, miniature houses, so you can design them in whichever way you’d like. In your home you can have a ladder leading up to a bed, or outside you can create a castle or a jungle hut. Usually, you’ll want to make the cubby to have the look and feel of a real home. Children love having a “home” to call their own, free from the outside world of parents and responsibility! Of course, real homes don’t usually have slides and ladders, but that’s okay! Safety should also be an integral part of any design, so make sure to include handrails and avoid open ladders.
Painting is really fun because it’s something the whole family can do together. It’s also what brings the designed cubby home to life. The colours you choose will depend on the theme that you’re looking for. For a fairy-tale castle, you can go with light blues and violets to create a magical feel. For a calming reading nook you can paint mystical creatures and landscapes on the walls to encourage fantasy and imagination. There is no end of fun and creative things you can do when painting a cubby home.
Now that we’ve brainstormed ideas, it’s time to get building. For a basic cubby house, all you really need is some cardboard, some plywood, some paint, nails, and tools. Everything else is just an added bonus. Once your framework is up, it’ll be up to you how creative you want to get. Don’t forget to cut out windows and a door.
If you’re looking for something to make right away and maybe just test the waters to see if your child would enjoy a cubby, you can always try out a temporary solution. Something you can put up and take down as necessary. Not everyone has the space for a permanent structure. Try a rope tied between two trees and drape a sheet over. Pull the sheet out on each side and secure to the ground, creating a tent shape. Add some blankets and pillows inside to make it feel homey.
A cubby house is every child’s dream. They love the idea of having a little space to call their own. The younger they are, the less they care about the appearance. Even the simplest of cubby houses will impress your little one. As they get older, they can get in on helping create their sacred space. The best part will be spending the quality time together building it.