A children’s playhouse makes a terrific Christmas present. Providing years and years of healthy outdoor fun, it’s the perfect way to coax youngsters away from TV screens and computer games.
Whether they dream of a secret hideout, fairytale castle, cosy den or fort, a playhouse is a child’s very own special place to use their imagination, spend time with friends and develop a growing sense of independence. Just think of all the happy memories they’ll make!
Which playhouse to choose?
Our high quality, traditional wooden playhouses are a fun addition to any garden. Popular ‘tower’ designs are raised on stilts and come with ladders, slides and bolt-on activity centres. Others have verandas, balconies or interior mezzanine levels, just like a real house. There are also some that offer more of a ‘blank canvas’ for children who prefer to bring their own vision to life.
Here are four popular styles to help you decide what works best in your space and budget.
The Honeypot Snug
The compact Honeypot Snug is enduringly popular due to its simple design and competitive price. It works well in small gardens or courtyards and is ideal for toddlers, aged 3 years and over. With three windows and a door, adults can easily keep an eye on little ones while they play. Decorate it to suit any theme - the possibilities are endless!
The Honeysuckle Tower
The Honeysuckle Tower is a firm favourite. With lots of room to play, the addition of a raised balcony gives children a bird’s eye view of their domain and a vantage point for battle! Tower playhouses are very practical. The space underneath can be used as a ‘garage’ for wheeled toys, a shaded area to play, or a useful storage area. This model also comes in a larger size, with a bolt-on slide for quick getaways.
The Honeypot Snowdrop
The Honeypot Snowdrop cottage with loft is absolutely beautiful! A light and spacious interior is split over two floors, creating separate rooms for imaginative role play. Paint the exterior to your childrens' tastes, plant up the window boxes, and make it cosy with lots of soft furnishings and toys.
The Honeypot Poppy Tower Activity Centre
Perfect for active families, this large, rustic playhouse activity centre will keep children entertained for years to come. The raised cabin sits on a safety balcony, with a wavy slide and a swing set. This is a fun place where many children can play together. The only problem will be getting them to come indoors at the end of the day!
Safety features and materials
Our playhouses come with a number of safety precautions:
- safety hinges
- smoothed and planed timbers to prevent splinters
- shatterproof styrene windows
- non-slip ladders
- 12mm gap around doors to prevent trapped fingers
They are designed with safety in mind, and most are certified with EN71 Safety Testing Standards for children aged 3 years+.
Beautiful and sturdy buildings, Waltons playhouses are built for long-term use and active play. Made from strong 12mm interlocking tongue and groove timber, they have double-framed corners and solid 9mm roofs and floors.
Is my garden suitable?
Any garden is suitable for a playhouse provided you have the space to create a level base. Once you’ve decided where to put it, you can work out what size to order. Go for the largest size your space and budget will allow so that children (young and old) can enjoy it for as long as possible!
Once you’ve found a good spot, remember that you’ll need enough room to move around easily during the initial assembly. It’s also essential to leave space around the playhouse for future maintenance.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll require planning permission, but give your local planning office a call if you’re not sure.
A level, flat base is really important and will help to extend the life of your playhouse. It may seem obvious, but a spirit level is vital! Take a look at our 'How to build a shed base' guide for more in-depth advice.
Our wooden playhouses come flat-packed and are generally quite easy to assemble with a little DIY. Choose your location carefully as they’re not designed to be moved. As long as you pre-drill screw holes, the building is easy to fix together following the simple instructions provided.
You’ll need to ask a friend or family member to help with some of the heavier panels (we recommend two people for installation), or you can book installation and let our team take care of everything!
Once your playhouse is up, deciding how to decorate and furnish it is lots of fun. Help your children create a ‘mood board’ to start mapping their ideas. Do it on paper, or even create a Pinterest board - it’s up to you.
Smaller children may not be able to help with construction or painting, but it’s important that they get to have a say in the finished design. After all, it’s going to be their special place, and they’ll love the feeling of ownership that comes from making decisions. (If you find yourself constantly tempted to take over, perhaps you should get yourself a summer house or log cabin!)
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
- Paint the outside: Pay homage to a favourite football team, keep it simple or choose a theme. Seaside stripes are very popular. Give your children a say in how it's painted; it's their space, after all!
- Decorate the interior: Interior walls are a blank canvas to paint and decorate as you wish. Make it as welcoming as you can. Hang pictures, chalk boards and curtains.
- Make it comfortable: Add rugs and beanbags and provide storage to keep it tidy. A doormat is a good idea to keep (some of the) mud outside.
- Light it up: Invest in a few battery operated or solar lights for a warm and cosy glow.
- Encourage change: Reinvent the space as often as possible to keep it interesting and age-appropriate.
Our wooden playhouses are made from high quality timber but should be treated annually with specialist wood treatment or paint to protect against weather damage. A little TLC every year will keep yours looking great and help prolong its life.
A traditional wooden playhouse is not just for Christmas!
Studies show that playing outdoors reduces children’s stress, promotes social skills and even increases their attention span - so anything that encourages them to get outside and active must be a good thing! And unlike plastic gadgets that are quickly broken or forgotten, a playhouse is a gift that lasts.