Is your playhouse more of a ‘house of doom’ than an inviting space for your children? Has it become a dumping ground for old toys rather than an imaginative tool for outdoor play? Here are our five top tips to get your playhouse summer-ready:
1. Keep it fresh
Wait for a nice day, prop the door open and remove everything from your playhouse. Once it’s completely empty, get the kids to sweep it out to remove any cobwebs and dry mud. Fill some buckets with warm water, add a splash of gentle detergent, don some Marigolds and give the kids some soft bristled brushes to give it a good scrub inside and out.
Clean your playhouse’s shatterproof styrene windows with mild detergent and warm water, or make a spray solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Some soft sponges should bring the windows back to life and a quick final polish with a dry cloth will remove any smears.
2. Do a maintenance check
Allow the playhouse to fully dry out before giving it a fresh coat of wood preserver or paint. Waltons recommends that you treat the wood once a year to prevent rot and water damage, and coat it with good quality paint to further protect it from the elements. This is also a good excuse to ‘re-invent’ the playhouse and give it a new lease of life each year as your children grow older.
Even the best playhouses need regular maintenance. Frequently check the building to catch any problems early on and carry out any repairs as needed. Pay special attention to the roof felt and replace if necessary.
3. Give it a makeover
If your children seem to have lost interest in their playhouse, it’s probably time to give it a makeover. Call a family meeting and brainstorm decorating ideas. Will the playhouse transform into a space rocket? A cake shop? A secret den or an art room?
Once you agree the theme, make sure to involve the children in each step of the makeover. Paint the exterior with exterior wood paint to transform the playhouse into their dream space. Add small furniture, beanbags, floor cushions and blankets to encourage the children to feel at home. Put up shelves or cupboards to store toys or art supplies within easy reach.
4. Add wi-fi
If you have older children, think about how to make the space more of a secret hideout or place to hang out with friends. Swap pastel colours and toys for something a bit more grown-up, and think about connecting their playhouse to the internet to make it a gamers’ den, or a cosy space to relax and play board games or watch films with their mates.
5. Trade up
If your playhouse is truly beyond repair and you’re in need of a new one, have a look at our wide range of Waltons playhouses to choose the ideal replacement for your family.
Kids approaching their teens? What about a small summerhouse or log cabin where they could set up a desk or host sleepovers?