Amsterdam playhouse via www.pithandvigor.com
Do you have a favorite city? The place you would choose to live if you could choose to live anywhere? Mine is Amsterdam. I love everything about it and I am determined to live there (#bucketlist). It has my kind of weather (i.e. 4-seasons none of them too hot), open-minded Dutch culture, location (it is a great base for traveling constantly), lots of flower farms and tall people (I fit right in). Plus, I dream of living in a skinny canal house with a big garden in the back.

It’s too bad my little people are just about beyond playhouses, or I’d build them a canal house just like this one from Dutch Wood. I am not sure that shipping this thing to the USA is worth the expense (but it you are in Europe you can purchase it). The construction looks pretty easy to imitate. It might even be simple to transform a shed or an existing playhouse with the addition of some inexpensive rough cut lumber. Look out for a lumber mill (rather than a lumber yard) where you can buy inexpensive wood that would be perfect for a project like this. The mill will have rough cut plank boards that have a nice square look that creates the top of the building. Add a block and tackle pulley to hoist buckets of goodies to the window (which I assure you in kid-magic), and you are in business!

Amsterdam playhouse via www.pithandvigor.com

This has me thinking of all the other cute international houses you could creatively re-create in the form of playhouses. A few option come quick to mind. Use hay-bale construction to make native american indian adobe houses, or create Polynesian huts from garden bamboo and grasses or …. what else??

The time period where a child is really into playhouses is short, so you don’t have to think hard about construction that will last a lifetime. (At least not in my opinion). In fact, I find this sales point irritating when play structures come at cost that is too high for parents. Inevitably the selling point is ‘heritage quality’ (whatever that means) or “lasts a lifetime”. I speak from experience, as soon as they grow out of it, you kind of want it gone. Here is my main playhouse tip – keep it inexpensive and easy to re-cycle or repurpose. And make sure it is charming – it must appeal to you as much as it does the kids.

Amsterdam playhouse via www.pithandvigor.com

images from Dutchwood

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