There are no limits in play and imagination when it comes to outdoor playhouses for kids. So many great life long memories are created in those miniature homes. Whether it’s in a tree or in an old camper, these playhouses are full of adventures we hope these dreamy playhouse ideas for kids will inspire your next backyard project.

outdoor playhouses to dream about - collage of 3 different playhouses for kids set in green backyards
Let’s see some really cool backyard playhouses for kids!

Favorite Kids Outdoor Playhouse Ideas

Whether you have a small or large backyard in need of a playhouse, we hope these cool playhouse designs will inspire you no matter your budget or building ability!

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1. Story Book Cottage for Kids

This fairy cottage looks like from the children’s story book. via Playhousedreams

2. Is it a Playhouse or is it a Treehouse?

Just few steps and you can enter this adorable tree house/play house – let’s call it a platform house! via   Madewithhappy

3. Modern Backyard Playhouse You Can Buid

bungalow 1_1

Modern bungalow with detailed plans and instructions on how to build it. via Ana-white

Custom Made Playhouses for Kids

outdoor playhouses you won't believe - 4 outdoor playhouses for kids
I want that playhouse!

4. Modern Kids Clubhouse

This cool playhouse is a secret clubhouse for boys and girls where grown-upswoult not dare to venture. via Lilliputplayhomes

5. Diner Playhouse for Kids

How about a playhouse diner? via Lilliputplayhomes

6. White Picket Fence Cottage Playhouse

Princess cottage for real princesses. via Lilliputplayhomes

7. Pirate Playhouse is the Best

Pirate ship playhouse. (p.s. you can almost buy a real house for the price of this playhouse). via   Poshtots

8. Firehouse Playhouse

firehouse playhouse for kids shown in backyard - red and gray
Let’s play in the firehouse!

Any “future firemen” in the house? They would love to play in this Firehouse. via Lilliputplayhomes

9. Modern Architecture Play Place

outdoor playhouse architect - modern wood playhouse and play place structure for kids
What a fun place to play!

This play house has so many active play opportunities. Kids will never get bored hiding from each other in it. via   Archdaily

9. Calming Willow Playhouse

untraditional playhouses - willow playhouse and climbing blocks playhouse for kids shown in 3 images
I love these playhouses!

I am in love with this Willow playhouse. I would totally spend my summer afternoons in it. via Judithneedham

10. Climbing Hideaway Playhouse

An original way to build a playhouse -DIY play-hive. via Handmadecharlotte

Colorful Playhouses with Imagination

playing in payhouse - 3 colorful playhouse designs for kids
I love these colorful playhouse designs!

11. Colorful Playhouse with Clean Lines and Happy Spaces

A huge play house combined with an upper level fort “ your kids will want to move in! via Mycubby

12. Color Block Playhouse for Kids

A playhouse made of color blocks. Great for climbing and other active play. via Hgtvgardens

13. A Frame Playhouse Made from Recycled Doors

I really like this up cycled playhouse made from old doors. via Play-scapes

Outdoor Playhouse for Kids Made with What You Already Have

14. Shed Turned Kids Playhouse

before-after of a shed turned into a children's playhouse
What a transistion!

You can build the most gorgeous playhouse out of an old shed. Can you believe this before and after transformation? via   Judithneedham

15. Build a Playhouse Under Your Deck

outdoor playhouse under stairs and under backyard deck
Shhh…it is a secret getaway playhouse!

If you don’t have a big backyard you can set up a playhouse under your deck. Brilliant idea! via Activebuildingsolutions

Tree Outdoor Playhouses

outdoor playhouses tree - with slides - two different treehouse playhouse designs shown
Let’s climb a tree to our playhouse!

16. Treehouse Castle Playhouse

A mysterious castle playhouse hiding in the tree. I can see a lot of “sleep overs” there! via Atsecondstreet

17. Spiral Slide Treehouse Playhouse

A tree house with the slide. How fun! via Countryliving

18. Extreme Treehouse Playhouse

treehouse playhouse - backyard treehouse playhouse shown with spiral stairs around tree and pulley bucket

Extreme tree house made by grandpa. Just look at that spiral stairs, the bucket and there is a zip line too! So many details!   via Kidsactivitiesblog

 Our favorite outdoor playhouses on Amazon

amazon playhouses
What cool playhouses!

19. Front Porch Whimsy Playhouse

Modern playhouse Amazon

20. Modern Classic Playhouse

Hide and slide playhouse Amazon

outdoor playhouses that are dreamy and fun for kids - 4 different designs shown
Let’s dream about our playhouse!

Dreamy kids Playhouse outdoor ideas

21. Dreamy Playhouse Decorations

A mom did a really great job on the little decor details on this playhouse. via Fynesdesigns

22. Crooked Playhouse Design Fit for a Fairy Tale

Original crooked playhouse. It’s so cool! via Familyleisure

23. Coolest Playhouse

I would totally live in this house myself… via Bellacupcakes

24. Extreme Tree Houses You Don’t Want to Miss

Check out this big list of extreme tree houses that you will want in your backyard!

25. Indoor Playhouses are Cool Too

These indoor playhouses for kids are great for indoor play and entertainment if you don’t have the outdoor space.

26. Happy Camper Playhouse for Kids

This really fun Happy Camper Playhouse for kids looks like a camper in the backyard and comes complete with a climbing wall!

27. Epic Playhouse Designs

Check out these epic playhouse designs that are extra. A lot extra!

Benefits of an Outdoor Playhouse

Imagination & Playhouse: An outdoor playhouse is a great way to boost a child’s imagination and creativity. Not only does it provide a fun and exciting space for them to play in, but it also encourages them to use their imagination and come up with their own games and scenarios. For example, an outdoor playhouse can be transformed into a castle, a spaceship, a pirate ship, or any other type of adventure that a child can dream up. Plus, with the fresh air and sunshine, they’ll be even more energized and inspired to play and explore. So, if you want to give your little ones a boost for their imagination, an outdoor playhouse is a great investment.

Outdoor storage & playhouse: An outdoor playhouse is a great solution for storing outdoor toys. Not only does it provide a dedicated space for keeping toys organized and out of the way, but it also offers a fun and exciting place for kids to play with their toys. For example, an outdoor playhouse can be filled with toys like balls, frisbees, hula hoops, and jump ropes, and kids can use it as a base for outdoor games and activities. Plus, the playhouse itself can be used as a toy, with features like slides, swings, and climbing walls providing endless entertainment. So, if you’re looking for a convenient and fun way to store outdoor toys, an outdoor playhouse is the way to go.

Physical activity & Playhouse: An outdoor playhouse is a great way to encourage kids to be physically active. With features like slides, swings, climbing walls, and more, a playhouse offers endless opportunities for kids to engage in physical play and exercise. For example, kids can climb up and down the playhouse, swing on the swings, or slide down the slide to get their heart rate up and burn some energy. Plus, the playhouse can be used as a base for outdoor games and activities, like tag, hide and seek, or relay races, which can also help kids to be physically active. So, if you want to promote physical activity in your kids, an outdoor playhouse is a great investment.

Playhouse for Kids FAQs

How much space do I need for playhouses?

How much space do you need for a playhouse? It depends on the size of the playhouse. Smaller playhouses, such as those designed for toddlers or young children, may require as little as 8 square feet of space. Larger playhouses, such as those designed for older children or multiple children, may require up to 100 square feet of space or more. So, the first step is to measure the available space in your yard and choose a playhouse that will fit comfortably. Then, make sure to consider the placement of the playhouse in relation to other features in your yard, like trees, fences, or sheds, to ensure that it is safe and accessible. And don’t worry if you don’t have a huge yard – you can always go for a smaller playhouse and let your kids’ imaginations run wild. Happy playhousing!”

Are popular playhouses made of wood or plastic?

Playhouses can be made of either wood or plastic, or a combination of both. Wooden playhouses are typically made of high-quality, durable woods like cedar or pine, and are designed to withstand the elements and provide a natural, rustic look. Plastic playhouses, on the other hand, are made of durable, weather-resistant materials like polypropylene or polyethylene, and are often designed to look like miniature houses or castles. Both wooden and plastic playhouses have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

What is a good age for a playhouse?

When it comes to playhouses, 5 is a great age for kids to have their own little hideout. At this age, kids are typically more independent and able to climb and play safely on their own. They’re also old enough to really enjoy the fun features of a playhouse, like slides, swings, and climbing walls. Plus, with their growing imaginations, a playhouse can provide a space for them to let their creativity run wild and come up with their own games and adventures. So, if you have a 5 year old who is ready for their own playhouse, go for it – they’ll love it!

What do you put under a playhouse outside?

So you want to know what to put under your playhouse? Well, you’ve got a few options. You could go with the tried-and-true playground mulch, which is soft, bouncy, and won’t break the bank. Or you could try something a little more modern, like rubber safety tiles. They’re a little pricier, but they’re super durable and come in all sorts of fun colors. Sand is another option, but make sure it’s the soft and fine kind, not the coarse and chunky kind. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s soft and safe for those little feet. And don’t forget to add some shade or a canopy to protect against the sun and rain. Happy playing!

Do I need planning permission for a raised playhouse?

If you’re planning to build a raised playhouse, you may need to obtain planning permission depending on the size of the playhouse, its location, and the regulations in your area. It’s always a good idea to check with your local planning department or building authority before starting any construction project to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. While small or temporary playhouses may not require permission, it’s better to be safe and obtain the necessary permission to avoid any potential issues down the line.

How do you protect a playhouse in the rain?

If you want to protect your playhouse from the rain, you’ve got a few options. One of the best is to add a canopy or awning to the structure. This will provide some much-needed shelter and keep the playhouse dry and cozy. You can also seal the roof and walls with a waterproof coating to prevent leaks and water damage. And don’t forget about gutters and downspouts! They’ll help redirect the rainwater away from the playhouse and prevent any standing water or flooding. Just make sure the playhouse is on a level, well-draining surface, and you should be good to go.

How do you weather proof a playhouse?

If you’ve got a playhouse and you want to make sure it’s ready for whatever the weather has in store. Here are a few things you can do to weatherproof that little house. First, seal the roof and walls with a waterproof coating. This will keep out leaks and water damage, and help keep the playhouse dry and comfortable. Next, consider adding a canopy or awning for some extra shelter from the rain and sun. And don’t forget about the ground under the playhouse! Make sure it’s level and well-draining to prevent any standing water. Gutters and downspouts can also help redirect the rainwater away from the playhouse. Finally, you can add weather stripping to the doors and windows to keep out drafts, and insulate the walls and roof to keep things toasty in the winter and cool in the summer.

What is a good size playhouse?

So you’re thinking about getting a playhouse and you’re wondering what size is best. Well, it depends on a few things. How old are the kiddos who’ll be using it? How much space do you have in the yard? And what are you planning to do with the playhouse? A good rule of thumb is to get a playhouse that’s at least 4 feet by 4 feet, with a height of at least 4 feet. That should be big enough for a few kids to play comfortably. You can always go bigger – like 8 feet by 8 feet or even bigger – but just make sure you’ve got the space for it. And don’t forget to think about the height of the playhouse. You don’t want it to be too tall for the kids to safely climb in and out.

Do kids NEED a playhouse?

Do kids need a playhouse? Well, it depends on a few things. Like, how old are they? What are their interests? And do they have other options for play? A playhouse can be a super fun and safe space for kids to play and let their imaginations run wild. It can also help them develop all sorts of awesome skills, like problem-solving, creativity, and physical coordination. But not all kids are into playhouses, and some may prefer other types of play. And if they’ve got a cool park or playground nearby, they might not need a playhouse at all. So, in the end, it’s up to you and your little ones.

Are wood or plastic playhouses better?

Okay, so you’re trying to decide between a wooden playhouse and a plastic playhouse, and you’re not sure which one is best. No worries, we’ve got you covered. Wooden playhouses are generally more durable and long-lasting than plastic playhouses, and they can be customized and painted to suit your little one’s preferences. But they can be more expensive and require more maintenance than plastic playhouses. Plastic playhouses, on the other hand, are usually less expensive and require less maintenance. They also come in a wider range of colors and styles, and can be easily disassembled and stored when not in use. But they may not be as durable or long-lasting as wooden playhouses, and they may not be suitable for older or more adventurous kids who may outgrow them quickly. In the end, it’s up to you and your kiddos. Just think about what you need and what you like, and go with your gut.

More Playhouse Fun from Kids Activities Blog

What is your favorite outdoor playhouse?



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8 Comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to give my children an outdoor kids playhouse but I’m not a fan of the boxed ones at the stores. This list has so many creative alternatives, I can’t wait to get started!

  2. I’m loving these outdoor kids playhouse ideas. I’m thinking one of these will make an amazing birthday or Christmas present.

  3. I had no idea there were so many cute outdoor kids playhouse ideas! I see several on here that my boys would love to have.

  4. The storybook cottage is the cutest!!! I love the outdoor playhouse ideas. I had one when I was a kid but it was never this creative.

  5. When I was little, I ALWAYS dreamed of having an outdoor kids playhouse. My family couldn’t afford it, and my dad worked a ton so he couldn’t build us one–but I’ll never forget this… we got a new fridge, and my parents worked together on a Saturday to transform the huge box it arrived in into a playhouse for us, and then we were allowed to color it and decorate it! We played with it outside on the deck when it was nice out, and then brought it inside otherwise, and just loved that thing–quite literally to pieces!

  6. Do you have any ideas for repurposing pallets by using them to make an outdoor playhouse? I think that would be such a cool project, not just for your own yard, but for community play areas like parks and community centers, too!

  7. I always wanted an outdoor kids playhouse when I was a kid. I can’t wait to surprise my kids with some of these awesome designs!

  8. These outdoor kids playhouses are absolutely magical. My boys would love the firehouse one. I think outdoor or indoor playhouses are such a great way to encourage creative play!