While technological advancements have made the way we live more convenient, this change came at a great social cost, particularly on our children. Kids these days spend so much time holed up in their houses playing video games, watching TV, or surfing the internet.
A survey of British children has shown that they spend only 1 hour and 36 minutes outdoors compared to 4 hours in front of screens. They need to go out more with friends and family to get a welcome dose of fresh air and sunshine. If you are concerned about your children’s physical and social well-being, then you might consider building a treehouse in your yard (yes, even without trees!).
Your children can use the time they spend in front of a screen on healthier and more productive endeavours such as building a treehouse. When you plan to build your treehouse, make sure to involve your kids in the planning process. Ask them to make suggestions so that they will be more emotionally invested in the project. You and your children can go over a list of features you want to have in the treehouse, and explain which of their suggestions are doable and which may need to be changed or tweaked.
If you don’t know what to include in your treehouse, you might find the following list helpful in planning the design of your treehouse with your children.
A treehouse is exciting precisely because it helps kids to reach heights they didn’t think they could in their own backyard. But to access the treehouse, they would need a ladder they can climb. The ladder can be made of thick rope, wood, fibreglass, plastic, or any material your children are not allergic to. You can also consider building a staircase because it would be more convenient, although a ladder will make going to the treehouse feel like more of an adventure.
An escape pole is a slippery metal tube that firefighters use to go down from upper floors quickly. Your kids will definitely find an escape pole cool and exciting, which will add to their enthusiasm when planning, building and using the treehouse. Make sure that the metal you use is durable and can take the weight of your kids as they slide down upon it. You will also have to plant the pole firmly in the ground and support it with concrete to keep it firm and steady.
Add an exotic and out-of-this-world element to your treehouse by installing a trap door to the deck of your treehouse. Your kids can pretend that it’s a portal to another dimension, a secret passage, or they can use it as a way to startle people who pass beneath the deck. For added effect, you can decorate the area beneath the trap door with curtains or wisteria plants. Make sure to add cushions below the trap door for your children’s safety.
Nothing boosts your children’s self-esteem more than the feeling of having “conquered” the top spot. A crow’s nest will be the topmost part of your treehouse and serves as its crowning glory. Your children will climb up there to see the view. The thrill is theirs and theirs alone. You can use an old barrel as your crow’s nest. Split it horizontally in half and place it on a sturdy platform.
If your place is wide and you have more than one tree, you can make separate treehouses for each tree but install an escape pole in the other one. Make a rope bridge that connects the two treehouses. For safety, use a sturdy rope and firmly secure the rails onto a sturdy part of the tree or a nearby wall. The slats should also have a gap of just an inch so your kids won’t fall through them.
Swings and slides are playground classics you can include in your treehouse. The thick branches can serve as the location for the swing, which could be a tire swing or wooden swing. You can also add two to three slides of different heights to make it more fun.
If you’re looking to save time & have your treehouse built safely, get in touch with Cheeky Monkey Treehouses today! We’re happy to help make a treehouse that’s perfect for your home.