Build a Playhouse!

Yesterday we talked about a dream house from a child’s perspective along with children’s impressions on the built environment. To follow up on that topic, I wanted to share a few pages from a book I found last summer in an antique shop in Barton, Vermont. It caught my eye because of my ongoing interest in playgrounds.

The cover of the Children’s Playhouse booklet from The Home Workshop Library, published 1950 by the General Publishing Company, Inc.

The Home Workshop Library was a series of books for the industrious DIY-ers in the post World War II era, that reprinted articles from Popular Homecraft magazine.

Inside cover.

“A playhouse is in the largest sense, a child’s castle. It is also a safe haven for young energy and a storage place for a child’s priceless treasures.”

Table and contents and the first design.

Ranging from playhouses to playground equipment to bunk beds to playhouses, the pages are filled with plans and specifications and equipment needed.

page 6 and 7 – directions for the playhouse

Pages 8-9: info about construction and post foundations.

“A Wee House for Wee People”

Who wants an elephant slide?

I think I will build a playhouse in my backyard (someday). Anyone else? Have you used old plans to design a structure, whether a slide or a house? The Home Workshop Library also includes household furniture. Anyone have a copy or something similar?


10 thoughts on “Build a Playhouse!

  1. home, garden, life says:

    What a great find! Cherish it. Will you use any ideas for your playhouse?

    Too bad kids today are obsessed with texting–what will they turn out to be???

    I never had an outdoor playhouse (I rode a horse), yet had a fabric tent that fit over a card table and I spent a lot of time in there. Those should be brought back…one piece with a pole that elevated the “roof” on the table top, then a split at the corner to allow access and printed with windows, door and flower boxes. Any one else remember these?

    • Heidi says:

      Yes, we had a card table house also. Didn’t use it much, maybe because I had 4 sibs. But it was fun to think about –a private space! We also had an outdoor house (10X12) with split cedar logs for siding (the bark being on the outside). My dad sold them at his gift shop and this was the model I guess.

      • Kaitlin says:

        Sounds fun. Aside from our trees, we had “forts” in the corner of our fenced in yard and we would build huge blanket forts in the house.

  2. Ann Cousins says:

    One of those playhouses would make a great backyard office! I love Santa’s Land in Putney, VT (recently closed and being dismantled) where the owner, a lawyer, had his law office in the igloo.

    • Kaitlin says:

      There is no ISBN on the book. I’d be surprised if it was even printed for more than one edition (1950), but perhaps you can find it on ebay? Let me know if you have any luck.

  3. Mommy O'Shea says:

    Kate, did you forget we had a playhouse? Grey with white shutters on the windows. I think it even had a window box on the front window. We brought it all the way from Pt. Lookout when we moved.

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