Kids Playhouses: Do Your Kids Need One?
The Advantages of a Kids Playhouse
Do you remember playing outside with your neighborhood friends until dark? Did you ever try to build a playhouse or fort underneath a table or in your backyard? Do you remember that one friend who had their very own playhouse? Did you ever wish that you could have your own too? The idea of having a kids playhouse as a child sparked joy and excitement like nothing else.
“If I only had a playhouse, I could. . .”
The possibilities seemed endless. There were so many games you could play, so many fantasy worlds to create, and so much you could do to make it your own.
As parents, we want to offer our children the best. Often our mind goes straight to the one thing we wish we’d had when we were children: a playhouse. But is a kids playhouse the best pick for your children? Let’s review some of the benefits that can come from providing your children with an outdoor playhouse.
Playing Outdoors - Healthy and Enjoyable
Almost every day, we hear that children don't exercise enough and spend too little time outdoors.
It's easy to say that children need to spend more time outdoors, but it's far more challenging to encourage them to take that step out into the fresh air. An outdoor playhouse is one way for children to get out of the room behind the screens.
Fresh air can improve mood and strengthen the body's resistance to disease. Playing in the sun on the playhouse porch builds vitamin D in the body, which means stronger bones and fewer chronic diseases. And, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, many children have vitamin D deficiencies, which means that encouraging them to play outdoors is critical to their healthy growth and development.
Furthermore, physical activity and outdoor play helps to keep weight at normal levels. Providing kids with an outdoor playhouse therefore presents a healthy start into life, which can prevent many obesity related diseases. Most importantly though, playing in an outdoor playhouse is just fun!
"Play is the highest form of research"
- Albert Einstein
How Outdoor Playhouses Improve Physical and Cognitive Development of Kids
Being outdoors allows children to learn more about their surroundings and contributes to their cognitive development. While playing in the garden and outdoor playhouse, children experience a variety of sensory exposure as they smell new smells, perceive different temperatures, hear different sounds, and witness the changing of seasons firsthand.
Beyond that, a kids playhouse can be enjoyed in various weather conditions, including rain, sun, or even colder temperatures. "It's raining outside" won't ever be an excuse again!
Preschool children are active actors. Through natural curiosity and excitement, they create games that mimic the life around them, experimenting with different roles. By playing, a child can take part in the adult world and do the things they do. In their own playhouse, away from the parents, kids can learn to be an adult.
Playing has a unique role in a child's development. When they design and organize games, they're developing creativity. Creativity is a critical component of health and happiness and is a core skill to practice with kids. It engages their brains and encourages growth and maturity.
Kids playhouses are an excellent environment for free and imaginative play. As children are used to acting according to instruction, an outdoor playhouse becomes a small home. A place they can call their own where he/she makes decisions and feel free to be themselves.
Child-initiated free, imaginative, unlimited game is vital for developing creativity. A playhouse is a place to play home, aliens, or transform a house into a castle, a pirate ship, or a café. The playhouse becomes a blank canvas where the imagination begins to work. Children can stage fairy tales, shoot movies, and decorate for birthdays, Halloween, and other holidays.
Matti Bergström is a professor emeritus at the University of Helsinki and has been conducting brain research for over 50 years. As a leading expert in the field, he says that a child's academic success at school depends on their creativity and this is where a kids playhouse can help!
Through play, children explore the world around them, learn to get along with others, practice making and enforcing rules, and improve problem-solving skills.
How Kids Playhouses Increase Social Skills and Improve Sleep
Organizing games with friends in a playhouse requires cooperation. The kids have to determine whose game is played, who is in what role, the rules, and how to agree on them. The child's social skills develop through the excitement of play. The child learns to consider peers, help others, take on different roles. By playing, the child acquires the necessary social skills to help them cope at school.
Physical activities in the kids playhouse and outdoors consume a lot of energy for children. Kids need to sleep to restore and charge their batteries. After an energetic day of play, they have fewer problems falling asleep and find it is easier to get into the habit of going to bed at a specific time. Adequate sleep ensures the child's age-appropriate development and health. Studies have shown that kids who regularly get a sufficient amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.
The Institute for Health Development emphasizes that adequate sleep ensures the child's age-appropriate development and health and recommends that the sleep rhythm be developed from birth. However, if the child still has a lot of energy in the evening, it can be challenging to get him/her to sleep. Physical activities in the playhouse and outdoors can help consume a lot of energy for children. When they are tired after an energetic day of play, they will have fewer problems falling asleep. It will also be easier to get them into bed at a certain time.
Furthermore, kids playhouses increase the kids sense of responsibility. Usually, before playing in the outdoor playhouse, the parent and child discuss and agree upon a set of safety rules. If the child enjoys the kids playhouse and wants to continue to play in it, they will be more willing to follow the rules. However, the child may get caught up in the excitement of playtime and forget one of the rules. This provides an excellent opportunity for the parent to discuss the potential results of failing to abide by the safety rules. Through this exercise, the child can begin to learn responsibility and how to consider and be responsible for the safety of their playmates.
A Kids Playhouse Will Help Keeping Toys in Place
Let the kids in the yard and give them some personal space by providing their own playhouse. Playing outside or in a kids playhouse gives wings to their imagination, helps develop muscle and problem-solving skills, allows them to connect with nature, and encourages them to build their curiosity.
In addition, having a playhouse encourages kids to take on some responsibility by keeping, maintaining, and organizing some of their play toys in an environment that they control. The other benefit is that you’ll have less items cluttering up the rest of your home and less toys to worry about cleaning up at the end of every day when your child has drifted off to sleep.
Providing an outdoor playhouse isn’t “just another toy.” You’re providing a valuable resource to your children that will serve them in their development (both physical and mental), and give them an outlet for their endless energy. The gift of a playhouse will bring never-ending joy and benefits to your children and will serve them for many years, as they may rely upon it for a quiet retreat even into their teenage years.
"The best way to make children good is to make them happy"
- Oscar Wilde
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Written by WholeWoodPlayhouses