Inspiring tree houses for kids
Tree houses have long been the ultimate charmed hideout spot for children. While some toys may have sat unused a mere week after Christmas, tree houses are guaranteed to keep children busy and content all year round - as well as out in the fresh air.
Imagination is one thing that doesn’t need a change of batteries! Whether it’s a birthday tea party, a pirate invasion or a club house is up to them. Whether to build a lookout post or a bridge, or whether you exit by zip line or slide is a project the whole family can get involved in.
Below are our pick of the five most imaginative tree houses across the world...
FAMILY TREE HOUSE (BELOW LEFT)
The ultimate family tree house. Arguably a bit more house than tree, the multi-story design means you can have the whole family round for a summer evening and still keep an eye on the children playing (plus check out the hammock.)
FAIRY TALE TREE HOUSE (ABOVE RIGHT)
The ultimate fairy tale tree house. Whether you define a tree house as ‘in a tree’ or ‘on a tree’ is entirely up to you. Although this one may be a little difficult to achieve at home, it’s a beautiful, mystical image that had to make the list. A trick to achieving a fairy-tale garden at home could be to paint a door and a few windows onto a large tree - a great backdrop for picnic spots for younger children.
HOUSE IN A TREE (BELOW LEFT)
This is more of a house tree than tree house but this beautiful hideaway could inspire the next family holiday, if not a change to the garden at home. Tree house holidays are on the up-rise and make a great family UK staycation.
MIRROR TREE HOUSE (ABOVE RIGHT)
This is one that may need a double-take. It’s actually a tree house hotel in Sweden that is made entirely of a mirrored exterior, I guess that’s as modern as tree houses get.
FAIRY LIGHT TREE HOUSE (BELOW)
This tree house shows there is an undeniably magic about the glow of fairy lights (the clues in the name…) and this tree house is probably the most beautiful of them all. The one room design and bridge are simple enough architecturally to recreate and it’s suitable for all ages (parents very much included).
DIY TREE HOUSES
Below are four examples of DIY tree houses suitable for the home and garden. Some of these can be created by a willing family member, and make the perfect use for any leftover wood or other scavenged materials. Otherwise custom tree house designers such as Blue Forest or High Life Tree Houses are perfect for the job. You can even buy pre-made tree houses from websites such as Castles Carey.
If you decide to take the DIY plunge, here are some pointers to help you out:
- Be kind to the environment: use as much salvaged material as possible.
- Waterproof your tree house with a deck sealer or use pressure-treated lumber.
- Check with your local council for codes regarding the building of tree houses before you begin.
- Safety is the ultimate priority for any child's play structure, so ensure you pay careful attention to the side walls and make certain they are sturdy enough to support the weight of small children.
- Factors to consider for selecting a suitable tree specimen: its age, its growth rate, resistance to pests, size, age and compression strength of wood - and whether it is sound in the first place.
- The bolts are the foundation of support for a tree house – pick and use carefully.
- It’s imperative to choose a durable hardwood - for example cedar, pine or redwood - to ensure you build a safe and resistant tree house that your children can enjoy year after year.
Of course if you don’t have any suitable trees or the right garden, you could paint a bedroom to resemble a tree house hideaway.
Whatever your home, a tree house is sure to be a hit with children and their friends. Whatever you decided, tweet us your finished projects @lovethegarden.