You can build a DIY green living playhouse that will get your kids outside, playing, and back to nature all at the same time.
"Go outside and Play!" said every mother that ever needed some time to clean her home and breathe again. The issue being that people and particularly their children spend way too much time indoors and it's time we made a change.
Nothing could be better for kids than getting back to nature, and why not a quick stop in their own back yard? Getting "grounded" as they say is more than just an expression with kids spending so much of their free time using technology and just plain sitting inside.
Shared here are two wonderful methods of building a green playhouse including the "Runner Bean Teepee Den" and the "Willow Den" versions of an outdoor play area for children. Maybe the one thing you'll need to remember most- you have to put down your own phone or computer first!
"Runner Bean Teepee Den"
This is arguably an easily built hideaway and those with a small amount of gardening knowledge will know that the beans can be eaten!
- 8 to 10 long bamboo canes at least 6 - 7 feet minimum.
- Gardening string, twine, or something similar to a cable tie.
- A packet of runner bean seeds.
- Roll of chicken wire and a larger amount of gardening string (optional).
Now choose the spot in your yard or on your land where you'd be happy to let this idea grow, keeping in mind locations that have available sun. You'll have to dig around each bamboo cane, enough so that you can add some composted manure and, of course, water.
Now stick your bamboo canes into the ground enough to hold them while forming a circle and begin form them into a large pyramid shape. Leave a large enough area between two of the canes for an entrance hole. Fasten the tops of the canes together using either some of the garden string, twine, or perhaps the strongest- wire.
Plant your bean seeds in the areas around the canes and water liberally. Once the water has receded into the hole, cover with more dirt and repeat. The beans should ultimately wind their way up the bamboo, but if they don't at first then try wrapping them around by hand until they begin to climb.
This version is a bit more finicky in that it is done using green willow rods that, as good gardeners know, need moister soil.
The willow den is made with basically the same 'ingredients' as the teepee with the exception of the two to three-year-old willow rods. With this method, the hope is that the rods should take root. The six-foot-long willow rods can be weaved into each other to form a tight dome.
The top will remain open for enough time as it takes for the plant to fill in.
As far as the 'floor' is concerned, straw is a good choice, but needs to be changed regularly. Other good options include natural weed suppressing materials such as jute or hessian weed control mats. You may even come up with a better alternative!
The point of the whole affair is to create a natural living space for children to play in while probably (at first) not even knowing that they are outdoors. Kids can sure learn a lot by being closer to nature and the calmness it brings.
Be the first one in there and show your children a new experience that even their parents can relate to and enjoy. Who knows what adventures you may try with them- a backyard campout, lunch-in-the-forest, or maybe you'll start your own teepee library!
Photos via Eco Snippets