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Playhouses You Can Build: Indoor & Backyard Designs

Overview

Build a lifetime of Memories

Whether simple or architecturally fanciful, a playhouse can be a magical place for your child. David and Jeanie Stiles use their own experiences to guide the amateur carpenter through the steps necessary to build an imaginative playhouse — for the backyard, basement or playroom.

Designed to be put together with easy-to-obtain materials and common handyman tools, with clear step-by-step diagrams, these playhouses can...

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Overview

Build a lifetime of Memories

Whether simple or architecturally fanciful, a playhouse can be a magical place for your child. David and Jeanie Stiles use their own experiences to guide the amateur carpenter through the steps necessary to build an imaginative playhouse — for the backyard, basement or playroom.

Designed to be put together with easy-to-obtain materials and common handyman tools, with clear step-by-step diagrams, these playhouses can be constructed by anyone who has basic carpentry skills (or a willingness to learn) and a weekend or two of spare time.

Projects include: A cardboard-box playhouse, a gingerbread playhouse, a fiberglass whale, a barn bed playhouse, a spook playhouse, a U.F.O. playhouse, a tree house, a log playhouse, a garden trellis playhouse, a three-legged fort and a complete selection of accessories.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552093153
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Series: Weekend Project Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

David Stiles is a designer'/builder and together, with his wife Jeanie, has authored fifteen books, including Sheds: The Do-It-Yourself Guide, Revised Edition (Firefly 1998), The Treehouse Book (which won the ALA Notable Children's Book Award), and Cabins (Firefly 2001). A graduate of the Pratt Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, David is the winner of two awards from the New York Planning Commission for his designs for The Playground for All Children.

David and Jeanie's articles have appeared in several magazines and newspapers including House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Home Mechanix, Rebecca's Gardens, and The New York Times. They have appeared on numerous television programs, including
Lifetime Television Our Home and the Discovery Channel's Home Matters shows. They divide their time between New York City and East Hampton, N.Y. where they live in a barn which they renovated themselves.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Section I: Playhouse Paraphernalia

  • Safety
  • Before You Build
  • Lumber
  • Using an Electric Circular Saw
  • Nails & Screws
  • Easy-to-Make Windows
  • Maintaining, Cleaning, Decorating & Recycling
SECTION II: Playhouse Projects
  • Cardboard Playhouse
  • Play Cube
  • Gingerbread House
  • Fiberglass Whale Playhouse
  • Barn Bed Playhouse
  • Three-Legged Fort
  • Traditional Playhouse
  • Spook Playhouse
  • U.F.O. Playhouse
  • Fun House
  • Tree House
  • Log Playhouse
  • Garden Trellis Playhouse
  • Lean-To Playhouse
SECTION III: Playhouse Accessories
  • Bouncing Buoy
  • Cargo Net
  • Swings
  • Slide
  • Trolley Ride
  • Swan Rocking Chair
  • Playhouse Furniture
Glossary About the authors
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Preface

Introduction

With a designer for a father and an actress for a mother, our daughter, Lief Anne, never had to worry about being entertained. Over the years, while David was writing books about tree houses, forts, huts and hideaways, our daughter was surrounded by creative activities and enthusiastically took part in trying out our new designs. Consequently, the property surrounding our renovated barn in East Hampton on Long Island was always filled with kids who gravitated to our place to play.

We have swings inside and outside the house. The bedroom on the second floor has folding shutters, which creates a perfect stage for theater productions and puppet shows. For years, our dinner parties ended with a play or musical, performed by Lief Anne and the children of our guests.

Outdoors, there were always several on-going projects. One of our main goals has always been to keep the playhouses unobtrusive, nestling them between trees and working them into the environment. Because of our interest in architecture, children and entertainment, it seemed natural for us to write a book on playhouses — not just playhouses for the country, but also city playhouses.

Our daughter was born in New York City, and once, to our amazement, after an idyllic summer in the Hamptons, she asked us (at the age of three),"When are we going back to the city?" Manhattan, after all, has Central Park, filled with climbing statues of Alice in Wonderland, the Dairy, an Adirondack gazebo, a model boathouse and a children's zoo filled with playhouses of all shapes and sizes. In the winter, after a heavy snow, the plows conveniently push the snow into gigantic mounds, which are easily transformed into snow houses. The sheep meadow in Central Park is a great place to sled and build a snow fort.

A playhouse can be anything that you and your child dream up — the range of designs is unlimited. Those included in this book can be reproduced as described or simply serve as suggestions to inspire creations of your own.

The appeal and importance of playhouses is universal. They are used by children not just for playing in, but also for "role playing." In a playhouse, children can exercise their judgment and play adult roles. They can practice sharing and experiment in a more private, "child-sized" environment — one that they have more control over. Through imaginative play, children learn how to understand themselves and the world around them. When children play with each other, they are unconsciously practicing skills that will help them later in life, like leadership, cooperation, communication and organization.

A playhouse can be a small-scale version of a "grown-up" house (like the Traditional Playhouse on page 57), or as fantastic as the mind allows (like the Fiberglass Whale Playhouse on page 39). Today, as more and more families have both parents in the work force, helping a child plan and build a playhouse is a wonderful way to spend time together, creating something that will have long-lasting benefits. Parents who nurture their children's sense of play and respond to their ideas while planning and building a playhouse can give them a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and security. In a playhouse, children are the producers, the directors and the actors.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

With a designer for a father and an actress for a mother, our daughter, Lief Anne, never had to worry about being entertained. Over the years, while David was writing books about tree houses, forts, huts and hideaways, our daughter was surrounded by creative activities and enthusiastically took part in trying out our new designs. Consequently, the property surrounding our renovated barn in East Hampton on Long Island was always filled with kids who gravitated to our place to play.

We have swings inside and outside the house. The bedroom on the second floor has folding shutters, which creates a perfect stage for theater productions and puppet shows. For years, our dinner parties ended with a play or musical, performed by Lief Anne and the children of our guests.

Outdoors, there were always several on-going projects. One of our main goals has always been to keep the playhouses unobtrusive, nestling them between trees and working them into the environment. Because of our interest in architecture, children and entertainment, it seemed natural for us to write a book on playhouses — not just playhouses for the country, but also city playhouses.

Our daughter was born in New York City, and once, to our amazement, after an idyllic summer in the Hamptons, she asked us (at the age of three),"When are we going back to the city?" Manhattan, after all, has Central Park, filled with climbing statues of Alice in Wonderland, the Dairy, an Adirondack gazebo, a model boathouse and a children's zoo filled with playhouses of all shapes and sizes. In the winter, after a heavy snow, the plows conveniently push the snow into gigantic mounds, which are easily transformed into snow houses. The sheep meadow in Central Park is a great place to sled and build a snow fort.

A playhouse can be anything that you and your child dream up — the range of designs is unlimited. Those included in this book can be reproduced as described or simply serve as suggestions to inspire creations of your own.

The appeal and importance of playhouses is universal. They are used by children not just for playing in, but also for "role playing." In a playhouse, children can exercise their judgment and play adult roles. They can practice sharing and experiment in a more private, "child-sized" environment — one that they have more control over. Through imaginative play, children learn how to understand themselves and the world around them. When children play with each other, they are unconsciously practicing skills that will help them later in life, like leadership, cooperation, communication and organization.

A playhouse can be a small-scale version of a "grown-up" house (like the Traditional Playhouse on page 57), or as fantastic as the mind allows (like the Fiberglass Whale Playhouse on page 39). Today, as more and more families have both parents in the work force, helping a child plan and build a playhouse is a wonderful way to spend time together, creating something that will have long-lasting benefits. Parents who nurture their children's sense of play and respond to their ideas while planning and building a playhouse can give them a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and security. In a playhouse, children are the producers, the directors and the actors.

Read More Show Less

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