Handmade Cardboard Play House for Kids

diy play house

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When my son turned two, I felt he needs props in addition to the toys he plays with. A toy comb in addition to a beautiful Barbie doll with long hair will make a clear difference in kid’s playtime, isn’t it? That’s the point and that’s how the idea to create a cardboard play house lighted in me. The play house or the tent house available in stores seemed like a small space covered with cloth roofing and walls. For sure, it adds fun for kids. However, I thought it misses in giving the feel of compartmentalization that a real house would have. Perhaps, it was a childhood fantasy in me, ha! I really don’t know. Thus manifested this multi-functional, full-furnished, loaded-with-fun play house for my lo.


play house

I didn’t look up a tutorial, it just didn’t strike me to. The design and execution were all a sheer imagination. I used a couple of large thermocol and cardboard that come as packing material for washing machines and refrigerators. To attach the pieces together, fevicol and cellotape were used. And believe me, there were no other special ingredients. If you are planning to do one, let me tell you it is really simple! Here are a few suggestions from my experience:

  • Use cardboard material that is sturdy, that is, not crumbled or folded too much which would fall apart. The whole exercise is worth only if the cardboard material is strong.
  • Use fevicol to attach cardboard pieces to thermocol. Cellotape will do no good on thermocol.
  • Before you fix the pieces, plan where each one will be put up, that is, which side up, which one down, if they need cuts for windows and likes.
  • The finishing part is up to you. If you check the play house I made, I’ve made a neat finishing using coloured charts. However, it is not an essential part. Kids will have fun irrespective of how it appears externally.
  • It might not be done overnight, especially with kids around. So prepare your mind to spend quality time for the making.
  • It is a good idea to do it when kids are taking a nap or after they go to bed. However, though on one side they are sure to disturb you, on the other side, they shall watch you and learn several skills from you like cutting, gluing and building. They might in fact help you sometimes in supporting the unfixed pieces. Also, it shall give them an exciting experience. So, it’s up to your choice, time and patience.
  • Yes, patience! You need a little more than you think 🙁
  • Most importantly, don’t expect them to keep it intact forever. It might not last for long. With my son playing in it everyday and a bunch of neighbour kids menacing often, our’s lasted a little more than a year. Now it’s into a few pieces 😯

cardboard play house

Have a look around Vihaan’s play house. In addition to the play house, I’ve made a backyard cafe behind the kitchen. So, when he does his toy cooking, he also serves them hot hot to mommy who’s on the other side, in the backyard cafe 🙂 (Kindly excuse for the poor video quality. It is an old video shot with a small mobile phone camera).

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Vihaan’s play house is fully furnished with working door and windows. A big living room is accompanied by a piano room, sleeping room and bathing room on one side, a reading room on the other (unfortunately, not clear in the video). Kitchen is well-furnished with an oven, refrigerator, gas stove, wash sink, closed cabinets for utensils – all made by Mommy using cardboard. Adjacent to the kitchen, a small space opens to the backyard cafe. Watch the backyard cafe furnished too with chairs and tables, a farm, a well, a hand pump and a fish pond.

Those very many happy days he had played in this play house were what mattered after all! His most interesting play times were around opening and closing the door, peeping out of the windows, the kitchen compartments and the backyard cafe pretend play. If you have little kids around, don’t let them miss the opportunity to play around a small house like this. Such small things shall carry a greater part of their childhood memories.

Write to me in the comments section below about your experience of watching your kids play in a play house. If you are planning to make one and need suggestions or assistance, please comment below. I shall do my best.

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