Perfect Backyard Playhouses You Can Build for Your Kid

Yellow cottage style playhouse with dormers garden
Bring extra fun to your backyard with an outdoor playhouse. These amazingly inventive children’s playhouses are inspiring to the young (and the young at heart) and can be counted on for creating hours of backyard fun and plenty of memories.

Secret Spot

Adventure awaits in this lofted backyard playhouse. Sturdy steps lead up to a simple blue gathering spot, ideal for playing or just some quiet time for reading and reflecting. A garden gnome and simple landscaping dress up the playhouse without seeming too fussy.

Fun and Games

Part playhouse, part playground, this sweet backyard feature is all fun. Built into a hillside, the design takes advantage of its lofted status to add a slide exit. Weathered gray siding pairs with punches of color, orange trim, and a lavender purple interior to balance a modern, subtle approach with cheeky fun.

Home Sweet Home

Cheery yellow siding, double dormers, a welcoming front porch, and charming landscaping capture the look of a sweet cottage home in miniature. And the similarities don’t stop there. Inside, the garden playhouse is complete with a fireplace, mini kitchen, and even a loft area.

Backyard Fort

The fun happens in this backyard with its fort-like playhouse—complete with slide and picnic table. A railing wraps around the uncovered porch, while curtains frame the playhouse’s interior. Green-blue paint inside the playhouse gives the space a cocoon-like feeling, and piles of pillows add homey comfort. When it’s time to leave, the slide offers a fun exit.

Come On In

A pretty paved walk leads to this classic children’s playhouse. The house in miniature is made all the more endearing with sweet details like turned porch railings, matching window boxes, and gabled dormers. Wired for electricity, outdoor lights illuminate to accommodate fun, even after daylight fades.

Hello, Sunshine

Windows built into small play spaces keep corners from feeling dark and unwelcoming. In this dainty outdoor wooden playhouse, a bay window and an octagonal window in the roofline flood the interior with light. Pretty window boxes and potted plants make the playhouse feel even more homey.

Captivating Cottage

A charming combination of colors and materials dresses up this garden playhouse. Part of the appeal? The fence and arbor, details picked up from the designs found in full-size cottage gardens.

Historical Charm

Children's need for play hasn't changed all that much from the past century, as the sweet design of this playhouse circa 1929 proves. From the dormer window to the window flower box and arched doorway, this kid’s outdoor playhouse exudes charm. Especially with older structures, be sure to do in-depth inspections from time to time and keep up on necessary repairs so kiddos stay safe while playing.

Fairy-Tale Retreat

Lacy gingerbread trim, a miniature Dutch door, and a faux chimney and shutters supply plenty of kid-friendly charm to this children’s playhouse. To help small structures fit into their surroundings, outfit playhouses with colors and details drawn from nearby buildings. Replicate elements from the surrounding landscape, too, for added integration.

Play Time

While detailed kid’s playhouses are impressive, simple designs are just as fun. This pint-size outdoor playhouse plays it fairly straightforward, but a few extras like a front porch, Dutch door, curved archway, and mini shutters give it flair.

Over the Bridge

Most structures like this playhouse employ shutters, window boxes, porch railings, and windows—or some combination of the four. This garden playhouse has it all. A verdant color scheme of pale green siding and forest green trim completes the charming facade.

Up and Away

To eliminate the need for a separate floor surface, this whimsical garden playhouse was sited on a wooden "bridge" between two raised garden beds. Children’s playhouses are meant to be fun, so don’t be afraid to get a little creative with design. Here, linked circle gingerbread on the roofline does the trick.

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Part playhouse, part children's book fantasy, a treehouse gets dressed up with whimsical details. In place of a standard stairs or ladder, the design of this outdoor wooden playhouse integrates an old tree trunk as a "first floor." The bright red paint of the “second floor” says, “The fun’s up here!”

Carbon Copy

Relying on details and materials can help playhouses resemble small-scale replicas of larger homes. This petite version showcases standout accents, including stucco and stonework on the corners and chimney. A flagstone “patio” is perfect for hosting outdoor tea parties.

Pretty in Purple and Pink

Dress up a basic shed playhouse by integrating pretty landscaping and exterior ornamentation. Here, a stone edging outlines the approach to this pretty purple structure, and a profusion of pink blooms turns the playhouse into a backyard centerpiece. The fanciful roofline plays up the youthful charm of the whimsical purple and pink color scheme.

Pretty as a Picture

An off-the-shelf playhouse design gets a customized touch with painted flourishes. Vines and flowers dress up the roofline, and make-believe clouds flit through the door panels. Adding real-life elements like the mailbox fosters opportunity for imaginative play.

Slope Solutions

Clever design strategies can help solve potential site problems for a children’s playhouse. This setup has the structure's front door at the top of a small rise in the yard. The house was then elevated with a slide going out the back.

A Simple Square

This square shed playhouse was built with straightforward 2x4 framing pieces and vinyl siding, but clever details dress it up. A weather vane caps a faux chimney, a vent maintains air circulation, and real-life accents include a dinner bell, mailbox, and address numbers. Curtains and a dried flower arrangement on the door make the playhouse feel more like “home.”

Little House on the Farm

This kid’s outdoor playhouse reuses forms, materials, and colors from classically designed barns. Inside, soaring ceilings give way to a loft, and a rope out front calls playmates to "dinner." A fenced-in mini yard completes the charming setup.

Step Right In

No-fuss materials like a tin roof and simple construction methods leave children's imaginations room to soar in this outdoor wooden playhouse. Skip the troublesome electrical wiring in favor of a solar- or battery-powered light, and install a mailbox for special deliveries.

Afternoon Dreams

Plucked seemingly from the pages of a favorite story, this pretty children’s playhouse invites hours of fun with pops of color. Integrate a structure like this into a garden for even more outdoor impact. A vigorous climbing rose rambles over the roof.

Style on the Sly

A delicately detailed playhouse sits on what could be a difficult slope in a backyard corner. A painted trellis covers the incline, and workable shutters shield the windows during inclement weather. House numbers and a door knocker add imaginative charm.

Ready for a Welcome

This children’s playhouse ditched a front door in favor of a large porch overhang. The siding color takes its cue from the house behind it. A simple interior includes open shelves for storage and a table and chairs for playing.

Plant Where You Grow

A cottage playhouse dresses up what could have been a boring backyard corner. Bright blue pops along the roofline and trim keep the focus on the simple design of the kid’s outdoor playhouse. Extras like a small potting shelf and a few plants and containers encourage pint-size gardeners to plant and grow.

Play Time, Not Work Time

A few shrubs soften the landscape outside this traditionally styled playhouse. The simpler the materials and finishes, the easier the upkeep. Here, a layer of mulch around the bushes and building eliminates the need for mowing.

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