Adventure in the woods. Treetop games. Climbing and swinging. Imaginative play. Active fun. All things I wanted in a treehouse. Now if you have watched Treehouse Masters, you know the possibilities are endless when it comes to treehouses. And I think one of those spectacular structures would have been amazing if only it didn’t cost a crazy amount of money when one still needs to put in landscaping and grass at the new house. A’hem.
So a simple treehouse was in order and I am okay with simple. Because even with simple, you can always dress it up in fun, inexpensive ways.
First, let’s give you an idea of our structure:
- It is supported by two trees and two posts.
- It is 14×14′ with the two front corners cut off (for interest).
- It is high up in the air. Since Dan is very tall, he wanted to be able to walk under every bit of the treehouse. This meant that at its lowest, the footer is 8′ in the air. But since the ground slopes toward the creek, it is 12′ off the ground at the opposite end. Be still my heart.
- The hand rail is flat all around so that we can set cool things on it.
- There is a smaller platform that allows for easy access off and on the cargo net.
- The ladder is bunk bed style with hand rails.
- Dan’s cousin built the treehouse for us. His work is impeccable in craftsmanship and quality. (Quality being the most important when you’re putting your children 15 feet up in the air.)
- More pictures of the structure can be found at the end of the post. I will have to wait until the leaves fall to get that great shot of the entire treehouse. Check back! Meanwhile, you can pin this.
Now, here is what we did to make our simple treehouse awesome:
1. We added a Swing.
I knew my daughter in particular would love this spot to swing and sing away her cares. But I also wanted adults to be able to use it, so I purchased this heavy duty swing.
2. We put up a Cargo Net to climb.
I can remember being a kid and climbing the pirate ship’s cargo net at Sea World (when it was still in Ohio). It was such fun! Those massive nets are a tiny bit pricey, but I knew climbing something would be great for the kids. So I found this cargo net.
It is not for the faint of heart when it comes to heights, however. I will fully admit that I stood under the net the first several times my kids climbed it. This feature is probably one of my favorite things of the treehouse. It is fun, adventurous and good exercise!
3. We wrapped big Plastic Tubing around a nearby tree.
I really expected to get some weird looks when I showed up at the commercial plumbing supply store and asked for big, flexible plastic tubing that I could send hot wheel cars down. To my surprise, they didn’t act like they were dealing with some crazy lady and her two rambunctious kids.
What do we do with the tubing? We throw stuff down it!
I chose corrugated piping so that I could hear the fun clank of objects being cast down the tube, spiraling around the tree. Hot wheel cars sometimes get stuck, but the variety of balls . . . oh it is fun.
One kid stands up top sending the balls down. One kid hovers down on the ground catching the balls as they fly out of the black hole. Cheap and easy entertainment!
4. We added a Bucket Pulley System for transporting items.
Any treehouse requires the classic bucket or basket on a string. The kids send the balls back up to the top in the bucket and we have used it for snacks and drinks.
In this picture, I am sending my glass Dollar Tree luminaries down so I don’t drop them as I go down the ladder.
5. We created a Fun Design with Rope.
Originally, I had dreamed of large sticks surrounding the sides of the treehouse platform…going for a fort look. But when we realized how much work that was going to be, I started thinking rope was a wonderful idea. It allows for easy visibility of what is going on in the treehouse and gives it a fun look!
6. We set the stage with a Rustic Sign.
You’ll find this wood-burned sign along the path to the treehouse. Yes, adventure most certainly does await!
7. We made a giant Decoder Disk.
We love writing and decoding secret messages. This decoding disk was such fun to create and is even more fun to use. Get the full tutorial here.
Here are more pictures of the treehouse. Come back to see it entirely when the leaves fall.
Have you thought about building a treehouse? What do you want to include to make it extra fun?