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Great tips for building your child a treehouse

building a treehouseChildhood is fleeting, even moreso these days, as kids are connected at the hip to every kind of technology you can possibly think of; the idiot box has reproduced. The great outdoors doesn’t have to be a figment of an educational documentary or screensaver, scrolling across your computer screen, their smartphones and the family laptop. You CAN give them the childhood you had, exploring the textures and fantastical territories of imaginary lands – provided you have a tree, of course. If not, consider transposing the following ideas into a cubby house!

A Secret Compartment

Shhh! They’ve got a secret and no, they don’t want to share. By creating a space for their treasures, memories and private chattels, you’re showing that you trust them, opposed to saying it fifteen times. Evidently, when they get older, you might have to pull a few covert missions of your own to ensure they aren’t housing their adolescent hijinks in their treehouses, but it is still ideal to provide a few hidden compartments for stowing away beloved possessions, whether you see them or not.

Safety Stuff

Building a treehouse opens up the perfect opportunity to have a conversation about safety with your child; take them through the importance of being height safe, highlighting the harness you’re using, ladder safety, tool storage and other essentials; if you’re not sure where to begin, give a company like Safe@Heights a call to go through the finer points of working at heights safety. This may be a great time to discuss railings and rope ladders; remember, a broken bone is easily won when security is neglected. Get the kids in on it too!

Land, Ahoy!

Although a real periscope will set you back a couple of thousand dollars, a cleanly cut piece of PVC and a plastic magnify glass are enough to tap into their imaginations. We all like to ‘spy’ on what’s going on, humans are naturally curious and kids even more so; tap into this natural imagination and mount a makeshift looking glass on a stand, pointing promptly at a view that will reap the most  interesting gossip.

Room to Grow

Much like buying kids shoes, your little rascals may soon outgrow your carefully constructed tree fort of excellence; simple solution? Leave room to grow. Just as adults like renovating, there’s no reason why a tree house can’t undergo its own transformation. As the children grow up, suggest they squirrel away a portion of their pocket money every week to invest in extensions for their sanctuary, highlighting the advantages of saving now and spending later, when the message will be absorbed. Give them control of the plans (within reason) and let their personalities shine.

Not every kid is lucky enough to have a treehouse growing up, and as hinted at in the introduction, not all of us have trees. Creating spaces for kids to be kids is essential to their development; whether you live in a house with a yard, a house with a tree or an apartment with limited space, maximising a small environment for the younger members of your family will encourage them to grow, develop and communicate.

Did you grow up with a treehouse? If not, did you wish for one? Let me know in the comments below.