We are living in a digital era when our children are most of their time in front of some kind of blue screen. We are all aware of the negative effects of the blue screen and the required limited screen-time for our children. There is an easy way to achieve all that and that is the old-fashioned but irreplaceable playhouse.
What if we tell you that you can build a living playhouse? Yes, it is possible, and in this article we shall present you two of them that can be easily built in your garden.
How to build a willow den?
Willow tree branches are great material for chairs, fences, tunnels, teepees, domes and for any desired shape you want to build. According to the Blue Stem Nursery:
“Just stick long willow branches directly into the ground, tie them together into the desired shape and they will root and grow, producing a cover of green leaves over the structure.”
A large bundle of 6 feet or longer green willow rods ( 1, 2 and 3 years old)
Straw or weed-suppressing membrane
Position the weed-suppressing mat and then make holes through the membrane so that there is enough space for the rods. Now plant the main frame and the door of your playhouse by using 3-year-old rods. The use of 2-year-old rods will offer a vertical support, and 1-year-old rods will provide the diagonal weave. In the beginning the top of the playhouse will be open, but eventually the new growths will close it.
How to build a runner bean teepee?
This is probably the easiest playhouse to build. Check for yourself:
In order to create teepee poke the bamboo canes into the ground in a circle. You should leave enough space between the two canes as that would be the door for your playhouse. The top of the playhouse should be secured by putting wire, or twine, in fact a solid material that holds the bamboo. Next, cover the teepee with chicken wire. Once you have set up the base structure, dig a 1 foot garden bed around the base of the canes, and fill the hole with compost or manure. At the base of the canes make two holes (deep 2 inches), and in each hole plant one runner bean seed. Water it and then fill the hole with soil. Do the watering part again.
In order to prevent the formation of slugs use organic slug pellets or simply remove them every night without using any product. You should perform this method till the plants reach a height of 6 inches.
If it is a better option for you can plant the runner bean seeds in pots, and once they become fully grown they can get transplanted in the soil. Finally, wrap the shoots around the canes and secure them with a string. For the optimal health of your runner bean plant cover its base with wood chips, mulch or lawn clippings so that to lock the moisture in the soil. This will be also a great protection against weeds coming out. Make sure to water your plants on regular basis.
The playhouses can look even better if you plant sunflowers, sweet peas, grape vines, or other fruiting plants. You can as well as use herbs, especially the ones that naturally repel mosquitoes.
Build one for your children and see how much happiness you will bring to them, believe us, more than a tablet or smartphone.