Backyard Sheds for Kids

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Backyard Sheds for Kids
A garden shed is easily converted into a child's playhouse. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Garden sheds are ideal for converting into a child's playhouse. In the United States, these sheds for kids are known as playhouses. In the UK, it's a Wendy house, named after the character of Wendy as created by J.M. Barrie in his novel "Peter Pan." Most garden shed playhouses not built of wood are impermanent structures with a lifespan of a few years. Children around the world enjoy their fantasy lives lived in an old-fashioned garden shed.

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Wood Sheds

A typical garden shed is a wooden structure with a foundation, a door and perhaps a window. You can convert it easily into a child's playhouse. Paint the inside and out with a child's favourite colours. Put curtains on the windows. Paint the trim with Victorian flourishes, a contemporary design, or whatever pleases the child who will soon call the shed home. Add a few chairs and some toy boxes, and a simple potting shed becomes a child's kingdom.

Canvas

A tent, or tepee, is a child's escape. It started when a sheet was strung over the outdoor clothes line and children gathered inside the homemade tent. Children added sleeping bags and gravitated to the womblike effect of a tent. Today, the concept has evolved into a backyard room built of canvas. These structures come in a kit and many are branded with favourite characters. They are easy to assemble. Waterproof, the tepee only lacks a solid floor. This is not a permanent structure, however, and must be dismantled in inclement weather.

Cardboard

Garden shed kits made of cardboard are available for do-it-yourselfers who want to create a haven for their children. The entire structure is made of cardboard, and cardboard furniture is also available. A variety of themes is available in the cardboard sheds, for boys as well as for girls. The drawback to these garden playhouses is that they must be dismantled and taken inside when it rains.

Plastic

Toy companies have expanded on the concept of the garden shed playhouse and offer a wide array of weather-strong plastic structures for both boys and girls. They have windows that open and close, doors that swing open and some even come with garden rooms or conservatories. Imaginative and reasonably priced, the plastic sheds will entertain children throughout the warm-weather seasons for many years. They dismantle for winter storage.

Purpose-Build Sheds for Children

For the parent who has ample funds to spend, a custom-made shed designed around a child's whims is the ideal gift. These creative structures are shaped like trains, gypsy wagons, gingerbread houses, cottages and castles, to name just a few. They require cement for a slab foundation and are constructed as a small house would be built. Plumbing isn't necessary, but some garden shed houses have running water, bathroom facilities and even cooking appliances.

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