I'm going to admit that as a kid I loved to fantasize about having a lovely wooden Wendy House in my garden. But I have never has a garden large enough sadly, so I had to make do with squeezing myself into the garden shed, avoiding the lawnmower, the rake and my Father's wrath!
Even when my own kids were small enough for a playhouse we never had space for a beautiful wooden playhouse, so to this day I'm still fantasizing about a little garden hideaway.
So here are some fantastic and drool-worthy outdoor playhouses. All of them are made from natural wood so could be left in their beautiful natural wood colour, or painted to create a fairytale house, a pirate den or a country cottage. Think of your playhouse as a blank canvas to use your creativity on.
Some of these playhouses, which would be suitable for both boys and girls, feature two storeys, a loft, a veranda and even a slide from the top storey.
This chalet-style Dream Playhouse from Garden Chic could almost make you believe that you were on holiday somewhere in Scandanavia. You could paint this in pretty pastel shades, but I would keep that wonderful knotty wood visible myself with just a coat of varnish.
With the sweetest little loft windows and a veranda the Traditional Swiss Cottage 2 Storey Playhouse from Shedstore is a larger size wooden outdoor playhouse which will bring you the spirit of the alps - alphorn and lederhosen optional.
If you have ever dreamed of a home with really old-world charm, how about this Tudor Lodge Playhouse from Garden Chic. All the joy of a tudor-style building without the pesky listed building status to contend with.
The Redwood Mansion Wooden Playhouse by Big Game Hunters at Amazon genuinely looks like something out of an old-fashioned cartoon, with it's deliberatly skew-iff door and window. It also includes a chalk board and a working letterbox.
Imagine just how much fun it would be to start the day by sliding out of the house? The Padstow Playhouse & Slide Set from TP Toys has two floors and a slide from the upper window. You can get it without the slide and just a window at the top. But why would you?
Little Eco-warriors will love this Discovery Hideaway Playhouse by Plum which encourages messy play and getting back to nature. The roof is designed to be turfed, it includes a planter, a mud kitchen, a system for collecting rainwater and it's own bamboo wind chimes.
With masses of scope for imagiative play this two-in-one playhouse has a huge veranda as well as an inside play area. The Forest Dixie Duo Traditional Kids Wooden Playhouse With Veranda is available from Great Little Garden. The inside is also taller than most playhouses so allows for lots of growing room (or for the parents to sneak off into when it all gets too much indoors).
Well, quite a big hideaway actually, one of the largest playhouses included here. The two storey Rowlinson Hideaway Playhouse from Garden Chic includes the veranda and windowboxes. I'm ready to move in.
The classically styled Fort Sandpiper Playhouse at GMC is huge and has a top storey accessable by a proper staircase. It arrives unpainted so it is a blank canvas so that you can paint it any colour you like. This cornflower blue is cheerful for a dark corner and would be a lovely contrast to the green of the garden.
Yeah Hah! The rustic barn-style Doodle Playhouse from Garden Chic will allow you to live out all your dreams of farming - or at least you can imagine you are in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Admittedly it won't be large enough to hold livestock, but your kids will love it.
The two storey Windsor Primrose Playhouse with Veranda at Amazon has lots of room for the kids to run about, with a proper upstairs to sit in, accessable by a ladder, cosy enough for reading or a bit of homework if the Wi-Fi will reach that far.
The perfect little cottage to set out on an unexpected journey from? The Shire Cottage Playhouse from Garden Chic is supplied unpainted but I just love this dramatic colour scheme, which would make this a real feature of the garden.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!