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Friday, June 25, 2010
Let's Build a Treehouse!

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By Michael K.

A treehouse can be many things: a fort, a spaceship, a clubhouse, or simply a place to spend time. It is in fact many things to a child. But to an adult, the treehouse represents a huge bonding experience. It is tradition that from start to finish, a treehouse is conceived, designed, and built of the efforts of both parent and child.

Unfortunately, modern times have put a hamper on this time-tested expression of such a familial relationship. Dad’s too busy, mom’s too busy, money’s tight, or the kids would just rather stay inside. This is why, if a treehouse is going to serve its multi-faceted function, it needs to be built smart. It needs to be built in a time and cost-effective manner, and in such a way that the kids will enjoy it. What follows here is a guide to accomplishing just this. So, let’s build a treehouse!

Step 1: Get the Kids Interested

This may be an uphill battle. Video games and TV have replaced outdoor games as a means of entertainment for kids over the last 30-40 years. So, try starting small. Tell your child about all the fun you had in your treehouse as a kid. Maybe pick one of the things you know they’re interested in, and use that to paint your stories.

Step 2: Design the Treehouse

Kids have a GREAT time with this. Tell your child the treehouse can be anything they want it to be. Suggest trap doors, secret compartments, and anything else you think they might enjoy. While it’s nice to let your child use his imagination here, remember the treehouse does have to be safe, cost-effective, and logistically feasible.

Step 3: Shop for Materials

Depending on your budget, you might shop for all your supplies at a home improvement store, or get creative and procure them from your local salvage yard (this can be an adventure all its own!). Some combination of the two will oftentimes afford the safety and cleanliness you desire, while satisfying your child’s expression of individuality.

Step 4: Build the Treehouse

While this is labeled as one step, it can often take weeks. If you setting aside enough time to complete the project is a concern for you, try breaking it up into smaller, more manageable weekend tasks. Remember, as long as your child stays interested, it’s all about spending quality time together. That can’t happen if either of you are upset or frustrated.

There you have it: Step-by-Step instructions of how to bond with your child by honoring the time-tested tradition of building a treehouse together.

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