When I was a kid, our backyard was a wonderland. Not only was there plenty of room to run, roam and dig and an amazingly S-curved Sassafras tree for hanging upside down, but we also had a hand-built treehouse and a tire swing that beckoned us to enjoy endless hours of just-safe-enough amusement. I’m with fellow blogger, Michelle, who said in her post about tree playstations that outdoor retreats like I had “invite the child (big or small) into a place for unstructured play and lead one to … exploration, adventure play, creativity, and imagination.” A special thanks goes to Dad, Mom and the old Sassafras for giving me all these things and more.Outdoor play may seem like a far-off notion with winter bearing down on most of us across the country. But you know what the best thing about winter is, whether you love or hate it? It always turns into spring. And spring turns into summer. The season of outdoor play will be here sooner than you think. Are you and your backyard ready?Here are three truly inventive projects designed and constructed by Deek Diedricksen for the Kids Retreats section of DIYNetwork.com — that’s the tiny-home guru himself in the comprehensive step-by-step photo galleries and video below. You can start planning these projects now and get them constructed quicker than you can say Snowmageddon.
Suspended Tree Fort
Beyond the basic box, this treehouse has rounded walls and hangs from a tree. With enough room for a comfy nap and a transparent roof to let in natural sunlight, it’s a project that’ll be comfy for kids and adults alike.
Two-Story Backyard Playhouse
I’ve always thought lofts were the coolest thing. We used to play in a barn loft when we were kids, and this playhouse has something similar. The roof hatch opens to let in fresh air or it can be shut tight for a sleepover. The two-story playhouse is also equipped with a chalkboard wall and storage space underneath the floor.
A-Frame Fort With Climbing Wall
Especially if you have a small backyard, think multifunctional when you think fun. This deluxe fort has a swing and climbing wall (!) made from easy-to-find materials.