3 DIY Kids Retreats You Can Build Now

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

suspended tree houseBeyond 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

backyard playhouseI’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.

Want more? See the playhouse video here.

A-Frame Fort With Climbing Wall

backyard hut with climbing wallEspecially 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.

See the fort video here, and find more ideas for kids retreats, playrooms and toys on DIYNetwork.com.

5 Responses

  1. Laurie_March says:

    Number one. Who made these? they are BRILLIANT . I want the second one for myself. Number two. Wowwwwwww…….


    • kellysmtrimble says:

      Laurie, These are all by Deek Diedricksen of RelaxShacks.com. Check him out in the videos above — he is hilarious!

  2. Michelle Reynolds says:

    If every kid had a treehouse, or playhouse, and a garden space to call their own, what a wonderful world this would be!

    • kellysmtrimble says:

      I agree, Michelle! Let's make it so :)

      • Bonita says:

        I agree also. My 9 year old would never want to come in the house. Her favorite things are to dig, plant (even pulled up grass) and stack everything she can find in the back yard and see what she can make, including a brick "fort".


About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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