Every kid has a cubby house or fort of some description growing up, and the ones who don’t go over to their friend’s place to use theirs. Cubbies are part of the culture of the Australian childhood, and for good reason. They’re great for development – physical and mental; they’re a source of constant entertainment and most importantly they’re just great fun. Kids can often be relied upon to create their own fun, but a life in the suburbs with endless electronic distraction can make it a bit difficult to get outside and create an awesome cubby house from scratch. Where would you get the wood? Is there even a hammer in the garage? Probably not.
The good news is that just because the modern world has changed a bit, there’s no reason your kids have to do without the timeless fun of a cubby house. Whether pre-built or a DIY cubby house kit, there are ways to get your hands on an awesome cubby house that the kids can put their own mark on.
DIY Cubby House
Parenting ain’t easy, and it certainly isn’t our intention to tell anyone how far they should trust their kids with hammers, screws and other tools. With that said, that’s the beauty of DIY cubby kits – you can help your kids as much or as little as you deem fit for their level of maturity and experience. They can get a real sense of involvement with building this, however big or small their involvement, and after all, it is their cubby.
DIY kits are available from a range of retailers, are easy to transport to where they need to go and, depending on their complexity, usually quite easy to erect. The fact that a DIY cubby house kit requires construction might seem like a disadvantage, but look a bit deeper and you might find that for certain situations, a bit of self assembly is actually a good thing. Basic construction skills such as how to safely use a hammer and nails are good things to know. The simple assembly of a cubby house is the perfect opportunity to give your own kids some lifelong skills that will allow you to trust them with tools in the future, and maybe even kick off a lifelong love affair with DIY.
DIY is great, but it’s not the answer for everyone. Time poor? Inexperienced with tools? Children too young to get them involved? That’s fine, because there are plenty of pre-built cubby options and ideas that you can use instead. One of the great things about a pre-built cubby house is just how many awesome designs are out there. It must be pretty great to have the job title ‘professional cubby house designer’, and it’s even better to be able to take that person’s ingenuity and turn it into your kid’s own awesome space.
What sort of design are you looking for? Miniature house? Pirate ship? Treehouse? They’re all out there and ready to go, and they’re all pretty awesome. But don’t skimp here, you’ll definitely pay more for better quality, but it really is worth it. There really is no better way to give your kids the old fashioned experience of a cubby house, no matter if you have the supplies on hand or not.
Every kid loves cubbies – every kid loves playground equipment. Why not combine the two into a fort? The term ‘fort’ is pretty broad, but generally they involve a range of playground equipment (monkey bars, slide, swing, etc.) combined with a timber structure that can double as a clubhouse or cubby.
Much like an ordinary cubby house, a fort can be self or pre-assembled. However, the added complications of playground equipment and the need to make sure they are completely safe (to no less than Australian Standards when it comes to kids) means you’re better off in most cases having a fort professionally assembled.
From Around the House
Who says you have spend a lot to give your kids the sort of cubby house they can be proud of? Even without a lot of spare timber or tools lying around there are way to have fun on a budget, no matter how tight! Think old furniture, bedding and blankets. Couches can be flipped, sheets can be draped over chairs and voila, a masterpiece of structural engineering is created.
Cubby houses have been and remain one of the staples of childhood throughout the world. The enclosing nature of suburbia and electronica may make indoor activities a more attractive option in a lot of cases, but there is still an awful lot to be said for the good old outdoors. Cubby houses are one of the best ways to introduce your kids to the awesomeness of outdoor play.