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How to Build an Outdoor Playhouse for Kids

Learn to build a playhouse with sandbox, slide, climbing wall, and roof in your own backyard.

Welcome to our outdoor playhouse, aka: The Adventure Clubhouse!

We were able to turn a corner of our patio into the perfect wooden playhouse for our kids this summer. Even though we do not have a large yard, the outdoor playhouse is full of fun.

Learn how to build an outdoor playhouse for kids in your backyard. Complete with sandbox, slide, climbing wall, and clubhouse with roof.

The kids spend hours in the sandbox, host club meetings in the clubhouse, and climb all over the wooden playhouse.

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I can’t wait to share all the details of our playhouse build.

Even though we have a small yard, we were able o build an outdoor playhouse for the kids in our backyard. Get the tutorial at

DIY Wooden Playhouse

If you have been following along, you may have seen some of the stages of our kids outdoor playhouse. We have been working on it over the summer.

I have wanted to build a playhouse for my kids for years now, but always figured our yard was too small for it.

This year I decided I needed to stop making excuses!

Then outdoor playhouse for the kids is perfect for any backyard. See how to build your own at

So we built the perfect small backyard playhouse for the kids.

Our outdoor wooden playhouse is only 5′ x 7′ but is perfect for our kids big imaginations!

Build the perfect adventure clubhouse for the kids this summer. The complete build plans including cost breakdown for this outdoor playhouse can be found at

As soon as the walls were up, my daughter started an “Adventure Club”. She gathers anyone she can and they talk about nature, create, and have all kinds of fun.

The outdoor playhouse is the perfect clubhouse. The covered loft makes it perfect for having meetings any time of the year.

Create an area for the kids creative play. This wooden outdoor playhouse is perfect for stretching the kids imagination and getting them off the screens all year long.

One of the requests my daughter had for their clubhouse was a chalkboard. It was very important to have a place to write on during meetings.

I found a magnetic steel chalkboard that can hold up to the elements outdoors. It was the perfect solution for the outdoor playhouse. And with a box of sidewalk chalk, the kids have used it for so many hours of fun.

A chalkboard is the perfect addition to this outdoor playhouse.

The clubhouse also needed some seating. I built 4 kids patio chairs earlier in the year, and 2 of them fit nicely in the kids wooden playhouse.

They love having a place to sit. And they have been enjoying eating their lunch in the playhouse all summer long. Which makes me happy because my floors have stayed much cleaner 😉

The bright colored kids patio chairs turn this outdoor playhouse into the perfect clubhouse. See the entire build at

The open framework was the perfect background for adding some shelves to the DIY playhouse. This idea was one of my daughter’s favorite from our inspiration playhouse, the Handmade Hideaway by The Handmade Home.

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Because my daughter is a bit of a hoarder, shelves to store all her knick-knacks was a must.

Using the open framework, shelves were built into the walls to hold all the kids treasures. Learn how to build an outdoor playhouse for the backyard at

But don’t think I didn’t add a lot of fun things for our son to the playhouse too! He loves the climbing wall (and what boy wouldn’t).

It was also his request to add a rope ladder to the outdoor playhouse. Something about a rope ladder just spoke to him.

Since the yard is small, we are utilizing every inch of space by turning the wall of the outdoor playhouse into a climbing wall for more fun!

And let’s not forget to talk about the sandbox! I have a love/hate relationship with the sandbox.

I love that my kids play in it all the time… for hours. They love to dig and the new sandbox keeps them from digging where they are not suppose to.

However, their clothing is always covered in sand! They leave sandy footprints everywhere they go. And I have to sweep right inside the door to the backyard constantly.

But it’s a small price to pay for imaginative & active kids.

Building the outdoor playhouse over a sandbox was the perfect solution for our small yard. Lots of fun for the kids, without loosing too much yard space.

However, the absolute best part of our new backyard playhouse is that we built it for less than the cost of buying a boring swing set!

Now I do love a swing set. And my daughter is sad her playhouse did not come with swings. But they have a much larger footprint. We would have to loose most of our grass area to a swing set.

Instead we created the perfect playhouse, clubhouse, activity area and sandbox, complete with a slide, for under $775. And there is still plenty of room for the kids to run around in our tiny backyard!

Learn how to create the perfect outdoor playhouse for the kids with the tutorial from

So if I have convinced you that you also need a outdoor playhouse for the kids in your backyard, I have all the details on how to build one yourself.

The posts all include detailed tutorials, build plans, supplies lists, and cost breakdown. And everything was done with basic tools. Time to get building!

Printable PDF Plans

Prefer to print the instructions?

Grab the complete build plans (from all 5 posts) in one easy to follow printable PDF here. The plans include:

  • List of recommended tools
  • Detailed supply lists
  • Easy to read cut list table
  • Step-by-step instructions with diagrams & pictures
  • BONUS: 3D SketchUp file

Material and cut lists include the totals for the entire build, as well as a break down for each step. Makes it easy to buy all at once or purchase as you go. 

Click the link below for everything you need to build your own playhouse and so you can get the kids outside playing for hours on end!

Button to buy playhouse PDF build plans.

How to build a kids wooden playhouse:

Turn your tiny backyard into an adventure with this DIY wooden outdoor playhouse! The entire build process is shared on

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How to Build a Wood Playhouse

Get the kids outside by building them a playhouse! This small scale playhouse only has a footprint of 5'x7' (not including the slide) so you can fit it into any backyard.

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati


Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Do you know the stain color of the deck?


Thursday 24th of March 2022

Hi! I love your playhouse and have been trying to build the courage to start on one of our own for my three kids. Curious if you might have any estimates on what it cost you to build this vs what you may estimate it would cost today with the price of wood being so much higher? I'm a total novice to building anything I just want to be sure I can actually finish this!

Ryan Stutchman

Saturday 20th of November 2021

This looks like a fun project but I’m curious about how long it will take two people to build. Reading the comments it seems to take a month for most people but how many hours would it take. Basically can it be done within two or three days?


Wednesday 1st of June 2022

@Ryan Stutchman, I am pretty experienced and had my husband to help and probably took about 4 full days. Overall took one week. Although I am waiting till fall to stain the deck.


Monday 29th of November 2021

I do not believe you could do it all in 2-3 days. My husband and I worked on it every weekend for a month to get it done. And I painted it during the week. If you had one week, you could probably do it.


Friday 23rd of April 2021

Thank you for taking the time to put together such detail plans in the PDF. Makes putting this together soo much easier!

Kati Farrer

Friday 23rd of April 2021

Glad you are enjoying it, I hope your family enjoys the finished product as much as we did.


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

What age are your kids? My son is almost 5 and wanting to build this in our backyard but wondering with the size how long kids might play in it. Trying to decide if worth it :)


Wednesday 17th of March 2021

My daughter was 5 and my son was 8 when I built it. My son only used it for another year, but my daughter used the playhouse a lot up until we sold our house when she was 8.

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