Creating a Natural Playhouse for Children in the Garden: Plant Options and Construction Guide

Transforming your garden into a playful sanctuary for children can be both an enjoyable and eco-friendly project. Utilizing plants like beans, sunflowers, and willow to construct natural playhouses like bean teepees not only provides a fun space for kids but also encourages interaction with nature. Here’s a guide on which plants to use and how to create a playhouse for children in the garden.

1. Bean Teepee

bean teepee

Best Plants: Pole beans, runner beans.

Materials: Bamboo poles or sturdy sticks, garden twine, soil, bean seeds.


  1. Create the Structure: Arrange 6-8 long bamboo poles in a circle, leaning them inwards to meet at the top. Tie them securely together where they intersect.
  2. Plant the Beans: At the base of each pole, plant 4-5 bean seeds about an inch deep into the soil.
  3. Train the Vines: As the bean plants grow, gently wrap them around the poles, encouraging them to climb.
  4. Maintenance: Water regularly and watch as your bean teepee becomes a lush, green playhouse.

2. Sunflower House

Best Plants: Tall sunflower varieties.

Materials: Sunflower seeds, soil, string (to mark the layout).


  1. Mark the Layout: Use string to outline the shape of the house on the ground.
  2. Plant Sunflowers: Plant sunflower seeds along the marked lines, leaving space for an entrance.
  3. Support Growth: Water the seeds regularly and provide support if needed as the sunflowers grow tall.
  4. Enjoy the Space: Once the sunflowers are fully grown, they will form the walls of a sunny, bloom-filled playhouse.

3. Willow Dome

willow dome in home garden

Best Plants: Living willow rods.

Materials: Willow rods, rubber mallet, mulch, soil, ties.


  1. Prepare the Site: Clear the area and mark a circle for the base of your dome.
  2. Insert Willow Rods: Use a rubber mallet to drive long willow rods into the ground at regular intervals around the circle.
  3. Form the Dome: Bend the tops of the rods towards the center of the circle, securing them together to form a dome shape.
  4. Fill the Gaps: Plant additional willow rods diagonally to strengthen the structure and fill in gaps.
  5. Maintain the Dome: Regularly water the willow and trim as necessary to maintain the shape of the dome.

Creating a natural playhouse in your garden is a delightful way to foster creativity and a love for nature in children. Whether it’s a bean teepee, a sunflower house, or a willow dome, these living structures provide a unique, eco-friendly space for play and relaxation. With some basic materials, a bit of gardening, and regular maintenance, you can transform your garden into an enchanting play area that children will cherish.

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