A Play House is a toy domestic dwelling where children can pretend to live as members of a family. Young children often play this game alone, but as they grow older they may invite friends to join them in their imaginary world of make believe. Playing house can help develop cognitive skills, including problem solving, and it fosters social and emotional development. It can also encourage physical activity, which is essential for a child’s health and well being.

The Play House was founded in 1917 by Chicago theater director and producer J.M. Barrie, author of the famous children’s book “Peter Pan”. The original home for the company was a farmhouse on Cedar Avenue and East 73rd Street, which was replaced in 1926 with two new interconnected theaters that could seat 160 people each. In 1949, the Play House moved again, this time to a former Christian Science church at East 77th Street and Euclid Avenue.

When it comes to kids and their imaginations, there’s nothing quite like a Play House. Whether they’re taking care of their dolls, running a restaurant or playing police with their toy guns, kids love to spend hours in their playhouses imagining what’s possible. When kids have a place to let their creativity run wild, it can be very rewarding for both them and the adults who play along.

To build a Play House, start by preparing a large box. Make sure it’s clean and free of any loose areas, and then paint it with a color that matches your backyard. After the box is dry, use a pair of scissors to cut out a door at the bottom of one side, and then add as many windows as you would like. For a more permanent structure, you can glue wood siding on the outside of the box, or even create a shingled roof with plywood and shingles.

When choosing materials for your Play House, keep in mind that the structure will be exposed to weathering and heavy use, so you should consider using durable, low maintenance lumber that’s treated to resist rot, mold, and mildew. Pressure-treated (PT) lumber is an economical option and will last for years, but you can also build with cedar or redwood for a more premium look.

Once the playhouse is built, add a small chalkboard and chairs for indoor/outdoor writing and drawing. You can also include a red rotary phone and a notebook for pretend play with other toys, such as cars and toy tools. Caryn and her husband Frank also added rain chains, which are attractive ways to redirect water flow from the roof into a basin.

A Play House is a great way to encourage imaginative play and get kids of all ages active outdoors. It can boost self-esteem by showing them that they have the ability to be anything they want through their own imaginations, and it can help nurture a lifelong love of learning.