DIY Network

Places to Play

Thinking of building a play area where the kids can run, swing, slide, climb, hang, hide and jump? Get a head start with these 15 ideas designed to inspire.

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Casa de Arbol(5 of 14)

Built around a giant oak, the tree's gnarled branches were incorporated into the very essence of this Italianate playhouse in the sky. Branches jut out from every side of the structure, through the walls, railings and the deck. The treehouse was designed to interact with the oak, but is not attached to the tree.

This structure was designed with plenty of play features, including a climbing wall, disk swing and a slide. It was painted in Tuscan colors to compliment the design.

Play Like a Kid, Plan Like a Parent
TREE DESIGN: A trick that expert treehouse designer Barbara Butler uses is the camera.

To give her clients a sense of what the completed structure will look like, Barbara will often photograph the tree, print an enlarged copy of the photo, and then outline the tree and draw her treehouse design to scale on the printout.

Barbara's technique not only provides a good spatial sense of the treehouse from several perspectives, but will also help you understand scale and provide an excellent visual blueprint to work from.

Next Photo: Modern Play Shed