A playhouse has been on our wish list for in the garden for a while now. I love the versatility of wooden playhouses and how they can be decorated into different themes and used for different ideas all year round. We were sent this bunny playhouse from Garden Building Direct and challenged to turn it into a garden grotto this winter.
This was so easy to do, we just added a few simple touches and the whole playhouse was converted in under an hour. The key feature with our playhouse grotto was that I really let it be led by the kids – so it displays their own crafts and gives them ownership of the area. They loved it! Mr T even wanted to sleep out there but of course I had to draw the line there 😉
As for building the playhouse itself, I had help from a family friend (I’m really not a flatpack person!) and he didn’t seem to have any trouble with it, so if you’re normally fine with building flatpack then you would be fine with this.
I’ll show you some of the decorations we added to convert this wooden playhouse into a winter grotto.
The kids decided to decorate their new playhouse with some of the winter crafts they had done recently, as well as adding lots of tinsel and fairy lights of course!
Added Mr R’s shiny star garland on the wall (you can find instructions for this easy toddler winter craft here)
but facing inwards might have been better as the light shining into the playhouse was much stronger from that direction. We still have more wintery sun catcher crafts to add and I can see the boys wanting to display all their crafts in the playhouse from now on! It is lovely for them to have their own little house to decorate and display with their work.
We also hung some puzzle baubles which Mr Z had made last year.
I love these since they are so fun to make and last really well too! Info and instructions for the puzzle baubles is here
A winter grotto could not be complete without lots and lots of tinsel! We used all different colours and added it inside and outside!
This was not too easy to photograph without a tripod but it looks so pretty sparkling away in the garden. Because these are solar powered lights they just turn on by themselves whenever it gets dark, so the kids were amazed when they looked out of the window in the evening and saw their house was all lit up! It also means we don’t need to worry about electricity by leaving these on all the time so they are great.
There are so many ways that you could decorate a wooden playhouse for winter. I think we will definitely continue decorating it each year, and change it up for Spring, Summer and Autumn too. It’s an ideal place for the boys to display some of their seasonal crafts.
I’m also tempted to get a small table and chairs to go inside the playhouse for them to sit and do some crafts out their in their own little space (perhaps in Spring once the weather warms up a bit!) My mum had this set up in their garden playhouse when we visited in summer and Mr T loved it. Whenever we had a few spare minutes we could always find him in there busy making more pictures! I’m planning to move one of our sets of stacked drawers on wheels out there next to the table to hold some of their craft supplies too and maybe make a little reading corner.
If you have a playhouse and you decorate it for winter too, I’d love it if you share your pictures with me!
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.