How to Choose the Perfect Cubby House for Your Backyard

How to Choose the Perfect Cubby House for Your Backyard

A simple cubby house will can transform your backyard in to a place of adventure, imagination and excitement for your kids. It's amazing how much joy can be experienced, creativity unlocked and laughs shared with a playset, play centre or cubby house.

In this article our team have put together some helpful hints and tips to help you choose the right cubby house for your garden, your family and your budget. Let's get started!


Why We Love Cubby Houses!

Cubby houses are one of our most popular types of products we sell at The Best Backyard and our team love them! They encourage what's known as open ended play which allows children to use their imagination & creativity to create make-believe adventures and play. 

Whilst cubby houses come in all shapes, sizes and styles ultimately your children will enjoy whatever type of cubby house you choose for your backyard.

A cubby house is more than a spot for play; it's a place where treasured childhood memories are created.

cubby house play

1. Where Will You Put It? 

The first decision to make is to decide on your location. The key here is choosing a balance between practicality and an area which will stimulate creativity. Here's what we consider when installing our elevated cubby houses:

  • Sunlight and Shade Balance: Choose a spot with a mix of sunshine and shade. Sunshine brings energy and vibrancy to play, while shade offers a cool retreat during warmer hours. Australian summers can be hot so we usually go for summer shade where possible. 

  • Somewhere you can see it: Choose a spot for the cubby house that's within sight of your home. Ideally somewhere you can see it while you are sitting in your favourite chair in the lounge relaxing with a cuppa while the kids have fun outside! 

  • Room for Play: Ensure enough open space around the cubby house. This gives children a lot of room to play freely and safely.

  • Connection to Nature: If possible choose a spot near natural elements like trees or flower beds, or get the kids to help you create one nearby! 

2. Size Matters

Size really can matter when it comes to selecting your cubby house. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right size for your yard:

  • Assess Your Space: Measure the area you've allocated for the cubby house. You can pick a cubby house that blends in with your garden and adds charm without being too big.

  • Family Size and Age Range: Consider the number and age of children who will be using it. Younger children may be content with a smaller model, while older kids might appreciate more space for their adventures.

  • Small vs. Large Models: Smaller models are great for compact gardens and younger children, offering cosiness and safety. Larger models, on the other hand, can accommodate more children and are ideal for families with older kids or frequent play dates, providing ample room for imaginative play.

Deciding between a smaller or larger cubby house should be based on the space you have and what your children need, making sure it's an ideal match for your family's outdoor escapades.

wooden cubby house

3. Picking a Theme

A theme for the cubby house can turn ordinary play into extraordinary adventures. Choose a theme that will bewitch and ignite the imaginative spirits of your youngsters.

If you've got younger kids then a castle themed cubby can create a royal playground, for little explorers, a pirate ship design can set the stage for seafaring escapades, and for active kids a NERF themed cubby might be the right choice! 

4. The Right Materials

The main material for your cubby house comes down to a combination of personal choice (some people love wood and hate plastic for example) and practicality . Here are the pros and cons of common materials:

  • Wood:
    • Pros: Offers a traditional and warm aesthetic, integrates well with natural surroundings.
    • Cons: More susceptible to weathering, requires periodic maintenance.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Look for heat treated or non-toxic treated wood for kids outdoor play equipment)

  • Plastic:
    • Pros: Durable, low maintenance, and often more affordable.
    • Cons: May not have the natural look of wood, less environmentally friendly.

  • Metal:
    • Pros: Highly durable and strong.
    • Cons: Can heat up under the sun, less inviting appearance compared to wood.

5. Safety First

You need to make sure your cubby house is safe for all ages of children in your family. If you decide to go second-hand make sure you check it carefully to make sure it is safe, solid and not dangerous. If you buy new look for a product which meets, or ideally exceeds, Australian standards

  • Rounded Edges: Opt for cubbies with smooth, rounded edges to prevent scrapes and injuries.
  • Sturdy Construction: Ensure the structure is robust and secure to withstand playful antics.
  • Non-Toxic Materials: Check that all materials used are non-toxic, especially paints and finishes.
  • Secure Fastenings: All screws and joints should be well-fastened and regularly checked for stability.

6. Budgeting Wisely

A realistic budget is key when selecting a cubby house. Consider not only the initial cost, but also the long-term expenses. Remember its about creating memories, and stimulating the imagination, and that can be done on a very small budget. 

  • Initial Purchase Price: Determine a comfortable spending range for the cubby house itself.
  • Accessories and Add-ons: Account for the cost of additional features like slides, swings, or custom paint.
  • Maintenance Expenses: Remember, materials like wood may require ongoing maintenance, which can add to the overall expense.
  • Future Upgrades: Consider potential future costs for upgrades or expansions as your children grow.

7. Involve The Family

Get the kids (& husband!) involved in the process to select their cubby house to make the purchasing process a fun and engaging experience. You could even get them to contribute (a small) amount so they have some ownership and are more likely to care for it! 

  • Idea Sharing: Motivate your children to share their ideas about themes or colours, helping bring their imaginative visions to life.
  • Selecting Accessories: Let them pick out accessories or decorations, fostering a sense of ownership and pride.
  • Planning Layout: Involve them in planning the layout, understanding their play habits and desires.
  • Budget Partnership: Involve your children in budgeting talks, guiding them in the essential skill of matching their aspirations with economic reality.

8. Make it Personal

Think about ways to personalise your new cubby house, with the kids help of course. Consider eco-friendly paints and decorations to add a personal touch while being mindful of the environment. Make sure your kids get creative with their own secret hideout, so it matches their personalities.

Which Cubby House Will You Choose?

At The Best Backyard we've got one of Australia's largest ranges of cubby houses from the best brands in Australia, UK and America. Browse our website to get inspiration, and when you are ready to purchase we can deliver it to your door throughout Australia.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions please contact our outdoor play experts who will be very happy to help you.

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