For 19 years I was lucky to teach at a district Kindergarten Center where all learning for the 400 students was focused on kindergarten learning, where each classroom had it's own playhouse, and many of our PLC meetings were dedicated to the topic of how to maximize learning in that important learning space that is the dramatic play area.
When my husband wanted to move to a new state, I had one demand. He would have to build me a playhouse in my new classroom. And he did!
I have been asked by several followers how my playhouse was constructed. So, here are some "How to Build a Classroom Playhouse" instructions.
We purchased 3 4X6 plywood sheets. The left side of the playhouse is simply one of those boards placed horizontally. The outside of the playhouse wall, which is actually the wall divider to my sensory/science centers, is framed with purchased baseboard forms. The inside of that wall, you can see, is framed with small 1X1 boards to provide support.
My former playhouse was lined with sheetrock on the inside and looked very finished. But, I found with this house, simply painting the boards looks great and lends itself to being mobile; something I definitely wanted after moving classrooms!
The front wall was made from two plywood boards placed vertically and seamed together in the center. The door is 5 feet tall, leaving 1 foot to the peek. We framed all ends and the cutout window with the baseboard forms. We used some real shingles, cut to fit, to make a cute roof-like appearance. The right side of my playhouse is simply my playhouse furniture connected together with L-brackets to form a psuedo-wall. I then simply covered the back of these furniture pieces with contact paper. I have a shelf in front of that wall, so I did not need a formal "side." But I could have easily made a wall the same as the other side if it would have been needed.
The entire house is hooked together with L-Brackets and is attached to the wall with them as well. When I leave this classroom I can take the house with me, if I choose to do so.
I begin each year with my playhouse set up as a kitchen. It then changes to Mrs. Wishy Washy's farmhouse. I simply add a few stuffed animals to the existing kitchen and hang a few pictures from the Mrs. Wishy Washy big book. From that point, the playhouse changes about every 2 weeks to things such as a fire station, grocery store, costume shop, restaurant, workshop, Christmas kitchen, pet hospital, doctor's office, ice cream shop, post office, library, school house, bakery, submarine, pirate ship, space ship, safari hut, zoo, and more. Here are a few examples. You can tell my students love this learning space!
These products contain aides for Dramatic Play in your classroom!