Breaking the Sea

the ministry and online journal of christa parrish

Coming Home to Play

It's been a long winter here, very cold, and Claire had a difficult time with being trapped indoors, with the lack of sunlight and the lack of people. My little extrovert, even a trip to the grocery store so she can wave and say, "Hi," to everyone she passes while pushing the child-sized shopping cart. In the past two weeks, the weather has been beautiful and the rain has lessened, and Claire has been outside hours and hours a day - riding her tricycle to the playground, helping me plant our heirloom vegetable garden, and her favorite activity: digging in the dirt with her own shovel. She belongs on a farm, somewhere warm where she can run barefoot and catch toads, and then come home for dinner with dirty fingernails and grass in her hair. 

So, when she asked for a playhouse - "A yellow one!" - a place of her own where she could spend more time in the yard, I set out to oblige.

We are not plastic Little Tykes people, for the most part. We try to live sustainably. And frugally. And I've seen enough Pinterest posts to know anything and everything as been made of pallets. Chris and I collected some from the side of the road, we were given some by friends, and we set out to cobble together a playhouse from mismatched and broken wood. Our goals were several: spend little money (total cost about $60 for a gallon of paint, the duck canvas canopy, twelve metal brackets, and a package of grommets; all the rest we had on-hand), keep it simple (we didn't want to deconstruct and reconstruct pallets or build anything requiring too much measuring and cutting), and make it attractive enough that we wouldn't hate looking at it every day.

Approximately eight total hours of work later:

Claire and Noah, enjoying the new pallet playhouse.

Claire and Noah, enjoying the new pallet playhouse.

Claire's new favorite place, or to channel her inner Virginia Woolf, a "room of her own."

Claire's new favorite place, or to channel her inner Virginia Woolf, a "room of her own."

Claire chose the color - "I can do it all by myself!" - looking at paint chip after paint chip and finally declaring the winner. Sunspark. Yeah. More than perfect.