How to Grow a Living Playscape: Willow Playhouse Cave for Kids

How to Grow a Living Playhouse for Kids from Willow Tree Branches: Plan for Earth Day

Building an outdoor playscape is just one of many fun garden projects you can do with your kids in the summer. We experimented by making a living playhouse from a willow tree. If you aren't sure how to get started on an outdoor design project, visit our post on diy outdoor design templates.

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Outdoor play space living breathing organic play house structure garden

How to Make a Living Play Space

We shopped for various styles of playhouses, but they were very expensive. After a storm, tree branches covered the yard, so we gathered several willow branches and stuck them in the ground. Then, we cut a few skinny branches off the tree and wrapped them around the bigger branches forming a loose connection. Click here to see examples of  living willow tree play spaces from

Miracle Grow gave our living willow playscape a boost. The kids generously watered the base of the branches. You don't need to have a green thumb to grow a Willow tree. Take a stem cutting or cut off a branch and stick it in soil. That's all you need to grow your own organic playhouse.

This is an easy project that keeps on giving year after year. 
Our little gardeners anxiously awaited for Spring in hopes their playhouse had survived the winter. To make sure your trees are well maintained, check with a tree care service and garden maintenance expert.

Our living willow playhouse ended up looking more like a cave than house. The kids crawled inside letting their imaginations run wild. In the spring, it was incredible to watch the miracle of rebirth. In the winter, our little play house looked like a pile of sticks, but a few months later it was well on it's way to becoming the centerpiece in our secret garden. It's the perfect place for sensory outdoor play. 


Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.