Let’s not kid ourselves; these way-cool ideas will bring out the inner child in all of us. Check out the coolest houses for you and your kids.
Got a budding Rembrandt in the family? Inspire her artistic urges with color-in wallpaper. Who wouldn’t want to grab a marker, crayon, or paintbrush and start filling in these irresistible squiggles? A 20-inch-wide, 32-ft.-long roll is $55, and patterns include Happy Bath Time, Doggie Doodles, and New York.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenLet it Snow!
Hey kids, are you cooped up for the winter? Lucky you! With an indoor playroom featuring lots of climbing toys and other energy-absorbing amusements, you won’t mind being housebound (and your dear parents won’t lose their sanity thinking of things for you to do). As shown, this beautifully designed playset is $11,430.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenDive Right In
Few things in life are as much fun as plunging into a ball pit — we know, we’ve done it. You’ll need a dedicated space to make one — a spot where balls won’t escape and you can have a ball depth of at least 2 feet. Calculate the number of balls you’ll need here. Instructions for building your own pit are here. Ball-pit balls are $16-$25 for 100 balls; it takes about 1,600 balls to fill a 10-by-10-ft. play area with balls 2 feet deep.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenAll Aboard!
Not sure why we all love to watch miniature trains go round and round, but the fascination has endured for generations. No space on the floor for a train set? No problem — this ceiling-mounted trestle brings train-watching to a new level, and stays clear of your dog and your Roomba. Ceiling-mounted tracks and supports for a 9-by-12-ft. room are $600 (train not included), and you can set it up in a weekend.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenArtist in Residence
Keep the creative juices flowing with a dedicated art and craft station. This tidy all-in-one storage solution keeps all the supplies neatly stowed, yet has plenty of workspace for drawing, painting, and doing 3-D projects. Pick from various modular components; the furniture-like appearance blends into any room. Cost as shown: $9,000-$12,000.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenSuspended Animation
High-back wing chairs are just fine if you’re like, you know, an adult. But kids want to be on the move, even when they’re sitting down. Answer: A ceiling-suspended swing. You’ll need to bolt directly into framing members with hardware rated to support 300 pounds (just in case Uncle Harry has a bit too much wine and decides to climb aboard). Ask for a recommendation at your hardware store.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenPuttering Around in the Backyard
You’ll never lack kids in your yard with your own putt-putt course. New mini-golf obstacles range from $200 to $3,000, but you might find them on eBay or Craigslist. An artificial-grass course costs $8 to $10 per sq. ft., installed. Getting the kids outside on a nice day? Priceless.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenBringing Fun to New Heights
Rainy days and your rambunctious kids got you climbing the walls? Return the favor with a sturdy indoor climbing wall. A package of 40 screw-on climbing wall holds is about $40. Attach them to well-secured ¾-inch-thick plywood. For safety, position a beanbag chair or thick rubber mat under the wall.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenSailing Away
This handcrafted pirate ship has 17 windows and peepholes, sail rigging, splinter-resistant composite decking, and cushioned benches that double as bunks for backyard sleepovers. It doesn’t take up that much room — it’s 18 ft. long and 11 ft. wide — but it does take a serious cash outlay: You’ll pay $52,000 to let your little ones re-enact Peter Pan.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenJumpin’ for Joy
Trampolines are great energy-busters for kids, plus they teach coordination. An in-ground model ($1,525 for a 12-footer) with perimeter padding is safest and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Surround your trampoline with sod or soft mulch 3 to 4 inches deep. Home owners should verify that their insurance policies cover trampoline-related claims.
The Coolest Kid-Friendly Houses You’ve Ever SeenHop to It
It may be low-tech, but hopscotch has been entertaining kids for centuries. Let colorful hopscotch stepping stones turn your garden into a kid-friendly play space. Make your own by painting ordinary patio pavers ($2 to $4 each) with exterior acrylic paints topped with a clear sealer.