13 Amazing (and DIY-Able) Tree Houses for Kids

tzahiV / Getty Images

Ah, the tree house: a childhood dream we never entirely get over. Whether you want to share your experience of having a one-of-a-kind playhouse in the sky with your kids or are keen to build them the tree fort you always wish you had, you’ll find plenty of inspiration among these do-it-yourself design options.

Here are 13 of our favorite tree houses for kids.

  • 01 of 13

    Layers of Fun

    tree house

    krithnarong / Getty Images

    This two-story tree house from Living Edge Treehouses & Edible Landscapes featured on Houzz connects a simple tree platform to a raised shelter via a cargo net passage. It provides plenty of spots to sit and play. And it’s an ideal setting to hang out and catch the breeze on a warm summer day. 

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  • 02 of 13

    Toddler-Friendly Tree House

    Tree stump tree house
    Made With Happy

    Although it may sit a little lower to the ground than your average tree house, this pint-size tree-stump palace spotted on Made With Happy will leave your little one on cloud nine. With a cheery yellow interior, clean blue-and-white striped curtains, and roughly a 3-foot drop to the grass below, it’s the perfect starter home for an adventurous toddler.

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  • 03 of 13

    Rustic Simplicity

    Rustic, natural wood tree house
    Whitney Lyons / Houzz

    This rustic tree house featured on Houzz by Whitney Lyons incorporates organic materials and scrap lumber into a simple design that blends nicely into its garden surroundings. The best part is the bucket on a pulley. It's perfect for passing secret messages and other goodies to friends above.

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  • 04 of 13

    Custom Tree Fort

    Tree fort play yard
    Stout Design-Build / Houzz

    Spotted on Houzz, this custom tree fort from Stout Design-Build is a childhood dream come true. The multi-deck tree house features swings, a slide, and even a rock-climbing wall. The hand-painted signs add a personalized touch, and you could even turn them into an art project with your kids.

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  • 05 of 13

    Pallet Wood Tree House

    tree house in the dark

    Maremagnum / Getty Images

    Add cushions, pillows, blankets, and a string or two of fairy lights, and you’ll have a comfortable hideaway that will entertain your kiddos all summer long. Plus, the pallets can be painted to further customize your design.

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  • 06 of 13

    Simple Slat House With Modern Appeal

    Contemporary tree house
    Austin Outdoor Design / Houzz

    This contemporary reinvention of the classic tree house from Austin Outdoor Design and featured on Houzz boasts rich tigerwood slats and floating stairs. The look comes together with its elegant, modern steel frame. It's fun for the kids and a beautiful art piece for your yard.

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  • 07 of 13

    Hammock Hangout

    Tree house with hammock

    boumenjapet / Getty Images

    This four-post platform tree house, spotted on ideiasdiferentes on Instagram, leaves plenty of room for a pair of comfy hammocks suspended below the main deck. You can have fun playing up top, and then you can curl up in a hammock below with a good summer read.

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  • 08 of 13

    Modern Beauty

    Modern contemporary play house
    Studio 30 Architects / HomeDSGN

    With its clean lines, steel foundation, and corrugated plastic walls, this contemporary playhouse by Studio 30 Architects is almost sculptural in its beauty. It offers fun for the kids, along with aesthetic appeal for the backyard. Plus, its plastic walls keep the interior protected from the elements.

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  • 09 of 13

    Double the Fun

    Tree house with separate platform.
    Barbara Butler

    This beautiful woodland tree house from Barbara Butler doubles the amount of aerial play space, thanks to its use of two neighboring trees. One tree holds a tree house while the other has an open platform for variety. And a cargo net bridge connects the trees and offers multiple ways to climb and play.

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  • 10 of 13

    The Cube

    Cube contemporary tree house
    Naço Architectures / DUENDE

    Few tree houses, modern or otherwise, are as eye-catching as this wood-slat cube created by Naço Architectures and featured on DUENDE. You don't need a huge budget or expert building skills to create this treehouse. The design is easy to replicate with straight cuts on the wood pieces.

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  • 11 of 13

    Simple Chevron Tree House

    Chevron upcycled tree house
    Carrie Bloomston

    With its rustic chevron walls in multi-toned woods, this simple tree house by blogger Carrie Bloomston transforms reclaimed wood into an artful and visually interesting play space. Because the tree involved was too small to hold up a tree house, the family instead built a freestanding platform around it. The interior features a comfy spot to read and enjoy the nice weather.

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  • 12 of 13

    Hobbit Hole Tree House

    Hobbit hole tree house
    ghettocottage / Instructables

    It may be tucked snugly against the ground, but this hobbit-inspired hideout from ghettocottage on Instructables still can count as a form of tree house. Built around the base of a tree and covered with a grassy roof, this sweet little house creates a beautiful place space for kids. Plus, it fits right in with its natural surroundings.

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  • 13 of 13

    Texture-Rich Tree House

    cedar shake shingle tree house
    Dirt-Digging Sisters

    Cedar shake shingles and a corrugated metal roof add rich textural dimension to this simple plywood playhouse by Shannon of Dirt Digging Sisters. With no tree house-worthy tree in sight, the family had to improvise. They incorporated a sapling tree into their design that will hopefully grow into its new digs.