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Cubby House Lovin’: Keeping Your Cubby House Well Maintained

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

Immy received her cubby house as a group gift from family almost two years ago. I have fond childhood memories of my cousin’s cubby house and was pretty sure that my imaginative child would love it. Which she most certainly does  It regularly features as a backdrop to her play, transforming from a house to a castle, from a school to cafe. In her imagination the verandah becomes a stage, a shop front or the deck of a ship. Immy plays in her cubby by herself or with friends pretty much every day.

What I did not think about when we bought it was the ongoing maintenance an outdoor wooden cubby house needs. This past weekend we decided it was time for a little TLC and a wee makeover for our beloved playhouse.

The before

The biggest job was to tackle the problematic gaps in the playhouse decking. Our cubby house was supplied as large, pre-assembled panels and once put together it took about five minutes before Immy dropped a small toy straight through one of the rather large decking gaps on the verandah!  As it sits right alongside the sandpit, cooking up messy meals in the cubby is a regular event so the space under the decking was becoming a graveyard for not just lost toys but also piles of sand. And then there was the problem of grass runners popping up between the boards, which we never seem to be able to keep up with!

playhouse cubby house maintenance

Dad 101 and I decided the best course of action would be to replace the decking leaving less of a gap between the new boards. The new boards cost less than $30 and I can already see that it was the best decision to make. There is still enough gap for water drainage but the toy problems are no more, the sand is so much easier to sweep away and there is a whole lot less sunlight down there which will hopefully make it less attractive to our grass runners!

playhouse cubby house maintenance

We gave the garden bed that runs along the side of the cubby a good freshen up – cutting back the overgrown grass, adding a new edging to help discourage the grass in the future and adding plants with pretty flowers or colourful foliage, selected and planted by Immy.

We pulled out all of the toys and equipment and Immy helped to give them a good clean with soapy water. We deliberately chose plastic furniture for the cubby as it is so easy to clean, we tend to do this every couple of months.

playhouse cubby house

I find that providing easy-to-close storage tubs with lids that fit snuggly and securely makes pack away time easy and helps to keep spiders and creepy crawlies from taking up residence in your toys.

We replaced the tired, faded flower bunting with a pretty and welcoming rainbow-striped version.

playhouse cubby house maintenance

A plastic shower curtain cut to size made an easy, no sew curtain which is perfect for our cubby house as it isn’t completely weatherproof. Cut a wooden dowel or curtain rod to size and ‘hang’ with cup hooks.

playhouse cubby house maintenance

Before everything was put back into place a good spray for spiders and bugs was in order. We used Mortein NaturGard Crawling Insect Killer because we do find cockroaches (eeek!) hiding out in the cubby from time to time. Containing over 90% natural ingredients and 0.1% trusted synthetic actives, the NaturGard spray made light work of a few live specimens and will also provide barrier protection for up to six months. Read on for your chance to win a Mortein NaturGard prize pack.

playhouse cubby house maintenance

A little re-organisation, fresh chalk for the chalkboard and everything was ready for playtime.

playhouse cubby house

We would still like to re-stain the entire outside of the cubby house but that is a job for another weekend.

What time will you be round to play?

Win with Mortein NaturGard

Childhood 101 readers (Australia only) have the opportunity to win one of  five prize packs thanks to Mortein NaturGard. Each pack contains 1x Mortein NaturGard Automatic Indoor Insect Control System (you can read more about this system over at Sesame Ellis) and 1 x Mortein NaturGard Crawling Insect Killer Eucalyptus spray.

To enter leave a comment on this post sharing why you need the power of Mortein NaturGard protecting your home this summer. Entries close 5:00pm AEDST, 17 December 2012. Full terms and conditions here.

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Comments

  1. We need this to get rid of the spiders etc under balconies so it is safe for my little explorer.

  2. I love the idea of the shower curtain cut down for playhouse curtains. Genius! And so simple. The cubby look just adorable! I’ll bring scones :)

  3. We have just started building a cubby house for our soon to be 3 year old. She is so excited. But we have a cockroach problem (erk!!) too. We live in the hills where there is a little more ‘wildlife’ and in an older house so we battle cockroaches most of the summer. Grosses me out!! I love that there is a spray with more natural ingredients and a longer lasting effect. Sounds exactly what we need.
    The shower curtain idea is fabulous. I think I will add it to my IKEA shopping list for next week. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Oh, and I think we need some bunting on our cubby when it is finished! Love it!

  5. There are currently alot of cockroaches around our back patio area and the spiders are coming out from hiding (eeek!). We have also had ants decide to turn up in the kitchen from no key source which is seriously annoying when you have food prepared for guests and the ants decided to visit too as unwanted unexpected guests.
    Love the idea of the shower curtin too and its a nice pop of colour along with the bunting (where did you get it? I would love to get some!).
    Could I suggest maybe getting a couple of small camping chairs (or something similar) to put on the balcony to make it a bit more inviting and extend play (alfresco dining anyone?). You could also tie some string to make a dolls clothes line- you could get her washing her dolls clothes when its hot as a fun water play activity. My sister and I spent hours washing and hanging clothes to dry on string tied between two posts, then of course we pretended to iron them with a toy iron and fold and sort them into piles for all the toys (great practice for later in life!) when we were younger.

  6. My baby’s room gets infested with ants. I need to spray every day, and I vacuum any crumbs daily, yet we still get ants. I can’t let her play on the floor in her room, and I hate that! This would be perfect for her room.

  7. We have heaps of roaches!!

  8. You’ve inspired me to get out and give the kids cubby a bit of shnazzing up. I’m always a little nervous about the creepy crawlies.

  9. Hannah, Abbie & I will be around tomorrow for morning tea ;)
    What an awesome cubby! I’d love to get my girls a big solid cubby like this but while we are renting it just doesn’t seem worth it. So they will have to make do with the princess tent one that we can put out every so often.

    Hope you guys are well!
    xx

  10. Bettina Mann says:

    We live beside bush land and the creepy crawlies that come from there, especially in summer are un-be- leivable!

  11. We just inherited a preloved cubby house from some friends and my kids are delighted… However we have a serious feedback spider problem in our area (my son even found one in the corner of our lounge!) so I need to provide some protection so my kids can play in safety… This sounds like a good solution since I am wary of insecticides around developing bodies especially!

  12. I love the idea of putting a different variant of flowers outside it’s so refreshing to look at.

  13. rajan rao says:

    how best can i re stain my wooden cubby house made of log shaped timber. what do i use and what is the process. any help greatly appreciated. tks

  14. Fantastic post. Thanks for sharing. !!

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