By playing 'house', a child learns in their own way what it takes to keep a household tidy and functioning; and they begin to understand the roles of the different people. Encourage your children to take even greater responsibility for their own house by helping them to furnish a cubby in the garden.
Make the choice: wicker furniture
The best furniture you can put into a cubby for your children is wicker outdoor furniture. It is lighter than most other furniture, so your children will be able to move it around easily when they clean or if they simply want to change the arrangement in their cubby. It can be cleaned relatively easily and is usually treated to withstand some of the impact of the weather.
Choose the wicker furniture
Take your children with you when you buy the furniture for the cubby. Allow them to make the decisions about exactly what pieces of furniture they need and which design will match the way they have decorated the cubby. This will help them to begin to develop a sense of ownership for the house and a sense of pride in the way they decorate and organize the space.
Treat the wicker furniture
You will need to explain to your children that the wicker furniture needs to be protected from the sun and the rain so that it will last out in the cubby. Ask them what they think you will all need to do to the furniture to achieve this. Help them to understand that there are two options:
- It can be protected by a roof and walls to keep the weather out
- It can be painted, so it has its own protective layer. Help them to understand that a coat of the proper type of paint is like each piece of furniture having a special, private cover.
Paint the wicker furniture
To encourage your children's sense of ownership and household responsibility, it is important that you allow them to paint the furniture from the cubby. Arrange a space in your garden, or perhaps in your garage, where they can do this. The space must be well-ventilated, because you will be using spray paint.
Take your children with you to choose the paint, then help them to carry the furniture out of the cubby and to the painting space. You will have to help your children as they paint the furniture, but make sure that they do most of the work themselves. It is, after all, their furniture and their responsibility.