Ok, so at the moment we’re all pretty focused on price…but when this company’s products came to my attention, I just had to share them. Inspired by cartoons…Kids Crooked Houses are just fun…take a moment to look at their website, it will make you wish you were four again (and had an unlimited budget).
I was so intrigued with the concept of these spirited playhouses that I posed some questions to the founder Glen Halliday…
How did you get started?
I’m a graphic designer who also loves to build things out of wood. One day seeing my three adorable kids (Jake, Bailey, and Madison) glued to the TV got me thinking of ways to get them outside and tumbling around in the backyard. So I thought I’d find, or make, something fun for them to play with.
I went to lots of stores and web sites looking for a decent, ready-made playhouse, or even a build-it-yourself one. But the houses they found were plain and ordinary, and just not, you know, FUN.
So I went home to sulk and watch some TV with my kids. I saw how much they liked the cartoon shows featuring houses with wonky lines, skewed angles and off-kilter windows…houses where everything is just a little bit funky, sort of off, and, well—crooked.
“That’s it,” I said. “Let’s build a Kids Crooked House.” And so I did.
My first Crooked House thrilled my kids AND the neighbor’s kids; it became the buzz on the block. It didn’t take long before the parents wanted Kids Crooked Houses in their own backyards.
Somehow the Fairy Godmother at Yahoo caught wind of us and dubbed us the winners of a huge 2007 marketing contest. We set off for the Big Apple to load up on advertising ideas for the company and here we are going national as a company.
What kind of playhouse did you have as a kid?
“As kids we didn’t have an actual playhouse but would always create crazy play spaces from whatever was around the house. Chairs, blankets, boxes, a lot times stuff my parents weren’t too happy see disappear from their rightful location. Families can get the best of both worlds now. Kids get their own imagination station and parents keep their furniture where it belongs.”
What’s the most unusual request to date?
The oddest request we have gotten was to build a Kids Crooked House for two miniature donkeys.
Strange but true.
Why do you think it’s important for kids to have their own unique space?
“The kid in me says it’s just fun. First rule of a Crooked House: no grown-ups allowed. In more serious terms, though, what sociologists call “free play” is vital to childhood development. With modern technology and parenting methods, it’s actually getting harder for kids to engage in unstructured, imagination-based play. Not having limits, not having a “score” is the kind of play that helps a child grow and socialize. Studies show that people who missed out on free play as kids get into more trouble as young adults. So a playhouse like ours is actually a free-play platform that allows kids to go places, without leaving the sanctuary of their own back yard.
What was your favorite toy as a child?
My art set, building blocks and Stretch Armstrong.
Other things you should know:
The houses range from $1949 to $4449. Ok, we can dream right?
Note–we haven’t tested these yet.