There’s been a lot of talk around here lately about shelters – earthships, tipis, adobe, tiny homes and even beaver dams. We’ve offered to support each of the kids through the building of their very own tiny home, as a learning project and so that they will start off their adult life with a place to call their own. The eldest, who turns 16 in a couple of weeks, is passing on this opportunity for now, so the first kid to direct their own build will be the 12 year old chica. As a warm-up while we research more about trailers and find a place to build, we are working on a DIY playhouse. The kids will use found materials as much as possible and we are hoping to incorporate some natural building techniques where possible – gravity fed water, for example.
Some things they have accomplished so far:
// picked up some free pallet frame things that provided a framework for the shelter
// found and cleared a spot in the yard to pt the playhouse
// looked up pics of tiny homes and DIY playhouses for ideas
// drew some sketches of what they thought the playhouse should be like
// pulled out nails from the pallet frames
// carried in some wood we picked up for free
// visited a neighbour who had some pallets in their backlane, to see if they were available – turns out they weren’t the right size.
// we check kijiji regularly for free building supplies
This project has potential to be really empowering. If we, the adults, can step back. We will certainly be providing guidance in terms of the integrity of the structure, but are trying to allow the kids to figure out how it’ll all work as independently as possible. Milo’s drawing below has two beds in a loft. He’ll come to learn soon enough that this space isn’t quite large enough for that, and they’ll have to brainstorm an alternative to get a similar outcome in a different way, on a smaller scale. Each child will want to be involved in different ways. Some want to design and plan, some want to hammer and saw. Some will be more interested in interior decorating, or hacking cool additions – there’s talk of incorporating some simple machines like pulleys, and a gravity fed water system. I’m looking forward to walking alongside them through this process and I hope I can squeeze in there when it’s all done!
Please feel free to follow along on this tiny building adventure. We’d love to hear about your own experiences – from playhouses to tiny houses. If you have materials you want to donate, or if you want to come lend a hand, get in touch!
*note: We usually have everyone involved wear safety goggles – not sure what happened on this particular day!
Work break to check the mail – such a beautiful day!