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Keep Out!: Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse: A Step-by-Step Guide


Author: Lee Mothes

Publisher: Storey Publishing

Publish Date: March 26, 2013

ISBN-10: 1612120296

Pages: 224

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

Why Build a Clubhouse?

There’s not much that’s more rewarding than building your very own shelter, with your own two hands. It can be a rough structure that the kids use as a clubhouse or a more polished construction for the whole family to use as a backyard getaway. You — yes, you, no matter what your age — can build it with just a few inexpensive hand tools, basic building supplies, and some simple building skills, which this book will teach you. All you need is some enthusiasm, a few helpers, and a bit of ingenuity to make it your own

Clubhouses have enjoyed a timeless mystique, and for good reason. Here kids enjoy a bit of independence, develop social skills, and cultivate friendships. When I was a kid, my friends and I were lucky enough to experience the deep satisfaction of hanging out inside a sturdy shelter that we had built ourselves. The real pleasure came from the fact that with our own hands we created a place we could proudly call our own, and we did it together.

However, in recent years it has become more difficult for kids to build things on their own. Out of fear, mistrust, or social pressure, parents have been less inclined to let their children do anything creative outside without adult supervision. Meanwhile, electronic games, online social media, and ever-pervasive television give kids more reasons not to play outside at all.

The solution? Build a clubhouse! Building an outdoor shelter can be a wonderful learning experience for kids and grown-ups alike. Whenever kids use their own creativity to accomplish something, they learn on a deep and permanent level. By building a clubhouse, they not only gain a valuable skill but also create a private space of their own that they can be proud of. The dirt, scratches, banged thumbs, and other difficulties they encounter along the way only increase the value of this endeavor. Because it’s their own project, kids have fun doing it, and that is the key: When there is passion and enjoyment, amazing things can happen.

When parents build with their kids, the same things can happen. If the grown-ups have never built anything before, then they learn along with the kids — and the excitement is mutual. Grown-ups (or parents) who want their own clubhouse can easily build a slightly bigger shelter, with all the comforts of a tiny home or cabin: safe, strong, weather-resistant, and as decorated as they’d like it to be.

In this book, I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned about building clubhouses and small shelters. I’ve included adaptable plans and techniques to enable you to build whatever size, shape, or style of structure you’d like. And for more inspiration, I’ll share the stories of several other clubhouse builders throughout.

Whatever your age, treat this project as a journey, and forget about whether you can do it or not. This is a guide to help you create what you want, to make something real with your own hands, and to experience something you’ll never forget. Whether you’re 10, 12, or 82, you’ll find the building of a clubhouse to be a compelling adventure and wonderfully satisfying achievement.

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