If you’re looking for a really unique idea for a kids’ playhouse, check out this adorable little cob house by Adam on Instructables. Built in California where summers are scorching hot, “naturally cool” describes more than just the appearance of this playhouse – since it is coated in mud and covered with a living roof, it stays much cooler than other types of playhouses when temperatures rise. It was built out of mostly scrap and local materials, so it cost less than $30 to make.
Unlike a traditional cob house, this playhouse was started with a wood frame and plywood walls strong enough to support the living roof. Tar paper was applied over the wood to act as a moisture barrier between the wood and the mud, then wire fencing was placed over the tar paper to provide support for the mud.
Local clay dirt was then mixed with some sand and applied to the walls – a fun step for the kids to help with. Once the thick layer of mud was finished and given time to dry, a fine layer was applied to smooth out the walls and fill in the cracks.
The end result was this gorgeous little play area that kids can enjoy on even the hottest days. After one year of use, Adam reports that the house held up to winter rains and the hottest summer on record, staying cool and dry on the inside.
If you want to learn how to build one of these playhouses, you can see Adam’s tutorial on Instructables for all the steps and pictures.