Lekstugearkivet
Archive for children's playhouses
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Pictures and texts from the

ARCHIVE FOR CHILDREN's PLAYHOUSES


Please remember that the translations are not up to or
give full credit to the original letters below.







Archive for children's playhouses No 128.
Archive for children's playhouses No 128.


»My playhouse is built in a village just where
the lakes Tismaren and Brosjön are connected.
It lies on a plot overgrown with trees surrounded
by a forest of pine trees«, Barbro writes. The
playhouse was the first house to be built on
the family summerhouse plot in Östergötland
in 1962 or 1963.

»My father built the house after a plan he
draw himself. He made it in size around
2,5 x 1,5 meters as a test before building
our summerhouse«. The playhouse »has a
steep roof with reed roofing felt. The walls
are brown. In front of the door, which is blue
and divided in two parts, is a small werandah,
and on the opposite gable there is a window«.
Barbro also writes that inside the playhouse
there is a bench »to sit on«, a stove which
»is a play thing« and a sink which »can be
used if you bring the water in. There is no
electricity«. The playhouse interior walls
are covered with a wood panel and the floor
has a brown linoleum and in the slanting
celing there is a wall paper with a gray
pattern.

»During the years the playhouse has been
used in different ways. Of course there have
been coffee parties and dinner parties for
the dolls and for the family if they could make
room for themselves«. In the playhouse Barbro
and her sister had »a wonderful child sized
china ware in a light blue colour with a winter
motif« and the inherited cups from »my mother
and grandmother's childhood«. When it was
raining Barbro and her sister sat in the play-
house been busy with themselves and some-
times they played »school, shop or doctor«.
When they got a little older »the playhouse
became a church for our crocheted small dolls«.
The playhouse then was furnished with »long
benches, a painted window, an alter and a
pulpit. The requisites are still around and are
partly utmost well built···«

The two sisters are now grown ups with no
children, but from time to time they decorate
the playhouse with the old church requisites.
Barbro writes »that in a way you can say that
the playhouse is still in use. Of course we sisters
do not play in it, but we like to busy ourselves
with small things«.
From a letter written by Barbro






Archive for children's playhouses No 83.
Archive for children's playhouses No 83.


Jane, who is born in 1946, writes about the
playhouse built for her and her younger sister
close to the family summer house in Halland.
»Dad built the playhouse from wrappings used
for radar systems, which he bought from Göta-
verken, where he had worked. He nailed the
playhouse together with small round English
nails which he took from the boards and then
straighten out. This he has told us about.
The window and the door were made during
the winter in the basement of our apartment
house in Göteborg. The playhouse was built
around 1952 and the size inside fits two grown
ups to lie down and my dad could stand
straight in the middle of the cottage. The
playhouse was painted in a brown colour
with white corners on the outside, tar board
on the roof. The inside was unpainted tree. A
brown linoleum on the floor with a rag rug on it.«

The playhouse was furnished with »a small
table and some chairs and a wooden box,
earlier used for sugar«. The wooden suger box
was nailed to the wall and used as a cupboard
with two shelves and a piece of cloth as a
curtain. »The sink was made of a stainless
bench nailed to the wall. White curtains for
the window and the door. After some years we
got a simple verandah outside the house«
and the girls´grandfather made a chimney for
the playhouse roof.

Jane tell us that she and her sister »picked
berries and vegetables and played much
with dresses«. The girls dressed themselves
up and they sewed »dresses of crepe papers«
and used »big leaves from rhubarbs as parasols«.
They »prepared for gymnastics shows and
invited the grown ups. Our mother served
coffee. The entrance fees were 5 öre for
the grown ups and 2 öre for the children···
The playhouse was used every summer during
many years. When boys became interesting
for us the playhouse became a place for
girls' talks and later on it was used to store
garden furniture and such things«.

In the beginning of 1980thies, when the high-
way was to be rebuilt, the family had to tear
down their summer house in order to make
way for it and then, writes Jane, »the playhouse
landed in my garden«. Jane also writes that her
»two youngest children have played somewhat
in it, but they mostly built their own huts in the
woods. My and my sister's children have slept
in the playhouse many nights··· Now they lie on
mattresses and have extension cords to an
electric lamp and a big recorder. According to
today´s way of thinking they have a lot of fun«.
From a letter written by Jane






Archive for children's playhouses T5.
Archive for children's playhouses T5.


»The playhouse was built in 1924 or 1925. I
was born in 1913 and my brother is two years
younger then me. The master builder was
carpenter Johansson who lived on the farm.
Architect was my mother Mandis«, Kerstin
writes in her letter about the playhouse at
the old family farm in Västmanland. »The
cottage is 4,80 meters long and 3,10 meters
wide. The height to the ceiling is two meters.
Johansson also built some parts of the indoor
equipments« for example a kitchen sink and a
kitchen cupboard and »two foot stools
painted in blue and with soft seats added
later on«.

The kitchen was furnished with a blue sofa
and a small brown children's table. The walls
had wall papers with blue painted panel works
in the lower parts. Kerstin writes that the
playhouse had »a real stove« and that she
from the kitchen utensils remembered »a small
pot of iron, a small coffee pot in copper and
a somewhat bigger one in sheet iron, a small
fish pan in sheet iron··· There was also a
small coffee set decorated with a Japanese
pattern. Other household equipments I got
or borrowed from the big house. The curtains
were white and in the room they had an edge
of laces«.

Lekstugearkivet T5.  Lekstugearkivet T5.

The room had »an open fireplace made by
a local brick layer«. The wall papers had a
small pattern in a beige tone. There were
a blue corner cupboard and »probably some
furniture in basket works, the two foot stools
and a small children's chest of drawers···«

»Sometimes we slept in the playhouse. We
cooked food, made pancakes and had coffee
parties for our mother, grandmother, aunt
Elisabet and uncle Hugo who also lived on the
farm. One of the Christmas days we heated
up the the little cottage. We then put a fire
in the kitchen stove and lighted a fire in the
open stove in the room. There was no electri-
city in the playhouse so we lighted many
candles. We invited all the family for Christmas
coffee and the party was not to be started
before it was dark outside. I remember that I
sometimes ran outside just to see how beautiful
it was with the lights in the windows. In my
memory it was always a lot of snow and very
cold···«
From a letter written by Kerstin






Archive for children's playhouses No 112.
Archive for children's playhouses No 112.


When Birgitta was a little girl in the early
1930thies she and her two sisters and a brother
got a playhouse from their grandmother. »It
was a well and steady built yellow playhouse
with white corners and a verandah with two
small benches fixed to the wall. The playhouse
was placed on plinths up on a small mountain
slope in one corner of the plot. It was roomy
and there were space enough for adults to
stand up straight. In the playhouse there
were a real little iron stove, a cupboard in the
wall for china, a table and some small chairs.
Wallpaper with flowers on it and white curtains.
Oh, how beautiful it was! There were hearts
on the verandah bar and one heart over the
front door«.

The year Birgitta had her tenth birthday the
grandmother gave her »a box with household
equipments for the playhouse. A small sized
china ware from Rörstrand, white with a golden
edge, and some small nice thin coffee cups,
small, small silver spoons, small saucepans etc.
I remember how happy I was«. Birgitta also
recalls that »we made pancakes and invited
our domestic servant and others for a treat.
We scrubbed and cleaned in the spring times
and made the playhouse speak and span after
the winters«.

Outside the playhouse the children made
themselves »a small strawberry field where
we picked berries for our parties. In the
little mountain slope in front of the playhouse
we put soil and planted all kinds of wild
plants«. The family lived in an old house
in the north of Stockholm and had »a big
magnificent thrilling and hilly plot«. During
the war the family had »rabbits and they
needed hay so the playhouse then became
a hay barn«.

In the end of 1940thies the property was
sold »and the playhouse was included in
the deal. I longed for it when I got my own
children«.
From a letter written by Birgitta






Archive for children's playhouses No 231.
Archive for children's playhouses No 231.


Sometime in the beginning of 1980th Hannah's
grandfather Ola found a sketch of a playhouse
in a weekly paper. He writes: »It came just in
time for me. The year before I had promised
my grandchild Hannah, who lives in England,
to visit her the next summer and bring with
me a playhouse and snow«.

With the help of the paper's playhouse sketch
and a list of measurements Hannah's grandfather
saw up »every needed pieces from second hand
woods and brought it in the car« to England
where he then built the playhouse.

»The playhouse was not only admired«, grandfather
Ola writes. »The children in the neighbourhood
really have had fun in and around it. The promise
to bring snow was delivered by a series of winter
photos showing a lot of snow«.
From a letter written by Ola






Photo: Christine Kainu 2008. The princesses Margaretha, Märtha and Astrid's »first« playhouse, built in 1910, is found again and undergoing renovation.
Photo: Christine Kainu 2008. The princesses' playhouse
has got a new roof.
Christine's web site:
www.dockskaphuset.com


Prince Carl and his family moved to the newly
built summer estate Fridhem in Östergötland in
1909. Already a year later the weekly paper
Idun wrote about the daughters' first playhouse
in the park. According to the reportage the
playhouse was painted in yellow and in the
kitchen there was »a real stove« and the room
was furnished with »a real dining-room table
of pinewood glazed in light green«. It was the
11th birthday of the oldest daughter, princess
Margaretha, and the playhouse was her birthday
present. Before the reporter's visit the princess
and her younger sisters the princesses Märtha
and Astrid are said to had cleaned the playhouse
and decorated the birthday table »with a sponge
cake surrounded with ox-eyed daisies and with
eleven candles put into its soft delicacy. And a
big, big bowl with creamy sweets···«
The birthday party was photographed.


In the middle of 1910 a new utmost well equipped
playhouse, coated in white plaster, was built in
the park of Fridhem for the three princesses and
their little brother prince Carl.


Photo: Erik Löf 2004. The princesses' »second« playhouse in the park of Fridhem.
Photo: Erik Löf 2004. The second playhouse at Fridhem
built in the middle of the nineteen tenth.



In the fall of 2007 I was contacted by Christine
Kainu in Småland. Christine told me that she
had looked »for an old and differently built play-
house« and that she just had bought one which
»had been standing in a garden plot without
maintenance in Kolmården«. The seller had heard
from the previous owner that the playhouse came
from »Fridhem where three princesses had owned
it. - Indeed it looks like I have found the real
princess playhouse« Christine wrote. And yes of
course. We both agreed on that after having
compared the playhouse she just had bought
with some of my old photos showing the princesses'
first playhouse at Fridhem. It was also in accordance
with what I had been told by an elderly woman in
the 1990thies. The woman had worked at Fridhem
and then been told that the first playhouse had
been delivered to a family in Kolmården.

Photo: Christine Kainu 2008. The princesses Margaretha, Märtha and Astrid's »first« playhouse, built in 1910, is found again and undergoing renovation.
Photo: Christine Kainu 2008.


During the spring of 2008 Christine started to
renovate her new sweet princess playhouse.






Archive for children's playhouse No 52.
Archive for children's playhouses No 52.


Greta - born in 1923 - tells in her letter that she
was around twelve years old when her father
built a playhouse for her on a mountain in
Bohuslän »behind my childhood home by the
sea« /the Atlantic Ocean/. The playhouse
stood on a shelf in the mountain only reached by
a staircase. The costs of the lumber is said
to be 7 Swedish kronor.

»What I remember best are all the make-believe
weddings we played. The white curtains of laces
my mother gave to me were most useful. I was
always the bride and my close female friends
were bridemaids. The bridegrooms varied and
I think, in a few years, we played like this seven
or eight times···«.

»Everything are still like they were on the
mountain, only the playhouse is gone«, writes
Greta who often visit the mountain where the
playhouse once was situated. »Up above
the place where I had my playhouse you will
today find a very nice old peoples home called
Bankeberget. The old people living there can
look over the whole, whole, beautiful ocean«.
From a letter written by Greta






Eva Löf's playhouse - later on in life the cause for her interests in playhouses from all sorts of surroundings.
Photo: Eva Löf 1994.


This is my playhouse given to me by my parents
when I was a small child. The playhouse was
once built for a young girl in a well-to-do family
way back in the late 1870thies in the garden of
a huge summer estate in the archipelago not far
from Stockholm in Sweden.

The children's entrance is on the front side of
the playhouse and the adults can use the hidden
door on the gable - but they must bend down
deeply when entering.

It's an one room playhouse earlier equipped with
a small iron stove for cooking and a slate roof
with a chimney. On the back side of the playhouse
there are four so called blind windows. They look
just like the two windows up and down on either
side of the children's double doors on the front
side.

Later on the playhouse was used as a garden
shed and sometimes in the summer as a guest
house spacious enough to keep one or two
grown-ups.




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