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More than three-quarters of parents in the UK are worried that their children don’t spend enough time playing outdoors – instead opting for indoor entertainment such as computer games and DVDS.

A survey conducted by toy company, Martin Yaffe, revealed that 76 per cent of parents want their children to get ‘back to basics’ with more traditional pass times such as riding bikes, building dens and tree houses and playing in the garden.

Reasons cited for the shift to indoor play included; the increase in entertainment technology, unpredictable weather, worries about children’s safety, and lack of leisure time for parents to spend introducing typical outdoor pursuits to the next generation.

As a result of the research and with fine weather forecast for the final days of the school holidays, Martin Yaffe has taken inspiration from one of its most popular toys - Rupert Bear’s Magical Treehouse - and developed a blueprint design to encourage parents and their children out into the garden to build their own treehouse den.

Peter Hatton, toy director at Martin Yaffe, said: “Parents are genuinely concerned about children spending too much time cooped up in the house and with this ‘summers’ miserable weather the problem appears to be worse than ever.

“As the designer and manufacturer of some of the most popular children’s toys we wanted to remind parents how much fun it can be to get out into the garden with their children to relive their youth – whilst passing on valuable playtime knowledge and skills.

“The Rupert Treehouse den is simple to build and is guaranteed to be more fun than the usual list of household DIY chores. Plus you’ll get the children out of the house and away from the TV!”

Treehouse Den Blueprint

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Planning

Step One
Choose a suitable tree. Measure up a plan of the thickness of the tree trunk and height of the tree house den from the foot of the tree. Draw up a design for your treehouse den based around the trunk position

2. Construction

Step Two
Create a base around the trunk (Use large bolts at least ¾ “ diameter or more) Do not position bolts less than 12” apart.

Step Three
Build a solid platform upon your base on which to structure your treehouse den.

Step Four
Secure the wall posts into place. Screw planks of wood from post to post, or alternatively use rope to give a different look.

Step Five
Continue to secure the wall posts around the perimeters of the Treehouse den.

Step Six
Attach your roof supports using the tree as the central point.

Step Seven
Build your roof panel sections and secure in place using the roof supports. Be sure to leave a gap of at lease 3” around the trunk to allow for the swaying of the tree, alternatively a plastic sheet can be used as shelter.

Step Eight
Enjoy your fantastic Treehouse den!


• Allow for tree growth around the trunk
• Build as much as possible of the treehouse den on the ground, and if possible in sections
• Use powertools, cordless if possible
• Involve the family and use the children’s ideas so they have a sense of ownership with the finished treehouse den
• Use treated wood as it lasts longer, although be sure to wear gloves when handling it and a dust mask when cutting due to harmful chemicals.


For further information please contact:

Amy Garbutt, Beattie Communications,
Tel. 0113 231 0302 email:

Notes to Editors:


• Treehouses can be dangerous – no matter how well built they are

• Do not build a treehouse unless you are willing to supervise children whilst building and using it

• This is a suggested design. While it can be a guide for your own, it cannot be considered a plan for yours

• Unless adept at woodwork consult an experienced carpenter before building

• Martin Yaffe assumes no responsibility for injuries that occur due to poorly designed or pooly executed treehouses or for any treehouse-related injuries incurred by anyone

Martin Yaffe

• Martin Yaffe International is a design, import and manufacturing company, established in 1987. It as a major player in the toy, electrical and housewares industries.

• The Company's main activities are the design, manufacture and distribution of character licensed toy products under the Born to Play brand and electrical and housewares products under the Swan brand.

• Martin Yaffe International has also bought the well established 'Beldray' brand and intellectual property rights, together with its associate brands - Kiddiproof, Dennison and Ryland.

• For further information please visit

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