build yourself a tree house…


josh is always good at finding really fun things taking place in the city for us to check out. on saturday morning, he reminded me that he had bought tickets to the center for architecture’s family day all about creating, designing and constructing your own tree house! (next month is sky scrapers, which sounds equally exciting!) you might have caught some of our time there on my snapchat, but i was really impressed with the thought and specific detail both eleanor and samson requested for their designs. samson kept talking about wanting a door and a window in his tree house, but also a tire swing and an elevator! eleanor wanted a trap door like at the tree house at grandpa’s house and a tv and bed inside hers. haha! also, my kids and hot glue guns sounded super scary, but being in charge of the glue gun was their favorite part, and they were great with them!

a few photos…


starting off the day with a sketch of her tree house. if that isn’t the cutest tree house ever!


conrad was asleep in the stroller catching his morning nap for the first half of our tree house making adventure. but once he was awake, he desperately wanting to participate! i love that kid’s enthusiasm for anything his older brother and sister are interested in.

treehouse-14 treehouse-6treehouse-12 treehouse-7treehouse-9

please take note of that awesome tire swing papa and samson built behind samson’s tree house! one of the things we tried hard to do was ask them questions so they could make all of the important decisions an architect would make. samson decided what the tire would be made of, where the swing would go, and what he could use as the rope. he just needed help tying the little itty bitty knots!


that white box hanging from samson’s tree house is his “elevator.” yes, i was in charge of helping him create his elevator, and yes, that is the best i could come up with. ;) also, that yellow string holding up a tiny piece of board is eleanor’s “tv” facing her bed (that floating piece of cardboard) as she really wanted a tv and bed in there. haha! she added two piles of cardboard at the end all by herself. when we asked her what they were, she explained that the tall one is a trampoline and the other one “is a pit for animals that are mean like tigers because that is in the jungle.”

treehouse-2 this was so much fun. i loved witnessing eleanor’s and samson’s brains working away as they made their creations come to life! did you know that when i was a little girl, i would sketch countless home floor plans in my notebooks? i had notebooks seriously full of sketches! i wanted to be an architect for a little while there. also, this brought me back to the days of building my big treehouse back home with my dad and sisters in utah.  my dad, still such a kid at heart, was so into it, and at the time, i don’t think any of his daughters were. haha! poor guy. but now i look back and i think, wow. he did that for us, and that was such a fun place to play. and then seeing my kids playing on it when we’re visiting where i grew up makes everything come full circle. we don’t exactly have a yard to build our own tree house with the kids at the moment, but there are a lot of wonderful things about raising little ones with this city as their backyard and i’m thankful for the things the city has to offer them for now.

and WEARING (for those interested):
yellow coat from zara and wool fedora hat from free people.

  1. India

    Yes! I spent sooo many hours sketching house plans, some of them I even did the landscaping too haha. Glad to see I’m not the only one! Also the kiddos tree houses are awesome, I’m going to try and do this with the kids I look after. Thanks for the idea! :)

  2. This is the coolest thing ever!! i hope one day that i can find things like this for my kiddos. This art teacher/soon to be mama is in love!

    Leah Faye

  3. Lucy

    I love their tree houses!! It looked like an amazing day!!!
    I loved that they got to choose what they wanted and where as well!

    I’ll have to do this with my 4 year old, he’d absolutely love it!

    So wonderful that your children now play in the tree house you played in that your Dad made… that’s so amazing!
    We have a garden with a tree but it’s never going to be big enough for a tree house but that would be a dream!!

    New York really is an amazing place to live and has so much to offer and I love that you show us in your posts! One day we hope to visit, and each post of yours makes me want to hop on a plane right now!

  4. Deborah

    I think that sharing the activities you do with your kids could be also inspiring for museum and cultural services to create similar one in other city…for example here in Italy.

    If you want to have a look at my blog I would love it!

    thank you my family model!

  5. Emma

    So cute! I loved seeing what you guys created on Snapchat. My favorite part of this post is the two photos in a row of you and Eleanor reaching for things. You both have the same expression & look exactly alike! :)

  6. Jessica

    What an adorable idea!!!

  7. Paige

    This looks like so much fun! You do such an awesome job at taking you kids to fun things like this. My husband and I usually feel overwhelmed with big or small outings with the kids, so we normally pass on things like this, but it’s so fun, and I know they would love it!


  8. Raquel

    Hi Naomi! I loved this post !! when I was small I loved built buildings with cardboard boxes, I made his windows , doors and then placed inside the neighbors, not lacked detail!! haha I dont have children yet , but with your blog took a lot of ideas to do with my nephews and in the future with my own kiddos ! I greatly admire your lifestyle! Best wishes from Barcelona!!

  9. Rachel

    This looks like an absolute blast! My daughter is kind of young for something like this, but I am going to keep it in mind for the next year or two! Thank you for sharing all of your family’s fun adventures!!

    Simply Rachel Nicole

  10. So fun! i’ve been wanting to do an arts and craft day at the museum here in atlanta and i think my almost three-year-old is just about ready for it. these photos make me excited to do it. :)

  11. I wanted to be an architect when I was little too!! I had a graph paper notebook that I would make my sketches on, each square would be “one foot” and I was super particular about it haha!!

  12. Rebecca

    This looks like so much fun! I admire you and Josh so much for exposing your kids to a lot of different experiences. I’m sure they’re learning things now that will determine where they end up and what they choose to do in the future. For that reason I’m sure city life with little ones is so educational!

  13. dominika

    That is such a good idea! I should do this with my students, to let them open their minds and have fun from doing art and craft! Greetings to you! <3

  14. This is so cool and looks like so much fun ! My son is a few months younger than Eleanor and I am sure he’ll love the idea of building a tree house like this.

  15. Kelly

    Samson has some talent! I loved when my kids made stuff like this. I never wanted to get rid of anything, but I couldn’t keep everything either!

    I’m glad you noticed the effort your dad put into making your backyard fun because it makes me feel like when my kids are all adults, they’ll remember my efforts in making their backyard fun too. I made them a tree house, tire swing, zip line, trampoline and an above ground pool. We were going to take down the tree house this summer since they’re all teens, but you’ve convinced me to hang on to it for grandkids :)

  16. Friedl

    I spot Conrad enjoying himself a lot with those branches in the sixth picture :-)

  17. Deborah

    I believe that the activities you show could be of much interest to those people who want to do something creative and culturally stimulating in their cities. Thanks for sharing! I am from Italy and I would love to launch something similar for kids.

    I have a blog talking about happiness and I should write about your family because you look to me as a happy family!

  18. what a cute little event for the kids!! i can’t wait to do different activities with my kids one day!

    oh, she’s lovely

  19. I love your blog and your photography style! You’re one of a few that inspired me to start a blog of my own.
    Guys please check me out if you get a chance.

  20. Natalee G

    What a fun way to have the little ones explore using their imaginations! :) Also, I have to mention that I absolutely love how strikingly similar Eleanor’s facial expression is to yours in the photos where each of you are leaning forward to grab something. The look on your both of your concentrating faces is indistinguishable!

  21. Arika

    It was so wonderful to meet you on Tuesday! It honestly made my week! Thank you for being as lovely in person as you are on your blog!!!

  22. Julie

    Such fun to find cool activities to do with the kids. I am the one on the look for things like that in our household and I love it when it got the whole family excited and doing something a bit different from the usual playground/walk in the park. Glad you guys had lots of fun, the kids look so focused, it’s adorable and don’t they come up with the most interesting ideas at times!!? Love from London, Julie x

  23. what a fun activity! and the treehouse is seriously impressive ;)

  24. Daniela

    Hello, I’ve been following your blog from a few years now.. and I love it! you have a beutiful family! congratulations!
    I’m from Chile where facebook is very popular, I don’t know if you use it.. but I’ve seen pictures of your blog in some facebook pages.
    that is one of them, I can’t remember the other, I’m just trying to let you know that are people using your material and making memes out of it.

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  26. So glad you enjoyed the Family Day program at the Center for Architecture. As the workshop instructor, I had a wonderful time watching your family and the other parent/child teams create some truly amazing treehouses in less than 2 hours! Our April program on Skyscrapers is already sold out, but please check our website and facebook page (CenterforArchitectureFoundation) for more family friendly events and activities throughout the year, Or come visit us at 536 LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village and explore our free, changing exhibitions on architecture and urban issues.

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  29. Katrine

    So amazing, and inspiring!
    I hope its ok that i share this on my norwegian blog (with one and two links, offcourse)? You inspire me!