Let’s Build a Kids Crooked House: The Story

In Maine, there was a fun-loving Dad named Glen who was a graphic designer but really loved to build things out of wood. Glen frowned when he saw how his three adorable kids (Jake, Bailey, and Madison) were glued to the TV. He wanted them to go outside and tumble around the backyard so he thought he’d find, or make, something fun for them to play with. Glen’s cousin, Jeff, said he wanted to help because he had a cute kid (Sebastian) who wanted to be part of the outdoor play scene. After Glen and Jeff thought and thought, they decided to look for something their kids could play IN, not with.

The Idea

So Glen and Jeff went to lots of stores and websites looking for a decent, ready-made kids playhouse, or even a build-it-yourself one. But the playhouses they found were plain and ordinary, and just not, you know, FUN. It made Glen and Jeff pretty darn sad. So they went home to sulk and watch some children’s TV with their kids. They liked the cartoon shows featuring houses with wonky lines, skewed angles and off-kilter windows…houses where everything is just a little bit funky, sort of off, and, well — crooked.

“That’s it,” they cried. “Let’s build a Kids Crooked House.” And so they did.

Hammer Time

After much sawing and hammering and painting in Glen’s old red barn in Maine, they finished the very first unique, custom designed Kids Crooked House.Custom Built Kids Playhouse The Crooked House thrilled their children and when all the neighbor kids came to see it, they loved the playhouse too. The kids went home and told their parents about the incredibly cool, wooden Kids Crooked House. It didn’t take long before the parents wanted Kids Crooked Houses in their own backyards.

Like A Rocket

Glen and Jeff started to tell lots of people about their nifty unique hand-crafted custom designed Kids Crooked House playhouse and, in no time at all, the Fairy Godmother at Yahoo dubbed them the winners of a huge 2007 marketing contest. They set off for the Big Apple to load up on advertising ideas for the Maine-based company and when they got there, Princess Ivanka Trump granted them a boatload of wishes and that’s how Kids Crooked House became a nationwide sensation.

Glen and Jeff began building so many Kids Crooked House playhouses that their barn was bursting. So they moved the business to a giant, new workshop in Maine (4000 square feet) and people from far away lands (Germany, Sweden, Pakistan, Ireland, England, Kenya and more) started to ask about Kids Crooked Houses. Today, Glen and Jeff have built tons of unique custom children’s playhouses (check out our Gallery of Playhouses and more), and gazillions of kids are abandoning their TVs and heading outside to play the days away in colorful, customized Kids Crooked Houses.

Happily Ever After

Kids think it’s neat to have their own playhouse, furnished with their own stuff, a place where they can make up the game AND the rules. Children’s imaginations are running wild in the Kids Crooked Houses that are springing up all over the place, and the kids themselves are getting lots more exercise. Weird, wonderful fantasy worlds are being constructed (cooperatively, of course) during great, rumbling creative bursts of energy and lots of kids are making their own dreams come true.

And all the people are living happily ever after. Especially the children, who play in total harmony, and secretly wish that kids everywhere will get Crooked Houses of their very own.

Glen Halliday
CEO / Imagineer

what is crooked?

Crooked means different things to different people. To me, “Crooked” signifies “Different” … unique or distinct. When I was a kid school was a challenge. You can ask any of my grade school or high school Facebook buddies … I was certainly scholastically challenged. It’s not that I was stupid or didn’t make an effort, I just didn’t learn like other kids. Back then there was no “No Child Left Behind” act. An 80% success rate was satisfactory. Unfortunately, I was in the 20% range. That is, except for Art class.

Years later I managed to stumble into a South Florida Art School and found my niche, alongside many other so-called degenerates that have no clue about Hooke’s Law and Elastic Potential Energy. This is where I discovered that you don’t have to be like everyone else. That everyone is special, unique, and talented
in their own way. This is what Kids Crooked House is all about. Straight walls? Forget it! A twisted roof … totally!

Why be like everyone else? What fun is that? Granted, most people that know me well can confirm I am a total kid at heart. I live in my own twisted crooked wonderland and my inner office pranks are second to none. I’m betting there are more of you out there…

My Publicist recently said, “Dude, you gotta change your FB profile pic. You’re representing KCH in your posts and should fit the part. You don’t wanna come across as a tattooed biker freak.”

Personally, I say, “Let your freak flag fly. Be who you want to be!”

Do you wear glasses? Can’t play basketball? Don’t feel like wearing a collared shirt and tie? Ladies at the PTA think your brownies taste weird?

…You’re crooked.

And if your kid refuses to wear matching socks, they’re crooked, too! It’s ok to be different and our differences should be celebrated.

Glen Halliday • CEO / Imagineer

Whatever happened to opening your back door and letting your kids run outside and play? Why are fewer and fewer of our children taking part in physical, active play? And more important, what are the results of a more sedentary lifestyle for our children?

These are tough questions that all of us as parents must ponder. Here at Kids Crooked House, we believe passionately in the power of play. Today’s kids need every available reason to rush outside and engage in fun, active, imaginative play. Play is a key factor in a child’s emotional, social and physical development.

According to the Alliance for Childhood, play helps children learn to interact with others, develop language skills, recognize and solve problems and, ultimately, discover their human potential. By exercising their bodies and minds through active play, kids gain the confidence needed to succeed throughout their lives.

Nurture your child’s imagination through play—take them for a walk, get outside and run around, play kickball or catch, hide and seek, or jump rope. The possibilities are endless. We’ll do our part by providing creative wooden playhouses designed to fuel your child’s imagination and make your backyard a destination play space.

A Kids Crooked House can be anything your child imagines—a base camp for a spy mission, a rocket ship destined for the moon or even a pirate ship on a journey to a new land. Let your children’s imagination run wild and their arms and legs will soon follow.

The Timeline