A Post Apocalypse, Post Global Warming Igloo OR the Playhive - a Climbing Frame for Baby Goats or Children




About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (39 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

I found this idea on the internet here and thought that with a bit of modification I could make something that was practical, useful and most importantly CHEAP


Their version was for children and was all screwed together, I have built mine to entertain and amuse my 2 baby goats (Baaabara and Margoat!) so have nailed it all (cheaper and quicker!)

I have modified a little as I wanted a different shape and a platform for the girls to lie on.

So it is all made from short bits of 2x4 and a load of nails!

All I had to buy was the nails (I used about 4.5 kg of 75mm (3 inch) galvanised nails, so total cost was about $25 (NZ)

Step 1: Gather Materials

This is a really simple project. Just about all of the wood is offcuts from framing timber that I have gathered from building sites, skips, and framing companies - they were happy to give it away as they just have to pay for disposal and it goes to landfill.

An added bonus was that a lot of the pieces were already cut to the lengths that I needed, saving me a lot of work!

Step 2: A Jig to Make Drilling Easier

I made a little jig to allow me to pre drill the nail holes (just less effort when it comes to nailing it all together)

It's just a bit of ply with a right angle screwed to it to allow accurate location and then clamped in my pillar drill.

In the end it wasnt really necessary (only a few knotty pieces resisted nailing)

Step 3: The Wood

Most of my wood was already cut at the correct lengths, however I had a few longer bits that I just chopped down on my Compound Mitre Saw

Step 4: Layer 1

It's important to get the first set up correct, so I put a 6inch nail in the ground and marked out a 6 foot diameter circle with a piece of string.

I then layed out the first layer of wood "bricks"

These are at 30 degree intervals and I located each into the ground using a 6inch nail through the centre of each, Thoughtbarn says to leave a gap for the door, I decided to have a step over instead

Use the templates in the pdf ^ for the gaps between each "brick" - I printed out all the templates and ran them through the laminator then cut around them so they don't disintergrate in use!

Step 5: Layer 2 Etc...

So Layer 2 is offset to join the "bricks" of layer 1 (again use the template) - to be honest you can do it without the templates as you just position "by eye"

Layer 3 I aligned by eye above Layer 1

Rinse -repeat!

Step 6: Layer 4 Onward

On this layer I started to build the entry door, Instead of the 12 inch "bricks" I cut some 4 inch one for the door jambs. I also used some larger 12x6 pieces as "stepping stones" to climb the outside

Step 7: Layer 8+

Above layer 8, I started to reduce the block size (initially to 11 inches) and I started to taper inwards. There is a different spacing template for each layer above layer 8 so I made sure I had the correct one each time!

Step 8: And Carry On....

So I departed a bit from the plans and built the 9 inch and 8 inch sections but then capped off with a flat platform for the goats to "contemplate their empire" --- seems to have worked



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12 Discussions


2 years ago

Phwaoor, I love it! If there's one thing I'd suggest it'd be a little preservative for all year round use. That and my garden is sorta like the surface of mars, so I've put some slabs down to keep it all straight! Might save it from sinking too, thanks for the info

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

It will be sprayed when I get time. The ground is free draining (we are on top of a hill) and pretty firm


2 years ago

I'm not one of those people who jump on every project and declare that it's dangerous. Just one thing, though. If you build this, please check on your kids (especially the four-legged ones) often when they play around this. My best friend's mom's goat got its hoof stuck in the fork of a tree and died before they found it. Very sad.

That said, this is a cute and clever use of mill ends.

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

This is probably the least dangerous plaything they have in the paddocks! (They have already wrecked the hen coops by "weight testing" the chicken wire on them!)

But we do keep an eye on them, wifey works from home and they are put away at night


2 years ago

Lucky babies! They obviously love their new mountain! Thank you for sharing!

1 reply

2 years ago

Very cool, now I want goats :/

What's the half-pipe thing on the front of your drill press?

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

That's the swarf guard - I guess I should use it really! ;-)