My girls have always loved to play house — and restaurant, and doctor's office, and auto repair shop, and ... well, you get the idea. Fortunately, my husband is a handy guy, so he built a play structure in our backyard that they can use to set the stage for each of these games.

Not that handy? The current slew of ready-made playhouses for kids may not exactly blend with your eco-savvy style. Most are garishly designed, molded out of plastic, and contain more battery-operated electronics and gadgets than your average home.

At least that's what San Francisco mom Gitane Royce found when she set her mind to buy a playhouse for her daughter. With an educational background in environmental science and research, Royce decided to create something better — something sturdy and eco-friendly that would also leave room for a child's imagination. The result is her new company, Modern Playhouse, which offers sustainable, modular and modern play structures for toddlers and school-age children.

Royce joined efforts with fellow mom and business partner Nisreen Witt, who has a background as a creative designer, to create play spaces for kids that would be environmentally friendly and kid-approved.

They developed two playhouse styles made from wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and treated with nontoxic, naturally pigmented finishes, and lead-free fasteners and hardware. Prices range from $1,250-$1,450 — certainly not cheap — but you do get a green and clean piece of play equipment that will grow with your kids from their toddler years through early elementary.

The company also offers a furniture set ($225) and hopes to launch a line of exterior playhouses by early next spring. Check out their complete line of playhouses, furniture and textiles at Modern Playhouse.

San Francisco mom creates green playhouses for kids
Californian mom designs that ultimate toddler play space...and she makes it green too.