Most kids love building a den, whether it be with the sofa cushions indoors and outdoors, and the more traditional rustic type with branches, sticks and twigs from trees. Indeed whatever foliage you can lay your hands on. Nothing beats that cosy toasty feeling when the making is complete and you can crawl inside. Its a great way of connecting with your kids of all ages and a fab opportunity for a cuddle, as well.
One of the side effects of our local Park’s policy of not clearing all all the branches and twigs from trees that had been cut down is a ready suppy of den building material. My son has really enjoyed making all sorts of dens over the past couple of years. The RHS and the National Trust ( as part of their 52 things Campaign ) now provide lots of opportunities to build dens in their gardens and my son has had great fun constructing and rebuilding dens. However do you always have to be the one to build the den?
We recently visited the National Trust Property Kingston Lacy, where they have a large area just by their kitchen garden set aside for some great den building activity.
When we visited recently we did not head for that area, but to the children’s play area. Just inside the entrance gate we stopped to look and try out at a perfect ideal of a den, with a grand entrance, stools to sit upon and the most perfect little den dog.
This first den however was just a taster of what we were to find after our trail across the fields to the woods. There set aside slightly away from the play area already created for us was another most beautiful den, set off in a carpet of leaves. My son loved the way we had had to actively seek out the den. it was for him a real find. We wondered who had built it! A group of children or the National Trust Rangers?
We popped back into the playground and tried another path into the woods this time we found a den village. At least 4 dens all with interconnecting tunnels. This was den building with a wow factor. He traced every nook and cranny of this construction. It was really quite inspriring. So dens are not always about the doing and the building of them. There is equal enjoyment in finding, exploring and appreciating denss that are made by others. In some ways these ready made dens are more mysterious and magical. Thank you National Trust for giving my son and I such a fun time.
We are linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill pop over for some great outdoor fun.