Why We Love To Build Dens! (And Why Kids Will Too!)

May 28, 2015

Here at Fundamentally HQ we love to build dens, and they have provided many memorable moments for us! In times gone by, den building was a common activity. Children would spend many hours outside, getting muddy and working with their friends or siblings to create an imaginative and secret place. In recent years children quite often miss out on the fun and skills that den building could bring to their life, as bought playhouses rule the garden and toys and tablets rule the playroom. However, that need not be the case.



Why Build Dens?

Den building is the perfect way to let your child learn through play. Whether you supply some equipment to get them started or help them look for materials in nature that would work well, you are giving your child a chance to learn so much during child-led play.

Teamwork – Is your child a leader in the making or a brilliant team player? Building a den as a team means they will learn to communicate their ideas, negotiate with siblings, compromise with friends when ideas clash and most importantly know how to pull together, working towards a shared end goal.

Satisfaction – Investing their time and effort in building a den will lead to a sense of satisfaction once it is complete. The pride and joy that comes from their successes will teach them that working hard towards their goals can bring great rewards.

Speech – Once built, spending time in a den can help children with their speech and increase their vocabulary. Huddling close means they will see your lips moving and this can help a child who is struggling with pronunciation.

Imagination – A den is anything you would like it to be; a castle, secret club or even a base camp for exploring the moon. Let your child’s imagination run wild as they play in the den they have built!


Ideas for Den Building

Whether your home has a small or large garden, or even none at all, there are ways to bring the magic of den building into your life. With a little imagination and sometimes a little preparation, the fun and enjoyment that entails from building dens with your family can be yours.

Indoors children-sitting-inside-den

Simple dens can be made indoors for your little ones with great results. A bedsheet or duvet tied over a table makes an instant den. With no waiting around, this type of den is great for allowing your child to use their imagination instantly.

For older children, why not move some furniture around – for example, you could turn the backs of sofas or chairs to face each other, so the backs make the walls of the den, and use cushions and pillows to pad out the floor. This is also perfect for when friends sleep over – tire them out building a den and then let them camp in there until morning!


Outdoors building-dens-outdoors

Encourage younger children to make the most of what is available to them and build dens in natural dips in the ground or against a fence. Provide some sticks and don’t be afraid to get involved – but try to follow their ideas, rather than influencing them with your own.

Older children can benefit from a bit of a challenge here. Provide canes and string and give them free rein to build a den however they want to. Spending the afternoon at a local wood is a great place to make this activity really enjoyable. For added fun provide a single plastic bag and inform them that you will be testing the den is waterproof with them sat in it!

Spending quality time away from television, getting mucky and being physical outdoors is what den building does best. So take the next opportunity you can to let your children get to work.



Hut by tup wanders is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Scratters in their den by The Richardson Fosters is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Gammele hut by E. Dronkert is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Banner / Featured Image: www.photocreations.com

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This post was written by Fundamentally Children

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