How to build the ultimate den

Family den building
05 June 2020

How to build the ultimate den

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The back of the garden or under the stairs, a fallen tree or an old clothes horse – wherever and however you make a den, we think it’s an irreplaceable part of a childhood!

Nothing sums up the wonderful creativity, imagination and joy of childhood quite like claiming sovereign over your own specially-built kingdom.

The Ultimate Adventurer’s Den

When the weather is playing ball, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your children playing outdoors. You don’t need acres of garden for them to build a proper old-fashioned den.

What you need:

Bamboo garden canes or long branches
Old sheets or picnic blankets

How to make it:

1. Start with two bamboo ‘tepees’ to support your structure. Each one is made by leaning three or four sticks together, crossing them over a couple of inches from the top and lashing them together with twine or string

2. Set your two pyramids out, just slightly closer together than the length of your longest stick – this is now your roof stick

3. Place the roof stick across the top of both tepees and secure with more string

4. Drape sheets or blankets over the top, leaving a gap to get in and out

5. Use a picnic blanket or tarpaulin as a ground sheet

The Rainy Day Fortress

Such a great activity to have up your sleeve when the heavens open and the children are bored. It takes around 20 minutes to build, but offers hours of creative play time once it’s up.

What you need:

A table (relatively high – dining table or desk is ideal)
A laundry basket or bucket
Sheets, blankets and duvets
Pillows and cushions
Two chairs

How to make it:

1. The table is your base (it’s so much easier than just using sheets) so make sure it’s in a convenient spot

2. Add the upturned laundry basket or bucket on top of the table (for that important tepee look)

3. Place a chair on either side of the table for more space inside

4. Drape your sheets and blankets over the top – fitted sheets are great because the elasticated corners can be tucked under table legs to stay in place

5. Keep layering the sheets up for a darker, cosier den

6. Pile up pillows and cushions inside

7. You can add a sheet at the front to use as a door – just secure it to the table by popping a book on top

We would love to see your homemade dens, please remember to tag #mycp so we can see them!


Child using sticks and string to create structure
Three children in a self built den
Children playing in indoor den
Children with torch playing in a den

Center Parcs

This blog post was written by a former colleague of Center Parcs; the content in the post is still relevant for you to keep up to date with all things Center Parcs.

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