You know when you see something so simple and genius and have to share…….
As a child I spent hours building Dens which we call Forts in Canada
We went to Lollibop UK last weekend at Hatfield House in Herts, a lot of it was targeted at younger children but we noticed an area on the map for Den Building and Bear Grylls Survival which we thought would be great for slightly older children. We eventually found ‘ Den City’ (clever name) tucked behind the main tent. My initial reaction was ‘is that it?’ as it was just a series of ropes tied to the trees.
But boy was I wrong, the girls aged 6 and 7 were supplied with a series of sheets and clothes pegs. The girls were completely engaged and spent a good hour or hour and a half building dens.
I was inspired and have now hit the local charity shops for sheets and curtains, Wilkos for clothes pegs and the local DIY shop for some rope and tent pegs. We now have a basket of den building supplies, perfect for keeping kids entertained during the school holidays. Our garden is tiny but we do have a tree so this should work a treat. I’m all up for anything that gets the kids outside and develops their imagination.
I used to love building dens as a kid. According to my mum we used to spend hours doing it. My sister and I would use every sheet in the house and any piece of furniture we could move.
After dinner tonight we set about building a den with Madame, using EZ Fort. It was brilliant fun. The only thing I would suggest is never build a fort with someone who has an engineering degree or you will get comments like this….
‘Doesn’t have a positive enough fixing’
‘If you want to build a box structure to make it stronger you always need diagonals, you know crane jibs…’
‘You need multi-angle points on the joints or you can’t put them in at right angles…’
For goodness sake, we’re just building a Fort not the Eiffel Tower!
For the most part the construction kit was great, easy to assemble and we could construct it indoors, which is a must here in the UK. However, if I was going to purchase one for myself I’d probably opt for the Toobeez Life Size Building Set, the next model up, as it looks sturdier. We found once we constructed it and draped a few blankets over it, it collapsed. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a light weight sheet big enough.
All in all, it was great fun. I’m going to let you in on a little secret….this isn’t the first time I’ve built a den since my childhood. Look what I built in a 5 star hotel a few years ago! Weirdly room service didn’t bat an eye! I’m just a big kid.