As a child, there’s pretty much nothing more fun or satisfying than building a fantastic den. In fact, experts believe den building is an innate behaviour in children. Whether you’re using foraged sticks, fern and other natural materials in a woodland setting or transforming a formal structure at school into something magical, these secluded places play an important part in child development.
Dens offer children calm spaces for solitude and reflection, quiet learning and play, and provide a haven from the adult world. They can also provide mini worlds for imaginative and fantasy play, as well as shelter on cold, rainy days and shade on hot, sunny days. Of course construction of the den is as important to children as enjoying the space itself. Den building encourages teamwork and problem-solving, communication and social skills, harmony, concentration and a sense of responsibility not to mention developing practical construction skills.
To celebrate children’s love of den building, national children’s charity Save the Children has launched Den Day. From 29 May and 6 June, children can take part in Den Day at home or at school – building dens to raise money for Save the Children’s Work around the world.
To sign up for your school to build a super den, click here. You’ll receive a Den Day kit which is full of den-building advice, lesson plans and fundraising tips. And if you want to get involved in Den Day at home, just click here and sign up for your home Den Day kit packed full of great advice and ideas for fundraising.
We’ve been working with schools for over 15 years now and we know that teachers like to include den building in their EYFS and curriculum activities. Because not every school has access to natural materials or spaces for den building, we’ve developed a fantastic range of dens, huts, houses, tipis, shelters, cabins and lodges for imaginative play as part of our Design and Build range.
For advice on how to transform your outside space, book a meeting with our expert consultants or call us on 01225 792660.
For more about the benefits of den building for children, this great short video from Learning Through Landscapes is really useful.