This is how I found our conservatory this morning. As you can see it has two dens in it, one is made by adults in beautiful organic cotton and one made by Julia 5. Julia is building a den town. There are two doors into the conservatory although one is currently blocked off as Julia has stacked up cushions and boxes ready for den village phase two. Julia flits between the two dens. She had breakfast in the teepee and intends to have a picnic tea in there.
Children’s dens are part of childhood, they were a big part of mine both indoors and out. Some of my dens were pretty impressive. I remember one where which had a tunnel entrance via a hollowed out bramble bush. A gang of us hauled a carpet along the tunnel into the den. It stank but we revelled in the luxury.
I can see where Julia is coming from. As you can see she fits into her den perfectly. It’s comfortable and cosy, it has all she needs. It’s portable, here she is watching TV and eating sweets. Today it’s moved and has been dragged right through the house. Most importantly of all it’s her den, she made it.
Building a den is important for all children whether it’s behind the sofa, under the stairs, in a hedge or down the beach. Den building needs imagination and once a den is complete children experience a sense of achievement. Childrens dens outdoors are the most exciting for our children. Firstly they get really messy and experience nature first hand and Harry gets to use his penknife with purpose.
Building a den affords a great sense of control and freedom from interfering adults, it also means adults can take a break too which I’m all for. I believe we don’t let children play on their own enough, we don’t let them just get on with being kids. Life, if we’re not careful jumps from one organised activity to another. Children need unstructured time to play and let their creativity and imagination blossom.
We are lucky to have a big garden. I tell people we bought a garden that had a house in it. Our garden is not perfect to look at but it’s a real haven for those who love children’s dens. Our children spend more time in the garden than we do and that’s how it should be.
So let your children have some space and input when thinking about their spaces in the home. It’s really important that you get it right for them, a bedroom should be their special place and getting it right can take time.
My Own Den can help you shape their special place. All our products are well made, beautiful and ethically produced. We are not about creating the sleek perfect look that you see on other children’s sites. I’d love to live in a sleek world but it’s simply not realistic for us. Our house is a home, filled with some lovely bits and pieces. A mixture of old and new, matched and mismatched. It’s great for building children’s dens.
Have a good week.
PS If you fancy planning some activities outdoors take a look at this blog. it’s all about having fun with kids outside. http://www.goingwild.net/