We’ve all made dens from blankets and dining chairs on rainy days when we were children, and if you’re a parent you’ve more than likely built these again with your own budding builders.
I think we need to teach our children from an early age about recycling, repurposing, upcycling and the best way to do this is by getting them to use their imaginations. If they’re creatively engaged in something they won’t even realise we’re teaching them. When they’re really young we show them how to make boats from cereal boxes, desk tidies from toilet roll tubes, but when they’re a little older we should show them how to use tools, build things with wood, hammers and nails and teach them a few life skills they can build on so when they own their first home they can confidently do diy.
I’ve helped run a few den building sessions with the team at GWK Woodshed at the Festival of Thrift and on their own site in Wickham, Gateshead, where children as young as 5 or 6 were getting crafty with their grown-ups. It may be a slow process for them to cut a piece of wood, but be patient and let them try, let them hold the hammer and have a go at nailing pieces together. But let them lead on the structure and watch their imaginations soar. It should be a joint activity and a great way to get them off electronics and into the fresh air. They’ll be happy making a simple box if they’re with you making stuff!
Here are a few creations if you need a little inspiration.
Festival of Thrift 2016, this is what you can do with pallets, nails and a bit of imagination!
This was my son’s creation at GWK Den building session. Using euro pallets to create what turned out to be a burger van! complete with shelves inside, serving hatch and an opening door!
There was a stage to rival Glastonbury and even an aeroplane.
My hubby and son built this floating tree seat using the trees as a support structure in a few hours and is now a little reading nook complete with blankets and cushions!
So this summer, get out in your garden and get creative with your kids. Whether you’ve got a garden or a back yard you’ll be able to fit something in that your children can call their own. Or come along to one of the summer den building sessions at GWK Woodshed or join us at the Festival of Thrift in September, click here for dates.
I’d love to see your creations so tag me in them if you post online. #creativedenbuilds