Den building
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    Default Den building

    I'm wanting to get inspiration for den building - as all he kids I've encountered love it, whatever the setting. I generally provide big fabric and pegs.
    Any other resources that you guys use?

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    We have rope (washing line), 2 tarps, tent pegs, rubber mallet, long wooden poles, windbreak, camo netting, cloths, pegs, clothes airer frames, long sticks from the forest and a bunch of other random stuff in a large wooden chest in the garden (along with spiders bigger than your head!!!!!)

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    We also have 'sleeping bags'. My local Ikea do a range of sports equipment and the lo's have started to use the sack race bags as sleeping bags amongst other things.

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    Oh, my favourite activity! And the children sometimes join me!
    Outdoors :
    I have a den box that I leave out at the side of the lawn and in it is largely things collected over the years ( DH used to do mountain leadership and boys started with walks with us and dens in the house and garden and went on to Gold DofE).

    Contents are :
    things to help join: Spring pegs, carabiners, old shower curtain hooks, cable ties ( though these can be a pain as you have to cut them to get them off when they change their mind but useful), tape in tape guns ( cosy direct) small lengths of climbing rope, no pegs washing line ( went to SA with oldest and now has been returned) - twisted so you can shove material in between twists. Bean wigwam cane holders.

    Things to cover :small tarpaulins - eyes are good at the corners, camouflage material and netting, variety of old table cloths and shower curtains with designs. (water one is always an Octonauts den)

    Ideas book : laminated pictures of children previously playing in dens and real dens pictures in a ring binder.

    In the garden are : 3 trellis with legs that fit into sun umbrella stands - they can position these in different ways, act as a screen when no children garden created and a water wall base. Stumps with a drilled hole that you can sit on or put the brush handles in. We have 6 small children's brushes that turned upside down work a treat.

    I have a box of Ur tubes HOME - Best Buy item in my collection .
    We use them indoors and out for frames to build and play with but great for dens.
    When I cut down branches I always leave them and the children make dens with twigs and leaves for them and the fairies and the dinosaurs on smaller scale.

    Indoors : Ur tubes and material and cushions mainly, along with a camping table I put out for art and the dining room table. I have a corner that they can sling a blanket over the two sofa arms and it's an instant den. I do let them use the sofa cushion too - it's big big enough then for me to play in.

    I do have various size children and proper tents ( we were campers) and a sun tent - but these are not half as fun and children's tents are always too small for 3.......and me!
    Last edited by FloraDora; 13-03-2016 at 02:45 PM.

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    Love these

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    Oh, my favourite activity! And the children sometimes join me!
    Outdoors :
    I have a den box that I leave out at the side of the lawn and in it is largely things collected over the years ( DH used to do mountain leadership and boys started with walks with us and dens in the house and garden and went on to Gold DofE).

    Contents are :
    things to help join: Spring pegs, carabiners, old shower curtain hooks, cable ties ( though these can be a pain as you have to cut them to get them off when they change their mind but useful), tape in tape guns ( cosy direct) small lengths of climbing rope, no pegs washing line ( went to SA with oldest and now has been returned) - twisted so you can shove material in between twists. Bean wigwam cane holders.

    Things to cover :small tarpaulins - eyes are good at the corners, camouflage material and netting, variety of old table cloths and shower curtains with designs. (water one is always an Octonauts den)

    Ideas book : laminated pictures of children previously playing in dens and real dens pictures in a ring binder.

    In the garden are : 3 trellis with legs that fit into sun umbrella stands - they can position these in different ways, act as a screen when no children garden created and a water wall base. Stumps with a drilled hole that you can sit on or put the brush handles in. We have 6 small children's brushes that turned upside down work a treat.

    I have a box of Ur tubes HOME - Best Buy item in my collection .
    We use them indoors and out for frames to build and play with but great for dens.
    When I cut down branches I always leave them and the children make dens with twigs and leaves for them and the fairies and the dinosaurs on smaller scale.

    Indoors : Ur tubes and material and cushions mainly, along with a camping table I put out for art and the dining room table. I have a corner that they can sling a blanket over the two sofa arms and it's an instant den. I do let them use the sofa cushion too - it's big big enough then for me to play in.

    I do have various size children and proper tents ( we were campers) and a sun tent - but these are not half as fun and children's tents are always too small for 3.......and me!
    Fantastic! Can I come and play

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    Oh, my favourite activity! And the children sometimes join me!
    Outdoors :
    I have a den box that I leave out at the side of the lawn and in it is largely things collected over the years ( DH used to do mountain leadership and boys started with walks with us and dens in the house and garden and went on to Gold DofE).

    Contents are :
    things to help join: Spring pegs, carabiners, old shower curtain hooks, cable ties ( though these can be a pain as you have to cut them to get them off when they change their mind but useful), tape in tape guns ( cosy direct) small lengths of climbing rope, no pegs washing line ( went to SA with oldest and now has been returned) - twisted so you can shove material in between twists. Bean wigwam cane holders.

    Things to cover :small tarpaulins - eyes are good at the corners, camouflage material and netting, variety of old table cloths and shower curtains with designs. (water one is always an Octonauts den)

    Ideas book : laminated pictures of children previously playing in dens and real dens pictures in a ring binder.

    In the garden are : 3 trellis with legs that fit into sun umbrella stands - they can position these in different ways, act as a screen when no children garden created and a water wall base. Stumps with a drilled hole that you can sit on or put the brush handles in. We have 6 small children's brushes that turned upside down work a treat.

    I have a box of Ur tubes HOME - Best Buy item in my collection .
    We use them indoors and out for frames to build and play with but great for dens.
    When I cut down branches I always leave them and the children make dens with twigs and leaves for them and the fairies and the dinosaurs on smaller scale.

    Indoors : Ur tubes and material and cushions mainly, along with a camping table I put out for art and the dining room table. I have a corner that they can sling a blanket over the two sofa arms and it's an instant den. I do let them use the sofa cushion too - it's big big enough then for me to play in.

    I do have various size children and proper tents ( we were campers) and a sun tent - but these are not half as fun and children's tents are always too small for 3.......and me!
    Fab resources Floradora. I've just googled UR tubes. Am going to get some. Thanks for sharing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BallyH View Post
    Fab resources Floradora. I've just googled UR tubes. Am going to get some. Thanks for sharing.
    I bought mine from a childcare expo in Coventry 3 years ago so on show price. If you are thinking of attending a show it might be worth checking if they will be there. The Education show is on in Birmingham next week for instance.
    My DH as everybody knows is a retired dt teacher and in all the great stuff they had on in the show he homed in on their tiny stand and got chatting as they had just started. They talked materials and DH was in awe of them actually being brave enough to go for it. ( he is a great procrastinator in design). It turned out that they are based in my old home town which then added to more talk and I am pleased to say that, according to my sources, they have grown and now employ 140 people which obviously the town has enjoyed.
    But they are great quality and they do bend which helps you make igloos and round dens - but my 2.5 year old can fix the tubes together so even though they say small parts below 3 etc..., with supervision they can access them. We don't always use them for den making, cars, cubes and cuboids to do anything with and DH has made a bit of wood that fits in to make a shelf so that has extended their play value. The big plus is that when I put them out DH is there like a shot and I can sit back!
    I want to fund another set for better value of play, but it isn't top of my shopping list, although if DH got wind of this he would be online now! He thinks they will grow like quadro a knex and be on Christmas lists ....but he thinks design and strength and connectors ...he isn't quite thinking as a 3 year old yet!

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    My husband is going to curse you lot! Thank you for the fabulous ideas.

    Last week at the £1 shop I picked up some battery operated fairy lights (no batteries, you need 2xAA batteries). I got them in egg shapes and I think they had chicks or bunnies too. DD and her friend had them in their den yesterday. Don't know why but I've never had fairly lights before that weren't mains operated. Like most children they usually grab torches or push lights to go in the dens, but these were another version, and more magical. They pegged them around onto the fabric. Such a bargain. x

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    My husband is going to curse you lot! Thank you for the fabulous ideas.

    Last week at the £1 shop I picked up some battery operated fairy lights (no batteries, you need 2xAA batteries). I got them in egg shapes and I think they had chicks or bunnies too. DD and her friend had them in their den yesterday. Don't know why but I've never had fairly lights before that weren't mains operated. Like most children they usually grab torches or push lights to go in the dens, but these were another version, and more magical. They pegged them around onto the fabric. Such a bargain. x
    What a great idea ! Are they battery operated? I love fairy lights - I love that they are not just Christmas now. What a good idea..... You have me thinking.....
    Just reread - so great ...battery operated....I might vote for all week opening for occasions like this!
    Last edited by FloraDora; 13-03-2016 at 07:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet54 View Post
    Fantastic! Can I come and play
    If you are ever in the Midlands I would love you to!

    The LO's have this weird idea that it doesn't matter if the tarpaulin doesn't cover all their den roof - I would love a grown up to back me up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    What a great idea ! Are they battery operated? I love fairy lights - I love that they are not just Christmas now. What a good idea..... You have me thinking.....
    Just reread - so great ...battery operated....I might vote for all week opening for occasions like this!
    I must admit, I hesitated before I bought them, thinking that they probably wouldn't work, given where they are from, but they are great, really vivid. We've go them across our fire place right now. I think I'll see if they still have the other ones next week. I might make an Easter bunny rabbit hole imaginative play area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I'm wanting to get inspiration for den building - as all he kids I've encountered love it, whatever the setting. I generally provide big fabric and pegs.
    Any other resources that you guys use?
    Way back in the mists of time (we're talking about my childhood here) we had a good, solid, ol'-fashioned clothes horse which served as pretty much everything from a den to a shop, post office, pub (shock, horror), puppet theatre, etc. etc. with a little judicial addition of fabric, paper, staples, etc.

    I daresay it would be regarded as utterly useless, since there was never an EY professional educational expert on hand to pass judgment upon it and give it a fancy name, let alone the fact that it came from a family-run hardware shop and not an over-priced EY resources catalogue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Way back in the mists of time (we're talking about my childhood here) we had a good, solid, ol'-fashioned clothes horse which served as pretty much everything from a den to a shop, post office, pub (shock, horror), puppet theatre, etc. etc. with a little judicial addition of fabric, paper, staples, etc.

    I daresay it would be regarded as utterly useless, since there was never an EY professional educational expert on hand to pass judgment upon it and give it a fancy name, let alone the fact that it came from a family-run hardware shop and not an over-priced EY resources catalogue.
    I get what you are saying Bunyip and if I still had a wooden clothes horse I would definately promote it for den play ...but I don't. I now have an airing cupboard, tumble dryer and whirlygig in the garden. (The children do use the whirlygig gig and ask me to pop a blanket on it. ) But I have no need for an air er - hence the trellis as an outdoor alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    I get what you are saying Bunyip and if I still had a wooden clothes horse I would definately promote it for den play ...but I don't. I now have an airing cupboard, tumble dryer and whirlygig in the garden. (The children do use the whirlygig gig and ask me to pop a blanket on it. ) But I have no need for an air er - hence the trellis as an outdoor alternative.
    Indoors, we use a combination of furniture, really big peg-like clips and whatever large fabric we have (my favorites being a big starfield on a dark blue background and a big rainbow thing that looks like I nicked it from the local Pride march - which I didn't, more's the pity.)

    In the garden we use IKEA pop-up medieval tents. Don't know why we never den-build in the garden.

    Outdoor den-building is a purely stick-y business in the woods and local recreation area.

    Which Midlands: East or West ? (...................he asks with interest. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Indoors, we use a combination of furniture, really big peg-like clips and whatever large fabric we have (my favorites being a big starfield on a dark blue background and a big rainbow thing that looks like I nicked it from the local Pride march - which I didn't, more's the pity.)

    In the garden we use IKEA pop-up medieval tents. Don't know why we never den-build in the garden.

    Outdoor den-building is a purely stick-y business in the woods and local recreation area.

    Which Midlands: East or West ? (...................he asks with interest. )
    West Midlands but east of Birmingham.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    West Midlands but east of Birmingham.
    Ah, never mind.

    I like the qualification: should I infer a desire to disown Birmingham?

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    That's my childhood experience of den building too Bunyip! We had the wooden ones (a maiden, as we called it up north). We used to throw ancient blankets over them and get grumpy with each other if we nudged the maiden and it collapsed. Our maiden now is a criss-cross type of thing that just doesn't lend itself to den building.

    Gosh Bunyip - you had staples? You were spoilt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Ah, never mind.

    I like the qualification: should I infer a desire to disown Birmingham?
    Definately not!!!! I love Birmingham......now!

    I went to St. Peter's Training college, part of Birmingham University in the 70's and Birmingham had nothing going for it ....except I was 18 and living in a city!
    We spend the majority of our social time in Birmingham. The theatre, symphony hall, Brindly place, the Mailbox, the Library, shopping, the views and buildings, the canals ...it's a great place to take photos. It is a wonderful city now.

    The qualification was purely geographic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    Definately not!!!! I love Birmingham......now!

    I went to St. Peter's Training college, part of Birmingham University in the 70's and Birmingham had nothing going for it ....except I was 18 and living in a city!
    We spend the majority of our social time in Birmingham. The theatre, symphony hall, Brindly place, the Mailbox, the Library, shopping, the views and buildings, the canals ...it's a great place to take photos. It is a wonderful city now.

    The qualification was purely geographic.
    Got it now.

    Tbf, I last went to Birmingham when I was in my teens, which may have been before you were at university. We cruised through on a canal holiday. It was a bank holiday Monday and the entire place appeared to be closed. My lasting impression was a considerably delay caused by a dead cow in the canal.

    My family had invited my girlfrined along and, being my first love, I was keen to impress. But there is absolutely no way of looking cool whilst manouvring a cow's cadaver with a boat-hook.

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