Building a den is a fun activity to let loose your child's (or your inner child's) creativity and imagination.
Whether hanging a blanket in some trees in the garden, or over a couple of chairs in the living room, or making a sofa fort - you've probably had experience of making your own den as a child, if not with your own kids.
It's a brilliant family activity, from planting a permanent growing teepee in your garden, to making a cosy nook for a family film night, complete with fairy lights and snuggly blankets.
Create your perfect den building kit with our top tips...
Step-by-step to creating an indoor den
- Foundations - first thing's first you need to give your den some structure. Use what you have around you, furniture always comes in handy, be it dining chairs, the back of the sofa, a bed frame or a table. Cardboard boxes are also great for setting up a den. You could even string up some rope to make the roof more secure - or use a tent frame!
- Shelter - Once you've figured out where you want your den to be and have moved the furniture around for your supports, you need to create your shelter. The easiest way to do this is with a large blanket or bed sheet. Drape it over the supports and rearrange it as required.
- Decor - now this is the fun part, filling your den with pillows and blankets, fairy lights and of course some snacks!
What you will need to make an outside den
If you take your den building outside, the opportunity for den building gets even bigger! Not only can you create a den using garden furniture and a bed sheet, in much the same way as you created your indoor den, but you can also use mother nature.
Resting loose branches against a large overhanging branch or tree trunk makes a great hideout. You can also grow your own den by planting climbing plants, such as runner beans, around a ring of bamboo canes secured into the soil at the base and at the top with twine. A living willow teepee also makes a beautiful permanent garden den.
Den building kits and tents
This set includes 72 pieces for endless ways to play by letting you build large structures, including dens, playhouses, forts, castles and more. Connect them together in anyway you desire, add a cover and your fort is built! Great fun for kids, and perfect for rainy days indoors.
A pop up play tent is also a really simple way to make a den with very little effort. It can be used inside and out and requires no tools to put together. With the fold down door and peep through window, it's great for encouraging role play, adventure and fun. This charming castle has two side windows for ventilation and enough room for 2-3 little kids to play.
The great thing about this white canvas play tent is that it's a blank canvas and you can let your kids decorate it however they want - with stickers, fabric paint or colourful bunting.
This handy haversack bag is made for adventure! It contains a robust and durable tool kit for den-building, including camouflage tarpaulin, green groundsheet, handmade wooden mallet, enamel mug, face paint, natural jute rope and eight steel tent pegs. It's one for the adults to help out with for younger tots, although older children will love the responsibility of putting the den together and using the tools.
No den is complete without twinkling fairy lights!
Having a film night is a great use of a den, whether indoor or out. This projector connects to smartphones, is easy to transport and can be set up to play favourite films or cartoons on the wall of your den.
Another brilliant and effective decoration for a den is bunting - it's quick and easy to put up and could be used to help the structure of your den too.
Add some glow to your den with this fun glow in the dark blanket - use it as the roof of your den for a sleeping under the stars experience.
Another glow in the dark blanket option, this one features dinosaurs for a jurassic experience.