This is the outdoor den of childhood memories. The den you can imagine a grandfather finding in the corner of his garden shed and reminiscing about the time that him and one of his buddies once slept outdoors in it, watched the stars, then snuck back inside to raid the cookie jar. But this den, unlike the one a grandpa would have, is mildew free, and it is perfectly packaged with all the items needed.
The Original Den (which is the one we have) by the Den Kit Company is classic, timeless, with a nod to vintage nostalgia. It allows all the possibilities of play to happen, regardless of weather or age. It’s a little shelter with big possibilities. Childhood and imagination go hand-in-hand. The Den Kit Co knows what it’s doing!
On our February half term holiday last week we took the den with us. I have to say, it was an instant hit. Regardless of the very wild, windy, and wet wintery weather the den was their outdoor oasis. (For context it was 33 degrees F or .5 degrees celsius at times!) Some outdoor play is best with sunshine. Clearly, it is not only a fair-weather den. It’s designed for the English weather. We really did test it with the weather, too. And the former Boy Scout father used it as an opportunity to (proudly) share his special knot tying skills too.
My mother-in-law, husband and I couldn’t believe how many hours they’d spend outside in the den — despite the fact that we had a crackling fire inside the home — they loved being outdoors.
We didn’t need to encourage them to play outside, the den was an open invitation, waiting for them to arrive. And they treated the den like it was their home. Throwing on wellies, often in their pyjamas still, and sometimes a coat, they’d first go out to assess the situation — tap off some rain, pull the ropes tighter, etc. Then they’d collect their belongings to set up home. A few blankets were dragged outside to make it cosy. Then books, snacks, and a few games. Every day it seemed to get cosier than the last.
They’d leave their wellies at the ‘door’ to the den. Then den activities ranged from picnic lunches, to singing songs, journal writing, collecting sticks, using logs as stools, cuddling up, and day dreaming about camping out in the den this summer in their grandmother’s garden. Actually, I’m not entirely sure what they did for so many hours in the den… but that’s the magic of childhood. Just doing their own thing…
Every hour or so we checked on them to make sure they were still there! It provided us (the parents) with more free time than we’d ever imagined. We actually began to miss them being indoors to play with us. But we used our time wisely, as all parents on holiday do, and the kitchen was tidier because of it. 🙂
Compact, perfectly organised, all the materials you need, in a lightweight and durable canvas bag. Yep, you guessed correctly, we will definitely bring this den on future family holidays to the countryside. On trips to big parks. To their grandmother’s home this summer of course so that they can watch the stars in the sky. And my son when asked my yesterday if he can share it with his nursery school in their garden this spring.
This is definitely a dreamy den full of possibilities!
What are your children’s favourite outdoor activities?
ps Other family ideas for outdoor activites … one from the archives … collecting treasures!