Play / 30 Nov 2015 / by James
Building the ultimate indoor den
It's the school summer holidays, yet the sun seems to have only made a brief appearance in our lives this year, and those pesky rain clouds are a-looming yet again. But fear not! Entertaining the little ones while the weather's a little dim is simple - with dens! Think enormous caves hiding beasts of wonder, secret palaces for only the most vivid of magical critters, and faraway escapes you and your little ones can catch a bit of 'us time' in - bliss! What's more, you've got all the ingredients for a fantastic den to hand already - bedding!
Start with a structure
The essence of a good den is in its stability. You don't want to be mid imaginative battle with the wildest of fictitious creatures when your den safety zone suddenly buckles under its own weight. Creating the den space under the frame of a child's bunk bed or high sleeper with blanket and duvet cover walls makes for a strong start. You could even drape light blankets over the backs of several chairs or a table and secure it with pegs if your little one's den needs to be in a magical landscape that's not their bedroom.
Walls and windows
Nothing makes for a better den wall than your child's quilt. Already decorated and wonderfully soft, it adds instant interior design to any den. Use multiple sheets and leave gaps between them for windows - essential for keeping watch for intruders over the surrounding territory.
The finishing touches
Pillows, toys, a blanket "carpet" and of course, snacks are all must-haves to nicely finish the den. You can even add in the odd bottle of juice for a light refreshment mid-play, whether you're in the middle of a sophisticated tea party, a space-age battle or riding through the jungle atop a friendly elephant with your children. To make the den really special, you could even fashion a 'welcome' mat at the entrance, and join in as their imaginations create wonderful worlds around you.