I feel that indoor den-building is a key parental skill. I can absolutely guarantee that if I build one, there will be joy on my children’s faces when they find it, and then giggles and contentment for some time to come – a bonus for me and for them! I like to prepare it secretly, whenever possible, as the surprise element makes it all the more exciting.
So, here’s my key steps to creating a successful den…
1. The Space Decision
Make it as big as you can afford to use, bearing in mind they’ll want that den up for some time, and pop down a play-mat or similar for added indoor fun.
2. The Chair Positioning
Crucial. Ideally, use a few chairs of differing heights. Physics qualifications help here, as you need to get just the right distances apart to make a good size den, without the roof collapsing, or pegs shooting off if too tight – see next stage..
3. The Blanket Drape
A tricky one. You’ll find it will keep flopping and flapping about as you drag chairs and try to fix it. I’d recommend using pegs, so hoping your chairs will accommodate them. Yes, the pegs will ping right off when the toddler starts tugging on the blanket, but it’s all part of the experience. If you also have a play-tent, now’s the time to maximise it and add an extension to the den. It becomes a two room affair then!
Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that den-building is complete at step 3, as I have left it there in the past and still had two very contented small ones. But, to really crank that excitement up a notch, you need to kit out the inside, too. In this case, I popped a few cars and trains on the play mat, and then set up a little tea party inside the tent. I can assure you that such added touches are very well-received.
5. The Fun
Please, whatever you do, don’t leave it at step 4. Get in there with them and play yourself. A parent is usually a little ones favourite toy of all. It is fun, and if I don’t go in, I don’t get to see these little faces…
Hope this has helped? Happy den-building!
For other boredom-busters, you might also like Our Top 5 Rainy Day Activities, 9 Bargain Activities for Kids and Painting Fun Without Paintbrushes. Check out the Kids Activities category for a whole heap more, too!
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