Family Life

Simple Summer activity for kids – den building

Simple Summer activity for kids - den building

Over the last few weeks we’ve been experiencing a mini-heatwave in the UK which is quite nice. Records have been smashed several times and we’re all enjoying being outside after school. The children have re-discovered their playhouse and I love watching them discover forgotten toys which have been buried inside it. This week they’ve been den building in the garden, this can be a really low-cost activity which keeps them busy over and over again during the summer holidays.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my ideas for a low cost Summer which include how to make a Summer smash book, trying out painting and hiding kindness rocks, as well as investing in a few i-SPY activity books for kids.

Simple Summer activity for kids – den building for kids

For us, den building started a long time ago with simple fort blankets. I made enough of them when I was a kid and they were always my go-to when I needed to distract the children when they were younger! A few years ago we bought my son an outdoor den building kit for his birthday. It contained everything he needed to build a den including a ground sheet, tarpaulin, pegs and rope – the essentials to build your own den.

Since then they’ve used the ground sheet and tarpaulin to put up shelters in the garden. He even has a wooden mallet so he can hammer in the pegs. It’s a great way to encourage them to play outdoors and they don’t need any help putting everything up which is perfect for outdoor play.

den building for kids

We have a small garden but they’ve been able to string up the rope between the trees and make a decent sized hideaway. Then I watch them carry out blankets, cushions and books and set themselves up to hang out.

We’ve also been den building in our local woods which is always fun. We’ve added to others builds or started off our own. I can’t wait to do more of this over the holidays.

Other ideas to keep kids busy over the school holidays:

Places for outdoor swimming and water play in West London

Days out in London for train mad kids

8 farms to visit within easy reach of West London


  • Reply
    July 23, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I loved den making as a kid! It was always so much fun 🙂 I even love hiding in a duvet fort occasionally as a grown up too!

  • Reply
    Mellissa Williams
    July 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I used to love making a den when I was a child. I remember putting a sheet over two chairs! It really inspires imagination. Great ideas here Jenny

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