We all know the powerful allure of a great den. Away from the world of adults, dens are worlds for children, their own rules and imaginations.
For children there is something very powerful about creating an enclosed private space. In such spaces children can form clubs, they are places for keeping secrets, collecting treasure, telling stories, playing pretend games and reflecting upon the world outside the den.
Whilst den building is crucial to a child’s development, the opportunities for, and inclination for children to make them are in danger of disappearing. The reasons for this are varied but perhaps the most significant is parents’ fear of letting children out alone.
When looking at spaces adults and children view them very differently. Adults want places that are functional and look good, whereas children want to know what they can do in the spaces. They like bushes. They like hidden corners.
To facilitate den play we need to give children the space, resources and time to experiment. The construction and building of the den is very important to children as they feel a deep sense of ownership and pride in its success. It is also important for children to collect items that can make the space more special, things such as cushions, books, musical instruments and role play items.
Playgarden are interested in your tales of great den building, past and present. We will pop some of the best on our website, so we can share these experiences to like-minded people who love the power of dens! Send us your stories on firstname.lastname@example.org