Living room dens are the stuff amazing childhood memories are made of. Even grownups would be fibbing if they said they wouldn’t enjoy getting creative and building cosy little hideouts to play in – it’s just far too much fun.
Not only is den building a whole heap of fun that can get the whole family involved, it offers advantages to children of all ages, from physical development to problem solving skills. Children are able to build on their learning by thinking creatively and putting their wonderful ideas into reality.
Dens are where kids plot to take over the world. Where they dream. Where they pretend, imagine, play, and create. What will your den be? A meeting place for spies, a pirate hideout or maybe a fairy castle for the night? Round up your blankets, sheets and cardboard boxes, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to build the best den ever.
1. Bunk Bed Fast-Track
If you have a bunk bed or a cabin bed, you’ve got a ready-made den structure just waiting to be transformed into a cosy hideout. You just need to tuck in some bed sheets and blankets around the top bunk to completely surround the bottom bunk or under-bed space and hey presto! Den-ready in seconds.
2. Seats Become Walls
Got a few dining room chairs or two sofas? Simply arrange them back-to-back with space in between for your den. Then all you need is a big sheet, duvet cover, large muslins or blanket to drape over the top as a ceiling and you’ve got the beginnings of a den.
3. Table Tops
Tables act as all-in-one walls and ceilings, meaning you won’t need as many sheets and blankets to finish off the main den structure. You can also join up lots of different tables to make quick den extensions – just add blanket walls and you’re done!
4. Broom Roof
A few household brooms or mop poles make the perfect roof supports for a big den. You can place the broom across the top of your back-to-back chairs to give your blankets and sheets an extra bit of structure to drape over, preventing any unwanted sagging in the middle.
5. Rope Roof
Want to make a really really big den? Try tying lengths of rope or string across a few far-apart points (make sure they’re strong and won’t tip over) and then drape your blankets and sheets over the tops to create a roof.
6. Cardboard Castle
7. Light it Up
Once your den is built you can add a hint of magic with a few strings of fairy lights. Use battery-powered lights as these give you greater amounts of freedom and are much safer to use for a den. You can wind them around your support ropes, drape them from your den walls or simply lay them around the edges of your den for a cosy glow. Who wouldn't want a den that glows?
8. Get Comfy
A den isn’t a den unless it’s comfy and cosy. Scatter the inside of your den with lots of cushions, muslins, pillows, duvets and soft toys to give you something soft and squashy to sit on and snuggle up with.
9. Just Add Fun
Dens are the perfect place for games, movie-watching, reading and midnight-snacking. Stock your den with a few tasty snacks and lots of fun activities for hours of entertainment in your new home-within-a-home. Don’t forget the password! Ready? Set … Build!