No. 4 Build a den
Building a den is no. 4 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. What will your den be? A meeting place for spies, a pirate hideout or maybe a fairy castle for the night? We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to build the best den ever.
Before building your den
What you'll need
- Your hands
Find your perfect den spot
Whether you’re building your den in a local wood or your back garden, you’ll need to find a good tree to start. Look for a sturdy tree with lots of nooks and nobbles, or a low branch. This will help keep your sticks in place when you start building.
It can be interesting to have visible tree roots inside your den, but flat ground is easier to build on. You'll also be able to roll some log furniture inside your den then too.
Building your den
If you lean sticks against a tree like a wigwam, you don't have to do as much building.
Search for some strong branches on the ground that will make a good framework for your den to start. Make sure they’re wedged into your tree, so they won’t move easily. Then you can start filling in your walls by placing more sticks close together against your tree and main branches. As you collect your branches, what can you see? Are there any patterns on the wood, or creepy crawlies hiding underneath?
You can fill in the gaps between your branches with twigs and leaves. Mud is also a great building material so don’t be afraid to slap it on your den’s walls.
Time to hide
You’ve built your den; now it’s time to explore. Crawl inside and look around. What can you see on the floor and when you look up through the leaves? What can you hear in nature? Close your eyes and see if you can hear anything new.
Dens are great spaces for letting your imagination run wild. What will your den be – a secret storytelling hideout, a fairy castle, or something else? You could even build two rival dens with your friends and make a treasure hunting competition in the forest. Who will bring the most loot back to their den, without getting caught by the other team?
To ensure you can complete your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities safely, here are some top tips to help you complete your challenges with safety in mind.
Download the full ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activity list.
Pack a picnic next time you go on an adventure and enjoy tucking into your sandwiches surrounded by nature. It’s no. 9 on the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.
Den building, wand making, Pooh sticks and even nature trail making – who knew sticks could be so much fun? Discover no. 12 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.