Kids love dens. That sentence is so true it’s almost idiotic stating it, but it’s the point of this post so I’m starting with the obvious. Kids love dens. We’re really lucky with our local school because one of the teachers is a trained Forest School leader and the F1/reception year have Forest School every week plus the other years get a chance too. So they get to build dens there.
We have a wonderful playhouse in the garden, with a “treehouse annex” that has a perfect den space underneath (that isn’t really utilised, what with the awesome den space above it!) So, basically, they get to play with dens a fair bit.
Except in recent months, MG has really needed a space to escape into. She is introverted like me, so I understand that. So she started making dens. The first den was a blanket between a chair and the door to the lounge. It was really badly placed and ended up with us all getting frustrated with each other, defeating the object of the den in the first place.
I then pushed the sofa back so MG could put a blanket over that and the toy storage. We had this for a couple of weeks but long-term it wasn’t going to be workable so I had to think around the problem.
Dens are of course best when designed and built by the children who use them, but I need to get the living area decluttered and livable by the summer holidays, which means another reorganisation of available storage to maybe get it right this time (until the next reorganisation!)
So instead of putting all the storage against the walls with a play space in the middle, I’ve made a not-so-secret corner for MG’s den space. What goes on in the den is up to her. I moved the cushions she’d had in her previous den, but she’s now added paper rolls for drawing on the backs of the taller shelving. She also would like a “roof” so we need to work out how to do that too.
DG hasn’t expressed a need for a permanent den space yet; I’m hoping they will share. MG is definitely at an age and stage where she needs a cubby hole to escape to when her emotions get too big, and I hope this will help her. I’m making a DG-area on the other side of the living room, where all the Sylvanian Families toys are living, but that’s even more of a work in progress.
In the pictures, there are a lot of boxes still to be sorted through (again) and found homes for (again) so it still really is a messy mess. But it’s the first baby-step towards hopefully having a living space that we three girls (at least!) can have fun in and still keep tidy over the summer holidays.