Den building allows young children to have fun while also learning a multitude of essential skills. Whether it is built from old cardboard boxes or sofa cushions and blankets, building a den gives children a chance to practice their problem solving skills and creativity. Building something for themselves (or with a little help) also provides children with a sense of accomplishment.
Children can build their den alone, but it works well as a group activity too. Little learners will develop their language, negotiation and communication skills by working together as a team. Even building a den alone will still develop gross and fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination and it teaches children to be imaginative and make use of the materials available to them.
To build a den children need nothing more than a safe space to play in and some simple everyday items. Blankets, sheets, pillows, clothes pegs, newspaper and boxes are all great things for making a good den. When it’s built you can encourage your little one to take their favourite books and a torch into their new hiding place, continuing its educational benefits.
Pretend camping and role playing games are all part and parcel of your little learner making their very own den. They can take dolls and teddy bears into the den and exercise their creativity by playing out fun scenarios. A good den can usually double as an excellent backdrop for puppet shows and all manner of creative performances.
Allow your child to be in charge of directing the den related play activities, offering support or guidance when needed. However,if your child wants other family members to join in,den building can also be a great opportunity for quality time together and bonding.
In the right setting den building can go big and go outdoors. Slightly older children may like to make dens from sticks and things they find in the garden, as long as there is appropriate supervision at all times.
Early learning and childcare centres encourage young children to learn through imaginative play. Our Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning & Childcare centres in NSW base the majority of the preschool curriculum around hands-on, activity based learning. Here children can explore and let their imaginations run wild, all while in a safe environment, full of educational resources to call on.