When I was little we had a long garden that sloped up the hill. We lived in a village on the Pennines so we were surrounded by steep hills, trees, fields and of course bad weather☔.
Anyway as a child the top of my back garden seemed like a really long way from our house. It was full of trees and left to its own devices so it felt wild🌲🌳. My younger brother and I decided to build a den together. We were lucky as we had friends we could call on anytime and they joined in our build. We had some materials including old pallets, a plastic sheet, even some old carpet tiles. We constructed it together.
The den really took shape and soon we were trying to make it homely inside with tins of food stolen from our house🙈. We played in it loads and I remember it being invaded by insects who were after our food. It really was an exciting place to escape from school too and we were really proud of it.
I remember being disappointed years later when it was damaged by the elements. Whenever I go back up north to visit and drive past our old house I look for our den and wonder what remains of it. Are there children living there now who are building their own dens? Or are they too busy with all the technology that wasn’t around when I was little?
I’ve attached some photos in the gallery below. I don’t have any pictures of the actual den I built as a child. So the first two pictures are of the den we built on my Forest School leader training. This was lots of fun as we did it as a small group. The next is a den in pic 3 was built by my daughter with her friend in our old garden, I wonder if she will remember this one? The next is a den that children build weekly at Muddy Footprints from tarps and bungee cords. And the final one is my youngest in a den in Wolston Spinney which we visit for a play weekly. I love the creativity that den building brings. The chance for children to create their own world’s not influenced by adults.
What’s your favourite Outdoor Childhood memory? Is it something you would want for your children today? Can you enable them to do it???
I’d love you to my Facebook Group to connect with others who are trying to give their kids and Outdoor Childhood.