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How to Build a Den in the Woods with Kids

Kids in den in the woods

Making a den in the woods can be hours of fun for kids. It’s one of our kids favourite things to do in the woods. There are so many great ways to make a den and no rules but here are some ways to get you started! Children love dens! Making them, breaking them, participating in make-believe play in them; Den building is where kids can create their own worlds and be in charge of their own homes! Check out our kids indoor den making fun here, but outside is where the real den making magic happens!

Once you’ve made a den you could try these ‘Games to Play in the Woods’ with kids or some ‘Ideas for Outdoor Cooking with Kids’ to keep the fun going. 

How to make a den in the woods
Den building with kids

Why build a den in the woods with kids?

Den making is good for kids on so many levels! It involves lots of physical movement and exercise as children work, collecting their materials, stretching and reaching to build their den. Den making also promotes gross motor skill development through moving, lifting and carrying materials to make their den. Team work is a crucial skill that’s being developed as kids work together to build a den. Importantly, creating their dens demonstrates to children how working together to achieve a goal can be extremely satisfying and rewarding. It can be a great confidence booster for them. Solving problems creatively is a fairly essential skill if you want to build the best den you can with the resources that you have. Den building encourages kids to use their imaginations, and to practice creative problem solving – there’s so much fun and important learning involved in building a den! Read on for how to make your perfect den in the woods!

How to build a shelter in the woods

If you don’t have any equipment with you, it’s still possible to make a den in the woods without needing anything. Find a slanting tree branch or a branch with fork in it. Carefully, collect some long branches and place them against the fork on each side so you end up with a tent shape. You can weave smaller sticks in between to make it more secure. You could even cover it with moss to camouflage your den and make it waterproof. To make the den building a fun activity for older kids, you could challenge them to see who could build the most waterproof den and test it with buckets of water! We have lots more ideas for getting teens and tweens outside here. 

How to build a shelter in the woods
Shelter building in the woods with Kids

How to make a fort in the woods with Kids

How to make a DenWhat you will need:

How to make a fort in the woods with kids

STEP ONE:Find two good strong trees about 6ft apart, ideally on a flat piece of ground. Take some strong cord or rope and tie it from one tree to another. STEP TWO:Throw a tarpaulin over the rope and use tent pegs or small sticks to hold it in place.STEP THREE:Scatter a carpet of dried leaves on the floor to make your den extra cosy.Dens are children’s little havens. I think it’s important for kids to learn how to build a den because then they also learn how nature is a wonderful place for natural play. It’s important for kids to have their own secret places, away from the grown ups! Dens, or forts, or tree houses, are a place where children can have unstructured play and let their imagination soar. 

 making ideas for kids
How to make a Den in the Wood with Kids

More Den Making ideas

If you want to make a more permanent den, you might like our video we made a few years back with Mumsnet which shows you how to make a teepee style tent.

How to make a den in the woods

More ideas to do in the woods…

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