The weather this summer hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been awful either. So with any luck the younger members of your household have been spending plenty of time outdoors – rather than staring at a screen. Hopefully it’s been a summer packed with plenty of adventure – and if it hasn’t – theres still time.
If you’re wracking your brains as to how to make the summer hols less FIFA17 and more Famous Five, then how about getting together the supplies to for them to make a garden den. From a simple Tipi style tent, to something a little more ambitious – here are our picks for the top 5 garden dens. Plus a couple of extra pointers we found to help ensure a sturdy construction…
#5 Quick Tipi
It’s a stunningly simple but effective design – which makes it perfect as the basis for a Garden den. All you need is some rope, three staves of equal length and some form of covering – such as a bed sheet or bin liners. The size of your den will depend on how long the staves are and how big the sheet is. If you’ve got plenty of supplies you could opt for more than one – in this communal
But before they can enjoy lashings of Ginger Beer in their tipi den, they’ll need to master a different type of lashing. It’s the rope one that is responsible for holding everything together. Animatedknots.com have put together this handy video – to show you just how to make the perfect tripod – because you never know when you might need that skill in later life.
#4 Wooden Tipi
If a tripod based homemade tipi is a bit temporary – how about this wooden version. You’ll need someone with the skills to put one together (maybe a helpful grandparent), but you could build it out of reclaimed wood – such as pallets or broken furniture.
Perfect as a place for your budding artists, writers or musicians to go and contemplate their creativity.
You’ll have to be careful though. It’s also the kind of space that works rather well – once the kids are safely in bed – as a den to light a scented candle, stick on some mood music and enjoy a bottle of wine.
#3 Hobbit Hole
If you fancy splashing out on a Den that your children will be desperate to spend time in, then how about one of these Hobbit Holes. They’re available from Easy for around the £2k mark. Whilst that isn’t cheap, it does mean that your brood will have somewhere really quite unique to hang out and dream of adventures in middle earth. Just don’t let Gandalf go drawing symbols on the door, or you’ll be having to cater for a couple of dozen extra dwarves.
#2 Back-Yard Beach
Less of a den, more of a destination. This backyard beach (actually at a children’s nursery) might inspire something similar in your garden.
You could roll out the towels or invest in some deck-chairs as well buy a bumper pack of classic ice creams from the supermarket. And if you’re stuck for something to put on the bluetooth speaker – how about the sounds of the sea.
Of course, the only drawback will be the great British weather, as you won’t necessarily get to use your beach as much as you would if it were in, say, Spain.
#1 Hanging Trampoline Wigwam
What do you get if you cross a trampoline with a conical tent? Yup. A Trampoline Wigwam.
Children’s head and shoulders have been popping up from behind garden fences all over Britain over the past 10 years – as the trampoline craze has taken hold. That means there’s plenty ripe for recycling out there which could be destined for a more sedate life, as a place to chill at the bottom of the garden.
It’s our number one. The perfect garden den for a – ahem – summer hang out.
See all these great dens on our Pinterest board.