I have been watching Country Kids posts for a while with little ones enjoying a spot of den building in purpose built camp building areas like this one from over 40 and Mum to one and Kids in the Garden and more again pinned on my outdoor play area inspiration board.
Here on the farm my own children consider themselves den building experts. Here is one amazing camouflage den they built themselves last year up in our ravine.
With a spare weekend and having shown the boys photos from my Pinterest we set about creating a den building zone for Coombe Mill. The boys were keen on a wooded far away site but I suggested something closer to the properties and formal play areas would be preferable for parents. Finally we agreed on a lovely wooded area just behind the badminton court, in ear shot of the train and one of the big outdoor BBQ areas and close to the cottages. This would be a safe area for children to build whilst allowing parents to easily pop home for snacks and drinks or prepare a BBQ and still watch over their children.
We cleared a central area and decided it looked a perfect size for little den builders.
Next it was time to scour Coombe Mill for the best windfall branches, trim them and bring them across. Alistair and Felix began behind the Scandinavian lodges where some trees had fallen last year. An axe and a saw and they were in their element creating the perfect building branches.
Guy and I sloped off for a quick frogspawn hunt as I had seen on the local TV that the mild weather had brought them out already. We had a lovely explore together and squelched through plenty of bog but no sign yet.
On our return we gathered the rest of the boys from the trampoline to help with transporting the branches. There were quite a few already gathered by Ally and Felix. To the pile we added twigs and smaller branches from down by the river. I love nothing more than to see my children all working together.
With our gathered wood we set about creating two dens. They were both different in construction but the boys quickly agreed on the designs from the use of the trees already there. One had a central beam while the other lent against a giant trunk.
Our branches were soon used up and Farmer Nick tipped us off over lunch that Western Power had been cutting branches overhanging the power cables in the sheep field last month. We wasted no time in taking saws and clippers up there. It turned out to be littered with perfect sized branches that just needed trimming and snipping into shape. As it was the other side of the Farm Felix went to collect the tractor and trailer to carry our beautifully prepared branches back to base camp. Having loaded up Guy was keen to practice his new found driving skill and after Ally reversed the tractor and turned it round for him Guy carefully drove the load over to our den site.
The light was fading when we finally stopped, satisfied that the dens were ready to be taken over by our young builders with a stack of easy to use spare twigs at hand.
All that remained was to create a Den building sign, a campfire with log seating and wait for some little adventurers to arrive and take over our initial work during their Christmas holidays.
Joining in with Country Kids
If you have been enjoying some outdoor time from den building to Santa visiting please come and share with me here on the linky. All outdoor fun is welcome, Country Kids is about encouraging us and the kids to get up and get out, good clothing and some exercise can keep you as warm as indoors on these colder days and a little fresh air is good for us all. Please grab the badge and check out some of the other posts as there are always good ideas to share.
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“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Emma and our children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.