Six inventive den ideas to create with your kids
13 August 2019, 11:31 | Updated: 13 August 2019, 12:14
Create a magical land for your kids in the comfort of your own home - all you need is your imagination... and a few bits from wilko.
It's the school holidays, and so far you've been to the zoo, the park, the pool and the town centre... what about making a fairytale castle next on the list?
Or how about a pirate's den, or futuristic robot lab? Or secret tea room that only serves teddies and kids?
If they seem like lavish - and impossible - destinations, all you need to get there is a little bit of imagination, some bits from around the house, and some special finishing touches from wilko, like fairy lights, a £5 bumper craft kit complete with foam shapes, glitter and glue, and fancy dress outfits and accessories starting from just £2.
Making a den from a sheet draped over two chairs or stacks of propped up pillows is one of the simplest ways to keep the kids occupied for hours. But you can go one step further and totally transform it in to whatever your heart desires.
Here we share six fantastic den ideas that you your kids will love helping you come up with and create... and who knows, perhaps they'll let you pop inside and join in the fun, too?
Playtime at The Village Shop
Kids love make-believe and setting up shop, so why not take this one step further by theming a den around a village store!
Decorate and drape a large bedsheet over your dining table before transforming it into a shop by cutting a slit on one side for an entrance and illustrating windows and stock using bright fabric pens.
Or, to save your sheets, wilko sells an ‘over the table play tent, £20’ for a head start.
Kit it out with toys that your kids can ‘sell’ throughout the day and they’ll be entertained for hours!
"Thar she blows!" let kids loose on the seven seas with an upturned box and an empty loo roll as a telescope.
While they navigate the living room or garden in their cardboard ship, why not take a few moments to prepare an ancient (tea-stained) map leading them to some hidden treasure?
Hide sweets in and around their den, just make sure you keep an eye on younger kids when the time comes to bite in to one of the pieces of eight (or Celebrations, currently £4.75 at wilko).
Find a sheet of cardboard and spray with non-toxic silver paint in a well-ventilated area and leave to dry, or cover with clean foil before sticking on pre-collected bottle tops, shiny wrappers and colourful buttons - this is your futuristic sci-fi den's control panel.
Let your kids decide if their new piece of tech controls where their 'ship' is flying to, or if it's the motherboard for making alien robots to do their pocket money chores for them!
Why not also help them make robot and alien masks using foil, and colourful markers to really help them get in to character?
Their imaginations can also be stretched by asking them to draw some alien landscapes, the cosmos, and other spaceships which can be stuck to the inside of the den like windows looking out at another world.
Teddies' tea room
Carefully drape sheets and blankets to make a tent-like structure that is roomy enough for your child (and you!) to sit up in.
Place some cushions on the floor to make it super comfy, and dot around some battery powered tea lights to make it extra cosy, sparkly and atmospheric.
If it's lunch time, why not make the hosts a platter of sandwiches, fruit and flapjacks to nibble on while serving tea to their furry friends?
Wilko stock a 15-piece kids' tea set for just £5 which is ideal for impromptu tea parties and packs neatly away in to a smart carry case.
A large cardboard box can be given turrets with a sharp pair of scissors (a job for an adult or responsible teenage sibling), and a drawbridge added with some wool and carefully placed holes.
Left over cardboard can be used to make crowns, swords and even a dragon mask - and wilko has all the things you need to really make them sparkle and come to life.
Once you're fully in character, it's time for the kids (and maybe mum and dad!) to have fun defending your castle!
Make an under the water den with a blue sheet, and string blue ribbons across the front to mark the entrance in to a mysterious watery world.
Let kids draw fish, seahorses and giant shells to decorate the inside of their new underwater kingdom.
Encourage them to dress up as mermaids or their favourite sea creatures, and then stretch their imagination further with wilko's Grafix Quicksand kit, £5.
With moulds to make all their favourite magical characters, it'll keep them amused for hours.