How to make a den with your kids

make a den

by motherandbaby |
Published on

Building a den is a fun activity to let loose your child's (or your inner child's) creativity and imagination.

Whether hanging a blanket in some trees in the garden, or over a couple of chairs in the living room, or making a sofa fort - you've probably had experience of making your own den as a child, if not with your own kids.

It's a brilliant family activity, from planting a permanent growing teepee in your garden, to making a cosy nook for a family film night, complete with fairy lights and snuggly blankets.

Create your perfect den building kit with our top tips...

Step-by-step to creating an indoor den

  1. Foundations - first thing's first you need to give your den some structure. Use what you have around you, furniture always comes in handy, be it dining chairs, the back of the sofa, a bed frame or a table. Cardboard boxes are also great for setting up a den. You could even string up some rope to make the roof more secure - or use a tent frame!

  2. Shelter - Once you've figured out where you want your den to be and have moved the furniture around for your supports, you need to create your shelter. The easiest way to do this is with a large blanket or bed sheet. Drape it over the supports and rearrange it as required.

  3. Decor - now this is the fun part, filling your den with pillows and blankets, fairy lights and of course some snacks!

What you will need to make an outside den

If you take your den building outside, the opportunity for den building gets even bigger! Not only can you create a den using garden furniture and a bed sheet, in much the same way as you created your indoor den, but you can also use mother nature.

Resting loose branches against a large overhanging branch or tree trunk makes a great hideout. You can also grow your own den by planting climbing plants, such as runner beans, around a ring of bamboo canes secured into the soil at the base and at the top with twine. A living willow teepee also makes a beautiful permanent garden den.


72 Piece Build Your Own Den Kit

This set includes 72 pieces for endless ways to play by letting you build large structures, including dens, playhouses, forts, castles and more. Connect them together in anyway you desire, add a cover and your fort is built! Great fun for kids, and perfect for rainy days indoors.


Childrens Teepee Play Tent With Floor Mat

A pop up play tent is also a really simple way to make a den with very little effort. It can be used inside and out and requires no tools to put together. With the fold down door and peep through window, it's great for encouraging role play, adventure and fun. This charming castle has two side windows for ventilation and enough room for 2-3 little kids to play.


Foldable Children Play Tent

The great thing about this white canvas play tent is that it's a blank canvas and you can let your kids decorate it however they want - with stickers, fabric paint or colourful bunting.


The Den Kit Company The Original Den Kit

This handy haversack bag is made for adventure! It contains a robust and durable tool kit for den-building, including camouflage tarpaulin, green groundsheet, handmade wooden mallet, enamel mug, face paint, natural jute rope and eight steel tent pegs. It's one for the adults to help out with for younger tots, although older children will love the responsibility of putting the den together and using the tools.


Led Fairy Lights

No den is complete without twinkling fairy lights!


GooDee Mini Projector

Having a film night is a great use of a den, whether indoor or out. This projector connects to smartphones, is easy to transport and can be set up to play favourite films or cartoons on the wall of your den.


Tassel bunting

Another brilliant and effective decoration for a den is bunting - it's quick and easy to put up and could be used to help the structure of your den too.


Glow in The Dark Throw Blanket

Add some glow to your den with this fun glow in the dark blanket - use it as the roof of your den for a sleeping under the stars experience.


Glow In The Dark Dinosaur Fleece Blanket

Another glow in the dark blanket option, this one features dinosaurs for a jurassic experience.

Read more popular articles

Best indoor activities for kids

The best garden games for kids that the whole family will enjoy

Indoor slides - how to make them and the best ones to buy

Go camping in your own garden - we've found all the gear you'll need

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.