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Enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends, explore fantastic surroundings and relax in all the comfort of home. Our luxury canvas retreats provide the ideal get-away for adventurous children, romantic breaks or family fun; kitted out to the highest quality and situated in idyllic corners of the British countryside.

Glamping Activities for kids - Den building

Posted by Luci Ackers
Children building a den
Children building a den

A holiday with Lantern and Larks puts you in the heart of the countryside, so what better way to enjoy the wonders of nature than using it as a setting for fun and games? Continuing our series on glamping activities for kids, today we are looking at building dens.

The benefits of den building

Building a den is a fantastic stimulating play activity. Kids learn not only about different materials that can be found within nature but also about creating an effective structure, making a den which won’t fall down and making it waterproof. It’s a great example of learning through play and, what’s more, lugging materials around to make a den is a great way to wear children out!

Planning for your den building

Depending on the type of den you want to make there are a few materials you’ll need to have with you. Consider bringing on your holiday some rope to tie branches together and a sheet of tarpaulin. While that can seem like a rather odd accompaniment to your usual holiday luggage, bringing them with you will ensure hours of fun and will keep children entertained, allowing you to have a rest.

Choose the right spot for your den before you begin. You’ll want to find a large clearing which has flat ground. Don’t put yourself near any slopes or dips as that’ll make it really hard to keep your den upright.

Children building a camp

Also, before you build use a compass to find south. You’ll want to build your den so that the doorway is pointing in this direction – as that way you’ll get the sunshine and warmth coming into the den.

Different types of den you could make

Using branches – within a woodland area you have a wealth of materials for den building readily available. Gather together branches, leaves and moss and use the trees as supporting posts for your structure.

Tarpaulin den – if you’ve remembered to bring a tarpaulin with you, creating a den with it is simple and easy to do. Using trees as support simply tie it up! However, beware of putting the tarpaulin too low or having a dip as if it rains, water will collect and make your structure fall. Instead either have the tarpaulin as a lean-to design or use a branch to create a central structure point, allowing your tarpaulin to rise up in the centre like a tent.

Materials – If you haven’t done any forward planning then don’t think that den building is not for you. There are lots of materials within your glamping tent that you can use including towels, bed sheets and blankets. You can use the edge of your glamping tent or your car to make a structure.

Family fun relaxing in a homemade den


Den built? The fun is just starting... 

Once the little ones have created the perfect den, don't forget to enjoy it with them! Here are just a few ideas for the things you can do once the den building mission is complete:

  • Take photos - pictures of your children looking out of their den, or a family selfie inside the den, will provide wonderful memories of your family glamping trip.

  • Have a nap - building a den can tire you out, so why not have a lie down?

  • Have a rewarding snack - your kids worked hard on their den, so what better time to bring out the treats? Whether chocolates, sweets or healthy fruit and nuts, they're bound to have worked up an appetite.

  • Play games - for hide and seek, a den makes the perfect place to do the counting while the other family members find a hiding place.

Making a den is a fantastic way for children to have some fun while you enjoy your glamping holiday or for you to bond as a whole family. If you need some other ideas for what else to do with the kids, then check out our guides to cloud spotting, hide and seek and nature spotting

Take a look at our brilliant Ultimate Guide to Glamping for tips, ideas and what to bring with you when you come.

Luci Ackers - author for Lantern & Larks
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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