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Den Making

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kniemma, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. We are going to set up a den making area in our reception garden and I need to buy the resources to start it of. I want to buy a clothes horse but was wondering which type would be best.Does anyone use a clothes horse for den making and what type do you use. Is there any other things which woud be good for this area?
  2. We are going to set up a den making area in our reception garden and I need to buy the resources to start it of. I want to buy a clothes horse but was wondering which type would be best.Does anyone use a clothes horse for den making and what type do you use. Is there any other things which woud be good for this area?
  3. I don't know if a clothes horse would be stable enough and might prove frustrating for the children if it keeps falling down, although if you add tent pegs they may be able to anchor it. You can buy simple metal frame structures from some of the catalogues. Then blankets, lengths of fabric, clothes pegs, large wooden blocks, piping, guttering, branches, planks, strong string and rope etc to add. And/or, if your den making area is in soft ground, long lengths of dowling or bamboo that can be stuck in the ground to make tepee style structures. The sort of heavy duty plastic mesh used around holes in the road might be good too.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    you can buy these from Early excellence
  5. Thanks for the suggestions unfortunately we are on a strict budget so can't afford anything like that as lovely as it would be. We had heard good things about clothes horses so that's why I asked what type I should buy was thinking of getting two concertina ones for the children to use. Would love to hear if anyone has used one with there children.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You can buy a three section one like the picture Here
    I fondly remember making dens as a child with my granny's clothes horse and an old sheet
  7. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    We have 3x 4 part concertina plastic ones. They are not very stable but use them together or against the fence. We also use pegs to hold on the fabric and join them together and rope. Like the idea of bamboo etc.
  8. Our wooden clothes horse (as pictured) didnt last the week out. (Children swinging on it caused the joints to twist and split).They are all finger trapping hazards and generally unstable so would need tying up.
    We have a rope permanently strung up (just above kids head height ) inside to encourage tent like den making that has also lent itself to stage curtains and igllo making of late.
    With den making outside I usually start off with a bit of support so around this time of year we make a bird hide so the children have some idea what to do with all the stuff...and if it's obvious to other kids then it isnt to mine who have no experience of dens/camping/ nicely appointed gardens and trips to the park!
    I like big bulldog clips and a sort of plastic gripper that come in bags from the pound shop for fixings; failing that then really big pegs. A square of washable tarpaulin is useful for the floor. Cardboard boxes can be useful too and if you live near a fridge freezer shop or such you can get some really big ones.Old curtains or duvet covers opened up can be thrown away when they're really muddy (unless you're some kind of washing masochist)and are light enough for the children to throw around.
    Sometimes just an out the way place will do for a den (behind a bush or shed) especilly if there are some resources to inspire role play games; plastic treasure coins (sold for party bags), binoculars, telescopes, maps, picnic sets and mark making equipment to make keep ou or welcome signs.
    Den making is one of our favourite and most popular activities.

  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The two we have are very solid and stable and have guards so no chance of trapping fingers
  10. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    I bought 4 parasol bases and 4 broom handles - fitted the latter with hooks to put string through. Drape material over and hey presto a den!!! It's still going strong at least 4 years on!
  11. Dont want to go on about it because every setting and practitioner (!) is different BUT our clothes horse was from the Early Excellence too.Personally, not sure they're the way to go unless nostalgia gets the better of you...

  12. Fab idea!
    We have used milk crates in the past but our H&S inspector has made us throw them away. I'm sure he'd disagree with clothes horses too, as they're "not fit for purpose," but this idea might pass the test!
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We didn't buy ours from EE because of the price they were bought on line from a supplier that sells wooden household items and were actual clothes horses.
  14. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    We used to have a permanent line slung up but an advisor came round and told us it was an immediate ofsted fail as it was a hanging risk!
  15. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Probably JUST the right height to throttle an Ofsted inspector who would be so busy analysing childrens outdoor play that they would fail to see it in time ... I wish!!!
  16. Did you get yours from Days gone by Msz? It's difficult to tell from photos whether there would be finger traps.
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm afraid I can't remember where were got them but don't think it was Days gone by. The hinges are covered with a fabric so they can move but no space for fingers.
  18. don't forget buckets with broom shank set in concrete as supports, add a few eyelets and bungee clips can be attached to clip fabric onto

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