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Build a den!

Child building den in woods

Create your own special den on school grounds or at a park or woodland on your way home.

You can make your den full-sized or create a miniature den for elves, fairies and frogs. You don’t need any special equipment for this, you just need to find a group of trees or woodland.

Stage 1: Choose your type of den and gather sticks to create the frame:

Use two shorter Y-shaped branches to hold up a long straight pole
Find two trees close together and rest a strong, straight branch in between
Lean sticks and twigs against the trunk of a big tree – the best option for smaller wooded areas.

Stage 2: Add a roof made from smaller twigs, leaves, grass, moss or any other things you find on the ground.

Stage 3: Add accessories like seats, a soft floor, decorations or anything else you think will make your den cosier. Get creative!

Explorers’ rules for survival:

  1. Certain wild spaces aren’t always best for building dens because of certain species living there – if you can’t find a good spot, try another outdoors activity from our booklet instead.
  2. Never pull branches or leaves from trees.
  3. Be careful when carrying large pieces. Ask for help from your team and watch where you are going.
  4. Play fair, don’t take other teams’ den building materials
  5. Watch out for stinging plants like nettles
  6. Keep up team spirit and include everyone
  7. Have fun!
  8. Don’t forget to always safely take down your den and always make sure you do not disturb log or timber piles or anything that looks like a habitat.

Watch: guide to den building

Watch: guide to making teeny tiny dens

Green spaces for wild play

The following reserves are suitable for wild play activities like den building:

North Warwickshire


More free outdoor activities for families

Download our Warwickshire Outdoor Activities booklet for lots of activities for children to enjoy.

Want to score your den? Tick all the boxes for items you have in your den, add up the ticks to get your mark out of 10, then click submit to get your den builder certificate!

    How many points did you score in total?

    Special thanks to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust for sharing their resources and information to help us create this page.

    Back to Warwickshire (Connect for Health)