How to Build a Relaxing Den

Do you remember the joy of den making as a kid? Creating a den is such a fun activity for children and it offers them a safe, calming space of their own. In this post I’ll give you a few ideas on how to build an extra relaxing zen den space with your kids.

Psychological studies have shown that dens are valuable spaces for children to get away from the overwhelming world around them. they can sit quietly and feel safe. As adults the world is overwhelming for us, so you can imagine how important it is for children to have opportunities to access fun and relaxing spaces that they can go to and disconnect from what’s happening outside.

How to build a relaxing den with kids

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Children also have the opportunity to create a child friendly space in an adult world, they practice problem solving skills and use their imaginations to come up with ideas and be creative. In our den making play, as the adult my role is to provide the resources and any support if needed (eg tying thing to high branches) and let my little boy lead the activity.

How to Build a Relaxing Den

There are so many creative ways to build dens, it could be as easy as rearranging the sofa cushions or maybe you plan a trip into nature to find an outdoor space. There is no set way to build a den but it is about having the resources available for our children so that they have the opportunity to build their own dens.

Below you will find a list of things that are great to build dens and a lot of things you will most likely already have around the home.

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Where Should you create your Relaxing Den?

Depending on your own situation, you can plan to make your den indoors or outdoors. Here is a list of fun den building ideas to inspire you!

  • In the living room. You could build a fort or cinema den around the TV and make popcorn.
  • In the garden. You could make a camp or pop a tent up.
  • In the bedroom. Create a reading cave and bring your torch.
  • At the beach. Use wind breakers and towels to make a cosy beach den.
  • In the forest. Collect fallen branches or use trees close together to make a woodland den.

What Should be in a Den?

Whatever den your kids decide to create there are some basics that will be very helpful for them to have access to.

  • Blankets
  • Sofa cushions (If inside)
  • Sheets or material
  • Rope or tough twine
  • Pegs or clamps
  • Torches or camping lamp

How to Make a Den feel Cosy?

Making a den feel cosy will turn it into a relaxing zen den space, that children can use to rest and relax in. A few little extra props can make the space feel really special and magical for kids. Try adding some of the following from the list below:

  • Fluffy, soft blankets.
  • Cushions
  • Fairy lights and battery operated candles
  • Cosy clothes, like snuggly socks and comfy PJ’s.
  • Yummy Snacks. Think homemade popcorn or hot chocolates with all the trimmings.
  • Books and games
  • Creative resources like paper, pen or journal
  • Music or Guided Visualisations – Check out my free audio’s on Insight Timer
  • Role Play Props and Soft Toys

How to Add so extra Zen to Your Den

Once the den has been constructed, the play doesn’t end there. This is when children can relax and chill out in their zen den. They may want to role play, read, be creative, listen to music, have a snack and just hang out.

I have lots of lovely printable calming activities that you can use in your zen dens with your children to help them practice relaxing strategies. Shop here.

In our den we had a hot chocolate tea party, made magic potions, read under the trees, crafted and made a leaf garland, blew bubbles, practiced our playful mindful breathing activities and took a colour adventure walk.

I hope you enjoy building your relaxing den with your children as much as we did! If you would like to receive my new blog posts and freebies sign up here. Take Care Emma x

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