I've just been listening to the radio & it said the National Trust has just issued a list of things to do before you're 11 including things like playing conkers & building a den to encourage children to get away from the tele & computers & GET OUTSIDE.
I was having a conversation last week with helen from http://www.facebook.com/pages/Walkies-Little-felted-dogs-and-animals/215725751791522 about den building & the different tecqniques & materials we used as children & the fact that our own children with all the technology available to them still relished dragging sheets & towels out of cupboards, finding carboard boxes big enough to sit in & pulling sofas away from the walls to burrow behind.
When 'The Hobbit' was young & growing up (she is now 17) we always lived on a farm, as we still do. Th opportunity for creative den building was vast. You might find her buried under a pile of fleeces while the sheep were having their hair done, or if she was with some of the older boys who could drive the fork lifts on top of a stack of hay bales as a look out. (which was not always good for the heart palpatations)
Once her creativity ended in a trip to A&E when we dragged a surf board into the middle of the garden & were 'riding the waves' Of course when she fell she landed on the earth & not the water & tore her ligiments in her leg.
The most memorable build we achieved was a boat made out of boxes, furniture etc complete with deck & cabin & a dismantled shower curtain & pole to complete the mast & sail. (Mr Wright was a little cross with us when he came home)
'The Hobbit' had invented a whole scenario were she owned a hotel caled The Hoolimooli in Honaloulou, Hawaii & we were on our way there. The ship was even loaded with all our provisions for the long trip.
So many happy hours were spent in this sort of activity which usually ended with a picnic (inside or out) with happy dogs, children, parents & not a electronic gadget insight!
Dens will never go out of fashion....