Rainy Day Den Making!

This weekend’s weather reminded me of a similar day last year when I was in the park with a large group of friends and neighbours. We’d got together to help out another neighbour who was making a short film and needed lots of ‘extras’ (OK, I live in Hackney!), so we were outside for a good long while. The rain started to come down and the adults started to become fretful, but the trees are pretty big and we all had hot tea, bagels and large umbrellas.

There were about 15 children, and a couple of them got the bright idea of begging even more umbrellas…

I love this ‘rainy day den’ as another example of what kids will do if given freedom to play. No one telling them what to do, no one doing more than reminding the older ones to keep a bit of an eye on the younger ones, and no one shouting ‘health and safety’. It was entirely organised by themselves, great fun, and kept them warm & dry (ish!) for at least the couple of hours of showers.

On Twitter over last few weeks @LoveOutdoorPlay conversations have often majored on the joys of rainy den making. You can see some great examples from Play Gloucestershire here on their blog about a dedicated den making (& marshmallow eating!) day, and the tweet below made many of us smile – and wish we were there!

So how do you think families and communities can help more children play outside more often whatever the weather? And have you any stories to share of your rainy day play here or on Facebook?

4 Responses to “Rainy Day Den Making!”
  1. This really highlights the fact that having the ‘right’ sort of weather isn’t important for children – and that as adults we shouldn’t let our own viewpoints limit children’s desire to play. In some ways it can be more fun to play in the rain!

    We run a ‘wild kids’ session every well for our guests which includes den building, toasting marshmallows over a campfire, creative nature crafts and games, and this runs rain or shine. It’s great to see families pulling on wellies and waterproofs and having a wonderful time – particularly if this isn’t something they would normally do.

  2. Heh heh, brilliant! I love your rainy day ‘den’. I used a ‘portable’ one for my walk on the South Downs Way this week – verrrrry wet. I might not have looked very cool but unlike the die hards relying on their waterproofs alone, I was dry!! Ish…

  3. Cath Prisk says:

    Thanks so much! Your feedback is much appreciated – and do post photos of recycle fun over on our Facebook page if you want to share.

  4. Kirsty Greer says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea! At our site http://www.oldfashionedvalues.co.uk we heartily promote old fashioned ideas like this. In our reuse and recycle section we detail how we built the children a large pirate ship out of a cardboard box and some odds and ends last weekends, because the weather was soooo bad and the children werent 100%. But ususaly we would all happily don wellies and waterproofs and head outide! Keep up the great work, love reading your blog!

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