When I first started working in early years 20 odd years ago - yes, that long! - we all had a Wendy House. I think half way through my NVQ 3 that term became well outdated and swapped for play house, fifteen years later when I finally got round to do my degree times had changed again and 'open ended' was a word that was often bandied about.
The best open ended den structure inside or out is either a cardboard box or a sheet over some chairs or a table. Non gender specific, ooodles of opportunity and can change from a lost world of dinosaurs to a full on birthday party boogie spot in a matter of minutes. I was flicking through my Facebook albums today to find some examples of great open ended structures, so here we go...
The first one is a re-cycled den. I saw a similar one at Wychwood Festival - lovely little festival den video here - I was asked to run a workshop at a pre-school's evening summer fete so amongst other things took some bamboo poles and fabric from scrapstore. We cut elder rounds to poke on the top of the bamboo and arranged the poles in a semi circle around an existing den under the trees. The children - and parents! - loved weaving the fabric in and out and it quickly built up into a colourful curve that in total cost about £4 to make. We ran out of fabric and ended up cutting up carrier bags and plastic aprons!
|Denbuilding workshop, Mansion House Pre-School|