Going Wild are back again! This week they have shared their favourite den building ideas. Can your young explorer build these brilliant dens? Imaginations will run wild! An outdoor den might be a stick camp in the woods, a hideaway in a garden hedge, a leafy shelter for spying on wildlife, or a little house nestling among the branches of a favourite tree. It may be a driftwood shelter at the beach, an old shed converted into a mud cafe, a green leafy hidey-hole in a living willow dome or a hobbit hole among ancient tree roots. Throw a rug over a washing line, turn a garden trampoline into a space rocket, a football goal into a cowboys camp, or a cardboard box into a castle. Take indoor furniture outside so you have an outdoor indoor den! Or perhaps a den will be on a miniature scale; a castle for a toy soldier or a mini tipi for a teddy. Be creative, encourage children to use their imaginations; perhaps they will disappear into other worlds or times through a portal into a parallel world where woodland warriors, forest fairies or dangerous dragons hide among the trees. Responsible Den Building Of course we don’t want to see our precious woodland, parks or gardens destroyed. Always make sure that young den builders understand their responsibilities and become nature’s caretakers. Encourage them to look after wild places wherever they are, to be careful not to damage living trees and plants and only collect loose building materials. If making dens from non-natural materials, be sure to clear them up when you leave and take everything you took out with you back home. We at Going Wild believe making space in our children’s lives for some “wild”time makes them happier and healthier. It is vital this generation of children spend time outdoors, interacting with the natural world so they become as familiar with it as they are with technology. Only then will they understand their connection with the fragile ecosystems on which all our futures depend.