Phoebe has always loved boxes and like most babies when given a gift, would happily play with the cardboard box the toy had been packaged in rather than the toy itself! As she’s gotten older she’s not changed, she still loves exploring boxes, making dens and often just sitting in a large box is enough entertainment for her!
I’ve really tried to encourage this type of play by attending lots of sensory and discovery play session with Phoebe, it’s got my creative juices and imaginative side active again! My favourite happened to be a free weekly session at our local children centre, called “Discovery Play” during the session the children would discover without our input or interfering and play with different household objects, milk lids, pots and pans, sensory cardboard boxes drapped with fabric, tunnels and not one “toy” in sight,I’m going to do a separate post on this group as I could keep writing about it forever.
After the group, I now keep all our recycling (within reason) so that I can use it with Phoebe for crafts, games or whatever she decides to do with it. The group gave me lots of inspiration and we try to do a big discovery play session at least once a week. I’ve recently been using fabric/material to create little dens and secret hideouts for Phoebe, setting it up while she naps, as she just rips it down when I’ve tried to get her to “help” in the past. So when I stumbled upon the current Save the Children UK campaign #DenDay I couldn’t wait to get involved. I’ve written a post (Den Day Post) explaining exactly what the campaign is and how you can get involved. For more information about Save the Children UK then click here.
For our den me and Daddy Pig had some fun ideas for creating an outside tent using lots of material, lights, a tunnel and some sensory fun for Phoebe and her friends to enjoy inside. However, the weather has been a little unpredictable this last week, so we have a backup plan for an inside den just on a smaller scale. The den pack has been great tool for getting ideas as there is so much useful information inside for us grown ups, plus we’ve got to add the bunting and save the children flag to our den. I’ve also used Pinterest to help inspire us, its such an easy way to keep all your favourite ideas in once place and it’s also lovely to see what all the children made for last year’s campaign.
Our Pinterest board is full of ideas and inspiration for our fun sensory den. We will also be having a cake stall to raise more money as well as everyone who comes to parties will have to pay a £2 entry, which will all go towards our fundraising for Save the Children UK, you can also donate using our Fundraising page here: Our Fundraising Page
We’re actually planning on having 2 Den Days, as the date clashes with a big birthday party for 4 of Phoebes friends and we can’t miss the superhero party plus we would love as many people to join in as possible. So, on Saturday 17th June we will be building our inside Den for family to come and enjoy, then on Saturday 25th we will create a much bigger Den (hopefully outside) for all Phoebes little friends to explore, along with their mums and dads. If the weather is nice it would be lovely to have a picnic lunch together with a few drinks for the parents followed by our tasty cake stall.
Me and Daddy Pig love camping and being outdoors, so we thought it could be nice to try and stay in our outside Den, overnight or open it up as a little campsite for older children to come and camp in. This all depends on the delightful British weather, so fingers crossed for us and wish us luck. I’m off to buy some extra pegs, more string and some bed covers & sheets in preparation for the big build.