Build a Shelter

Building a shelter is such a fun activity that can be enjoyed for days, weeks or longer!

What you’ll need:

  • Branches
  • Leaves
  • Mud
  • Your hands

Find your perfect shelter spot:

Whether you’re building your shelter in a forest, beach or your backyard, you’ll need to find a good tree to start. Look for a sturdy tree with lots of nooks and nobbles, or a low branch. This will help keep your sticks in place when you start building.

It can be interesting to have visible tree roots inside your den, but flat ground is easier to build on. You’ll also be able to roll some log furniture inside your den then too.

Get building:

Top tip: if you lean sticks against a tree like a wig-wam, you don’t have to do as much building.

Search for some strong branches on the ground that will make a good framework for your shelter to start. Make sure they’re wedged into your tree, so they won’t move easily. Then you can start filling in your walls by placing more sticks close together against your tree and main branches. As you collect your branches, what can you see? Are there any patterns on the wood, or creepy crawlies hiding underneath?

You can fill in the gaps between your branches with twigs and leaves. Mud is also a great building material so don’t be afraid to slap it on your shelter’s walls.

Time to hide:

You’ve built your shelter; now it’s time to explore. Crawl inside and look around. What can you see on the floor and when you look up through the leaves? What can you hear in nature? Close your eyes and see if you can hear anything new.

Shelter’s are great spaces for letting your imagination run wild. What will your shelter be – a secret storytelling hideout, a fairy castle, or something else?