Flibberty den making kit tall portrait

When I think back to when I was the girls’ age, I was always outside.

My dad was in the New Zealand Airforce, so my sister and I grew up on airbases. It was idyllic really – they were cordoned off and the entrance was protected by guards, so we were safe and surrounded by kids our own age.

The bases were full of adventure (or is that just the beauty of a child’s mind – turning the everyday into something wild and exciting?). I remember rushing creeks, and bountiful feijoa patches (a creamy South American fruit that grows everywhere in New Zealand) and tangled blackberry patches to explore. We’d spend entire days in the bush, making bivouacs out of fern fronds while the native songbirds trilled above us.

These were the days before mobile phones and before I was even old enough to tell time, so I have no idea how we even knew when to come home, but we’d turn up on the doorstep hours later, smeared in mud, twigs in our hair and ready to wolf down dinner (unless it was Mum’s 70’s-style curried sausages – bleurrgh – sorry Mum).

I hate that my girls can’t enjoy that kind of freedom in their lives, but it also makes me more determined they achieve the balance that only a day in the outdoors can bring (have you read about our first family camping trip?).

Flibberty den making kit product shot


When I was contacted by Flibberty to try out their Truly Beautiful den-making kit I got really excited. We’re lucky to have some stunning ancient woodland just a few minutes drive away, and I knew this would be a brilliant day out for us all.

The weather cooperated with a perfect warm – but not too hot – day. After lunch I packed the girls up we drove to the woods. We only had to walk for a few minutes to find the perfect clearing. While the girls raced around climbing trees and collecting chunks of flint and chalk, I opened up the kit.

Flibberty den making kit contents

Inside the stylish blue haversack was a length of jute rope, which I tied between two trees. There was a ground sheet and a waterproof tarpaulin, which I swung over the rope to create our pretty purple tent. Next I whacked in the pegs, using the mallet from the kit.

The girls helped by laying out the fluffy rose blanket inside. While I strung the bunting, they carefully stacked the enamel mugs to one side (there was also an adorable mini flower press included in the kit, but I forgot to lay it out!).

Flibberty den making kit finished den
Flibberty den making kit natalia inside

Cosy, right?

So then we just set about doing… nothing really, yet everything at the same time. You know what I mean?  

I was strangely pleased to discover that my phone had no reception – I’d have been tempted to constantly check it otherwise but now I was forced to truly unplug.

While the girls made aeroplanes out of sticks I sat and just took in our surroundings. There literally wasn’t a sound (apart from the girls whooping and hollering as they ran around with their planes), and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt so relaxed.

I loved seeing the girls energised and excited, without an iPad or an electronic device in sight.

Flibberty den making kit interior

We snuggled into the tent for some biscuits and a drink, then the girls were off again.

This time they built a pretend campfire, ‘just like I learned to do at forest school!’ Big Sis announced happily.

flibberty den making kit bubbles

flibberty den making kit fire

Followed by some bubble blowing, some tree climbing and some general chasing each other around.

Before we knew it three hours had flown by, and it was time to pack up and head home. As we walked back to the car the girls proudly compared the scratches on their legs (which would have prompted shrieks of distress if they’d happened at home!).

Thank you Flibberty, for one of the best days we’ve had in ages. 

• you might also like to read about our ‘Stream Dipping and Wellie Wading‘.

flibberty Truly Beautiful den making kit

• our den making kit was provided for review


Den making kits for kids


  1. Margaret Gallagher - July 27, 2016 reply

    Looks amazing
    My nephews would love this

  2. Sarah Corbett - July 28, 2016 reply

    This is a fantastic idea! I have 3 and 5 year old boys – they would love this kit!

    • I bet they would – plus, the Mega Den kit includes a camo net, face paint and a compass – so great for woodland adventures! x

  3. Angela Pagan - July 28, 2016 reply

    Cool! My kids would love this for their woodland adventures 🙂

  4. Absolutely love this easy way of getting back to nature and away from the zbox!

    • It really is such a great way to unplug and have some ‘old-fashioned’ fun. x

  5. Carly Belsey - July 31, 2016 reply

    This is so cool, the four kiddies in my family would love this, fab idea 🙂

    • They’d have such a blast Carly – and you might even score yourself some me-time while they’re playing! x

  6. Aaaaw! Your post brought back memories of home for me, too. I’m still trying to figure out why Brits call blackberries brambles, why they only use pumpkins for carving at Halloween instead of eating them as a regular vegetable and why they put plastic bowls in sinks for washing up when the sink is designed for that purpose.

    Lovely giveaway. Thanks.

    • Haha! You’ve made me giggle with the washing up bowl one – that TOTALLY stumps me too; it’s actually much more hassle to keep filling it up and emptying it. Why? Why? WHY???

  7. Deborah Mackenzie - August 9, 2016 reply

    looks like it could be a lot of fun; and kids wanting sleep outs!

    • Sooooo much fun – and (fingers crossed) the weather has been perfect for camping out too! x

  8. […] far we’ve been DEN MAKING  in our local woods, STREAM DIPPING at one of the nearby National Trust properties, and scooter […]

  9. […] I started taking a Berocca each morning after brekkie; I’m sure the extra hour in bed each morning has helped too, but I have definitely had more get up and go – so much so, the girls and I headed to our local woodlands today for a scavenger hunt (you might have read about the time we went DEN MAKING there). […]

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