Introducing the Founders of The Den Kit Company
Our Den Kits and all their outdoor accessories and activities are one of the most popular parts of our Forest School collection. This is how Kay & Jo 'accidentally' discovered a way to keep their children entertained for hours WITHOUT the use of screens and batteries, all whilst nurturing their physical and mental health, improving their concentration and problem solving skills, and having GREAT FUN!
Clue: it involves the outdoors...
Hi, if you didn’t already know, we’re Kay & Jo. We’re both mothers and both have 20+ years experience of being primary school teachers. Over those years, we have seen first-hand how our own children (and the children that we have taught) have thrived when playing or learning outdoors. We bet you've noticed the same?
But it wasn’t until we also became Forest School Practitioners, (meaning we were regularly taking classes of children into the outdoors for outdoor play activities), that we began to understand the extent to which outdoor play had such a positive impact on a whole array of areas of our little loved ones lives.
After spending countless hours diving into study after study, we found that outdoor play has a massive upside on a child’s:
Physical development, Sleep quality, Health & Immunity, Memory, Attention, School performance, Self-esteem, Stress levels, and even Eyesight!
How immense are all of those?!
As parents, we want all children to experience those benefits, but how on earth can you conjure up a way to convince your children to actually go and stay playing outside?! Not such an easy feat. We struggled with this ourselves... and it was literally our job to encourage outdoor play.
So in an age when...
Phone, tablet and TV use is at all time highs; with endless games, videos and messaging services always within arms reach.
Children post-lockdown have become accustomed to being inside and may actually have anxiety related to going outdoors and interacting with other children.
...it’s no surprise that there turned out to be quite a large number of us contesting with this seemingly impossible challenge!
Question: How many times have you told your children to go play outside, only to be met with: "But there’s nothing to do!"? Lots? Well, we wanted to change that. We wanted to give ourselves and other parents/grandparents like YOU a way we could consistently encourage our children to play outdoors.
But based on all of our combined experience, what could we come up with that would achieve this? Well, let us tell you, the answer did NOT come to us immediately... yet it was under our noses all along!
Over the years when we would take children out for outdoor/forest play, we used to have to put up a tarpaulin sheet to cover all of their belongings should it rain, (which it often did!). Now this was purely for practical reasons, yet the children used to argue over who got to help us put it up. We would have all these seemingly great activities planned and yet building our shelter always used to draw the children’s attention the most.
Even after the cover would be erected (a co-ordinated effort between one of us and a couple of ecstatic children who's turn it was that day), all of the children would still gravitate towards the makeshift cover, wanting to play under it, or add to its structure with branches, twigs and leaves which they had foraged.
We didn’t want to discourage this of course. When the penny finally dropped - that it was in fact the construction of outdoor spaces (or dens) like this, that was the main reason the children got excited about venturing outdoors, we sought to work out how we could create a sustainable solution: one which allowed any parent to easily provide this outdoor experience for their own children, without said parent actually needing to be on hand to help with the construction themselves.
... And so the first Den Kit was born!
We curated a kit which included all the necessary components, all carefully and ethically sourced, that time and time again would tempt children of all ages to construct their own hand-crafted temporary retreat.
No single-use-plastic. No batteries. No complicated instructions. Just a kit that once given to children, would see them put down even the most attention grabbing of electronics, and waste no time in immediately getting to work, constructing it in their own unique way.
Our Den Kits have also been shown to help children develop their:
Problem solving, Concentration, Communication and Resilience, (especially when it's cold or raining outside!).
As well as encouraging them to spend hours of time outside, (experiencing all the benefits that we listed earlier), our kits offer unbeatable family-friendly escapism.
So, if you weren't already in love with the Den Kit Company, you surely will be now! Time to go get outdoors...