Parents, children and staff had a wonderful time at this week’s Stay & Play session at Oakwood House. We were all outside building dens using natural materials, tarpaulin and old sheets. Everyone was keen to show off their den building skills and some fabulous hideouts were built. The materials available outdoors such as soil and leaves, sticks and stones are ideal for children to manipulate and experiment with. There are interesting and unusual places to hide climb and balance and a whole range of elements to encourage imaginative, challenging and creative play. Den building allows children to interact with natural elements. They learn to manage and work as a team when occupied in den building. Learning to work together can be difficult at any age but den building can be a way of learning to cooperate as during this process they are often open to other children’s suggestions and learn from their mistakes.