Thursday, 19 August 2010

Dens and Mazes

Top of the list of children’s favourite things to do in a garden has got to be building dens and running around a maze. We visited Wisley in Surrey this week and found both of these.

The children’s play area has been upgraded to include a fantastic den building area. A great way to keep your children occupied in a really constructive way. The frames of the dens are provided by permanent wooden poles stacked into the ground. A range of building material is then provided for your kids to create what ever they want. It was interesting to see the different techniques eomployed.  There were those children who kept redoing their den, those who just wanted to chill out inside, some made elaborate doors and some dens were completely sealed up. There are some ideas for creating a den in your garden at Kidsinthegarden.  If you have a large garden the Wisley format is a great idea.

As well as the usual climbing frames and stepping stones there was also novel spying area.  The blue circles in the wooden stakes pictured above are binoculars.

A sunflower maze is a great idea. Unfortunately due to lack of water the giant sunflowers at Wisley were only about 3 feet high, but the little ones still couldn’t see over.  It also meant that the sunflower heads were accessible so the whole maze was filled with sunflower faces and patterns created by the children. My favourite mazes in the South East of the UK are the hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace and the water maze at Hever Castle in Kent. We are just back from Normandy where maize mazes are very popular. The one we tried took well over an hour to find our way around, testing the patience of our 5 year old, so a little bit of cheating went on.  If you would like to visit one in the UK Adrian Fisher, the master maze creator, lists a number of maize mazes in this country.
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