A child’s den is like a wardrobe to Narnia; whether made out of a cardboard box, a bed sheet thrown over chairs or something else entirely, children have the means and open minds to turn the most simple of structures into portals and vortexes to other worlds, and to venture into realms of the imagination that sadly us grownups seem to lose that touch of magic to enable us to enter.
To encourage your little one to explore their imagination in this way, but without sacrificing your furniture, lounge or washing line along with your best bed sheets in the process, it is worth investing in a readymade den. Specifically, a teepee provides the ideal vessel via which to enter another domain, and here are five reasons why.
1# A Teepee for Everyone
Whether pirate, budding astronaut, knight of the realm, fairy princess or Santa’s little helper, Just For Tiny People make teepees to suit every child. After all, every tiny person knows, a teepee needn’t simply be a place where Indians live, and for those who don’ believe it or see how a humble teepee could be turned into a pirate ship, give the selection of lovingly handcrafted teepees created by the aforementioned Just For Tiny People team.
2# Teepees are Suitable for All Ages
Teepees, being made of soft fabrics held together with wooden rods, are the most versatile kind of structure by which to create a den for a little person; their soft, child friendly design and stability means that they can be bought or made in a range of sizes and to suit children of almost all ages, from toddlers to adults. Although, and suffice to say, it is unlikely that an adult sized teepee is likely to fit so neatly if at all in your bedroom.
3# Teepees are Super Easy to Assemble, Dismantle, Move and Store
Being predominantly constructed from fabric and relying on only a number of wooden poles to hold a teepee structure up, this makes them fantastically easy to assemble, dismantle, move and store. This is also one of the reasons the teepee was first devised and became so popular as a means of shelter amongst what are now commonly referred to as Native Americans.
To learn more and explore the history behind the teepee and its origins, as well as share it with your little one, give the Indian website a visit.
4# Teepees are Easy to Wash
Children’s dens can take a real battering over time. Sticky fingers, sneezes, paints and the desire to get creative with crayons can all leave their mark on a child’s surroundings, quite literally in fact.
Then, a teepee is the ideal den as the fabric forming its ‘walls’ can be easily removed and washed either by hand or in a machine, depending on the size of said teepee and the nature of its fabric. Just be sure to follow any specific washing instructions readymade teepees arrive with as different fabrics require being washed by different means and in different temperatures to prevent them from shrinking or warping. You do not want to find you have shrunk your teepee, after all.
Meanwhile, for those who have made their own teepee, patched one up using two or more different fabrics or who may be struggling to understand and decipher the specific washing instructions sent alongside their readymade teepee, the Ariel website has guides and information to help with all these situations.
5# Teepees are Hardwearing and Wonderfully Easy to Repair
As well as being easy to clean, teepees are also super easy to repair. Tears, holes, marks and stains alike can all be quite literally patched up using a multitude of fabrics from cotton to hardwearing canvas.
Meanwhile, for smaller children’s teepees that are kept indoors, felt provides a fantastic patch material as it is durable and comes in a wealth of vivid colours. A great and inexpensive place to purchase felt sheets of many sizes and in a rainbow of different colours is via the Paper and String Company who operate via the Not on the High Street website. Most often sold as a child friendly craft supply, felt can even be used to create a panel on which children a child can then use their teepee as a felt board and stick felt shapes onto.
To learn how to create a felt board, give the tutorial featured on the Buggy and Buddy website a visit. Whilst these felt boards are not specifically intended to be sewn onto a teepee this can easily be done. What’s more, the particular surface of felt means that even placed vertically, felt cut outs and shapes will none the less stick to its surface.