29 May, 2013

Building a bush shelter - outdoor cubby space - with my children

Our children have always been Nature Boys.
Together we've found a thousand uses for fallen sticks.
Much of their time is spent Outdoors.

Now that they are getting older (5&7), my eldest has a very keen focus on wanting to be - in his own words - a Wild Man
To him that means living, eating, entirely existing - outdoors.
On Saturdays we normally head to the markets, 
perhaps visit someone or take the bikes for a ride. 
However this weekend, he felt that we should forego any of this and stay home.
Stay home and Build a Shelter.

And we did.

Collecting strong sticks. 
The longer and sturdier, the better.

 We ascertained first, what we could use as supports for our shelter, 
that was already naturally occurring around us.
There were many already established young sapling trees, growing in a corner under a very large tree. They made a natural round clearing with a simple frame surrounding it. 
We began placing our thicker sticks in between and against these small trees.

 Then fitted thinner stick branches in between these.

 Securing them as required, using torn strips of palm leaves.

 The basic frame. Teepee style roof. 
You can see how perfect this spot is. 
The natural round clearing, covered with decaying fallen leaves, 
made for a soft floor - that wasn't dirty either.
Ideal when they opt to take picnic meals in here.

*Apologies for the quality of these last 3 photos, 
taken with my phone just before dusk*

 We have many random palms growing throughout our garden. Self-seeded. 
So I didn't mind stripping the fronds off of these for securing knots between branches and banana palm leaves for a water proof roof.
The walls were made from whole fallen palm leaves - large and heavy - dragged to the shelter from our garden too.

 It is now Autumn and the temperature drops quickly as the sun begins to descend.
So we left the shelter to complete work on, another day. 

Mr Turtle likes to climb quite high. Jump between branches. And basically test out his 'climbing skills' (& sometimes his Mama's nerves). 
Yes, we have often thought perhaps he is part-monkey.

This is the tree the bush shelter has been built under. It is a fantastic climbing tree and now has a 'cubby' being built under it. 
Yet another reason to enjoy this space. 


  1. Wow! This is so intricate and well done!

    So much fun.

    Wishing you a lovely day.


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