We have spent countless hours making dens, chambers, and libraries, it is a perfect wintry day activity. Our daughter has a large plastic play house I got on sale that has gone through various incarnations and is currently her “magical library” but any space can be utilised such as a closet or under a table. Nowadays you can get play tents at a pretty reasonable price too. We have had dens made of pillows and a mattress, bed sheets etc. Sometimes it’s about building it and other times it’s about using it.
The aim, as with everything, is to keep you children occupied for as long as possible and the key to this is having them do most of the leg work. Get them to choose blankets, cushions etc to use inside the “chamber” and use a small box that can be an altar. We used a cardboard box that we put a piece of fabric over. In my opinion, a magical chamber is not magical unless it feels as such. This can be achieved with fairy lights and electric candles and they are quite inexpensive. I prefer solar fairy lights because they don’t need batteries - very important when you have children who forget to turn them off! If you use solar fairy lights you can cover the solar charging cell to get them to work if the area isn’t dark enough. Electric candles can give the space a real seventies horror film feel, my daughter loves them. To add to the atmosphere, consider some fabric. We already had some silk scarves and taffeta (I am a reformed fabric hoarder) that we covered the floor with, as well as the walls. Encourage your kids to decorate the chamber with whatever they like. My daughter’s magical chamber has a little bookshelf made from a crate, photos of her family, and best friend and some of her favorite toys.
If your child is older and already into magic you could call it an apothecary and set it up with spice racks, bottles, and a cauldron. I have found salt lamps make an effective alternative to a fire.
Often with projects such as these I find my daughter loses interest after the initial making, which is pretty common I think, particularly for 5 year olds. To remedy this I spend time with her in the space, or rather next to it since I can’t fit inside. The more I do this, the more I think she will gravitate to it on her own.
Uses for the Chamber
Most kids will decide for themselves how to use their chamber but here are some ideas.
Sometimes these spaces get used for a while then are abandoned. This is natural and you can always give it some time and then revisit it with a new purpose, this happens with us quite often and that usually is when change up the decor and use.
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