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Hut Construction

Preparation time: approx. 2 hours (including purchase of materials)
Cost of materials: medium
Age group: 8 – 16
Group size: 4-25
Location: outdoors
Length: 2 – 4 hours, eventually several days
Season: Summer/Autumn
Activity level: medium
Material Specifications: 500m strong parcel string, nails, hammer and branches
Educational Aims: Engagement with and using, the outdoors and nature, team spirit


In the context of a work group or a club i.e. within an extended session, build a hut in the forest i.e. a self-made shelter in the wood.

There are no set building instructions to be given; rather a little pre-planning and imagination are to be used. The aim could be to build something as simple as a Tee-pee (approx. 2 hours for construction) or as complex as a two bedroom apartment with a balcony; all depending on the skill and willingness of the participants. Even ‘outsiders’ of the group become the life and soul of the party with this activity; hypochondriacs (those with constant headaches, stomach ache etc!) are cured and even those who’ve been injured from hammering stop complaining!

In terms of resources, you need plenty of nails, a hammer and a few hundred metres of parcel string, which the children should weave into a net through which the branches can be pulled. This, in addition to anything that grows in the surrounding wilderness. It is imperative to use forest plants like shrubs and bushes as much as possible as they can make sturdy walls when used with the parcel string. Required is the skill/understanding of how to weave a net out of a long string. Consequently, using approx. 500m of string you can potentially ‘weave’ all the required walls through which branches can later be pulled. Occasionally use a tree trunk in between as support so that the structure does not become too floppy.

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