What better way to pass the time on a cold, wet and blustery day than snuggling inside a cozy tent, nestled comfortably in a sea of pillows and blankets. No doubt, most of us have fond childhood memories of spending stormy afternoons tucked inside our own private tent, smack in the middle of the living room. After a quick raid of the linen closet and the assembly of a few choice pieces of furniture, we were able to create our own personal getaway in mere minutes.
With a long, cold Canadian winter ahead of us, I imagine the boys and I will be housebound on more than one occasion. Creating play tents, tunnels and forts is a favorite activity at our house. Chi-Chi in particular enjoys hiding out in his personal “secret” retreats. Muffy, being the typical little brother, delights in disturbing the peace and invading Chi-Chi’s hideaways. There is never a dull moment, that’s for sure!
I decided to add a little twist to the conventional living room blanket tent by seeking out some fun and interesting “construction materials”. On a recent trip to the Annapolis Valley, I paid a visit to a little gem of a fabric shop, Esther’s Sewing Centre in New Minas. I was immediately drawn to a vivid, hand-dyed batik print. Conveniently, my selection was sheeting fabric so I was able to obtain a very large piece of material measuring a whopping 10 feet by 10 feet. A quick hemming job on my sewing machine was all that was needed to finish the project. I purchased a set of wooden play clips from a great Canadian, on-line natural toy store. These clips are made in Canada and are a wonderful tool for creating play spaces. (www.naturalpod.com)
Chi-Chi and Muffy’s play tent will be waiting for them on Christmas morning, a gift from dear old Santa. I must admit, late at night, when the wee ones are tucked in bed, I pull out the tent and set it up. I’ve forced my husband to crawl inside and just “hang out” with me over a cup of tea. It’s a soothing and dreamy place to pass the time. I suspect, from a child’s perspective, one might get the sense of traveling inside a rainbow. The tent is particularly magical on a sunny day with the bright light shining through the vibrant colors of the fabric.
I am certain both Chi-Chi and Muffy will discover many creative uses over the years for this open-ended toy. It will not share the fate of the poor synthetic, toxic smelling polyester play tent we owned for just a short stint. Unfortunately, it will soon be on its way to a landfill for it could not withstand the play activities of two young boys. Interesting, considering that's what it was supposedly designed for!