Help your children grow their own ‘living cubby house.’
This vine covered teepee cubby is set to inspire you and your children with hours of creative play, and also serves as a divine reflection or contemplation space.
Adding laminated virtues notes, such as ‘I am peaceful’ , ‘I am purposeful’, ’I am gentle’, I am friendly’, that flutter on the inside of the teepee is a powerful way to affirm inherent character strengths.
The teepee is an easy project that not only results in the creation of a beautiful outdoor place space but also helps children to get to know their virtues (along with the wonders of growing plants!)
- sand or sticks
- garden shovel
- your preferred choice of seeds
- 6 bamboo poles (or hazel beanpoles), 2.5 metres long and 3cm (or more) in diameter
- some dried-out branches for the interconnecting poles
- about 4 metres of hemp, jute twine, or green wire
- large stones
- 6 clear plastic bottles or containers
- watering can
- liquid fertiliser
1. Select Type of Vine and Location of Your Teepee
Decide what type of vine you would like to grow, then choose a location for the teepee that will get enough sun for your plant choice.
You may like to choose hyacinth bean vines, or even grow beans on the teepee and have the added bonus of fresh vegetables. The climbing nasturtium has flowers in orange, gold, and burnt red which are also great in salads. Or scarlet runner beans have bright red flowers that turn into tasty beans!
Morning glories are beautiful climbers but may not be the best choice for children as all plant parts are poisonous.
2. Plan Out the Base of the Teepee
Mark out the base of the teepee using sand or sticks.
3. Dig Holes
Dig a large, deep hole every 30 cm around the marked line.
4. Add Beanpoles
Place a beanpole into each hole and twist it into the ground. You can also push a large stone against it to stop the pole from wobbling.
5. Add Soil, Then Secure the Beanpoles
Fill the holes with soil around the poles. Then, ask an adult to bend the beanpoles together and use twine to tie them near the top.
6. Form a Doorway and Windows
Use twine to attach some dried-out branches. This will create a doorway, windows and interconnecting poles onto which the climbing plants can hook.
7. Sow the Seeds
Sprinkle a layer of seed compost around each beanpole. Then, sow the seeds (which have been soaked overnight if required). Cover with a little more compost and water well. Cover with clear plastic bottles or containers to keep the seeds warm.
8. Encourage the Plants to Climb
As the plants grow up the beanpoles, wrap some growing tips around the dried branches. This will create a beautiful web of leaves and flowers.
9. Water and Fertilise
Keep the soil moist, and water more during dry weather. Use a general liquid fertiliser once a month. Depending on which seeds you have planted they should germinate in 2 to 3 weeks and flower from 10 weeks.
Alternatively you might consider planting seedlings. You may germinate seeds indoors for an early start. The seedlings can then be planted around the base of the teepee. You can also buy seedlings from a garden centre.
10. Place Some Inspirations Inside Your TeePee
You may like to create virtues prayer flags or other symbols for your children to reflect on the wisdom of their inner strengths. Set the scene with your children so that your teepee is a place of deep inspiration, tranquility, creativity and peacefulness.