Reuniting Kids w/ Nature – The Living Teepee

Reuniting Kids w/ Nature – The Living Teepee


Six 4-5 foot poles, six square feet in your yard or garden, a rubber mallet, twine or sting, beans and or sunflowers, a shovel, compost or garden soil, permission, help from at least one other person

60 minutes + growing time


  1. With permission to dig and help from a friend, pick a spot in your yard or garden that is big enough and gets enough sun to support your living teepee
  2. With your shovel, gently loosen up the soil in a five foot circle
    1. You can use a rope to help you create your circle before you start digging
  3. Carefully place your poles, standing up, evenly in a circle, leaving a little more space between the two that will become your doorway.
  4. Using your rubber mallet, hammer your poles down into the earth about 6 inches
  5. Next, leaning the poles into each other, hammer them down another few inches so they are sturdy.
  6. With the top ends of the poles leaning against each other, tie them together nice and tight
  7. Pack the dirt down around your poles using either your hands or your feet
  8. Once the dirt is good and packed down, loosen up some of the soil right around the base of each pole, but not too deep…only about an inch or two.
  9. Mix your compost or gardening soil into the loosened dirt and plant your seeds along the outside of your teepee poles
  10. Water regularly and enjoy!

What can your living teepee be used for?  Will you track it’s germination and growth?  Who will you share your teepee with?  Are there other plants you could make a teepee out of?

If you have any extra stepping stones in the yard (and have permission), you can easily add a few stones to the inside of your teepee to create a little seat if you   prefer to not sit directly on the ground.  Before putting up your teepee, you can paint your poles different colors!
This activity is part of a series of low cost, hands on activities that can be used by anyone who has a passion for nature and who believes that a child’s time spent in nature is not only important, but necessary.  Each activity was either created by me or gathered from a variety of sources.  You can find the complete list of all of the activities on my Nature Activities tab.
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Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm


  1. Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom

    I love this idea! I wish my yard were a bigger because I would totally do this. We live in a townhouse and hence have quite a small yard. Most of it is a deck.

    I have a 9′ x 3′ garden that I plan on expanding to be the entire area that’s not deck. It’s ambitious but after a great garden year (this year), I’m hooked and want more.

    I’m totally keeping this in mind if we ever move though. So lovely for children!

    1. Bee Girl

      I have an idea for an adaptation! I may include it when I pull together a special post including all of these activities early in the new year (just in time for those of us planning the 2014 garden)!

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