How to Make a Child's Wigwam

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to Make a Child's Wigwam
Make an easy wigwam based on ancient Native American construction with your kids. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Building a wigwam with your children is a great way to have fun as well as teach your kids about Native American culture. Basic wigwam construction is relatively easy when you have the right materials and a large enough space in your backyard. This is a learning experience for your child that will provide him with hours of playtime in his very own wigwam fort.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Rake
  • Sticks
  • String
  • 15 long, bendable sticks
  • Twine
  • Long willow whips
  • Twist ties
  • Sheet or fabric (optional)

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  1. 1

    Rake away any stones, weed clumps or other obstructions in the area you wish to build your wigwam. Depending on the size of the wigwam, choose a location that is large enough and is relatively level.

  2. 2

    Push a stick into the ground in the approximate centre of where the wigwam will stand. Tie a piece of string that is half the circumference of the final size of the wigwam. For example, if you are building a 6-foot wigwam, the string should be three feet long.

  3. 3

    Pull the string slightly taut, hold the end and walk around the centre stick, drawing a circle in the ground with another stick. If you are working in a grassy area, lay out a piece of bright-coloured string into a circle shape.

  4. 4

    Stick the 15 thin, bendable sticks into the ground about 6 to 9 inches all around the circumference of the circle. Space the sticks evenly, allowing for a larger gap between sticks to make an entrance.

  5. 5

    Bend all of the flexible sticks so that the tops all meet in the centre. Tie the ends of the sticks together with twine.

  6. 6

    Weave long willow whips horizontally around the wigwam, spaced about 6 inches apart or more. Avoid weaving across the entrance. Secure the ends of the willow whips around the wigwam structure with twist ties.

  7. 7

    Drape a sheet or large piece of fabric over the wigwam and secure the ends to the wigwam structure with twist ties. It isn't necessary to use a sheet. Many home-constructed wigwams, if left for several months, will begin growing vegetation and your child will have a natural canopy to play under.

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