Forts: No Batteries Required

Nicole Basham
November 14, 2013

So, maybe you are having one of those days. You could go nearly a dozen places, but none of them sounds very appealing. You dread the production that is getting all your family and associated gear in the car and to your destination. Your kid might have a borderline cold, or you aren't really feeling 100% yourself. But if you stay at home, you fear the lure of the DVR will get the better of you and your kids will spend all day requesting more of the show of the week which happens to have the most excruciating theme song EVER!

Never fear...inspiration is here!

What do kids love to do? BUILD! You may cringe, thinking about Legos or blocks wreaking havoc on your just-cleaned playroom, but that's not the only thing in your "toolkit." 

When was the last time you built a fort? It's sometimes the easiest things that we forget to do with our kids. To build a fort, there is no product you must to go out and buy, no money you need to spend, and little assembly is required. What are you waiting for?

First, of course, you'll need sheets. Top sheets are better, but fitted sheets can also work. If you are like me, you might take this opportunity to use the sheets off a bed that probably need to be washed sometime soon anyways. Even if you don't have extra sheets, a light blanket can work in a pinch.

Next, find something sturdy to form the sides of your fort. Dining room chairs seem to work well, and can serve as tunnels for the littlest ones, but anything with a high back will be fine (the back of a sofa, a coffee table, a doorknob). Secure the sides with clothespins, binder clips, rubber bands, even masking tape. Multiple entrances/exits increase the fun. Experiment. Get your kids involved in testing what works and what doesn't. Laugh. Take your time. Be present for your kids! There is no wrong answer.

Once your fort is erected, the possibilities are endless. Your living room may suddenly vanish and you may find yourself in a cave, searching for a bear (cue "Going on a Bear Hunt"). You may be in a tent in the rainforest, listening to noises outside and guessing which animals they came from. You may be in the hold of a pirate ship, taken prisoner for excessive silliness. You may be deep under the sea in a submarine, watching sea creatures that pass by. You may simply tell stories about whatever comes to mind, look at old pictures or munch on some popcorn.

When the fun has run its course, you can move onto arguably the favorite activity: demolition!

Savvy Tip: Once you have expert fort builders, you may consider creating a fort-making kit to pass along the fun to friends or extended family. I'd also suggest having some fort building materials at the ready for the next time you're having one of those days!

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    My two boys love building forts...and I finally found a Texas use for my set of flannel sheets :).

    over a year ago

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