Looking to get creative with some new indoor activities? The team at Sawyer has been BUSY building forts with our little ones. It’s a great way to spend a morning or afternoon, and it’s a lovely way to see your child’s imagination run wild. We consider ourselves fort aficionados, so we’ve put together the necessary steps to ensure everyone has fun!
Choose your site and materials:
Location, location, location! This is a crucial part of the process, and all expert builders make sure to scout diligently before laying the infrastructure of their fort. Maybe it’s the living room, dining room, or bedroom? Let your little ones lead the scouting process and pretend to be their assistant.
Once you’ve selected your location, give your children a few minutes to grab materials (hint: blankets, sheets, and bedspreads are best). Your fort is only as strong as the materials used to construct it, so make sure your little ones select wisely. Remember to let them feel in control of their new project — you’re just there to help (...and tell them what’s off-limits to grab).
Build your fort:
When constructing your fort, ensure you have strong support to build around. The stronger the bones, the stronger the structure! Items like chairs, couches, and other cushions are great to start with. Arranging near a table and chairs is ideal, and it’s a great option to simply toss linens over your supporting table and chairs. This decision, of course, is up to your little architect, so make sure you’re consulting with them. If you’re looking to up the ante, try to incorporate ropes, clips, and clothespins.
Don’t forget to make an entrance! What’s a home without a door? We tend to recommend leaving a gap open and clipping or pinning up a sheet. If your child is really trying to keep you out, make an entrance that needs to be crawled through to reach the inside.
To be extra safe, make sure there are no fragile items around it. You never know how long your children will set up shop in their new home, so it’s a good call to make sure nothing too valuable is inside!
Make it cozy and fun:
If we’re going to make this fort a perfect spot for reading, playing, and daydreaming, it needs to be cozy! Bring in crafts, toys, and other favorite activities. We try to keep out screens — which is certainly easier said than done...we know. However, in our short (yet extensive) fort construction career, we’ve found that screens aren’t a priority for our little ones when playing in a structure they built!
Now it’s time to hang in! If possible, keep the fort up for a while (assuming you didn’t set up shop in the kitchen or dining room). Your fort could be a good spot for storytime, games, or even online classes (if you’re allowing some screens!).