More than once I’ve been tempted to buy a fort building kit for my kids. Turns out, I had the wrong idea. Kids’ forts should be simple and fun. Find the best way to build forts for kids that promote STEM and play-based learning.
My kids had been fighting on and off all week. Saturday morning rolled around and the household was peaceful. Thanks to Alvin, Simon and Theodore, I was able to drink my warm cup of coffee without interruption.
That is until my daughter reached over to the remote so she could turn off the TV.
“What are you doing?” I tried to ask calmly. I anticipated my four-year-old son wouldn’t be happy that his TV viewing time ended at the hands of his sister.
“We’re going to make a fort!” she declared motioning to her brother to join her.
As the two fort builders made their way upstairs, I wondered how long the fun would last.
When fifteen minutes passed and all remained well, I went upstairs to see what was up…
The kids’ fort wasn’t what I expected…
When I handed my kids sheets and boxes to make their fort, I assumed they would use the boxes as pillars and the sheet as a roof.
Instead, I saw sheets as the base and found out the boxes, tipped on their sides – were the bedrooms. Their stuffed animals sat in a circle as they happily munched on containers of cereal my daughter had brought up.
After about an hour’s worth of play, they decided to invite the neighbours over to join. Because Jared and Joseph are older than my two kids, I thought they may not understand my kids’ version of a fort.
Boy, was I wrong! They loved the idea and joined right in.
If you too want to recreate the magic of fort building in your own home, these tips are gold!
Why this is the best way to build a kids’ fort
At the time, I had my own idea of how a fort should look. The truth is, the magic of play-based learning comes to life when play is child-directed and open-ended.
1. Start by remembering the best form of imaginative play is child-led. So, if your child asks for help, show them how. Otherwise, worth alongside their vision or back off entirely.