We can still imagine acorns dropping amid piled leaves of vibrant, changing colors as the first snowfall covers the remaining leaves. Aromas of pies, pines, and ciders waft through the house. The inspiration of fall remains in our memory as we prepare for Christmas and Hanukkah. The spirit of Thanksgiving gratitude can linger throughout the year and all the holidays ahead. Plus, the very act of recalling things we are thankful for pushes our minds outside the box and clears the way for more inspired ideas. Indeed, all these moments offer much to energize our kids’ thinking in the months ahead.
Often, pursuits of imagination and creativity are left to the artsy. While those who sculpt, paint or dance clearly possess these qualities, all endeavors require these aspects for innovative thinking and inspired problem-solving. Creativity and imagination are not reserved for the arts alone. In fact, while artistic pursuits foster these qualities, other aspects of play grow them as well, including:
— Natural materials.
— Open-ended toys. (Think forts!)
— And, decreased exposure to media images.
Let’s celebrate the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day by building forts while building imagination and creativity. After all, Fort Magic fort building kits offer every one of these types of play.
Develop Your Design
Scour books or the internet with your kids to find a wide variety of teepee designs. Look to discover the basic design components, shape differences, materials used to cover the construction, decoration (or lack of it) on the teepee exterior and more. Different designs and artistic expressions go beyond the basic, traditional visuals in our minds. Use this fort building opportunity to discuss why he traditional shape of the teepee was chosen. Talk about the reasons varying materials and designs were used in different areas of the country. Talk about climate, interior teepee activities, the value of personal stories and tradition. Encourage kids to translate these originals into their fort designs. Mimic basic shapes with Fort Magic sticks and connectors. Cover the build with sheets, butcher paper or other materials inspired by historical construction. Modifications that best fit your family are important as well.
Add the Arts
Of course, the arts cannot be dismissed when learning about this aspect of history. Consider the symbolic art added to teepee sides and to their skin in the form of paint. Ceremonies offered musical beats and dance while weaving, carving and other crafts brought usable art to life. Learning of these customs brings depth to your child’s fort building. How did teepee symbols tell a story? Where did all the face and body paint come from? What role did dance play in celebrations and other ceremonies? Imagination and creativity blossom as this learning spurs on modern-day teepee adventures. Abodes covered with butcher paper or a cast-off sheet provide plenty of opportunity for art installations that take everyone back in time. Ceremonies created around the fort allow for expressions both musical and movement oriented.
Storytelling passed from generation to generation. Today, we know it also inspires imagination and creativity. Engage your kids in this ancient practice as you enjoy your teepee fort and discover the draw of this tradition. Try one of these ideas:
— Send the everyone out to collect ten objects from the yard or woods in a paper lunch sack. Gather around the imaginary teepee fire circle, and weave a story. Pull items out of the bag one at a time, and let kids add to the tale.
— New items came over time. Certainly, these newfangled tools and houses looked strange and intriguing to the current residents. Find objects around your home, some familiar and some not. Ask your children what would name they would give the items if seeing them for the first time
Explore Family History
Tradition and family were important concepts throughout the history of the United States. Use these ideas to explore your family history and traditions.
— Give kids the freedom to bring into the teepee three items from around the house, previously unnoticed or not thought about much. (Set limits for safety, privacy, and protection of fragile items.) Share with your children the story of each object. Who gave it to you? What is its importance? When did you get it? Where did it come from? Why do you keep it?
— Research together and create a family tree to learn more about your history. Let kids draw a shortened version of the tree on the sides of the teepee fort.
Using several of these ideas are perfect ways to celebrate fall and winter holidays as family and friends come together for all types of celebrations. Explore history, consider your own family background, and express gratitude for each other and what is special to you.
How do you use fort building to tell family stories and share time together during the holiday season? What role do teepee fort for kids play? Share your ideas and inspiration below! Happy holidays!
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Play At Home Mom Blog: This super-amazing blog is definitely one of our favorites. Loaded with fun ideas for DIY playtime, with an always-present educational spin.
Surviving A Teacher’s Salary Blog: Education + Fun is definitely the focus of this creative mom blog. Check out all of the cool DIY playtime posts for kids.
Learn With Play At Home Blog: An inspiring educational blog created by a primary teacher that strongly believes in making learning FUN & seamless through childhood playtime ideas and activities.
Fort Magic Customer Photos via Facebook: Visit our Fort Magic Facebook page to see our customer creativity shine with fun pics and videos of families enjoying their Fort Magic kit during playtime.
Fort Magic Customer Photos via Instagram: Visit our Fort Magic Instagram page to see our customer creativity shine with fun pics and videos of families enjoying their Fort Magic kit during playtime.