Family fort building is a great way to build connections with your kids. You might have engaged in such activity on a quiet Saturday long ago? Perhaps you put off this type of frolicking simply because you’re too busy? Maybe you wrote it off as frivolous? The underlying factor for not building a fort, more often than not, is a lack of time. The precious commodity of time grows less plentiful as life offers more opportunities or as our children discover interests of their own. However, creating family memories through quality family time proves extremely vital in our society. Yes, our kids need time with us.
Consider how focused the modern parent is on children over-achieving rather than spending enjoyable one-on-one time. This reminder brings us back to the core of what is important in the lives of our kids – family interaction. Time and attention from parents play a primary role in the success of children. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration recommends starting full-fledged family interaction as early as age three. A perfect age to enjoy the creativity of forts with mom and dad! This investment influences the growth of children well beyond the moment. While we may know this truth, the fact of the matter is that, often, this vital piece of memory making gets lost in busy-ness. Do not fret. There is hope to relieve that guilt. Memorable family moments are possible for busy families with a little intent and dedication to the core concept of quality time. The heart of this one-on-one interaction is mattering.
Children need to be shown that they matter to their families. According to research, expressing this through family memory building increases positive and decreases negative behavior. In other words, mattering is reflected in life choices as children age. To get started, create a family time calendar which labels family quality times. Be sure to commit to the set schedule. Nothing outside of an emergency should interrupt these family plans. Posting this timeline allows for planning and anticipation. Now, let’s gather some ideas on how fort building plays into these family memories.
The mere act of building a fort together offers some quality time that creates memories. The joy of creativity and relaxed interaction around fort pieces are all you need.
Family Fort Building Contests
Grab a Fort Magic kit or two and divide the pieces among family members. You can even work in teams. Set a timer and build your imagination.
A fort offers an after-school or a before-bed safe space to talk about the bad and good of the day. Settling disputes or talking about difficult topics may produce less anxiety in a fort.
Working on homework together breeds the same relational qualities as family dinner. Plus, conversations may extend to school and classmates. A parent’s interest in these topics fosters a child’s engagement at school.
Reading has long been known to bond parent and child. Cozy up a fort with pillows, blankets, and books and spend a morning, afternoon or evening weaving a few tales together. Remember to talk about the stories as well.
Research supports the idea that families engaged with music together develop bonds. This finding proves true particularly with older children, even into their teen years. Add an iPod to the fort and explore various types of music as a family.
Family dinner is the staple of any family memory list. Why not eat dinner in the fort? Hosting special meals, such as those recognizing birthdays, holidays or achievements bring new magic when celebrated inside a fort.
Maybe the time or budget do not allow travel in the near future. Create a fort reminiscent of a favorite vacation or a new destination. Activities around the theme may last a day, weekend, or week. Sleeping in the fort adds to the imaginative spirit of being away.
Family fort building creates family memories, but it also:
— Develops relationship-building skills.
— Demonstrates the importance of setting aside time for things valued.
— Puts parents into their kids’ world and vice versa which grows an other-focused view.
— Illustrates to children that they are valued and loved.
— Grows confidence in kids to make better life choices.
— Helps parents observe strengths and weaknesses in their children.
— Gives voice to a child through fostered communication.
What if it does not go so well? One of the kiddos gets mad and storms off, or another grows discouraged with their fort or abilities. Dad acts less than enthusiastic. Do not give up. Not all quality time proves the perfect picture of family harmony. Navigating these rough waters adds to the benefits of family fort building. Just pick up the Fort Magic sticks and try again another day!
How does fort building bring your family together? Do you have special ideas to make this precious family time more fun? Share them with us below!
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The Artful Parent Blog: One of our absolute favorite creative blogs for children and families. The Artful Parent blog is filled with simple ideas to fill your family’s life with art and creativity. A must see blog for sure.
Babble Dabble Do Blog: One of our absolute favorite blogs for learning, art and hands-on education. The Babble Dabble Do blog will inspire hours of creativity and awesomely-educational playtime in your home. A must see blog for sure.
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