While art expresses the soul of the artist, the joy of art comes in sharing it with others. Chances are you experience this with your budding artist when he or she says, ““Mommy, look!” and “Daddy, did you see what I made?” These common reminders let you experience the sharing and the joys of the creative process. In other words, art is not for the sake of art alone but also its ability to bring joy to the lives of others. Creative fort building is a fun way to inspire your budding artist.
Yes, artists are inspired in their work. However, they also wish to inspire others through their expression. Maybe we could say it this way, “Be more than inspired, be inspirational.” An artistic fort becomes a canvas when covered with butcher paper or light-colored sheets. Paint, draw, scrawl or marker the walls. If you are outdoors, mix up a batch of bubble paint and let the kids giggle their way to a beautifully artistic fort. But wait, there’s more! Check out these artistic fort design ideas.
Getting Artistic with Fort Building
— Visit the library or search online to find pictures of art galleries, studios, and museums. Encourage your young architects to mimic elements of these buildings as they design and build their fort.
— Try a few translucent cellophane panels to mimic stained glass window installations found at museums, places of worship and contemporary galleries. Overlays or paint applied to these sections add the story element which is popular in stained glass design.
— Tissue paper also allows for artistic color and self-expression. Your kids can place a few layers per panel to strengthen the application.
— Use bubble wrap for a wall or panel as well. Paint injected into the bubbles with intent creates a mosaic picture. For a less messy option, large bubbles filled with bits of ribbon or crepe paper also work. Both of these options require parental assistance.
— Cardboard and other materials fashioned into moldings, signs and more give heed to the finishing details of an artistic fort both inside and outside the structure.
Now that we have painted a general excitement over an artistic fort, let’s brainstorm a few specific art-related fort ideas.
A Fort Magic fort offers the quiet solitude many artists require. Set up a table or two with chairs or stools for the trendy fort. Then fill the fort with your young artist’s preferred art supplies.
Need a starting point? Let these lists of supplies for a few art specialties spark your brain.
Play dough, clay or even moldable sand for young hands brings 3-D art to life. Molds, safe plastic carving tools, and cookie cutters also help. Consider baking the objects and then your child can paint and display them.
An easel, paper, canvases or watercolor books help your painter enjoy his or her favorite colors. Finger paint, watercolor or tempera paints are appropriate for younger painters. Add in some extra brushes and creative extras such as bubble wrap, straws or light colored crayons to use with paint resist techniques.
Buy a variety of drawing pencils, colored pencils, crayons, chalk or oil pastels. Sketchbooks or an easel with a large paper tablet are crucial. Consider objects such as teddy bears, fruit or simple shapes for your child to draw as still life or grab a few how-to-draw books from the library for inspiration and instruction.
This one is easy. Grab the bits and pieces of previously used items such as nuts and bolts, scraps of fabric and ribbon, wood scraps and more. Add glue, tape and other general supplies. Need to narrow the options? Let your child choose the pieces parts or find a project and gather the needed supplies for a one-of-a-kind repurpose.
Stained Glass Designer
Come up with tissue paper, bubble wrap, glue, paint and cardboard frames to bring everything together. Suncatcher kits from a local craft store make these projects easier.
Designing projects independently or with friends builds confidence and creativity into children. The joy of crafting gifts proves contagious. You never know what might emerge from an afternoon of fort artistry.
Designing an art gallery fort allows your youngster to display his or her art pieces. While current works prove the most accessible, consider pulling out projects from years gone by as well. The masterpieces of siblings, friends or favorites from a bedroom wall find a place as special exhibits.
For the setup, easels make an easy display. Do you need more? Cardboard folded into triangles acts as mini-easels when placed on tables. You can also string lightweight pieces from the fort frame.
Following an afternoon of creating and displaying art, host an art gallery opening. Invitations passed to family an hour before the event gives each guest time to put on their best gallery showing attire. Specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres cap off the evening.
Gather the family or neighborhood for an art contest. With a few hours in the afternoon or even just an hour, ask entrants to create their masterpiece. For a more involved affair, give a week’s notice.
Be sure to announce categories for art entries. And, choose entertaining judges to add authenticity and a sense of humor. For prizes, think artsy outings or craft supplies
Enough ideas? Ready to get started? Pull out that Fort Magic kit and let the creating begin!
How do you use fort building to encourage the budding artist in your child? Share your ideas with us below!
Pin It for Later!
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.