Engineering is cool. Engineering with forts? Even cooler! Getting kids excited about creativity and engineering is what we love to do at Fort Magic. Today we’re sharing some super-fun ideas on how to explore basic engineering ideas with your kids the next time you break out your Fort Magic kit. 🙂
BASIC ENGINEERING IDEA #1
Engineers Are Problem Solvers.
Engineers are problem solvers. Engineers solve problems as inventors and creators. Engineers take problems, calculate and imagine possibilities for accomplishing their solution, and then make it happen!
When building forts with your children, take a moment to ask some basic problem solving questions. Such as, “I wonder what parts we will need to make this fort?” Or, “I wonder where we should start our building? From the top? Or at the foundation?” Then encourage their independent thinking to solve the questions. Be sure to applaud both their effort and their victory in solving the problems! The journey is just as important as the end result. 🙂
BASIC ENGINEERING IDEA #2:
Engineering Requires Critical Thinking.
Engineering requires critical thinking. Critical thinking is a learned skill; a practiced habit. Critical thinking is patient and approaches an obstacle from outside the problem – which allows for objective view points and fresh ideas.
While building forts your children may encounter obstacles. Encourage critical thinking skills when approaching the solution. You can suggest ideas such as, “Perhaps we should step back and look at our fort from afar from a moment?” Or, “Hmm, I wonder why that isn’t fitting well? Perhaps we should try another combination of parts to make it work?” Critical thinking skills are excellent to begin learning at the earliest of ages.
Here the Tinkerlab Blog girls are loving their latest Fort Magic engineering challenge. You can see they are practicing their critical thinking skills while building. 🙂
BASIC ENGINEERING IDEA #3
Engineering Requires Group Cooperation.
Engineering requires group cooperation. Engineers must work together to solve their problems. Group cooperation requires important skills such as patient listening, considering other people’s opinions, and a willingness to compromise when needed. Fort building is the perfect opportunity to encourage your children to practice group cooperation skills.
When approaching an engineering challenge with your fort (such as building a tall fort structure together), be sure to encourage your children to practice patience during listening, being open to the opinions of siblings or friends, and trying multiple solutions when needed. For example, “Hmm, this teepee fort looks tall. I wonder how we should build it? Any ideas? Lets take turns.”
BASIC ENGINEERING IDEA #4
Engineering Brings Inventions To Life.
Engineering brings inventions to life. Engineering with forts is the perfect activity to inspire kids to plan and “work” towards their imagined goals. Building and creating with Fort Magic’s unlimited design possibilities makes life-size engineering projects easy and fun to achieve.
When creating your fort designs, be sure to comment on how hard your little builder is “working” to bring their inspiration to life. You’ll find they’ll beam with pride at your positive acknowledgement of their efforts.
Imagine it. Build it. Enjoy it. – Engineering! 🙂
Pin It for Later!
TinkerLab Blog: One of our favorite engineering blogs for children is TinkerLab. Have you ever visited the site? If not, you’ll definitely want to browse sometime soon. You will find loads of fun and inventive ideas for encouraging all things hands-on and engineering for kids. TinkerLab has fantastic Tinker Lab YouTube videos too!
Rave & Review Blog: The fun Rave & Review blog is where you’ll find loads of sharing on your favorite products for parents and grandparents all the way to newborns.
Twodaloo Blog: At the awesome Twodaloo blog you will find activities and information about early childhood development that you can use at home, in the classroom, or in the therapy setting.