Forts continue to draw all generations. It seems that the fun of this favorite childhood activity is well proclaimed. But, the secret of the attraction remains buried beneath the fun and movement involved. Fort building proves to be the rare arena in which the question, “Why?” never arises. Want in on the secret? Shhh! If your kids are around, don’t read this out loud. Fort building enhances learning.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Math, science, art, language and more are boosted by Fort Magic kits and the process that ensues once the connectors and sticks are poured from the box. Evidence abounds that play comprises the child’s classroom as he or she interacts with and manipulates the world in real time, and forts offer no exception. With summer upon us, the ideal time to explore the fun and educational opportunities for fort building have arrived. The great outdoors combined with balmy summer breezes provide ample space and plentiful days to create forts. Plus, with school out of session, parents can rest assured that the traditional academic regression experienced through these humid months is being fought off on the battleground of the fort.
Even classroom teachers know that desk learning only goes so far in promoting healthy development. Field trips and hands-on activities speak to the need for children to learn about the world through interaction with it. Concrete and experiential learning, real-world applications for the subjects taught in the classroom, abound through the summer. While the mere act of building a fort fulfills this very idea, an outdoor fort engages even greater learning through nature and other opportunities not present in the house. In other words, the sensory experience of the outdoors opens more avenues for learning.
Did you know that movement boosts cognitive function and teaches kids about the world around them? The information gained through the senses transfers to the brain. Science proves that the more kids move, the stronger the neural pathways in their brains become. The communication between the body and brain improves brain health and enhances learning. Forts breed this physical movement. Crawling in and out of secret doors, negotiating obstacles, slithering through tunnels and just good old running provide fodder for developing brains. And, if parents need a reason to join in the fun (because we all love forts!), healthy aging and improved cognitive functioning rewards active adults as well. Yes, the benefits of movement extend into adulthood. Let’s look at some ways Fort Magic fort kits enhance learning through the act of building. Fort construction reinforces lessons in the following areas and more.
As soon as those Fort Magic sticks and connectors dump from the box into the pile on the floor, math skills engage. Sizing up the correct pieces for use requires measurement and estimation proficiency. And, don’t underestimate the value of counting that takes place. Creating and manipulating shapes, imagining how they fit together to form an invention, involves geometry and the beginnings of architecture. And, all the while, analyzing skills work overtime without a single thought to their presence.
Discovery and invention are the mainstays of science. Gravity, depth perception, and cause and effect play out before a child’s eyes when that fort collapses to the ground. Then, the skills of problem-solving move to action. After all, failure of an idea simply makes room for a new one. Innovation kicks in with solutions to this real world problem. In other words, engineering skills develop.
Fort building alone teaches concepts of design and free-form in art. Placed in the natural world, this construction takes on new adventures in art skill development and expression. With plenty of space to imagine and create, the inspiration of nature offers a beautiful backdrop to exploring the arts with forts. Sensory experiences abound with textures of moss and bark, colors painted in the sky or water, sounds of bird songs and tastes of wild berries. Natural art materials come from unexpected places with flowers to spread color and stones to draw. Music explored through reeds, sticks, and tough shelled pods fill the air along with the giggles of children.
Reading and writing during the school year boost academic success. In fact, it seems that reading improves cognitive function. And, while both of these activities discover space within the snug privacy of a fort, language development finds further growth through less traditional means. Fort building naturally promotes verbal communication which proves invaluable to language development. Laying out of fort plans, sharing a vision, negotiation of ideas and conflict resolution when preferences clash teach valuable interpersonal skills and give children experience in the use of language. Furthermore, the ownership and cozy nature of forts encourage the exchanging of secrets and the building of friendships.
As parents, this secret value of fort building should be kept under wraps. Then again, you may quickly forget it once you begin constructing that creation with your child or hear the laughter from outside. After all, the fun of Fort Magic forts seems to banish most other thoughts!
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