Building, inventing and moving seem like noble pursuits as your children expand their minds. Actually, filling our kids’ days with such activities might just reassure us that all will turn out well. Forts provide all of the necessary ways that kids build, invent and move. After all, what good does this random activity do when so many meaningful learning opportunities exist? The soccer team builds physical fitness and teaches teamwork. Chess club enhances mental acuity and strategic thinking with healthy competition. Mission projects teach compassion and service to others. Grabbing ahold of these opportunities for our kids produces well-developed adults, right?
Plenty of activities offer character building components to benefit the growth of our kids physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It turns out that producing responsible adults also requires us to let our kids simply be kids. An overly full calendar misses this mark. Often, as parents, we plan our children’s days with activities inside and outside the home. Our motive is pure and comes from a place of love. We seek pursuits which raise their intelligence, develop their talents, and land them in good standing with colleges and the future job market. Yet, all of this well-intentioned, good-for-life activity pushes out the one endeavor that best achieves the ends which we long to see in our kids: play time. Yes, the unstructured, seemingly frivolous, childhood staple of free play wanes as we try to fill our kids’ heads with activities that prepare them for the rigors of adulthood. In fact, the Dirt is Good initiative warns that “on average, children spend less time outdoors than a prison inmate.”
A 2007 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that “much of parent-child time is spent arranging special activities or transporting children between those activities… Many parents seem to feel as though they are running on a treadmill to keep up yet dare not slow their pace for fear their children will fall behind.” In truth, according to the report, the lack of play opportunities that accompany busyness harm our children. To sum it up, in adult days ruled by calendars and meaningful, get-ahead pursuits, we get lost in assuming our kids need the same. Perhaps we can learn a lesson we forgot from our own childhoods. Remember that play reaps rewards that we cannot see.
Reasons for limiting free play, particularly of the outdoor nature, exist beyond busyness. Safety and a lack of open space at home combined with single and dual-working parents pose challenges to times of unstructured, kids-in-charge play. Finding ways to address these issues proves important to the well-being of our kids. Research continues to show findings that free play boasts positive results beyond physical fitness. Increased attention and focus, enhanced learning, improved behavior, and stronger social and emotional development come with more unstructured play breaks.
Fort Magic fort kits offer safe outdoor and indoor opportunities for this type of play. While outdoor endeavors prove especially ideal due to a variety of objects to interact with, the goal remains room to build, invent and move with minimal-to-no parental intervention. Encourage your kids to grab that fort kit and head to the next room or outside for valuable character building fun. Take a look at the following ideas to get started. After all, sometimes “I’m bored” becomes the norm when free play opportunities follow a period of continually structured activity. Jump starting your kids’ creative processes may be required, but take heart. It does not take long to reignite imagination. Just build, invent and move with forts.
— Choose any design and get to creating.
— Create a workshop fort for constructing with simple child-sized tools and materials.
— Let architectural designs inspire fort design.
— Bring artistic flair to any fort build.
— Construct and tear down to construct yet again.
— Create a science lab fort for discovering cures and remedies complete with a lab coat.
— Make the fort a problem-solving station for anyone in the house needing thinking space.
— Fill a constructed design with innovator supplies such as old toy parts, magazines, rope, jars and more.
— Use butcher paper walls to draw designs and doodle inspiration for inventions.
— Pose a challenge for kids to disappear into the fort to find a solution to an everyday problem such as tying shoes, daily clean up or chores.
— Build tall, far and grand. The act of construction gets kids running, stretching and moving.
— Create obstacle courses with Fort Magic pieces.
— Play follow the fitness leader. Think jumping jacks, push ups, air boxing and the like.
— Incorporate music into any design and add marching, hopping, line dancing or an all-out dance party.
— Juggling and yo-yo contests fit perfectly into a fort.
— Keep balloons afloat for plenty of giggles within the confines of a fort.
Breaking free play into short spurts over the course of the day works to fit this vital component into your kids’ routine. The short- and long-term results promise well-being with character and skill development. Forts are a win-win for parents and kids.
How does fort building get your kits into moving and inventing? Share your experiences and ideas with us below!
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Kids Activities Blog: A tremendous resource on all things kids-activities based, you can explore hundreds of ideas for learning and playtime for children and families ages toddler – teens.
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.
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.
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.