Crocuses, thunderstorms, sunshine and even snow make appearances around the spring equinox. Since this season may roar in like a lion or whimper like a lamb, keeping indoor activities at the ready is a necessity as you prepare to keep your kids active. Fortunately, Fort Magic fort building changes with the moods of your children and continues to entertain between younger and older kids. As a bonus, remember that unlike the mud and wet, earthy smells of springtime, a fort cleans up easily and quickly when you need space for less imaginative adventures. Check out these ideas!
April Shower Shelters
Umbrellas and sunshine-yellow galoshes shout “Spring is here!” Give your puddle jumpers a chance to dry off with an indoor fort that shelters them from the spring rains.
Instead of singing “rain, rain, go away,” break your kids out of their under-the-weather moods with rainy-day activities in a fort of their design. Think about several things you can do in a fort.
— Escaping into the pages of a well-loved book.
— Reclaiming the family tradition of board games.
— Teaching the kids a card game such as slapjack or rummy.
— Listening to music, strumming a guitar or gently rocking the beat of a drum (sounds like rain).
— Building Legos and create a city inside the fort.
— Learning origami.
— Resurrecting “I Spy” or “20 Questions” games.
Garden Party Greenhouse
As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” We might add, showers bring all other kinds of colorful growth. A gardening fort brings the outdoors in with lessons in life and science.
Add clear cellophane to your fort frame to let the sun’s rays into your greenhouse. Maybe give a brief nod to winter by enacting Frosty the Snowman with the climax of the story in the warm, glass paneled fort.
Help kids create paper flowers of all types and colors. Naming their unique flowers offers a twist. Bring in some real dirt and plant seeds. Watching them grow adds even more awe and wonder to fort building.
One more idea! Host a garden party with friends or family. Place a lace-covered table in your greenhouse blooming with paper flowers. Dress in flowy spring dresses and seersucker blazers. Set out dainty sandwiches on saucers and drinks in tiny tea cups.
You Are My Sunshine
Missing the sun on the dreary days of spring? Grab a few glow sticks, get them glowing and place them inside yellow and orange balloons.
Placed inside the fort, these golden orbs give off light on dark days. Hang one over a playhouse fort on a pulley-type string for kids to mimic the rising and the setting of the sun.
Sing songs to boost your kids spirits. “You Are My Sunshine” or “Sunshine on My Shoulders” come to mind. What other great sun-proclaiming or mood-boosting lyrics can you find? Be sure to sing them loud for more energizing power!
Easter Eggs and Rabbit Trails
“Hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way!” Build a rabbit den fort for the Easter bunny to hole away in before the big day. Stock it with goodies, trinkets and baskets that your little fuzzy tail can put together for friends and family.
Create a treehouse fort or a tiny cabin in the woods. Forest life becomes filled with adventure when the minds of children chase a rabbit down a hole, follow a trail to a house made of candy or interact with forest friends.
A Lion or a Lamb
Use the idea, “In like a lion, out like a lamb” to inspire play. Let your kids dream up forts around this theme and bring them to life.
What would a year-round, calendar-honoring fort look like? Maybe each side becomes a different season? How about letting your kids build a weather station to predict and report the forecast?
Going with an animal theme, a fort becomes a perfect habitat for a lion when decked out as a cave or a hut on the plains. And, lambs love to frolic in the open pasture near a barn fort.
Art in the Park
Creativity proves a perfect match for fort building. Setting up an art studio fort give kids a chance to sculpt clay, paint a sunset with watercolors or weave a potholder made out of rope. Find the art that most inspires your child and give them a day of artistry in the privacy of the fort.
Tomorrow, the fort transforms into a beautiful gazebo for displaying art and entertaining art aficionados. Ivy vines and those paper flowers from the garden party create a park-like setting. Don’t forget to hang that glow-in-the-dark golden orb of a sun.
In sum, springtime rain is no match for the creativity of children when building forts. Dampened spirits lift easily, even if the clouds remain. How do you use fort building to keep your kids active and entertained in the spring? Share your ideas below!
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