We live in a fast-paced world, with things constantly changing and adapting, but let’s go back to simpler times. Remember when you were a kid and you would spend hours upon hours collecting blankets, sheets, pillows and furniture in order to build extravagant forts? Well, now it’s time for you to embrace your inner child and teach your own children what it’s like to build a fort. In today’s modern society, both parents may work out of the home. That’s why maximizing the amount of family time you have with everyone is incredibly important. Building a fort with your kids can bring out their wildest imagination. From a simple sheet over your kitchen table to a full-blown fort that takes up the entire room, engaging with your child can show them that their imagination has no bounds. It can also show your children that they matter.
Take Time and Get Creative
The reasons why you should build a fort are endless. From encouraging creativity and developing spatial reasoning skills to promoting teamwork and fostering problem-solving skills, building forts teaches kids so many big ideas in simple ways. Take the time to build a fort with your kids. It doesn’t matter if the fort is big or small. Ask them what type of fort they built. The simple table with a sheet over it could be a mystical castle with a dragon guarding the highest tower front to one child, while an older child says it’s a tent in the wilderness to track wild creatures. There are no limits to someone’s imagination when it comes to building forts.
Go Beyond Structured Activities
So many of the structured activities that children have now involve planning every last minute. By taking away the pre-structured aspects of play, you allow your child to develop his or her own creative side. Not only are your children benefiting from this free-form type of play, but it is also helping the adults go back to the purest qualities of their own childhoods. A fort can create a small nook of privacy for you and your child, allowing for space away from outside distractions. Maybe you pack a “picnic” to eat inside your tent or use the tent as an artist’s studio to create and color a fun art project. While fort building is not an exact science because no two forts will turn out the same way, it is the perfect way for you to help your child create his or her own space. The purpose of the fort could be to read books together on a rainy day or to have a tea party with all of the dolls. In the end, a well-built fort will encourage hours upon hours of playtime.
Light Up Your Lives
Looking for ideas to spice up your fort game? Add some lights to the top once your child completes the main structure. Consider lights in the entrance area or inside the fort to allow for more light for reading or other activities. Forts do not need to be extravagant: you could use three tension rods to make any hallway into a fort. Don’t limit yourself to only blankets and furniture as you can use boxes and cushions to create the perfect fort.
Let’s Get Physical
A fort can even encourage physical activity. Create an obstacle course, with features like a tunnel, that your child will have to crawl through in similar fashion to army soldiers. Creating a fort of this nature would not only help your child to understand how to overcome different obstacles, but it would also help them to remain active instead of sitting in front of a television all afternoon.
During the summer, you can build forts outside in your yard to help keep down the heat. Spend a Saturday afternoon cooling down with a water balloon fight with forts that you can easily duck behind to stay dry. You can even attach pool noodles to fort building pieces to use your fort in the pool. You can even use forts to teach your kids about days gone by. Setting up a row of teepees and teaching your child timeless games can help to increase their curiosity about history.
Whether you spend an entire weekend or just a few minutes building and hanging out in a fort, the benefits are endless. Kids learn about the world through the development of their imagination and interactions with the adults. Forts foster both of those ideals simultaneously. Taking the time to share your love of fort building with your children can help them become more confident when learning new things. It is through fort building that you can teach your child that it is OK to fail because that is how we come up with bigger and better solutions.
How do you find time to spend with your kids and what do you do? In what ways does fort building with your Fort Magic kit encourage you to come together? Share your ideas below!
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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.
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.
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