6 Kids Forts Ideas To Teach Manners & Social Skills
Posted August 31, 2019 by Fort Magic
We teach our kids stranger danger but then we also teach them to be polite and talk to strangers. If your kids are feeling confused then let Fort Magic help you out. Here are our fort ideas to help you teach manners and social skills in a playful and fun way!
How Fort Building Teaches Manners and Social Skills
Building a fort with more than one person will encourage manners and social skills. You can use this as an opportunity to model how we treat others. Encourage your kids to work together on the fort so they can practice their manners.
1. Using Polite Words
One person can be building and the other person can be hunting down the pieces they need and handing them to the builder. This provides an opportunity to use their manners when they politely ask for pieces. Ensure your kids are using appropriate phrases such as, “Thank you” and “You’re welcome”.
2. Making Eye Contact
When your kids are helping each other out to build the fort make sure they are making eye contact as they use their polite phrases to ask for things. This is an important social skill that many kids can lack, especially when interacting with adults. Role-playing is important in teaching your kids these basic skills that will help them out for life.
3. How to Ask for Toys You Want
After the fort is done and your kids are enjoying it and all the fun toys inside, use this as an opportunity to teach appropriate sharing skills. For example, if one child has a toy the other child wants then teach your child the right way to ask. We don’t want them to just take it but rather say something like, “When you’re done playing with that can I please have a turn with it?”
4. How to Politely Listen
This is also a great opportunity to teach appropriate listening skills. We can easily get caught up in our own wants that we forget about others. You can teach your kids how to patiently listen to what you’re saying as you give instructions for the fort.
You can also encourage your children to make up stories to tell each other. If they don’t want to make up a story then they can read a book to the other child. During the story or book reading, teach the other child to politely sit and listen and not interrupt. Provide a time after the book or during parts of the story where you can show the listener how to politely ask questions.
If you are looking for some ideas of how to set up your fort magic kit to teach manners, here are a few ideas:
1. Throw A Tea Party
Have your child or children hosts a tea party. This is a great opportunity to learn social etiquette such as. It’ll teach them how to send out the proper invitations to the guests.
They’ll learn how to dress appropriately for a party. You can show them how to greet their guests with words such as, “Thank you for coming”. Tell them how to address their guests with handshakes and eye contact. Instruct them on how to give and receive compliments, “I like your dress”. “Thank you. I like it too”.
2. Host A Game Night
One social skill currently lacking in our society today is knowing when and how to say sorry. You can teach this important skill by hosting a game night in their fort. You can play a game of charades with the theme of being sorry.
Ahead of time, you can sit with your child to come up with bad behavior situations such as eating their friend’s candy stash or calling someone a mean name. Write these situations down on paper and then at game night the person acting out the situation draws out a scenario and tries to act it out. If the other person gets it right, have them role-play how to give a sincere apology and how to receive that apology.
3. Build a Restaurant Fort
In our busy culture, many of us find ourselves skipping on family dinners around the table. Consequently, our kids aren’t learning important table manners. You can make it fun by having a restaurant fort where the family can eat in the fort once a week.
You can make it easier by focusing on one manner to teach your kids each week instead of trying to conquer everything all at once. For example, one week you can teach them to chew with their mouths closed and then the next week teach them about appropriate dinner conversations.
4. Create a Phone Manners Fort
This really can be any fort design you want. The point of this fort is to teach your kids phone manners. This is something that can often be neglected since we’re now in an age where phones are always with us.
You can have one child in another part of the house and the other child in the fort. Give each child a phone and have them role-play how to be polite on the phone. For example, if they’re calling their friend they would say, “May I please speak to Mary?” instead of, “I need to talk to Mary”. It’s also important to make sure they aren’t interrupting each other and that they patiently listen.
5. Put Together a Park Fort
Another important social skill to learn is how to make yourself friendly when you want friends. You can bring your Fort Magic building kit to the park and set up a fort right there at the park on a nice, sunny day. You can even bring some fun toys to have in your fort at the park.
You can have your children role-play how to make themselves friendly by playing games the other kid wants to play and not just games they want to play. They can also role-play how to share toys they brought. After their role play, you can stand back and see how they put their manners to the test when other kids at the park want to play in their fort.
6. Build A Guest Fort
Our last idea covers an important skill-how to be a guest. Your children can take turns in each role or you can even invite some friends over for this one. The fort will be the home and you can have one child be at home. The other child can be in the role of going over to someone else’s house. You can use your imagination to make it fun and playful, but make sure you include teaching important skills
You can teach them how to react if you don’t like what they’re serving for dinner. Or instruct them on what to do if you need to go to the bathroom and how to ask politely.
They can learn how to greet the person when they arrive at their home. Also, how to respect someone else’s belongings and their home. They can finish with thanking the host when you’re leaving their home “Thank you for having me over”.
You can also add to this list and even make it a game coming up with ideas!
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