Adventure is the foundation where the creativity of childhood is built. Free from the limits of the world, even the basics such as gravity, the dreams of children soar to unexpected heights. Add a Fort Magic kit, and your child promises to amaze you through expression. Providing the basic materials allows inspiration to come alive. A bit of guidance (avoiding any helicoptering) plus the freedom to build, create and imagine instills improvisation, blossoms creativity and negotiates failure.
Encourage the process, not simply the final results, by laying out materials, asking questions rather than providing solutions and stepping back. At the end of the day, resilient, more joyful kids emerge. We have put together a few fort design ideas to get you thinking
Designing the latest thing-a-ma-jig or inventing a whatcha-ma-call-it falls perfectly in the repertoire of kids. Stock a few key supplies in a tent or teepee fort. Add a Camp Innovation or Invention sign above the door. And, kids curiously gravitate in that direction.
Go as grand or simple as you prefer with this creative fort. Supply short pieces of PVC pipe, boards, recycled cans, string…really, anything. For the brave, contribute glue, nails and a small hammer for older kids. And, let your inventors surprise you with their problem-solving creations.
A cafe fort quickly transforms with actual culinary creations when kids take the reins. Have kids post a self-titled signboard outside the door. Provide a small table, chef’s hat, apron, utensils and recipe supplies.
The simplest option includes finger foods or popcorn with varying herb and spice toppings. Think also along the lines of creative sandwich compositions or salad combinations. Or, just send in a variety of ingredients for kids to produce a brave new recipe.
A pirate ship offers endless adventure on the high seas. And, creating the vessel of your child’s dreams begins with a Fort Magic kit. Handkerchiefs become ideal mast flags. Lengths of rope serve to hoist the sails.
A box filled with potential pirate garb lets kids design their own look. Bandanas, scarves, blouses, baseball pants, tall rubber boots and plenty of belts start an adventurer’s wardrobe off right. Once dressed and ready to sail, send the kids on a scavenger hunt for royal treasure.
An airplane fort defies gravity and takes kids’ imaginations high in the clouds. With this freedom, your child travels the world to destinations yet to be named. For instance, a trip to Grandma’s in the southern U.S. brings rodeo and big hat adventures.
Books and child-friendly Internet sites inspire kids with travel possibilities. Cultures come home. And, kids visualize life beyond themselves. If you or a friend has traveled, add in a few authentic pieces of locations away from home.
Set Up a Sale
Running lemonade stands and garage sales draw children like magnets. Young entrepreneurs get excited about setting up shop. Encourage your child to take his or her passion, and dream it into a Monopoly money making gig.
The fort takes on the shape of the dream. For instance, selling popsicles requires a stand or ice cream truck fort. Or, maybe your boy sells books out of his car fort. The goal is to encourage your child to explore his or her entrepreneurial spirit and learn more about business operations.
Don lab coats and protective eyewear. Gloves are a must for safety-conscious technicians. A simple fort covered in white sheets creates a lab experience.
Give your children room to experiment with baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, salt, sugar, flour, ice and more. Include test tubes and beakers or simple corked bottles. Funnels and eye droppers allow for more precise mixing.
Build a cozy fort with low tables, pillows and plenty of board games. Days of inclement weather keep kids gaming for hours. (Do not be afraid to restrict the electronic versions. The moaning stops once kids get involved in the movement and activity.)
Encourage more creativity with kids being allowed to mix game pieces to create games of their own. And, remember to include old-fashioned favorites such as jacks or marbles.
A quiet cabin fort tucked in the woods or a modern design loft studio offers the perfect retreat for young writers. Stock the fort with journals, pens, paper and the like. Contemporary wordsmiths prefer paperless options such as a tablet. Just keep use limited to writing apps and programs.
Cover the writer’s studio in butcher paper and the surface is ripe for penning masterpieces. Grab a line from a song on the radio, and use it as a story starter written directly on the fort walls. Or, jot seven words across an expanse of paper. Fill in the blanks with a story or poem.
What are your favorite adventure fort ideas and where does your imagination take you? Share your journeys with us 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.
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