Complex Thinking & Problem Solving With Fort Magic

Posted September 9, 2020 by Fort Magic

As parents, we often look at playtime as a way to get energy out or as something to simply keep our children occupied. The reality is, however, that while playtime will do these things, it’s also how children learn and relate to the world around them. This will bring out complex thinking and problem-solving skills through fort building. Not only will they be doing something physical, but it also gets them away from screens and encourages them to use their brains.

complex thinking

An excellent way to promote playtime is with a Fort Magic building kit. This kit contains 354 pieces to build any fort your kid’s desire. Along with keeping them entertained for hours, you will also be encouraging them to develop complex thinking and problem-solving skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

complex thinking

Complex Thinking

Complex thinking is simply that – complex. It includes several aspects, like creative and critical thinking, as well as concept development, problem-solving, and even conflict resolution. This type of thinking leads to children that are not only flexible but can easily absorb new information and respond well to difficult problems or situations.

Fort building provides an excellent opportunity for children to engage in complex thinking and to explore an issue where there is more than one right answer – something they will often face at school, the workplace, and in life. Developing cognitive skills in this way will incorporate imagination and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) concepts that can help lead to success in their future endeavors.

complex thinking

1. Creating and Imagining

One of the first ways that complex thinking is developed is through creativity and use of the imagination. Fort building encourages these and provides a useful tool in an ever-changing world.

First, your children must create a concept for their fort. Maybe they want to build a castle, a cave, or simply a private reading nook. They will need to envision what this will look like and what their goals are for their structure. Some may want to just talk about it, while others will want to do a quick sketch to get all of their ideas down.

complex thinking

2. Collaborating

From the beginning stage of creating and imagining the fort to the actual execution, your children whether working with siblings, friends, or even you, will need to collaborate. This means coming to a consensus on what the structure will look like, how it will be built, and learning to work together through figuring out the strengths of each individual.

It could also mean organizing who will do what and communicating effectively. Learning these tools now will not only allow for a smooth building process but an understanding of how to work with others outside of the home.

complex thinking

3. Planning

Planning is another important step in complex thinking. It’s brainstorming ahead of time about how to get a goal accomplished.  With fort building, this may mean deciding on a size and location to place the fort, or how it will be decorated, if decorated at all. It could also mean planning for a roof and walls and designing those if choosing to do so.

Help gather the materials for your kids but allow them to do the planning. Encourage them to think through each step and any roadblocks that may arise.

complex thinking

Problem Solving

Ultimately, problems will arise, and a lot of times it will come through the building phase. It may mean that their plan didn’t work out according to how they thought it would and they need to go in a different direction. Or, it could be a conflict amongst the builders.

Either way, problem-solving encourages divergent thinking. This is a skill that allows kids to create solutions to a problem that may arise. If necessary, talk through the issues your kids are having and prompt them to think through ideas of how they can fix them.

complex thinking

How to Encourage Complex Thinking and Problem Solving

While complex thinking and problem-solving will come naturally through fort building, it also helps to encourage these. When your kids come to you with questions, ask them to dig deeper and truly think about the “how” and “why” something happens, not just about “what” happens.

Support collaboration between fort builders by having them all provide input and adequate time to discuss each other’s perspectives and ideas before arriving at a consensus. When a problem does arise, again, don’t just step in. Have them come up with solutions on their own and if it fails, have them assess and start over again.

complex thinking

The Impact on Their Future

Through the practice of fort building and truly engaging with your children, not only will you end up with children that are complex thinkers able to tackle real-world problems, you will have confident ones. As they think through and work out problems, their confidence builds allowing them to take on even greater issues. Seeing the success of their efforts will encourage them to take on future challenges and can ultimately develop a hard-working, innovative mindset.

complex thinking

Photo Credits:

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.

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.

Play At Home Mom Blog: This super-amazing blog is definitely one of our favorites. Loaded with fun ideas for DIY playtime, with an always-present educational spin.

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.

Twined: Twined is a blog that helps you to easily discover unbiased product reviews and recommendations from the people you can actually trust.

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.