Engineering STEAM Play Fort Kit Ideas For Kids
Posted July 13, 2019 by Fort Magic
Building forts has been a part of childhood for as long as anyone can remember. Research shows that creative play such as fort building actually promotes healthy brain development and prepares children for a successful future? Here at Fort Magic, we partner with educators and parents to help children develop. Here are a few ideas on how to use our kits for STEAM play. What Is STEAM? STEAM is an educational approach that utilizes hands-on learning and collaborative play to develop vital skills for a successful future. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Children who learn in a STEAM environment grow into adults with key skills for life such as:
- Building and learning creativity
- Developing new ideas
- Critical thinking
- Higher confidence
How to Use Fort Magic to Encourage Future EngineersThere’s no better way to learn the technology behind architecture than with fort building. Learners will see how structures are engineered and use that knowledge to engineer their own structures. Here are some steps you can take to encourage your learners to engineer their own forts.
#1.Learn the Process for Fort Building with a Fort Magic KitThe first step is to introduce your learner to the process of fort building. Pick a simple design and get to work building the fort. Go over each step and explain everything. You can also point out the architectural design and why it works to produce a solid fort. You can go over things such as how a cube design only works if all the sides are equal in length. Or, if you’re building a taller fort why it’s important to start with a bigger base.
#2.Provide Materials for a FortOf course, every good fort starts with good materials. You can build dozens of designs with just on Fort Magic building kit. You can also use fabric such as old sheets or paper to cover your fort. You’ll want to lay everything out so that it’s easily accessible as your student starts engineering their own fort.
#3.Practice Basic Steps for Fort BuildingPracticing things over and over grows new connections in your brain. That’s how you learn new behaviors and the more you practice, the better you get at it. STEAM skills is all about using the information they have gathered through their practice to figure out the best solution. Use a more basic fort design to have them practice the process of building over and over. If you have several students working on the same fort, they can take turns doing different jobs to construct the fort. This will help them learn how to collaborate on a project together.
#4.Step Back and Let Them BuildThe important part of STEAM skills is to let your learner work on their own. You provide the materials and know-how and then see what they can come up with. This step is all about them using what they’ve learned to learn some more by trial and error. Remember, it’s not about the end result. It’s about the process.
#4.Provide EncouragementIt’s important to provide lots of encouragement along the way. Your learner will probably get frustrated as things don’t go the way they wanted. They’ll need lots of encouragement to keep going. They will feel more confident and empowered once they get through the frustration and actually make something with their own hands.
#5.Resist the Urge to Take OverAs an adult, it's easy to step in when they’re feeling frustrated or struggling. In order for them to gain the full benefits of maker play and learning STEAM skills, they need to do everything on their own. The process is about learning and developing problem-solving skills. They won’t be able to do this if they can’t come up with the solutions on their own.
#6.Celebrate Their AchievementsRemember, it’s not about ending up with a successful fort. It’s about achieving something all on their own-no matter how that looks. And, it’s worth celebrating! Make sure you provide lots of praise and encouragement after they go through the process.
Fort Magic Building IdeasHere are some of our fort building ideas to get you started!
- Blast off your space travel education with a rocket fort
- Learn about sea travel with a pirate ship
- Take a step back in time with a castle fort
- Learn about early North American history with a teepee fort
- Dive into ocean life with a submarine fort