Five Ways Fort Building Supports Experiential Learning
Posted August 22, 2018 by Fort Magic
Kids love to get their hands into things, from mud pies to building forts. The sense of touch is as powerful as scent, sight, sound, and taste. And getting kids’ senses in the mix helps them learn. When kids get hands-on, they develop a broad range of skills. One of the best forms of hands-on experiential learning is fort building – and here are five great reasons why!
Reflection and Critical Analysis
The building process starts with a vision of what the fort will look like when it is done. Kids need to imagine a castle, ship, house, or other types of fort. Then they have to analyze what it takes to bring their vision to life. The critical analysis includes the materials to use, how much room the fort requires, and the steps it takes to build it. These preliminary steps prepare kids to imagine, create, and execute all kinds of projects in their future.
Make Decisions and Own Them
Every day, parents make tough decisions. We need to prepare our kids to do the same as they grow up. Building a fort means making a lot of decisions and choices. Some of them will be smart, and others might not work – much the same as in daily life. Kids become confident about decision-making, realizing they will have great ideas and make mistakes. Either way, they understand the need to own these decisions and be flexible to finish the project.
Engage in Teamwork
Often a team is necessary to complete a big project. Fort building is definitely a team effort. Whether the kids work with the parents, teachers or friends, they all need to work well together. Kids engage creatively, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and socially while they build a fort. They learn to resolve disagreements and celebrate victories. And kids discover it is important to listen to others and make sure their ideas are heard, too. This helps kids do well in a classroom, sports, and even their first job.
Consequences and Successes
As parents, we have multiple successes and consequences during the week. Sometimes things don’t work out as we planned. And in other instances, everything goes better than we hoped for. Kids learn about consequences and successes while they build a fort. If they make a mistake, the design may not work as they imagined. When they think of something wonderful, the original idea could turn out better than they expected. They will learn these problem-solving lessons in a safe and fun environment!
Go Beyond Theory and Into Practice
Experiential learning helps kids go beyond theory and into practice. Instead of thinking about it, they are really doing it! Hands-on learning experiences, such as fort building, gives kids an opportunity to put their ideas in motion. As they build and find out what works and what does not, they are getting lessons for life. It all starts with a Fort Magic kit, some clips and sheets, and plenty of imagination!
Hands-on learning is an engaging, fun way to teach kids about STEM skills and art through experimental learning. And they remember these lessons because they did the work themselves. As they kick back in a fort and enjoy their own space, they are also celebrating the the fact that, “I can do it!”
How do you use fort building as a hands-on learning experience with your kids? Share your ideas with us below!