How To Build A Stained Glass Fort
Posted March 13, 2020 by Fort Magic
Building a stained glass fort encourages creativity and ignites a love for art. It also appeals to most of the senses and can help build important STEAM skills. Here are some of our ideas from the Fort Magic team to build your own stained glass fort.
How to Build A Stained Glass Fort
With sunny days approaching, it’s time to start thinking of ways you can take your fort building kit outdoors. Building a stained glass fort is a fun idea for the backyard because of the beautiful ways the sunshine passes through the cellophane. It’s also a fun idea for the backyard because you can paint in it or do other messy projects without having to really worry about clean up.
We suggest using the Playhouse design to build a stained glass fort. Then, you can cover it with many different types of materials using fabric clips. You can use many different colors for your stained glass or even use paint to create the colors.
1. Sensory Fort Cover Options
Kids not only love things that ignite their senses but it’s also good for their brain development. You can turn the stained glass fort into a sensory fort simply by choosing different cover options. They can paint their fort or paint inside of it to develop fine motor skills. If you use finger paints, then that will appeal to their sense of touch. Here are some other ideas to turn it into a sensory fort.
2. Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap is a different texture for them to feel. They can also have fun popping the bubble wrap, which will also appeal to their sense of hearing. What designs can they make if they dip the bubble wrap in the paint to paint other parts of their fort?
Another idea is to lightly spray paint the bubble wrap before you put it up on your fort. When the sun comes through it, the bubble wrap will cause the sun to pass through it differently.
3. Colored Cellophane
Cellophane is smooth and shiny. It provides a great covering for a stained glass fort because it comes in so many different colors. Encourage their artistic sides by seeing what designs they can come up with while covering the fort.
4. Textured Curtains
The fabric clips are so popular because of how versatile they are. You can use them to attach nearly any type of coverage to your fort. Curtains make a perfect cover because of how large they are. If you use textured shower curtains, you can have them feel the fabric to see how it’s different from the cellophane.
Another creative idea is to use paper to cover parts of your fort. Cut out parts of the paper and then tape the cellophane to the paper to create stained glass. They can also paint or even draw on the paper to make their fort all their own design.
How Learning STEAM Skills Affects Brain Development
Kids have always naturally been drawn to things that help them develop STEAM skills but the research is now showing us that these skills are important for brain development. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics and it’s all the rage in the education world right now. But, why is that?
1. Uses Hands-On Learning
Hands-on learning helps to cement ideas into our heads. When we hear about something or read about something and then we get to go about doing with our hands, it strengthens pathways in our brains that help commit that to our memory.
You can tell a child the steps to do something over and over but it’s often not until they get to physically go through the steps themselves that they actually remember how to do it. It’s this hands-on learning that is vital for their brain development.
2. Encourages Creativity
Creativity is something that can be learned. The more time you spend being creative, the more those pathways are strengthened. However, if you use them very little then they will eventually go away with a process called synaptic pruning. The STEAM model guides the creative process and helps kids learn how to be creative. It then equips them with the tools and pathways in their brains to be more and more creative.
3. Helps Critical Thinking
This educational model also helps them with their critical thinking skills. Kids are presented with a project and then they get to learn how to think critically about something. They can brainstorm ideas and then go through each idea to see if it would work. It’s all about the process and not necessarily about the end result.
The hands-on approach also helps kids to see the same project through a variety of lenses. Scientists have discovered that working on the same project but using the STEAM model of learning actually uses different parts of their brains. This helps to strengthen different pathways in their brains.
4. Helps them Learn How to Problem Solve
Kids will learn important problem-solving skills. With fort building, for example, kids can easily take off a piece of the fort as they’re building if it isn’t turning out the way they want or if it’s not structurally sound. If they are trying to build a certain design they can try out pieces until they find the one that works.
They also learn the importance of working with others and using others’ ideas to problem solve. This type of thinking encourages pathways in the brain, which will then be carried into adulthood. Knowing how to effectively problem solve is a skill that will set them apart in the workplace.
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