Outdoor Fort Building Sensory Play Ideas

Posted October 15, 2023 by Fort Magic

Think back to your childhood, and what do you remember the most? Do you remember getting up early on Saturday mornings and watching cartoons? Do you remember the biscuits grandma used to make and how they smelled? What about the neighborhood kids all gathering around your house and leaving the bikes in the yard? The smell of freshly cut grass and the flowers blooming. The sunlight on your face and wind in your hair while you played outside. Maybe you had a favorite bedtime song or book your mom always read.

As a child, you had lots of memories you will never forget. I bet some of these even included your very own fort made out of sheets and blankets, the kitchen chair, and any other pieces of furniture you could find. What if you could help your children have those same memories and experiences you did? Fort Magic’s fort building kit makes it easy for kids to explore sensory play and have hours of fun outside.

What Is Sensory Play?

You may not have heard of the term sensory play. Simply put, sensory play includes any activity that can stimulate your child’s senses. These include touch, smell, movement, balance, sight, and hearing. Sensory play encourages kids to use scientific processes while they play, create, explore, and investigate. This helps their brain create stronger connections and to process and respond to sensory information.

Sensory play is important because kids often learn best and retain more information when they engage their senses. Most of your childhood memories are due to your senses such as the smell of those biscuits or grass and flowers. Even the memorization of a childhood song or book is tied to your senses.

Now as an adult when you smell or hear something familiar, your brain triggers those memories to those special childhood times. Providing your children with the same sensory play is important to their brain development and their ability to complete more complex learning tasks.

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Sensory Fort Ideas

Now that you know what sensory play is and why it is so important to have your children engage in it! We want to give you some ideas for sensory play involving fort building and outside play. Fort Magic’s fort building kits are fun for kids of all ages, so you will not have to worry about keeping your younger and older kids separated. They can all play and learn together with one simple kit.

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1. Touch

Do not touch is a phrase parents say all too often and kids seem to ignore. When it comes to fort building, you can throw that term out and let your kids touch all they want. Fort building gives kids the freedom to explore and investigate through touch.

The act of building a fort gives them hands-on experience and creating covers allows them to work on their creativity skills. A hunt around the house for old sheets, towels, papers, and anything else your kid can imagine as a cover for the fort can be fun. They may find different texture fabrics, foil, bubble wrap plastic, tarps, art supplies, or tree leaves and branches.

On the inside of the fort, you can continue the sense of touch by adding soft pillows and blankets. Allow them to bring in some stuffed animals and their favorite book. You can now curl up and read a fun book or even tell some fun stories together, all while using your sense of touch!

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2. Sight

When your kids see the Fort Magic fort building kit brought out, they will know the sensory play is about to start. Without hesitation, they will get into creative mode and start thinking about what they can build and how they will do it.

To increase the sight sense in forts, have kids add a string of lights to the inside. They can add shiny stars to the roof and use a flashlight to light the stars up. If the kids are wanting to play after dark, lanterns make a great tool for a camping fort.

Adding colorful covers to the fort can catch your kid’s eye and their imagination. Try to engage them in painting and coloring their own covers for the fort. They can then use the fort as a great home base for playing hide and seek to enhance the sensory play.

3. Hearing

Want to work on that sense of hearing for your kids? Have them build a fort that they can see out the top of. Have them lie very still inside the fort with their eyes closed and tell you all about the sounds they hear. Can they hear a bird in the distance, maybe a dog barking? What about someone cutting the grass, or a car passing by?

Talk about all the different things they can hear. You could also listen to music such as a favorite CD or song. The goal is to have your kids use their ears more and tell you about all the things they can hear while in the fort.

4. Smell

This sense is always fun to work with. Smell can be a good or bad thing. Often, we smell things outside that are not very pleasant, and other times, we find things we can not get enough of. Have your kids sit in the fort and explain to you what they smell. This can include freshly cut grass, maybe some flowers that are blooming nearby, the neighbor’s trash can, or even the dog down the road that needs a bath.

You may have to explore and walk around the yard some to get more smells in. Then meet up in your fort to talk about everything. Did your kids all smell the same thing? What did they like and not like?

5. Taste

The sense of taste is one we all like to experiment with! This may be the easiest sensory play activity in your fort. You can have the kids build a lemonade stand or a bake sale fort to play on their sense of taste. You can also serve them snacks in their fort and see which ones are their favorite and which ones they do not like at all. Try to have a variety of snacks to keep the kids guessing which one is the best.

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When it comes to sensory play, your kids will come alive with fort building. Tap into all 5 senses with a Fort Magic fort building kit. We promise the kids will get hours of fun out of one kit and you will love it too. Our fort kits are multiple award-winning toys and are loved by parents and educators.

What will you build first? Also, what ideas do you have for outdoor sensory play? We would love to hear from you for more ideas.

Photo Credits:

You Clever Monkey Blog: An Australian blog full of great ideas on how to raise thoughtful, resilient, curious children. An inspiring idea that will give children a childhood they will remember fondly.