STEAM Engineering Fort Making Toys Ignite A Love Of Learning
Posted September 12, 2019 by Fort Magic
Building forts is a classic way for kids to learn the basics of structural engineering. Kids are naturally drawn to this type of hands-on learning that is a key principle of teaching STEAM skills. Building forts with Fort Magic fort making toys will ignite a love of learning in your kids and set them up for a successful future.
Why Does STEAM Matter?
It’s important to teach our kids STEAM skills to help prepare them for the future. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. It’s a way of learning that utilizes hands-on projects and focuses on the process and not the product. Kids will learn how to thrive in the real-world.
Incorporating STEAM concepts into your learning environment will also teach kids creativity and build new creative pathways in their brains. Being creative is what will set your child apart as an adult in the workplace. STEAM also teaches important problems solving skills and builds confidence.
1. Create A Science Lab Fort
Slime is all the rage right now. The best part of it is that it teaches science using a hands-on approach. You can create a science lab fort using a fort building kit right in your backyard. That way, you can also take the mess outside!
You can set up tables and set up directions with supplies and then let your kids go from work center to work center to do the science project. Some of our favorite ideas for your science lab include:
Make slime including the fun kind you can eat
Homemade paintball bombs using a gelling agent and paint
Make play dough
Learn about the states of matter by making butter in a jar
Make homemade bouncy balls with borax, glue, and cornstarch
Create a volcano with the classic mixture of baking soda and vinegar
The nice thing about a Fort Magic building kit is that you can cover your fort with any material. These would all be great rainy day activities in your fort; just cover it with a waterproof material!
2. Host A Building Challenge
Give your kids a challenge to use their fort making toys and creativity to hone their engineering skills. You can have them work to recreate the overall shape of your home using a fort building kit. Take your kids outside so they can easily view the front of your home. Then, have your kids create a rough sketch of the outside of your home.
You can have a brainstorming session to see how they might go about building your home with fort pieces such as what their basic structure might look like. You can either have your kids work separately or together on this project. If they work together, make sure they all get turns to create specific parts of their fort home. This is important so they can work on their problem solving skills if the fort isn’t coming together to look like your home.
3. Turn Your Fort Making Toys Into an Art Canvas
You can use glow sticks or glow paint to paint the outside of your fort. As soon as it’s dark out, turn off all the lights in the house to see your creation light up. You can also let your kids cover their fort with an old white sheet. Set out the acrylic paints and let them paint their fort.
Another great medium to paint your fort with is puff paints. This will allow your kids to not only express their artistic side but also give them the tactile feel of the 3D paint. Puff paints also come in glow in the dark colors so they can turn their 3D painting into a vibrant piece of art that comes to life in the dark. You can teach the basics of watercolors by covering your fort with butcher paper and letting your kids decorate it with water paints.
Use Forts to Demonstrate Basic Structure Design
You can not only teach your kids engineering skills but you can also encourage them to think outside the box with this idea. Make a day of it by starting out at the library and gathering books on famous buildings and basic structural engineering ideas. Next, go through the books so they have an understanding of how buildings hold their shape.
Have your kids pick out a tower from one of the books and have them first build it with hot melt glue and popsicle sticks. Then, bring out the fort building kit and build a tall, skinny tower with a small base. Show your kids how easily it can be pushed over. Then you can guide their brainstorming as they come up with a more sturdy tower design. Have them build that with the fort building kit and see what happens!
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.