STEM Fort Building Ideas For Kids 6-12
Posted October 9, 2020 by Fort Magic
Fort building is an activity that is not only timeless, it’s one that is great for kids young and old. And, while most building kits are geared toward younger children, Fort Magic has kits big enough for kids up to 12 years! Along with providing fun, this activity greatly benefits school-age children. It teaches them the important aspects of STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as teamwork, cooperation, and communication. Here are great fort building ideas for kids that focus on STEM learning.
What is STEM?
STEM is an interdisciplinary approach that couples the academic concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with real-world lessons. Furthermore, activities promoting STEM apply these in ways that connect community, work, school, and even global enterprise.
This approach allows children to not only think deeply but critically and builds leaders in the fields of education and research. Most importantly, it develops children that will be able to find solutions to challenges facing our nation and world.
What Makes Fort Building a STEM Project
We all know that this activity can be fun and entertaining, but how exactly does it promote the concepts of STEM?
This activity requires a level of planning. Not only where to build the structure, but what type to build and how to build it. It encourages thinking ahead and planning steps of how to reach a common goal.
2. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
As with any project, things may not always go as planned. And, while this may be frustrating for your young builders, it provides a great opportunity to figure out a solution and implement it.
3. Teamwork, Cooperation, and Communication
Though fort building can be done individually, it’s even better with friends or siblings. This provides an opportunity to learn teamwork and cooperation. Your kids will need to talk through their ideas, ways to accomplish their goals and assign roles to do so efficiently.
4. Imagination and Creative Thinking
This activity can also provide an opportunity for imagination and creative thinking. Not only does it require creative thinking to solve problems, but with imagination, your children’s structure can be anything they desire. From a rocket ship to a castle, all it takes is a little imagination and the possibilities are endless.
What About STEAM?
STEAM is the same concept as STEM with the addition of “A” for art. Fort Magic building kits are unique in that they not only allow you to construct a structure, but they also allow you to incorporate your children’s artistic abilities.
Use the fabric clips with your kit to hang old sheets, newspapers, or poster boards for walls and a roof and allow your children to start decorating. They can use different paints, crayons, and colored pencils to make designs and add character to their structure. They can even cut out pictures from magazines to make a fun collage, or hang artwork and lights on the inside for an added decorative element.
Fun Fort Building Ideas for Kids
When building a fort, it can become anything your kids wish. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Nature Fort
If the weather cooperates, have your children create a fort outdoors. Challenge them to make one that could withstand the elements and allow them to decorate with items they find outside. Not only will this activity get them outdoors, but it will also allow them to connect and learn more about nature.
2. Reading/Studying Fort
With so many kids doing school from home, have yours build a space that is fun and conducive for learning. Once the structure is built, place a small table for them to work, or make a cozy spot for reading. This encourages another branch of STEM called STREAM, which incorporates both reading and art.
Fort Building Ideas for the Older Kids
With older kids building forts, creating challenges can also be fun and educational. Try these:
1. Multi-Room Challenge
Challenge your kids to make a structure with several rooms. This not only encourages them in design and engineering, but it also gives them an opportunity to be creative and adds a fun space to play.
2. Race to Completion
For a timed challenge, create a simple design and have your kids race to see who can complete it the fastest. To add a level of fun, incorporate a prize or treat for the winner.
Tips for Success
When it comes to fort building, start now! Learn along with your kids and let it be an adventure. At the same time, when problems arise, don’t be quick to jump in. Let them solve problems on their own as it’s all part of the learning process.
For more fort building ideas for your kids, switch up the environment and get outdoors, when you can, to provide an extra building challenge. Debrief after every build and discuss what their challenges were, how they handled them, and anything they would do differently. Lastly, keep it light and fun. Fort building should never be a chore, but an educational activity your children can’t wait to do!
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