Summer lengthens the days and eases the schedule. Paces slow and creativity blossoms with free play and the openness of outdoor spaces. The seemingly endless energy of children fuels their minds, and with feet running they are off to discover, invent, create, and more!
Providing a few simple items, parents can encourage inspiration. A playground ball, art supplies, and water or sand act as catalysts for summer fun and memories. Couple these with the always loved playhouse fort (check out Fort Magic kits) and watching the activity may find the least emotional of parents teary-eyed.
The Internet and the library fill parents with hope with thoughts of stimulating the minds of children in the academic off season. It is enough to overwhelm. So, we have narrowed down a few ideas that work to develop STEM skills, creativity, and cognitive development – all through building a playhouse fort!
One activity provides hours of endless possibility. The execution of each idea can be as simple or as elaborate as your parenting style dictates, and these activities allow families to take advantage of the restful pace of summer and quality family experiences without even a thought about the learning taking place.
Designing and building a playhouse fort puts a sparkle in any kid’s eye. With all of the have-to’s and ought to’s of the school year, the opportunity to create a space, personalized to a child’s interests and desires delights them. You might even hear, “Really, I can make it whatever way I want?”
Provide the Fort Magic pieces and let your budding engineer, architect or interior designer go to work. You can be present for brainstorming, but be careful not to step in too soon (unless a safety issue arises). Problem-solving and idea generation develops important connections in the brain of your child.
If you are using fort building as a family activity, consider swapping roles. Let your child take the lead in design and construction. As a parent, become the worker allowing your child to direct your assistance. Even failed steps along the way provide valuable lessons in problem solving and perseverance.
Now it’s time for a family picnic. The checkered red and white blanket has become the universal symbol for the time-honored tradition of picnics. Summer would not be complete without more than one. Picnics held in the playhouse fort add new inspiration. Consider a week of lunch picnics or Saturday morning breakfast picnics. A meal with a view of the sunset or sunrise, or a late night picnic now and then, always excites children. The ages of your children, of course, dictate the definition of late. Add stargazing to late night snacks for a magical family time.
Whatever time of day you choose, let you kids prepare the meal or snack. You may need to be adventurous to eat their concoctions, but the learning and confidence built in this activity are worth it. And, your kids might just surprise you with their kitchen skills. Provide a special basket or container reserved for these picnic occasions. Pack it up and go.
Another staple of the sunny season continues to be summer camp. However, cost, time away, and a different pace may be desired. Why not use the playhouse fort as a summer camp base? You can host activities for your children, a few friends or the entire neighborhood.Enlist trusted local teens or your older kids to teach a few basic skills. Find teens or even college kids with an interest or talent in your “camp” theme. Young kids love interacting with older kids, and will eat it up. Valuable relationships may just result.
Art camp includes all those messy activities that might be best left to the outdoors. Finger painting the paper-covered exterior of a playhouse fort produces a colorful masterpiece and plenty of giggles. Squirt gun painting promises delightful artwork and likely a few antics. Remember to include crafting dough or maybe a small pottery wheel for older kids somewhere in the week. Picassos are sure to be developed!
Sports camps introduce new games and sports daily. Soccer goals or basketball hoops made from Fort Magic pieces and netting engage bodies just outside the fort. Involve the pool if you have one, or go on a field trip to a local pool for swimming. Remember that this can be a fun sports camp with an emphasis on games and interaction. No professional skills required!
Music camp stimulates the mind unlike any other. Stock the playhouse fort with instruments. Allow for jam sessions. But, also encourage kids to prepare a song or two for an end-of-camp performance. Remember to include microphones for budding vocalists. Field trips to local summer concerts or music stores expose kids to the world of music.
No matter which summer activity you choose, playhouse forts are sure to inspire hours of endless memories and good times for all!
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