Winter Igloo Indoor Fort Play For Children
Posted November 13, 2020 by Fort Magic
As the season’s change and temperatures begin to drop, children are playing indoors more and more. And, while finding things to do can be a challenge, with a Fort Magic building kit, they don’t have to be. Challenge your kids with these ideas to not only bring the outdoors indoors by building an indoor igloo fort but to learn about this unique structure that has served the Inuit people for hundreds of years.
History of the Igloo
While building an igloo is fun, it can also be an educational experience. Igloos have been used by the Inuit people (commonly referred to as Eskimos) for hundreds of years as a means of survival. While some use them primarily for temporary hunting shelters, others build them to be permanent structures to last throughout winter.
The Inuit are the most widespread aboriginal group in the world, spanning more than 3,500 miles. They are also one of the toughest for adapting to extremely cold weather conditions. They live in areas like Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, and parts of Canada where adequate building supplies were scarce, leading to the need for igloos. Their ingenuity led to this popular structure that has been replicated in television, film, and even by modern-day hunters, hikers, and travelers.
Igloo Fort Design Ideas
When it comes to designing your fort igloo, it’s important to look at and learn about its structure and shape. First, it is typically small and dome-shaped. Traditionally, it is built with blocks of ice, packed with snow, and has a tunnel that leads into it.
While some are only constructed for a single person, others have been created to be large, multi-room compounds. The Inuit will even make permanent ones from villages for use over an extended period of time.
Making Their Own
Now that your kids know the structure, it’s time to start their fort. With the building kit, create the dome shape and tunnel. Like the Inuit, have them decide if your fort should be for a single person or a large igloo with several rooms.
For the walls, find small boxes or milk jugs that can be cut down to look like blocks of ice. Next, throw a few old sheets over the top to look like the packed snow used for insulation.
How it Works
Have you ever wondered how something built of ice and snow can actually keep a person warm? While the walls block the wind in these colder climates, the snow and ice actually work to trap body heat.
Additionally, the snow that is packed around the igloo will sometimes melt during the day, but then freeze and form ice at night. This not only makes the structure more solid, it actually makes it warmer.
Learn About the Areas with These Igloo Fort Ideas
Building an igloo fort also provides a chance to learn about the areas where they are used. The Inuit people group span such a great distance, you can take your children on an adventure through Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, and Canada. Take time to look at the temperatures in these regions, the length of their seasons, plant life, wildlife, and how people living there must live and find food to survive.
Live in the Igloo
Once you’ve gone through all of these things, challenge your children to experience life in their igloo. This can include eating their meals in there, reading, playing, sleeping, and, of course, spending time away from screens and technology.
Afterward, find time to debrief. Talk about what they liked or didn’t like, any struggles they had, and if they feel they could handle living in their structure for an entire winter!
Start a Snow-Ball Fight
Now that your kids have experienced living in their igloo, see what other activities they can do with it – like a snowball fight! And, while the snow might not be flying outside yet, this activity can be done inside with just a few materials. Gather large, white pom-poms, recycled, balled up paper, or even ping pong balls and get to strategizing.
Take this time to have some fun with your kids and even see how sturdy their igloo is. And, when you’re done, though you may not be out in the cold, why not treat everyone to a perfect winter beverage – hot cocoa!
Taking Time to Appreciate Other Cultures
While building the igloo can be fun it’s also a unique opportunity to learn about other people groups. Educating our children about others not only provides more knowledge but a better understanding of those who are different than us. It encourages more empathy for how and why people live the way they do.
Stepping outside of our norm can also make use more grateful for our modern-day conveniences and the opportunities we have. Take time to really discuss these and appreciate how others live, their ingenuity, and how great our world is to encompass so many unique individuals.
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