The act of building forts is very common among kids, and it’s actually a very good way to help children develop different skills. Not only building it, but interacting with it by playing or using it as their own safe space.
Somehow, probably due to ancient instincts, humans tend to approach small shelter-like spaces with a feeling of coziness and protection, even though we don’t really need it. It’s no different with kids, especially because they are young and still very connected with their survival mechanism.
Beyond that, it’s also natural for kids – even for adults – to desire a place where they can be alone and recharge their batteries. Having a personal space where they can control what external stimuli comes in is very healthy and encouraged. Independence, self regulation and even self confidence can be stimulated, as children learn to be with their own companion.
With that in mind, we gathered some sleepover fort ideas to encourage the little ones to build a fort, design their own spot and have fun with it!
Sometimes physical or weather conditions are not favorable for kids to build their forts outdoors, and that’s totally fine. It doesn’t mean they don’t have the option to build their own safe place inside the house or the apartment. With the right supplies and a high dose of creativity it’s possible to build easy and fun forts in their own bedroom.
Easy Blanket Forts
Very easy to make, kids just need a structure to place the blanket on the top. This fort can be built by positioning anything – chairs with the backs facing inwards, tables, other pieces of furniture, a door – that will give a sense of walls or pillars. Once the desired shape is positioned, you just need to place a blanket on the top and make sure you close the walls. There you go, your fort is ready! Don’t forget to place small pillows to make the fort cozy and comfortable.
Another easy sleepover fort idea is to stack small pillows as if they were bricks to build the structure. Sometimes it happens that some couches have big square pillows and these ones are very useful when setting up the walls and even a ceiling for the fort. Creativity plays a role here and it’a a good idea to explore possibilities and let the child figure out the best way to build their fort.
Teepee Tent Forts
Teepee tents are historical and they are also very cute to have inside the house. It’s possible to even set up a permanent one in a corner of the bedroom, in case the child –and the parents, of course – desire.
Different from the other fort suggestions, this one will need different materials. 3 to 4 sticks are necessary to make the structure. Put the sticks together and use rubber to tie one of the extremes of the bunch of sticks. Keep this side up and spread the sticks on the other side positioning them on the floor. Take a thin rope and tie the sticks on the top. Once the structure is set up, place the blanket around the tent.
If your children have the opportunity to experience a fort outdoors, that’s amazing! Being in an open environment gives them connection with nature, grounding and plenty of different materials to explore. Let’s get to some more ideas on how to build a fort then!
Fort In The Woods
For adventurous kids, building a fort in the woods is an opportunity for new discoveries as much as for imagination. Being “away from civilization” can present to them a range of new possibilities and a stronger connection with nature.
To build a fort in the woods, use sticks, trees and branches to set up the structure. If needed, some rope can help tie the parts together to make it resistant. Considering that being outdoors comes with a risk of weather changes, instead of blankets, it’s possible to use non permeable fabrics, such as tarp for example. Once the fort is put together, you can put chairs, a small table or even a log as a piece of furniture.
Wooden Pallet Forts
This type of fort can be time and energy consuming, but the end result pays off the effort! Kids usually love Wooden Pallet Forts as they are a solid structure when compared with blankets and pillows for example, and consequently a much more fort-like place for their little minds to experiment.
When building a wooden palette fort, make sure to have a plan and a sketch to organize each step of the construction. Think about the size and if there are going to be any windows. Set up the palettes and use nails to put them together. Start from the floor, the walls and the ceiling to build the whole structure.
It’s very common to build these forts on trees, which makes it double the work, but triple the fun!
Outdoor Blanket Forts
If the kids are not able to build a fort in the woods, a backyard will do! As we are considering the outdoors, ideally a waterproof fort would be the best option. However, do you want to build a fort quickly for your kids to have fun? You might just use the Blanket!
For this one you can use sticks, like the previous ones or even clothesline to use as the structure. Simply hang the blanket on the clothesline rope and spread the two extremes of the blanket. Use some heavy objects to maintain them on the floor as you shape the fort like a tent.
Building a fort is the best way to help kiddos develop some important skills in life. As mentioned above, being in a fort stimulates their imagination, provides a safe space and proper boundaries while they are learning how to emotionally regulate themselves, A Place to rest and enjoy solitude and also, to play, of course.
With the sleepover fort ideas we just explored, it’s easy to make a fort and use this time to connect and interact with your children. Spend some time with the kids, engage with them by playing games and have fun! Remember that family time is very important for them to develop social skills and self confidence!
Are you ready to build a fort? Also, don’t forget to check some easy family game night ideas on our blogpost!