Every kid needs to build forts while growing up. I have many fond memories of building forts with my siblings while growing up. We built forts from old boxes, using blankets, furniture and washing line pegs and when we were a bit older we built forts in our garden from old bits of wood or branches that we found.
Now that I have kids of my own I watch with amusement as they fight to claim boxes from deliveries to build cardboard fort and push furniture around the house and hang blankets all over the place making their forts. They then drag all their toys into their fort and it keeps them occupied for hours while they play their games.
Building kids forts is great fun and fort building comes with amazing benefits.
Why Fort Building Is So Important For Kids
Children are starting to develop their own sense of self and this is a way to develop their independence by creating their own little space in the world.
Putting It All Together
They aren’t just putting together a fort, they are putting together how everything in the world works and how they fit into the bigger picture.
Building a fort means they are fine tuning their problem solving skills and learning how to plan. Fort building is great for encouraging imaginative play.
When kids get together to build a fort there is a lot of negotiation that takes place. They need to learn how to cooperate to get their fort built and these are vital skills that they are learning.
Constructing anything is great for your children from building blocks to puzzles. There is a reason why construction play is so important in preschool. Building forts is a wonderful way for your children to have fun and learn at the same time.
It takes a lot of effort to build a fort and playing in the fort afterwards once it is built also takes energy. It is so good for kids to run around and get some exercise.
When your kids start building forts outside it is even better, they will easily develop a love of the outdoors if they haven’t already.
Why You Need To Encourage Your Kids To Build Forts
The world is very different from the way it was one or two generations ago with technology available. Many kids today entertain themselves on the internet or with video games.
While there is a time and a place for technology we need to encourage our kids to have plenty of screen free time, to be outside, to be physically active and to use their imaginations.
Younger children watch and learn from their older siblings and their peers. In previous generations fort building would have been learned from watching older siblings and today many of the older generation are sitting on their tablets or phones.
How To Encourage Your Kids Fort Building
It shouldn’t take much encouragement to spark your child’s interest in fort building activities. Trust me once they understand the concept of making a little space of their own in your home it will be a regular activity that provides hours of entertainment each time.
Introducing your child to the idea of building a fort can be incredibly fun, help your child build his or her first fort by draping blankets and towels over some furniture and fill the fort with some pillows and toys. Your child will catch on very quickly.
Make sure to have plenty of fort building materials nearby. Collect boxes, especially big ones. The best box we ever got was the one our washing machine came in. It entertained my kids for weeks on end and all we had to go was cut out a door and some windows and we had the perfect fort.
Along with using things you find around the house you can also buy a cardboard fort kit which will provide your kids with a way to build a fort in any way they want and they can then take it apart and rebuild it over and over again. It will make fort building even more fun and exciting since they will be able to build tunnels, multiple rooms, mazes and castles easily.
When your kids are older encourage them to start their fort building activities outside in summer. You could even help them to build a permanent fort or a treehouse for outdoor play.