My kids have been fort builders (and fort lovers) since they were little.
I remember my own winter breaks and long weekends making forts and spending the entire time in there, reading, playing pretend something or another, or even building the fort around the television to watch a show!
Over the years, my boys have built many different forts, of all kinds and I feel like they keep graduating to something bigger and better.
Here are 7 forts for kids to build:
The lovely thing about these forts for kids is that they can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be!
The Cushion Fort
This is the simplest of the forts for kids and what my boys started with.
Stand any couch and chair cushions that you have on end. You can balance them against the arm rests of the couch, or prop them up with pillows.
Then gently lay a blanket across the top of it to cover it.
These make great reading nooks for the kids to hide out in. It’s also fun for a TV show here and there.
The Sheet Fort
The Sheet Fort is just a step up from the Cushion Fort.
To make a sheet fort, you simply lay sheets over anything you can find. A chair, a table, a bench. You may need to secure them in place with a stack of heavy books.
These are what I remember building as a child. We covered entire rooms with sheets.
You can even the corners of the sheet onto spindles of chairs or use clamps to pinch them in place if you have them handy. This Blanket Fort Kit for Kids (affiliate link) looks like it might come in handy!
You can spruce these up by adding in a string of lights (they also aide in holding up the blankets!) and you’ve instantly created a magical experience for the kids!
The Cardboard Box Fort
The cardboard box fort is versatile to what you have! If you have a great big box, that’s a huge score, but it’s not necessary!
Just save your Amazon Prime boxes (not a member? I can’t live without it, I swear!) and tape them together, decorate them how you please and you have a fort!
These forts the kids play in for days on end. And they can decorate as much or as little as they want.
My kids usually opt for markers and writing “Keep Out” notes to their brothers, but you can go all out with paper and tape!
Again, the addition of a cordless string of lights (affiliate link), make this super magical! You can poke holes on the top and poke them through!
The Official Fort
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We were lucky, a long while ago, we worked with Fort Magic and got their amazing fort kit. It’s basically a bunch of small PVC pipes and connectors to make whatever you want! Then they have clips to clip on sheets to cover it up and you can make anything you ever dreamed of!
What makes Fort Magic cool is that there are curved pipes that can give you round peepholes, and there are connectors that are unlike any real PVC connectors you would find. It’s pretty cool and is our go-to indoor fort building way 90% of the time.
There are other ‘official’ fort building toys out there to check out too. You may want to look at these (I personally don’t have any experience with these, just Fort Magic):
HearthSong Fantasy Fort Kit
- Tote-A-Fort Blanket Fort Kit for Kids
The Fort in the Woods
The fort in the woods is currently what my boys are into. We are very lucky to have a hilly wooded area in our backyard and the boys play in it for hours on end.
Lately, they’ve each been working on building their own fort in the woods. They know what it all means and have an imagination like no other when it comes to these.
Kids can be as creative as you want! Here, with the help with Dad, they collected branches and sticks and made a teepee-like fort. They also have their own ‘private’ forts in the woods that they’ve made rooms, seats, and so forth, but not really a structure.
The Tree Fort (aka Tree House)
The Tree Fort is out newest fort around our house. A couple weeks ago, my husband and I were working on a remodel of our mudroom while the boys were playing outside. Louis popped in to ask if they could build a tree house and wanted Dad to help.
He asked Dad what they needed, he said they’d need to find a tree. Louis left and came back 30 seconds later saying “Okay! We found a tree, what’s next?”
My husband said they’d need to find some boards, so the boys scrounged up some boards from the garage. And then my husband built the rest. He put steps on the tree trunk and a deck for the boys to sit on in the tree. Right now, it’s small and only one or two can be up in the tree at a time. We hope to add to it.
This isn’t for the safety conscientious. Kids can fall as we don’t have guard rails. I embrace that part. If you’re making one, be sure to make it safe enough that you’re comfortable with your kids climbing it.
The Snow Fort
Last, but not least, the kids always have to build a snow fort!
In a snow pile made by the snow blower, dig a tunnel or trench. For safety, instead of a full on tunnel, place a board over top as the roof so it won’t cave in.
What’s your favorite way to build forts for kids?