Building an Outdoor Fort
What You Need:
- Old blankets, tarps or large fabric that can get dirty
- Boxes, the larger the better
- Clothespins (optional)
- Work gloves (optional, if you want to protect from splinters)
- Plastic sheet (optional)
- Rake (optional)
- Long sticks
- String or rope
What to Do:
- The best forts are the ones totally kid-constructed. You can encourage fort building by putting aside blankets, tarps and string for them to use.
Ideas for outdoor forts include: Make a tepee with long sticks tied together with twine. Drape blankets on low tree limbs and use as a covering for a fort. Use bushes as fortifications for your fort. Sometimes there's a kid-sized space inside of a bush. Recycle a large box, cut out windows, and call it home! Build a snow fort, if you have some of the fluffy stuff! If the snow is right, squish snow into square-shaped plastic food containers to make bricks.
- If you are someone who likes a pattern to follow, here is a suggested fort design: Find three long sticks and tie them at one end to form a tripod. Look for a spot where four trees form a square. Place the tripod in the middle. Tie a rope about three feet from the ground around the four trees so it forms a square.
- Drape the blanket or the tarp over the tripod. Then bring the corners out to the place where the string connects to the trees. Clothespin the blanket to the string.
- Rake the ground to remove pointy sticks. This will make your fort more comfortable. Put down a plastic sheet on the ground if you want to avoid getting a damp bottom.
- Load up your fort with fun stuff. Add more blankets, toys, drawing supplies, snacks and anything else you want to do in your fort.
Reprinted with permission from National Wildlife Federation. For more family fun & kids games check out www.nwf.org!