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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fort of Many Colors

Works-for-me Wednesday

Want your kids to be occupied -- without you entertaining them -- for a day? or a week?

No, I'm not suggesting you buy PlayStations for each bedroom. Nor am I referring to a weekend at Grandma's.

Rather, let them build forts! If you're willing to be a little flexible, you may be surprised by your children's collective creative ability to make something out of nothing.

This is a picture inside a fort my kids built on their own last week and they played in it for DAYS (seriously!) They even added a tent to the end for a while, so they had sort of a duplex. They just rummaged around in the garage and found patio chair cushions, bar stools, ladder, tarp and who knows what else.

This works in the house too, sometimes with the same materials, but sheets instead of tarps. Either method requires some willingness on your part to mow around the fort or stumble through the obstacle course in the basement, but for me, the DAYS OF PEACE made the effort worth it.

My advice? Let them build forts!

Works for me;)

Congratulations to Barbara for winning the Pass the Torch Award this week for her story on Mommy Life entitled, Good News on a Paper Route. Yesterday's other excellent PTT participant posts are HERE.

For more fantabulous tips, check out Rocks in my dryer.


  • Wow, what fun! We used to do that as kids too ;). Happy Wednesday!

    By Blogger Mama Duck, At 8:58 AM  

  • Forts worked for me too - inside with the sheets and the kitchen and dining room chairs. Besides letting my girls do this when they were little, I remember doing it with my sister and brothers too - way back when. Thanks Kelly for the good memories of creative playtime.

    Happy WW! Mines's up too.

    By Blogger Simran, At 9:46 AM  

  • Yes, I let my daughter do that a few times over the summer, and she was quite innovative, and greatly entertained, but it was in our small living room, so they always had to come down. I like the outside idea, and it's a whole new kind of creativity.

    By Blogger Jennifer, At 9:47 AM  

  • You got that right! Whoohoo!

    I ordered my girls to build one over Labor Day weekend because it had been years since my oldest tried to, and I needed them busy while I prepared for homeschool.

    We're without our dining chairs and a few blankets, but they're having a blast.

    Outside looks like even more fun. Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Grafted Branch, At 10:00 AM  

  • Sometimes you just need a kick in the pants to remember the easy stuff, you know? It never occured to me to let them use the ladder. They'll love it. Thanks for the tip. I know what we're doing this week after school! :D

    By Blogger Chilihead2, At 10:09 AM  

  • My kids love doing stuff like that i definetly need to encourage and let them do it more.

    By Blogger kel, At 10:22 AM  

  • I used to love building forts as a kid. I'll have to make one with Snuggle Bug soon! Thanks for the reminder. :)

    I've posted a WFMW baptism gift tip. Stop by and take a peek. :)

    By Blogger Overwhelmed!, At 11:55 AM  

  • We, too, have a fort builder. Ours prefers a king sized comforter draped over the kitchen table! I think it is fantastic.

    By Blogger Kaci, At 12:18 PM  

  • I used to LOVE to build forts when I was a kid. I hadn't thought about for my daughter, but she's the perfect age. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Happy Wednesday!

    By Blogger Debby, At 12:51 PM  

  • My hubbie is the king of imagination at play. He'd pretend the bottom of a chair is a spaceship from Star Trek when he was around 6. And now I see all my 3 children love to play under the chair too.

    It must be genetic or something. Heck, I'm not complaining! Whatever flow your boat man!

    By Blogger Waya, At 1:04 PM  

  • My parents used to joke that they weren't buying us presents anymore because we'd just play with the boxes. During a very stressed finals week at college once I built a fort out of couch cushions and made all my roommates come & play, it is still one of our favorite memories

    By Anonymous sa5ra, At 1:30 PM  

  • Very sweet. My older kids used to do that a lot - need to introduce my younger two to the art of fort-making. Thanks for the reminder.

    I enjoyed poking around your blog - my first visit here. I enjoyed myself very much! Thanks for the invite!

    By Blogger Katherine@Raising Five, At 1:45 PM  

  • Isn't it funny how kids like to climb into places? :) We had one house with an open stairway, and my first thought was how much the kids would love hiding out underneath there.

    Great reminder!

    By Anonymous Barbara H., At 1:53 PM  

  • That is fabulous. We use to do this as kids and my kids use to do this when little. I think the most elaborate we had was when I got a new washer and dryer and they got to use the boxes, connected to my clothes line and the swingset and a tree. It was amazing and your kids one is fabulous!

    Now I can't wait for my granddaughter to build one, but she has to learn to walk first ;)

    By Blogger Kathleen Marie, At 2:36 PM  

  • oh yes - forts ROCK!!!

    By Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom), At 5:32 PM  

  • That is such a cute picture and one I am sure the kids will remember with fondness. So nice to see that you are willing to let them experiment with their creativity and imagination even though there might be a little mess, or like you said you might have to mow around it. We did the same thing with our kids, they often built forts in their room using sheets and whatnot's. My son didn't like chocolate so after Halloween was over he would use the candy to make roads and things all around his room...just wish I would have gotten a pic. lol Thanks, great tip!

    By Blogger Pamela, At 9:10 PM  

  • My children like to round up all of the Little Tykes toys I have in the backyard for the kiddos that I watch and use them (the toys, not the kiddos!) to make forts. I let them have at it, but I always have to destroy the fort when the little ones are ready to go out and play.

    By Blogger Tonya, At 10:43 PM  

  • My kids used to make forts out of everything too. Inside the house and out. Even in the snow. I have a great memory of sleeping in a snow fort with my kids when they were teens.

    Thanks for the flash back.

    By Blogger Susan, At 10:59 PM  

  • How darling! I love the pure creativity of children. Mine make forts in the family room which I try to patiently endure...I am a neat freak, I admit!

    By Anonymous tonia, At 11:52 PM  

  • All my kids love building forts--from the 13-year old twins to the 4-year old. Their favorite building materials are the couch cushions--but this winter, I'm going to bring home 3 refrigerator boxes. I figure that'll keep them occupied for at least a week!

    By Blogger Mel, At 2:15 AM  

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