Building a homemade fort can help pass time during the long holiday periods or lazy weekends. There are no rules when it comes to building a fort. You can often use materials found around the home. This encourages children to use their imaginations, teaching them to improvise and plan. Remember to always supervise your children if tools are used. Playing in a safe location is paramount, too.
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Wood and Branches
Homemade forts can be built in the safety of your own back yard. This encourages your kids to get outdoors and is one way for them to get some exercise. You may have extra pieces of wood in the garage or shed or you could ask a neighbour. Wood can be used to make a solid structure for your fort. Look for a secluded spot such as the base of an old tree or the corner of the garden. You can simply lean large pieces of wood up against walls or you can nail a few planks together to build a small clubhouse. Use branches and leaves to fill the gaps and camouflage the fort.
Many modern day appliances come packaged in large cardboard boxes; you can put these to good use. Cardboard boxes provide a ready made structure to get your fort started. Try arranging your boxes first, experimenting with all the different possibilities. Secure the boxes together using tape, glue, staples, rope, clamps or anything else you can find. Cut square holes for windows and doors, leaving an edge attached so can secure the fort when inside. Make it waterproof by covering with a large tarp or use branches and leaves to keep it hidden from prying eyes.
Sheets and Pillows
If your children can't go outside, you can always make a fort at home. Simply use furniture such as small tables and chairs to make supporting structures. Drape sheets over your structure to make a tent and use pillows to hold down the edges and line the inside. This type of fort can be made quickly with little effort and can easily be rearranged to keep children entertained. A good idea is to bring your kids "provisions" in the way of a healthy snack, encouraging them to use their imaginations and see themselves as brave explorers.
Snow caves can easily be made by piling snow in a large mound and tunnelling towards the centre. Pack down the mound as you go to provide a strong structure. Snow caves can collapse, so keep a close eye on your child. Another, simpler snow fort is the defence fortress. Simply push, pile and pack snow into a high protective wall. Build two defence forts opposite one another for a fun snowball battle.
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