The idea of building and playing in an indoor or outdoor fort is exciting for children. A fort is a child's own clubhouse or special area where he can dream, play and imagine by himself or with friends. With a few simple supplies and a little help, depending on the child's age, a fort is made in less than an hour.
Things You'll Need
- Large cardboard boxes, such as appliance boxes
- Clear packing tape
- Utility knife
- Black permanent marker
- 6 inches of fabric
- Rug or carpet scrap
- Decorations of choice
- Hot glue gun
- Dirt, outdoor debris, leaves, sticks
- Medium- and large-sized rocks
Tape the cardboard box shut. Lay the box on its side. Place a utility knife about four inches from the bottom, through the cardboard, on the side parallel to side taped shut. Cut moving upward about three feet, depending on the size of the box. Turn the knife and make a three-foot horizontal line. Turn the knife again and continue cutting vertically until reaching four inches up from the bottom. This is the fort's door. Cut a 1-inch circle, which serves as the password opening, near the door. Write "Say Password Here" next to it.
Move to the longer side of the box to make a window. Place the utility knife two inches from the top of the box. Cut three feet straight down. Turn the knife and cut three feet across. Rotate the knife again and cut three feet up vertically. Walk around to the parallel side and make small peep holes. Place the utility knife into the cardboard and cut four 3-inch by 3-inch holes. Create them next to each other in a square or horizontally across the box.
Lift the windows up toward the outside. Push a thick, 28-inch stick into the grass in the middle of the window opening. Repeat on the other side. This holds the window open. Place fabric on the inside of the box above the window. Tape horizontally across the top. Do the same on the other window. Remove the fabric when you want a breeze to enter.
Decorate the inside. Add a carpet scrap or rug to the floor, tape pictures to the walls and place favorite objects, such as stuffed animals, books, notebooks and pens inside. Tape string to the bottom of a flashlight. Hang upside down about three inches from the top and tape to the roof.
Choose where you want the mail slot. Cut a 12-inch by 1-inch rectangle using the utility knife. Discard the cardboard and write "Place Secret Messages Here."
Plug the hot glue gun into an electrical outlet. Wait five minutes until hot. Squeeze glue on top of the fort in a 12-inch by 12-inch area. Throw on twigs, leaves, sticks, dirt and anything else to camouflage the fort's top. Keep working in small areas and add whatever natural materials you find.
Place rocks along the bottom of an outdoor fort. This holds the fort up in in windy weather. Put four rocks on the inside corners to help weigh down the fort.
Tips & Warnings
- Dishtowels work well for window treatments.
- Cut a hole in the fort's floor to hide small treasures.
- Use an upside down crate for a table.
- Children should not use a hot glue gun alone.