We all love having the occasion to just hole up and hide away from the rest of the world.
For kids, there’s nothing more magical (or fun!) than building a fort out of blankets and pillows, then pretending it’s an enchanted castle or a jungle bungalow. Here are five creative ways to help your children build their own private hideaways. We recommend keeping this list handy for your next rainy day.
1. Build An Air Fort
OK, this is just straight-up genius. Tape the biggest sheet you can find to the floor with packaging tape, leaving the short sides free. Tape one of the short sides to a portable fan, then tape the remaining side to the floor. Turn on the fan and voila! You have an air fort. Angela Conley, a mother of two and the founder of MomTrusted.com, suggests moving the fan to one side and entering the fort that way. A company appropriately named Air Fort also makes awesome air forts that inflate in less than 30 seconds and sell for $54.99.
2. Moving Boxes To The Rescue
This would be a fun one if you’re planning to move soon and want to lighten the mood a bit for your kids, or if you just moved into a new house and need a little extra motivation to unpack. Rachel Denbow, who blogs at Smile and Wave DIY, created a massive indoor fort, complete with a second floor, out of moving boxes for her two kids (even the dog loved it!). The trick to a good box fort? Cutting out sun roofs and a doggy door. Her 5-year-old son decided that it was the “best fort ever.”
3. Fitted Sheets
The hardest part of building an indoor fort is figuring out how to keep all those blankets and sheets in place. Sarah Noftle, who runs the blog How Wee Learn, came up with a genius solution. She suggests throwing a few twin-size sheets over a table to make the “walls” of your fort, then using a fitted sheet to hold them in place.
“I cannot tell you how many times our fort “FELL DOWN AGAIN!!!!” before I stumbled upon this gem,” she wrote.
4. Make A Hula Hoop Tent
A hula hoop tent is perfect for creating an indoor fort, but it’s also something your kids can take outside in the warmer months. You’ll need two shower curtains, some shower rings, a hula hoop, some nylon rope and hooks to attach the tent to the ceiling, according to Carrie Higgins, who runs the blog Making Lemonade. Add some fairy lights to make this fun space extra dreamy.
5. Indoor Stars
Your kids will feel like they’re sleeping under the stars with this simple indoor fort idea. Push individual Christmas lights down into the top of a cardboard box. When your child crawls in, turn them on and watch them twinkle. Gloryanna Boge, who blogs at Only A Season, said she built this fort after the holidays so her son wouldn’t be sad when they took down his Christmas tree. Or, just string them up in a traditional blanket fort for a little extra sparkle!