Taking Fort-Building To The Next Level


fort-planFor those of us who live in a cold climate and have high-energy children, and do not have a playroom or extra space of any kind, winter brings a special kind of dread. Namely, the “what in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster am I going to do with these crazy people when it’s snowing and/or too cold to go outside?” kind of dread.

One of my favorite desperation activities is fort building. I remember from my own childhood how much fun it was to collect cushions and chairs and blankets from all over the house and create my own little hidey hole, and my own kids love it too.

Of course, we are not nearly as skilled as Peter Hartlaub appears to be, if his piece from The Poop is any indication. His use principles of engineering, futon mattresses, projectiles, and all kinds of things to make fort building a true event in his household. One tip: Use blankets as mortar. If you drape blankets around the joints between cushions, it apparently makes the walls much stronger.

His forts put ours to shame. Around here, they’re generally made of two chairs and a blanket (what can I say, I’m a writer, not an architect). But for little kids, even that can seem like a remarkable place all their own.

What are your favorite fort-building tips?