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How to Make a Fort for Kids

Updated on August 10, 2012

Fort Building Materials

  • Clothesline
  • Clothespins
  • Chairs, stools, and other furniture
  • Blankets, sheets, old curtains
  • Thick sleeping bags

Optional Items for Inside the Fort:

  • Small flashlights or book lights
  • Books
  • Coloring books, crayons, and paper
  • Portable DVD player
  • Snacks
  • Cooler with drinks
  • Yoga mats

Make Memories That Last a Lifetime

I remember when I was young, my aunt would help us make a fort out of blankets, chairs, broom handles and anything else we could find. We would camp out inside and listen to her read Danny and the Dinosaur while we snacked on pretzels. Now twenty plus years later, I can still remember the details of our blanket fort adventures. I now have children of my own and we have been building blanket forts in our living room for years. Over time we have learned some of the best (and worst) ways to set up a fort in the living room and hopefully these tips will help you create a blanket fort and memories that last a lifetime.

Blanket Fort for Kids

Blanket forts are easy to make!
Blanket forts are easy to make! | Source

Tips for Building a Fort in Your Living Room

If you want to make things really simple, you can buy a small tent and just put that up in your living room and let your kids hang out in there. That is what we did when our children were toddlers. As they get older you can build more elaborate forts with rooms and secret hiding spots. When we first started building forts we connected the clothesline to things in the room and after a handle broke off of our sliding glass door during one fort adventure we learned a few do's and don'ts of fort building. Our children are now 9 and 12 years old and we have built many forts. Here are some tips for building a blanket fort in your living room.

  1. Make sure you use chairs and furniture that create enough clearance to allow good airflow.
  2. Always keep on area of the fort open to go in and out and to allow air to enter the fort.
  3. Use the furniture to create an outline of your fort.
  4. Always use clothesline around all the furniture to make the blankets stay securely in their spots.
  5. Use light blankets. Full and queen size sheets and long thin curtains work best.
  6. Always put yoga mats or thick sleeping bags down on the floor to make the fort more comfortable. Fill the fort with a lot of pillows as well to cover the hard chair legs.
  7. Never secure blankets or clothesline to windows, doors, or door frames.
  8. If sleeping in the fort, make sure a flashlight is nearby in case someone has to get out to use the bathroom.
  9. If eating in the fort, always stick with water in easy to close bottles and simple snacks. Also, consider keeping a small cooler in the fort to store the food and drinks.
  10. Discuss items that are allowed and not allowed in forts. When our kids were young, no electronics were allowed in the fort because it was too easy to step on something and break it. Now that they are older we allow electronics.


Did you build blanket forts when you were a kid?

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What is your favorite thing to do inside a fort?

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When is the best day to build a fort?

Building a fort is a great rainy day activity or something you can do on a snow day. Once you build a fort you can enjoy it for the entire day and maybe even sleep inside of it. Building forts on the weekend or during summer vacation is also a good idea since it does take a while to take it all apart and put everything away when you are done with the fort.

Blanket forts should not be built outside since the blankets are not made to take on wind and rain, You may also find yourself bringing a lot of unwanted pollen and pests back into your house. Forts are best in large open rooms. You should always have a safe walkway to an exit in case of an emergency.



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    • topkidsreview profile image

      David Heinz 4 years ago from Salt Lake City, UT

      As a kid, building forts was my specialty. Even to this day, I love building forts and watching TV in them or just simply playing games.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 5 years ago from San Francisco

      My girls are building this fort as I write! A great activity while I'm working from home! They watched your video and are excited to watch a movie tonight. ;)

    • chrissieklinger profile image
      Author

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Glad it brought back your memories, too. I like that every time we make one it is a little different. My kids love to sleep in them and we are fortunate to have such high ceilings and an open floor plan that they can keep the fort up for days.....we just have to eat at the dining room table standing:)

    • Traci21 profile image

      Traci 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I used to love making forts! When I was a kid we used to make forts we could stand in and we played board games and we even slept in them. So much fun really enjoyed your Hub!