At the beginning of the year we set a few goals, things we as a family would like to aim for and hopefully achieve this year – if you missed it click here. I thought it would be a good time to check in and see how we are getting on. So far we are looking good and on track, which is excellent! One of these goals was to “play more”. It sounds funny, but with the fast pace of today’s busy world, work commitments and other responsibilities, everyday life can get in the way. The importance of play, can sometimes be over-looked. But did you know that imaginative play can help develop essential social, emotional and language skills?
All I have to do is think back to my childhood, and remember how much fun we used to have making up all kinds of stories and going on wonderful adventures – all within our own backyard. Enter the realm of fort building and hut making! Just between us, I’m sure I get more excited about this than my kids (I know a lot of you fellow p&t parents are with me on this one…) But what’s not to love? You get to be creative, resourceful, active and imaginative all while having fun with the kidlets!
There are many different styles of forts and huts you can make, but the best are always made ‘free-style’ with whatever you have around the house – that’s where the real magic lies. The classic fort formation is a sheet or blanket draped over two chairs. A broom handle miraculously becomes a tee-pee pole, and a plastic outdoor table draped with a sheet stuffed with cushions and pillows becomes a comfy retreat in seconds. Fill these spaces with their favourite books and toys and you’re on to a winner. Even the phil&teds traveller could make a cosy den. As glamorously modelled by Taika Waititi film director, actor and comedian in the pic below. Cardboard boxes become buildings or castles and kids and parents become superheroes. Toddlers make great monsters as they trudge around the place, destroying everything in their paths. It really adds to the authenticity of the experience, making it fun and inclusive for kids of all ages.
If you are unsure of where to start check out this awesome site, Built by Kids to steer you in the right direction. Although I bet once you head outside armed with a few supplies you will be fort building and hut making in no time, as all those childhood memories start flooding back. The best part is getting the kids input and getting them involved, and seeing what ideas and plot lines they come up with. They will surprise and amaze you! They will love building, decorating and designing flags or making signs to adorn their fort or hut. The beauty about this activity is it can be outdoor or indoor so no need to cancel if the weather turns sour.
Make sure you allow plenty of time for this activity as once you start, it’s so easy to get caught up in the scenario. Creating awesome stories, imaginative play, craft activities, dress up and all that running around makes for a busy action packed day. Whenever we have a fort in the yard it’s a must to have a special fort or hut lunch. Fresh fruit and healthy sandwiches will taste so much better when enjoyed inside a magical fort! If your kids are school aged, get them to write about their day spent fort making and it may even become a treasured memory for them to pass down too.
Images via pinterest
Do your little ones enjoy fort building and hut making? Get involved and be sure to share your ideas and experiences