One of my favorite activities as a child was building forts both inside and out. Anything was fair game for a fort. Pillow, blankets, couch cushions, even leftover boxes from the recycling. Kids can be entertained for hours in a fort, even though they’re only doing their normal activities once the fort is made. Making forts isn’t just about playtime though, it’s also an important developmental activity for toddlers to engage in.

Building Creativity
Building forts plays a big role in building creativity in children. It’s unstructured play time, which is crucial for young children in order to develop the skills they need for real life. Even an only child can benefit from fort building because it helps them develop the skill of self-entertaining. This is especially important these days with the technology we have. Many children spend their days watching T.V. and playing on the computer, even from a very young age. This can make them grow up without the ability to entertain themselves.

Teamwork
For siblings or friends, building forts helps foster the ability to work with a team. Even toddlers can learn how to work as a team when building a fort. Unstructured play time like fort building forces children to organize themselves and get along without parent supervision. Is encourages leadership skills and problem solving. When the fort isn’t going as planned or when a part of it falls down, children are forced to repair it together or designate building roles in order for the project to get completed.

Critical Thinking Skills
Another part of fort building is critical thinking. A fort doesn’t just assemble itself, it needs to be planned out in order to stand up. This means that children must select things from their environment that will physically be able to construct a fort. This takes thinking, creativity, and trial and error. Building a fort can often resemble science more than imagination because it requires children to form a hypothesis and then test their ideas again and again until they get a result that works. Also, forts encourage critical thinking and teamwork building activities such as reading, storytelling, and board games.

Since fort building is such a popular activity for children, many toy companies have manufactured kits for building forts, but you should think twice before buying these. A kit doesn’t promote as much creativity and may even come with instructions, which doesn’t promote problem solving as well as a homemade fort.

Schmidt, A. (2012, March 26). The benefits of fort building. North Shore Pediatric Therapy .