Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rainy Day Entertainment

When my kids complained one day a few years ago of being bored, I built them a fort. I can remember building forts with my brothers as a child. The forts were never super fancy, built out of blankets and cushions, but they were special because they were a space all our own. I figured it would be something that my kids would also enjoy, so I used several afghans and throws to construct a fort in the open space between our sofa and our recliner. Then, to create a more roomy fort, I added the easel and a kitchen chair to help expand the covered area.

It was an instant hit. There is something so magical about a fort. Suddenly the same books and games and toys that we have are more interesting, because they can be played with inside the fort, a space all their own - where Mom and Dad can't come in.

They will move stacks of books and games into their fort after it is built. Some are for playing and others are for constructing internal "walls" to divide their space. They also like to take in flashlights to help light the darkened play area and blankets and pillows for pretending it is nap and bedtime (the same two that dont' want to take a nap or go to bed). It is fun to be outside the fort listening to their conversations. It is great to hear their imagination hard at work during their play.

I frequently have to repair the fort as they bump into the 'roof' and it gapes or falls. Despite building it in the same area each time, the fort is never quite the same. Each time though, it is sure to please and entertain.

At the end of the day, or before we head out for errands, we tear down the fort - they get so upset, as if we can't just rebuild it the next day or later when we are ready to play again.

When we visit my parent's house, my mom builds a fort using her dining room table with the chairs pulled out and covering it with a couple of afghans - giving them a large fort area with a secure roof. They each take their own flashlight and create a play area all their own.

We tend to build forts when it rains or snows and to bridge the mid-day in summer, when it is too hot and the sun too intense to spend the time outside. It is easy and cheap entertainment for the kids and brings back memories of my childhood.

This post shared at Works For Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday.


Kaye said...

I always loved a fort and so does our son! Great tip.

The Activity Mom said...

So fun! I'm terrible at building forts. Mine usually falls down so I leave it to the hubby. I look forward to when my kids are a little older and create their own.

Zion said...

Aw, I always loved forts too. It's been raining like crazy where I live!