Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Building a fort

Building a fort out of blankets in the living room is a childhood rite of passage.  If, for some reason, you have survived to adulthood without having done so at least once, you should definitely build a fort in your living room without delay.
I didn't crop out the top of the photo (and made it larger than usual) so the relatives could have fun picking out their pictures on display (hint: Bluefields are on the left; Sheppys are on the right).  You can see our cute little snowman and penguin on the shelf as well.  Oh, and the trees y'all gave me for Christmas last year are on the window ledge--love 'em--thank you!
A few hints and tips I've learned over the years:
  • If you happen to have a dining table that has legs at the corners instead of underneath (like Chip & Bbil, and Shep & Buckwheat have), save yourself some aggravation and use the bottom side of the table as the roof of your fort--if the table's not big enough for you, use chairs to expand the fort.  If not, use any tall furniture you happen to have for supports--I use our dining chairs and living room furniture.
  • I've always used blankets for my forts, but flat sheets are lighter, and stay in place a little better than blankets.
  • I use masking tape to secure the sheets or blankets in place.
  • Once you've made the main structure, use more sheets or blankets to expand and/or cover the sides--the more enclosed your fort is, the more fun it is.  I use our throw blankets for this.
  • Don't forget to add pillows and blankets to the floor of your fort to make it more cozy--we had almost every pillow in the house in ours--and that's quite a few pillows :)
Here's Pal arranging about 1/3 of the pillows that eventually ended up in our fort (and Bubby telling me to make the camera not flash...)
Building a fort is such a great way to encourage children's imaginations.  In just the first 45 minutes of our fort's all-day life span, ours transformed from cave to tent to tiger cage, to zoo to parking garage to race track, to pillow fight arena to theater.  What a fun and creative way to spend a cold day inside!

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