I remember building indoor forts from the chairs my mother had moved while she scrubbed the floors. And forts in the barn with dangerously dark tunnels snaking through straw bales.
Fort building is the stuff of childhood.
It's a universal activity that incorporates so many delicious things: imagination, cooperation, engineering, experimentation. Satisfaction, stamina, delight, magic. A feeling of safety and refuge. A quiet, secret space. A sense of adventure. Liberation, being yourself, trying on new roles, problem solving, negotiation, discovery.
"Do you think we could live out here sometime?" one asked.
"Definitely! This could be where we sleep, and we'd cook our food over there. We'd just need a tarp to keep the rain out." said another.
"And some sleeping bags and flashlights. Just in case there are bears," another added.
It's so important that our children have spaces where they can let their imaginations run wild.
In our Nature Explorer group at Breithaupt Park, we have a lot of children who are interested in fort building, using materials they find on the forest floor. There is a fort that was started in our spring program, but that has largely been abandoned for new projects. It's becoming a fort village!
Take a peek into our construction site!