I can remember the countless hours I spent as a child building blanket forts with my brother and the neighbor kids. Our imaginations ran while as we constructed castles and secret layers. It’s amazing how inventive a young child’s mind can be. I recently built some some blanket forts with my nephews and I thought it would be fun to share some of my professional (I’ve built many forts in my days) advice and tips.
Blanket forts are great for when your kids have sleepovers or if you do any baby sitting. I can still remember my two favorite baby sitters when we were kids. Paula was nice and always brought us garbage pail cards and let us stay up late. Jason would build blanket forts with us and let us watch whatever we wanted on TV. After building blanket forts with my nephews I realized it never gets old.
- a few set of blankets or sheets
- couple of chairs
- couple heavy books
- christmas lights
- most importantly, an imagination
Building the Ultimate Blanket Fort
- Design your layout. You’re going to need a room with a little bit of open floor space. Most of our forts were constructed in the family room but if your kids bedroom is large enough its the best place. Your kids won’t want to take down the fort anytime soon, and allowing them to use their imagination rather than sitting in front of the TV is a good thing.
- Determine what you are going to use for your framing. We usually used to use the kitchen chairs for the corners of our blanket forts to hold up the blankets. The only problem was our Mom would make us take down the fort so we could sit and have dinner. An alternative is using some string that can be tied to things in your room for the blanket to hang from like a bed post to a desk or from chair to chair. Layout the framing for your blanket fort and any inner walls.
- Lay the blankets over your framing. I always preferred using the darkest sheets or blankets we could find in the house. The darker and more mysterious the layer ,the more fun kids have and their imaginations begin to run wild. Place the blankets over your framing and use some heavier books to weigh them down preventing the roof of the blanket form from caving in.
- Secret passages and hallways are a must. You can create secret passages and hallways using some cardboard boxes you have laying around in the basement. Simply split two sides of the blanket fort with some boxes. You can also run some string down the middle of the fort to make a wall. The more creative the entrance the more fun as well. Try putting some angles in your entrance using a couple chairs so you can’t see inside the fort from the outside.
- A few sleeping bags inside the fort setup for the perfect sleepover. I can still remember the fun endless nights we had as kids inside of our blanket forts. I’m sure my parents also loved it because it didn’t cost them any money and occupied us so we weren’t running around the house.
- Christmas lights provide the perfect lighting for your blanket fort. Make sure your using a newer string of christmas lights that are low voltage that don’t generate a lot of heat. I remember the lights we used when we were kids would actually heat up the inside of the blanket fort, probably not the safest thing.
- A simple fan can provide built in air conditioning if you place it in the doorway of the fort.
- Make sure your kids forts have some open spots to let air in. If they are using heavy sleeping bags or blankets it can restrict the airflow.
- Encourage your kids to read and buy them some classic novels like the Hardy Boys to read inside of their new castles.
- Spend some times with your kids inside their forts. I know I had some great bonding moments with my parents while building blanket forts that I can still remember today. There the types of memories that last.
Blanket forts have probably been around since blankets were first made and I don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. They are easy to build and don’t cost you anything. Give your kids some fond memories and the ability to use their imaginations by teaching them how to build a blanket fort.