Kids' forts for rainy days

Kids' forts for rainy days

Spring has nearly sprung and while we’re all looking forward to warmer weather, there are no guarantees – which can make it hard to plan activities for the kids.

But no matter what the weather holds for us, there are some great ways that we can be creative indoors and outdoors with not much planning at all. With readily-available items such as cardboard boxes, bamboo sticks, string and blankets, you can unlock our children’s sense of adventure and creativity by encouraging them to build their own fort.

This will not only be something that will create happy memories to be cherished forever, but will also buy you a bit of time to finish that Zoom call or finish dinner.

We have scoured the internet for the perfect forts and dens and how to make them. Here are our two favourite forts for staying snug indoors, and our two for when you want to venture outside. But which is your favourite?

Outdoor blanket fort

The Backyard Kid blog has lots of great fort ideas. We love its outside blanket fort which can be easily created by stringing rope or wire between two objects such as a tree or a couple of garden chairs (being careful to place it at a safe height so you don’t run into it) and draping a blanket over it to create a shelter. The rest is up to you. One option is to create a small library with books and cushions where your little ones can hide out with a torch or run a pretend shop filled with dried and safely packaged goods to inspire their imagination.

Movie and game night fort

If you want a bit more decadence in your den, then Karas Party Ideas has this stunning ‘family game and movie night fort’ which is straight out of a scene of The Holiday.

The one featured here is pretty special but can be recreated really easily with a bit of space and four high-backed dining chairs draped in a large blanket. Carefully drape LED fairy lights around the tent, being sure to avoid anything flammable. Then, grab bags of popcorn, a game or two, lots of comfy pillows and snuggle down with your favourite movie on your laptop. Always turn off any electrical devices, such as laptops and lights after use.

Pirate fort

It was only a matter of time before cardboard boxes came into the mix. As the age-old joke goes, kids love playing with boxes more than the toys they came in, and we have found this to be very true. We absolutely love this pirate fort idea which can be so easily created with two large cardboard boxes and a homemade Jolly Roger flag for guaranteed hours of fun!

In a hurry? Why not try this free template for a Jolly Roger flag, which can be made by sticking a large piece of white card to a long bamboo stick.

Garden living fort

This may take a bit more time but with a little patience a living fort can be really rewarding and make a really lovely escape or mindful space in your garden. It is essentially a handmade structure that you sow seeds around encouraging the plants to grow up the structure over time to eventually provide shelter.

There are some great ideas here, with various shapes including a tepee or a Kew Gardens inspired dome. But if you want to go for the quickest and easiest option, the ‘runner bean tepee’ is a must. All you’d need is around 10 long bamboo canes placed upright in a large circle and then tie them together at the top with string to form a tepee shape. The string could also be used to wrap around the structure to make it a bit sturdier. You can then start planting a climbing plant of choice such as runner beans at the base.

For an even quicker solution, encourage your kids to search for discarded branches and foliage that they can use to dress the shelter to create a more rain proof fort without having to wait for the seeds to grow. The hunt will also have the added bonus of keeping them entertained for even longer.

Have you built your own fort or den at home recently? Please share your snaps with us over on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram channels - we’d love to see them!