Building a fort is great engineering practice that helps kids learn physics and develop their creativity. When I saw the Fort a Building Challenge from Building Blocks and Acorns I knew it was a project for us. However, it did not go as expected.
After a fun day, that ended up having nothing to do with forts, some illness, and some general disruption of this mother's plans, I finally resorted to just making the fort myself on a random day. After all, setting the example is one of the most important aspects of involving kids in STEM, right?
Materials for this Messy Fort
Dining Room Chairs
How to Set Up a Messy Fort
I chose this spot in our dining area, because I wanted natural light pouring into our fort so that it would be good for art. We had already lined the windows with painters tape.
I put down the foam mats to protect the floor and make a comfortable place to sit .
The mats were covered with a tarp for added protection. I wanted to be sure the kids really had the chance to get messy!
Next, I arranged four chairs on the edge of the tarp.
Finally, I topped it all with a bed sheet, and fastened the corners with twisty ties.
How We Enjoyed our Messy Fort
My preschooler was the first one to use the messy fort . She loved being able to play with play dough on the ground. I do not normally allow that. She made some shape patterns and did an experiment by mixing two types of play dough.
Next, I set up a special sensory play for my toddler. I mixed up some bubbles with the dish soap, and put them in a pot.
She enjoyed exploring and squishing the suds between her fingers. Sensory play is science for babies!
When my oldest got home from school, he was excited to get on on the action. He ate his snack in the fort, then he used water colors to practice his spelling words and do some art.
Some times, rather than adding a new activity, we just need to liven up the ordinary tasks. My children loved that they had a special place to enjoy their normal activities. We enjoyed our messy fort, and I am looking forward to many more forts to come.
How do you like to liven up ordinary days?
There have been some great forts done as part of this fort building challenge including, an ocean fort, an outdoor fort, and a space fort. All great science themes! It is not too late to get in on the fun. Check out the Fort Building Challenge homepage, build your own fort, and even send in a picture.
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