Rain is ideal indoor fort-building weather; forts make a cozy day even cozier. If you find yourself looking gloomily at the outside drizzle, its time to get those little (and big) bodies and minds moving. Heres what you need for a basic indoor fort:
Existing structure. This can be an alcove, furniture or the like -- youre just looking for something to build your fort around. A table makes an easy fort structure because you just have to throw a blanket over top of it, but an elite fort-builder might look for something with tunneling potential like a well-arranged group of couches and chairs.
Blankets. Create your roof and walls with blankets or sheets. Thicker blankets dont let light in or out, which can be an advantage, but theyre also heavier and can be harder to anchor. Sheets or light blankets might let some light in, but theyre easier to work with.
Anchors. Youll need to anchor your blankets somehow. Books are great for weighting a blanket down on a chair, table or stool. Dont use potted plants. Dont use pillows. If youve gone all digital and dont have stacks of heavy books around, use something else that is heavy and non-breakable -- and that wont injure any of the fort users should it fall. Light blankets and sheets can often be tucked or tied into place. Advanced fort builders might pursue more complex options for anchoring their blankets.
Cushions. Mattresses, couch cushions and pillows are all fort-building necessities for comfort or shielding, depending on the type of fort you build.
How you assemble these items depends entirely on the purpose of your fort. Here are a few main types to explore creating:
Reading/sleeping/screen-watching fort. For this type of fort, comfort and light control are top priorities. Begin with a mattress as your base, regular or inflatable, and move it to your desired fort location. Youll want someplace quiet and out of the way. If youve got a bunk bed, your fort is basically pre-assembled. Next, use some blankets that block light -- polar fleece is a light, breathable option. Once youve got your comfy base and your light-blocking covering, fill the space with more pillows, blankets and stuffed animals -- youre going for luxury comfort levels here. If youre reading in your fort, bring in a flashlight or small lamp -- just make sure the lamp doesnt touch any nearby fort material or get too hot.
Hideout fort. Privacy and camouflage are the priorities for someone who wants a good place to hide away for a while. Youll want to go the minimal route and do your best to blend in with the surroundings. A closet makes a great hideout, as does space under the stairs, but even a small corner with a hung blanket can work. Design your fort to blend in and then fill it with whatever you need to hang out for a while -- pillows, music, games -- and dont forget snacks.
Attack fort. Whether its Nerf guns, rubber bands or some other form of incursion, you need a safe place to block the assault and prepare for counter attack. Attack forts are best in large rooms. In the case of warring tribes, two forts, of course, is fair, but fair doesnt always work out. For an attack fort, your priorities are stealth and protection. Youll want a sturdy fort that can handle whatever might fly its way. Couch cushions make for thick, stable walls and youll want to put work into a well-anchored blanket or covering. A fort with spy holes, tunnels and weapon holes is going to be ideal. Lined up chairs make for a good tunnel -- just dont forget the blanket to hide you. Stock your fort with plenty of well-guarded provisions.