Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fun summer activity: Make a fort!

It's finally summer break in our house.

For most people that means every day is spent pool side, at the lake, camping, going to the water park, or even just playing in the backyard in a kiddie pool. That was us...last year. And every year before that. 
But now?
Well, we live in the greater Seattle area, so it rains. A lot.
Oh yeah, and we went from a 4 bedroom house with a yard to a 2 bedroom apartment...temporarily of course.(that's what happens when you move a week before Christmas. Not a lot of options in the winter!)
We are trying to make the best of it because the weather here sucks. 
It's killing me.
Rain, rain, & more rain. Today it's going to be 63 & rainy. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 63 & rainy. The day after that? Ooooh, 66 & rainy. Supposedly it's only supposed to be partly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain on Wednesday, but that's like 5 days from now. Doesn't seem very summery, that's for sure. At least not summery like what I'm used to.

So,what's a mom to do when it's the 2nd day of summer & you're home with 2 bored, restless children?

Build a fort!
Duh.

I love this picture from Pinterest.

I was putting my son's laundry away yesterday when I saw him struggling with a huge, heavy blanket trying to build some kind of tent looking contraption between his toy box and his bed. The thing ended up being about 2 square feet & was draped 3 inches above the ground, but my 7 year old was pretty pumped.
Then I had an idea! How about I help the kid out?
I could build him a really awesome fort, and the kid would love me forever.
I told my son to step aside and watch his mom build the fort of his dreams.

This is what we ended up with.

I dug through his closet and I found these 2 camouflaged pieces of fabric my mom had sent the kids last summer. She found them at a garage sale & I think they are meant to really make some kind of canopy or cover type thingy for a playhouse. They are just big pieces of fabric that have been hemmed and they have these little elastic loops around the edges and on the corners so you can hook them onto stuff. Pretty cool, but we'd never really done anything with them before. I want to make some in different colors now too.
More on that later!

So I used the camo fabric thingies and I just started draping them over stuff. I moved Lily's kitchen set up onto the edge of the bed to give it some height. I secured the fabric with one of the elastic loops and then I draped it up over the TV. This probably isn't the best solution, but to secure it there I just set a couple stacks of coloring books up there. They are nice and heavy and they fit perfectly on  top of the TV without tipping over or falling off. (My kids are old enough that I simply warned them not to pull on the fabric or the stacks of books would fall down...possibly on their heads...and they haven't touched them at all so far. No injuries as of yet!) Anyways, I just kept draping the fabric & securing it with whatever heavy items were laying around, or I'd loop the elastic thingies around whatever I could find. Repeat with the 2nd one.

Next, I had to do something to raise the middle of the fort since it was sagging quite a bit. I needed something to hold it up in the center and I had a feeling a pole in the middle of the fort wasn't going to work. So my only option was to go from the ceiling. I didn't have a lot of options. I had a pretty dumb idea that I wasn't sure would work. I tested my theory and was surprised to see that it held just fine.
What did I use? Dental floss and a couple of thumb tacks.
Yep, that's it. I stuck a thumb tack in the ceiling, wrapped a long piece of dental floss (doubled up) around it and then tied the other end to an elastic loop on the fabric. It worked! My 7 year old can almost stand up completely inside of the fort.


The kids' awesome fort from the outside.


This thing has been a huge hit with the kids! They can hang out in there, play, read, watch movies, and even play Xbox inside. It was so much fun that they wanted to sleep in it, and I was totally cool with that idea. Camp out in the bedroom!

I moved Ayden's toy box out of the way & laid out some comforters on the floor for some extra padding. Then we just loaded them up with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and popcorn and they were good to go. 



Snuggled up with some popcorn, getting ready to watch a movie.



Watching the beginning of Aladdin.

Look at how much room they have!

They slept comfortably all night.
Camping out again tonight.

Go build a fort for your kids!


1 comment:

  1. So cute!!!

    Someone should really market those fabric with the elastic loops for forts. I would totally buy some!

    ReplyDelete

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