This week we are talking about forts. You may not think you have room for a fort in your backyard but look again. There are many types of forts and tree house forts and on the ground forts. Your son can have a temporary fort like a small tent or a more permanent one up in a tree.
The forts on the ground are easy for boys to build on their own and may be a good start for your kids if they have not build one yet. The actual tree house forts are great but dad may need to help a bit depending on the age of the child. One thing to keep in mind is that a tree fort doesn’t have to be high. A tree like this river birch with three main trunks would be a great location for a fort because it can be high or not so high off the ground depending on the age of the boy. There are many ideas on line and even TV shows on the perfect tree house!
The point is to not get in the decision making process with your son, don’t ask too many questions and don’t give him the idea that it has to be perfect in your eyes. Allow dad to give advice a bit if your child is young but if he is around ten he should be able to handle most of this on his own. A more complicated tree house project can be a fun project for dad and son but we are talking about your son creating his private outdoor space. An adult built fort will be very different from a child built one. The benefit is in figuring it out and making a plan, making the mistakes, solving the problems and taking pride in their own hard work!
Here are a few more developmental benefits of fort building:
Invention and creativity: Your child is wired to create and invent things, fort building gives him a huge opportunity to do this.
Problem solving: At the start of any new project there are problems to solve and obstacles to overcome, it is good for kids to practice what it feels like to be in a problem and then be responsible for and seeing the solution through.
Gross and fine motor skills: Hammering nails and moving wood around is great for muscle building.
Increase spatial focus: Learning first hand how things fit together in space in the 3D world is very important. This can’t be learned on a computer screen.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on the next step!