Fort building is a serious business for kids. After all, the perfect blanket-based lair doesn't just happen. Here’s how to make a blanket fort that will be the envy of all your friends and neighbours – and you can even move the fun outdoors when the weather's nice.
How to choose the perfect spot for your blanket fort
The key to a successful blanket fort is really the location.
If you’re building your fort inside, that means picking somewhere out-of-the way: you don’t want someone accidentally trampling on the fort on their way to the fridge (technically, this would be an act of war). Make sure you have plenty of room too, since nearly all blanket forts end up bigger than originally planned.
If you’re wondering how to build a fort outside, your ideal starting point is a patch of flat ground, close to a few trees or bushes.
How to choose the right materials for your blanket fort
Your equipment list will depend a lot on on how you’re planning to set up your blanket fort. Here are some ideas:
- A waterproof ground sheet (if outside)
- Duvets and sleeping bags
- Cushions and pillows
- Chairs, sofas, and tables (work with what you have)
- Blankets and sheets, for the canopy
- Rope, clothes pegs, strong clips, and rubber bands
Bonus extras for advanced blanket forts:
- Hula hoops than can be opened out (trust us on this)
- Lightweight tab-top curtains
- Decorations! Flags, ribbons, banners, feathers, lights – anything you like
How to make a blanket fort floor
If you’re outside, your first step should be to lay out your waterproof ground sheet. If not, you can skip straight to a blanket base, working with your kids to flatten out all the bumps. Duvets or open sleeping bags are perfect for the next layer. Then bring in pillows or cushions.
Top tip: Don’t worry too much about getting your blankets and sheets a little dirty. Persil liquid can help out with any stains.
How to build a blanket fort frame
Now that you know how to make a fort floor, it’s time to move on to the frame. So ask yourself: how lazy am I feeling right now?
- Very lazy: Simply place a table over your fort base and drape blankets over the top. If you’re outside, hang your blanket on a tree branch or two instead.
- Not that lazy: Arrange some chairs to create a frame, or (if you’re outdoors) thread some rope between several tree branches and tie securely. Drape your frame with blankets and sheets, and secure with pegs and clips.
- Not lazy at all – I’m ready for advanced fort building: Use a combination of the two methods above to create the main section of your fort. Then take a hula hoop, pop it open, and thread the frame through the holes in a lightweight tab-top curtain. Re-seal the hoop, and use rope to suspend it horizontally from a tall branch or (if possible) a beam, with the curtain hanging down like a tent. Stand back – now your fort has a tower!
So that’s how to make a fort for kids – now to decorate it! Adorn your blanket fort with fairy lights, flags, flower garlands, tinsel or feathers to finish it off.
Once your blanket fort is complete, you and your kids will be all set for a day of outdoor activities or imaginative play around your new lair. Enjoy!