Whether they are used as reading nooks, secret lairs, rocket ships, or sleeping tents, forts are a fun and memorable part of childhood. These fort building kits, ready-made forts for kids, and complementary accessories will provide all the supplies and ideas your kids need for hours of open-ended fort fun.
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Fort Building Kits
These fort building kits turn your kids into mini-engineers. The open-ended nature of these sets provides many different options for designing and building fun forts for kids.
Pole and Connector Fort Building Kits
Pole and connector sets allow your kids to build the bones of geometric forts, tunnels, tents, bridges, or whatever else their imaginations come up with. They simply push the poles into holes on the connecting joints at various angles. After putting the structure together, they can drape a sheet over top to complete the fort.
We own a Crazy Forts set, and my kids love using the poles and connectors to design hideouts. Their most recent creation was an “igloo.” Crazy Forts also sells a glow-in-the-dark set, which looks like so much fun!
You may want to purchase two or more Crazy Forts sets. While you can certainly build a fort for kids with only one set, you can make bigger and more complex structures with two or more.
Straws and Connectors
Kids can construct all kinds of shapes and structures using the 800-piece Playlearn Straws and Connectors set. The functionality of the set is similar to poles and connectors, but the straws are smaller and flexible; they can bend to create arches. The straws are not terribly strong, but you still may be able to drape a light sheet over your kids’ tunnels, tents, and forts for kids. The set contains enough pieces that you should only need one set. It also includes a convenient case so that the kids can store their straws and connectors between uses – if they want to tear their creations down!
“Fort Boards” Fort Building Kits
Fort Boards are interlocking panels that can be connected at various angles to create shapes and structures. These award-winning fort building kits are made out of durable polypropylene and can also be used to design vehicles, animals, and more. As with other fort building kits, reviewers recommend buying more than one set to be able to build bigger structures.
If your kids are into Nerf gun wars, Blaster Boards are perfectly suited for building bunkers and barricades with targets, and even shields. Grab your Nerf guns and a set or two (or more) of Blaster Boards, and your kids will be set up for hours of backyard fun. You might also want to try these out with water guns. My kids have these Super Soakers, and they’re really fun and easy to use.
See the Blaster Boards in action in this video.
KiwiCo Fort Building Kits
This complete fort building kit from KiwiCo comes with everything you need to build a pretty amazing two-story fort for kids. The cardboard pieces connect together to form the walls and second floor, and it includes fabric for a roof and door. In true KiwiCo form, the kit includes detailed instructions and educational information about architecture. The pieces can also be configured into other structures your kids dream up. For an extra special touch, order the cannonball launcher that can be attached!
Cabin-Themed Fantasy Fort for Kids
This Fantasy Forts set comes with large cardboard panels that look as though they are made of real wood. Kids can connect them together using hook and loop closures and clips to build a variety of fort designs. This is a great alternative to trying to build forts out of cardboard boxes!
Several reviewers mentioned that the roll of hook and loop fastening tape that comes with the set does not go far enough for the number of cardboard panels, so you may want to cut them shorter or order a second roll. If you want to create larger structures, try the 32-panel set.
Cardboard Building Block Set
Kids can put on their construction hats and use sturdy cardboard bricks to build forts, towers, and castles. Then, they can easily knock them down and build something new tomorrow. These Mondo Bloxx are praised for their size — you truly get 40 jumbo-sized blocks. The blocks arrive flat and must be folded up for playtime. You may want to get a storage tote such as this if you do not want to take the time to fold them back down after every use.
If you have ever had some cardboard boxes around the house, you have probably seen them repurposed into fabulous creations by your kids. However, it can be hard to fasten multiple cardboard pieces together. That’s where Box Lox kits come in. Using these handy clips to securely fasten cardboard together, kids can upcycle cardboard into epic forts and anything else their imaginations can come up with. The Box Lox kits also include booklets with ideas for your kids’ cardboard creations. Unlike tape, these fasteners can be used over and over again.
Watch the demonstration video below to see how they work.
TOTE A FORT Blanket Fort Kit for Kids
Blanket forts at our house usually consist of chairs being dragged in from the dining room and blankets constantly slipping, shifting, and sagging. TOTE A FORT allows your kids to master the elusive blanket fort. This fort building kit gives you all the materials you need to construct a sturdy blanket fort, using blankets made of durable Ripstop material, Velcro, and bean bags to weigh them down. Your kids can creatively attach the blankets to household items to create the ultimate blanket fort. The set also comes with a handy cinch sack to store and transport all the fort-building supplies.
Big Interlocking Building Blocks
These large, colorful interlocking blocks are perfect for building forts, castles, tunnels, or even a ball pit! Just connect the blocks in a full circle and toss some crush-proof plastic balls inside. The blocks are sturdy, easy to handle, and designed to be played with by kids as young as two years old.
Ready-Made Forts for Kids
The following ready-made fort ideas offer creative and easy ways for kids to escape into forts without having to design and build something themselves.
Have you ever done a group exercise with a parachute and sat underneath while the parachute ballooned up like a canopy? That is similar to the experience of being inside an AirFort. These provide a simple alternative to building the outside of the fort so kids can get straight to imagining what is happening inside. You will need a box fan to operate the AirFort. Once it is hooked up, your kids’ roomy fort inflates within 30 seconds!
Climbing Dome with Cover
Our climbing dome has been one of our favorite backyard toys. (You might want to read my full list of favorite outdoor toys for kids next.) A climbing dome is fun on its own, providing a great venue for kids to climb, hang, and play. When you add the cover on top, though, it transforms into a fun fort for kids. The cover for this Zupapa climbing dome is waterproof and UV-proof to keep out the elements while your kids play, hang out, or even camp underneath.
Transform your child’s bed into a fort with a bed tent. Set the tent up over the bed with the mattress as the floor. Your kids can sleep inside or use it to play and hide out during the day. This adorable bed tent is particularly fitting for your fort-loving child because it has a treehouse design on the outside, complete with a “keep out” sign.
Learn how to set up the bed tent in the video below.
Set up a play tent in your playroom or child’s bedroom for a fun fort. Bring some blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and books inside, and your children will have their own special nook. This stylish Tiny Land teepee is made out of natural breathable material, has cute little windows in the side, and even comes with a padded mat and lights. Another option is a popup tent such as this one that even comes with make-believe camping accessories.
Wooden Frames as Forts for Kids
Set up this beautiful natural wood playhouse frame inside, and you have the perfect place for your kids to pretend, read, or eat meals. You can set up a play kitchen or table inside to make it feel like a real house, and you can even decorate the playhouse for the different seasons!
Did you know you probably already have a great structure for a fort in your home? Your dining room table! You can use a tablecloth to print or draw your own house, castle, or fort design on the outside and cut in doors or windows. If you would like a ready-made option, try this adorable tablecloth playhouse on Etsy.
Accessories for Kids’ Forts
Make your forts for kids extra special with these accessories:
- Crazy Forts Lights attach to the connecting joints on the Crazy Forts kits.
- String up fairy lights inside the fort to create a magical ambiance.
- If your kids are using their fort as a pretend camping tent, they can use this camping set to enhance their play.
- Your kids can relax against these backrest pillows while relaxing in their forts.
- Grab a mat for the floor beneath the fort so that your kids have a soft, comfortable surface to play on.
- Beanbag chairs provide comfortable seating inside your forts for kids. This beanbag chair has the added bonus of being a stuffed animal storage unit. Sold!
What can kids do in the fort?
Sometimes kids can benefit from parents planting a seed of an idea for how they can use their forts. To jumpstart your imagination, here are some creative scenes shared by moms in my Facebook group, Maternal Reality.
- Cardboard box trains that made great props for reenacting Thomas and Friends episodes
- Lions’ dens inspired by The Lion King
- Little House on the Prairie houses
- Werewolf dens
- Mermaid hideouts utilizing the bathtub
- Pirate ships leading to treasure-seeking adventures
- Space stations and rocket ships
- Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter
- Make plans to build a fort on the same day as a friend and take one another on “tours” via video chat
However your kids use their them, and whatever they are made of, your kids’ forts are sure to lead to lasting memories.
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