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Help Me Turn My Home Into an Awesome Fort

Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark faceRegistered User regular
Hey guys, so my wife is going on a girls trip for 4 days, and I'll be taking off work to watch my three kiddos (ages 7, 5, 4). Something I thought would be super fun to do with them is turn our entire house into a fort!

So I'm just looking for helpful ideas. Right now, I'm planning to do an inventory of all the extra bedsheets we have and maybe pick up a few more for cheap at Target or whatever. Probably get some push-pins for attaching the sheets to walls, and I'll tuck sheets into beds and hampers and so on, like I remembering doing as a kid.

So if you have any fun, creative, and preferably cheap ideas for turning our house into a sweet fort, let me have them!

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Posts

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I have one word for you: FIRE

    Shark, have you thought about this?

    :D

    Serious suggestion: Maybe get one of those star projector things and have it project onto the sheet ceiling of the fort?

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  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    A good fort of any kind needs a planning phase. Step 1 is breaking out the crayons and sheet paper.

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  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    i like the idea of a box tunnel to a room where there's a blanket hanging just barely overhead. like, tent vibes

    or get some nets and play ocean sounds and get one of those ocean projectors for the ceiling

    UNDA DA SEA

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  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I have one word for you: FIRE

    Shark, have you thought about this?

    :D

    Serious suggestion: Maybe get one of those star projector things and have it project onto the sheet ceiling of the fort?

    Psh, the house has plenty of smoke detectors and those new light bulbs give off like no heat, should be fine.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    I assume you can acquire heavy earth moving equipment?

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  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    tyrannus wrote: »
    i like the idea of a box tunnel to a room where there's a blanket hanging just barely overhead. like, tent vibes

    or get some nets and play ocean sounds and get one of those ocean projectors for the ceiling

    UNDA DA SEA

    This is good yes yes.

    I still have a giant (maybe 8'x4'x4') box in the storage area that I can get out and put in one of the rooms. wall off the sides with pillows and hang sheets over the top, cut a hole in the front and back for access through to the next part of the fort.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Cardboard boxes. If you know a friend working at a store they usually have to get rid of insane amounts of cardboard boxes of various types. Cardboard, a cardboard cutter and a bit of glue and you can make a very additions to a fort. If you need to attach it to walls, adhesive putty works on metal and painted wood. Frequently not so great on wallpaper...

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  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    Get those color filters so you can cast certain areas of the home in a different light. For example. I put up blue/green filters in my kitchen for halloween to turn it into a mortuary, and red light in my bathroom to turn it into a murder scene. (We stuffed a shirt/pants combo to make a corpse in the bathtub and sprayed some fake blood on the mirror/shower)

  • Blameless ClericBlameless Cleric An angel made of sapphires each more flawlessly cut than the last Registered User regular
    When we were little kids making forts we liked to make rooms we didn't have! So one room would be the library with lots of books stacked up (including book stacks as some of the blanket support), one room would be the Stuffed Animal Room full of stuffed animals, one room would be set up as a theatre with either the TV or the finger puppet theatre we had in it, etc. It was also fun to make the floor different too, with blankets or cushions or the occasional bean bag! Our parents even let us sleep in it sometimes and we'd decorate our 'rooms' very specially. Part of the fun was having it be a small enclosed space, like a nest or a cave.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Beeak out the Christmas lights

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    i would consider command hooks over pushpins. lest you have a ton of tiny little holes in your wall

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Flashlight nerf fight

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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Taking mattresses and box springs or bases and leaning them up against walls makes for good structure for forts. Also gives access to cleaning under beds which rarely gets done otherwise.

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    I can’t stress enough the importance of hanging sheets vertically to create mini rooms, tunnels, hallways, etc. Having a giant tent like room is fun, but the more maze like the fort is the vastly more fun it will be. This includes making secret rooms that have hidden entrances.

    Also you should mix it up with the building materials. Have some walls built from pillows, use furniture strategically, use baby gates here and there, etc.

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I don't have advice, in fact I'm going to cull this thread for all the best advice and try it out for me and my husband sometime. But I do request that you take plenty of pictures of your eventual construct when it's done.

    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

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  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I can’t stress enough the importance of hanging sheets vertically to create mini rooms, tunnels, hallways, etc. Having a giant tent like room is fun, but the more maze like the fort is the vastly more fun it will be. This includes making secret rooms that have hidden entrances.

    Also you should mix it up with the building materials. Have some walls built from pillows, use furniture strategically, use baby gates here and there, etc.

    Oh yeah multiple mini rooms and tunnels is definitely the plan. Good idea with the baby gates, I think we still have some in storage!

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I don't have advice, in fact I'm going to cull this thread for all the best advice and try it out for me and my husband sometime. But I do request that you take plenty of pictures of your eventual construct when it's done.

    Will do!

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
    Cambiata
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'd get a few bags of those small LED candles, you can find them at walmart and target, they put off no heat and they don't need to be plugged in, but a few handfulls of them in a box hallway will have a cool vibe. Some of them even have a fake flicker.

  • ChiselphaneChiselphane Registered User regular
    You can do some cool stuff with a big roll of bubble wrap. Layer it under the 'floor' for traps/security system, etc.

  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    The opening sequence of Ant-Man and the Wasp has some pretty good ideas here.

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    One of the YT channels my kids watch does this a lot. They used a bunch of HD moving boxes, but I agree with asking for boxes from friends in retail. Honestly, you could probably talk to a manager at Best Buy or maybe Sears and get some good materials. They'll just be happy not to have to deal with tossing it all into the compactor.

    When I was younger, my brother and I used a bunch of empty moving boxes to make various tunnels in the basement; and later added portholes and windows. That was some good times. We had that thing set up for probably 8 or 9 months.


    Edit: Bonus points if you can set up a barrier near the front door for you and the kids to hide behind and leave a nerf gun and shield for your wife, for when she gets home.

    Edit 2: I forgot! Said YT channel also turned one of their sets of stairs into a slide by putting flat cardboard on it and placing pillows at the bottom. Granted, they live in a split-level, so their slide wasn't long enough to cause injury. Still, it was pretty awesome.

    Mugsley on
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I did this every night I babysat in high school. We'd play this game where I was a cat, they were mice. They lived in a fort (I built for them in their huge basement,) which I couldn't enter. They'd sneak out of the fort, harass me or "steal" something, and run back to the fort while I pretended to chase them so I could eat them.

    In my experience, the ideal fort is a mix of old sheets, cardboard boxes, and then whatever "extras" you have. The family I baby-sat for had a bunch of those spring-up play things (like castles and tunnels) so I used those in place of boxes. Exercise mats are good if you have those for some reason, too. (They work as a fort-liner to make the floor more comfortable, or you can turn it on it's side and use it as a supporting wall.)

    Old bed-sheets seem like a pain to work with at first, but if you employ jump ropes and clothes pins they aren't an issue. (You can probably substitute string for the jump ropes.) The ropes hold the sheets up so the ceiling doesn't sag, clothes pins attach the sheets to chairs and stuff without the need of knots. You can also use that trick of inflating a fitted sheet with a fan.

    Boxes are great, but they don't let in much light which can be a problem. They're also not as durable as you'd think, because as parts get compressed/bent they don't hold their shape as well. They aren't good for fast-crawling if you're playing something involving chase.

    I think the ideal fort would have cardboard turrets with a sheet running over the top & sides, with jump ropes/string employed to keep the top sheet from sagging. Clothespin the sheets to keep them in place. Cut windows in the boxes so the kids can see. Line the bottom with pillows and other fun stuff. That would act as the main area- the place the kids can hang out without the negatives that typically go with a fort (cramped interior, sagging ceiling, etc.) Then add on tunnels to outpost areas and whatnot for the fun of rushing to different rooms and secret spaces. Make sure the kids can make beds/nests/special areas for themselves and their favorite toys.

    .

    But having a fun structure is only half of what makes a fort fun. Forts need to be special, almost secretive places that don't feel like slightly-less convenient (but cooler) versions of your home. That's why beds/nests/special areas are so important. It needs to feel like your special, fun place that has it's own set of rules. I mean, what's the point of a fort if you're gonna just sit in it & watch TV?

    So you need activities. Like, regular clothes are optional. The kids can wear dress-up all day long in the fort, and you'll all have a contest to see who can dress and act the silliest.

    Or, there are special fort snacks the kids can eat in the fort. Maybe you play a game, where you "guard" the snacks, and the kids "steal" them and eat them in their special fort. They don't have to be unhealthy because feeling like you've stolen the snack makes it taste better. Like, you could pretend the kids are bunnies and you're Mr. Mcgregor trying to keep them from getting into a bowl filled with baby carrots & apple slices. (Like in Peter Rabbit.) My mom used to play this with us. (Although she gave us prosciutto and it was only on special occasions.)

    You guys can do shadow puppets. Or come up with a secret code, write messages in it, and hide the messages around the fort for fun. Maybe after the kids are in bed for the night, you set up a treasure hunt in the fort. Maybe you buy some plaster of paris, and little fun "treasure" type things, and some saftey goggles, and let the kids hammer through the plaster of paris for surprises outside.

    Stuff like that can vastly increase how fun a fort is.

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  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    The important thing is to time your wife's return just right so that the first thing she sees is the giant mess of forts , but second thing she sees is you and the kids sleeping super adorably all in the fort ( chosen sleeping spot is picked for maximum coming in the front door timing)

    Then she can't be mad at the mess!

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  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    Oh yes she can.

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  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Watch the beginning of Antman and Wasp for research.

    No really. :D

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  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    OK, apologies for the delay in getting pictures up! We didn't quite cover the entire home in forts, as we got distracted with playing in them, but we did do a pretty good job!
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    We started in the living room/dining room area and connected several fort elements. The entrance is at the bottom, where I put some of our Build-Abouts together (basically this cardboard fort-building set you can buy online, we had gotten the kids a set for Christmas a while ago). This was used as the costume changing room later (inspired by Mario Odyssey). The Build-Abouts connected to a toy teepee/tent, which I draped with blankets to seal off from the outside. Then we used one of those play tunnels to connect to another fort underneath the dining room table, which was my daughter's home base for mostly doing a lot of coloring, decorating, and the occasional surprise attack on Dad.
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    Next phase was putting together some larger forts in the family room/play room area. My oldest child laid claim to the massive plotter box that I had laying in storage, so we laid some sheets over it and I cut a door at one end. He put up a "passcode" that needed to be punched in to grant access (spoiler alert, the passcode was "FORT").

    Second child got the other big plotter box, and again I cut him a hole for entrance in the bottom corner. The boys used these two forts as a home base for waging war and retreating to safety when we played various games like Lynel chase, Lynel attack, Battle the Lynel, etc (inspired by Zelda BotW).

    The final phase was to put together forts in the upstairs bedrooms. The goal was to connect them all via the hallway, but we didn't get around to it.
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    The boys bedroom (including extra space under the bunk beds).
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    My daughter's bedroom. I didn't get a picture, but we added more to it later and then she "decorated" it by hanging all her swimsuits and princess dresses around the outside of it. Lel.
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    The spare bedroom, including an L-shaped tunnel to the cardboard box in the back.

    All in all, a super fun weekend, and one they hopefully will remember for a long time!

    Tagging @cambiata because you specifically requested photos.

    Sir Landshark on
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