Sequoia has been asking for a fort or a tree house for quite some time. This past week, while my mom was visiting, seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to build a fort, and for a bit of one on one time. We found a good spot in the woods, at the edge of the yard. This little tree was permanently bent over, and made a great support frame for the beginnings of a fort.
So i admit, i know nothing about building a fort. We just started building. We found tall branches to lean against the center frame and tried to intertwine them a bit so they held each other up teepee style.
We got quite a bit done the first day. Setting up most of the framing and creating the space. Sequoia was very concerned about making the fort accommodating to any wildlife that may wander through. He added clumps of soft moss to the floor, and created a couple of bird perches along the walls.
It didn't take Sage long to find us, and her and Nana came over to help. It quickly became a family project.
Once we got the main frame put together, we began weaving sticks and grapevine horizontally through the branches to secure it more. A day or so after starting it we had some crazy wind come through late in the evening. i could hear in the night, and was a bit concerned about what we might find in the morning. After all the work we put into it, it would be a real bummer if the wind knocked it over. So i was pretty thrilled to see that the fort still standing the next morning. It has survived strong winds, and a week of rain as well.
It is a work in progress, we just keep adding more too it every time we are outside. i am going to gather some of the flexible green grape vine, and basket weave it through a bit more. It really turned out surprisingly well for my complete lack of fort building experience.
i have always wanted to build the kids a living playhouse, and so we are planning to plant some vines around the base of it. i'm not sure how well they will grow, as this area stays rather damp, and doesn't get a ton of sunlight. i'll have to do a bit of research to find out what we could grow to climb the sides of the fort. Virginia creeper may be our best candidate, as it already grows all through the woods and grows extremely fast. The vines will help to hold it all together, and the leaves will help to fill in the walls a bit more.
Building a simple fort is a great way to spark a child's imagination and creativity. Inside or outside, it can be lots of fun. On rainy days and in the winter, we've made our share of pillow and blanket forts. Kids just really love having their own special space where they can pretend and act out their adventures, or simply create a special retreat that they can call their own.