Are you looking something to do in these times when we just have to lean into being inside?  Do you need a way to distract your toddler or preschooler for a while, so you can get some work done?  Do you just need like, 15 minutes of quiet?

In this edition of Pandemic Playtime we’re talking about…FORTS!

I’ve been an Early Childhood Educator for a very long time, and I can tell you that toddlers and preschoolers often seek out little hiding places because it gives them a feeling of ownership and control over their surroundings.  Teepees, tents, pillow and blanket forts all give little kids the illusion of privacy, which is important in developing a sense of self.

As much as I love a good pillow fort, I really feel like the best place to set up your isolation fortress is under a kitchen or dinning room table. I use an old queen sized fitted sheet, under 2 legs and up over the top. This ensures you have one open side (so nobody suffocates) and one fabric wall that will give you the architectural support for all manner of pillows and blankets.

Your household will determine the best type of fort for you, but luckily IKEA has developed some amazing plans to turn you and your preschooler into fort-chitects, or at the very least give you some inspiration – and a little chuckle – to help you through those days when playing outside just isn’t an option.

A fort is a great way to break up your house a little, and give everyone an ‘alone zone’ (Brooklyn 99 anyone?). I’m sure by now – if you’re like us – you’re all kind of feeling a bit cooped up and cagey. Consider setting up a little cozy camp someplace it can stay up for a while, so kids (or parents) can go for some privacy, snuggling, or just a change of scenery.

Now let’s get Fort-ing!!!