A childhood fort is more than a fun hideaway; it’s also a construction site for the imagination. As kids scavenge for sticks, twine and other materials to build their forts, their creativity surges. Then, as they dream up plans and figure out how to construct the structure, they enhance their ingenuity. When the fort is finally done, it becomes the basecamp for days of outdoor play and adventures. Fantastic Forts: Inspiration for Wild Hideaways by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks is packed with ideas, tips and photos to inspire kids to build everything from sleeping forts to treehouses to miniature forts for toys. This garden tepee project from Fantastic Forts is a simple idea to get kids started.
- You will need five or six bamboo garden stakes about six to eight feet long. Hold them together in a bundle. Wrap a rubber band tightly around the stakes about one to two feet from the end.
- Stand the stakes upright in your chosen spot, with the rubber band at the top. Pull the stakes apart at the bottom, leaving a larger gap between two of the stakes as an entrance. When the spacing is right, push the ends of each stake into the ground to fix them in place.
- Attach the fabric to the stake frame with clothespins or clips and make sure it fits snugly. Decorate with a dream-catcher or some flowers and leaves. Place a box or log inside as a seat.
- For an entrance, secure fabric back from the doorway with clothespins facing away from the opening, or make an arch from bendy wood.
- A tepee made with dark-colored fabric may need a window, so use twisted creeper or bendy wood woven into a ring, and clip it in place on the frame. This allows light in and enables you to keep a look-out for visitors.
Photos and project used with permission of Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks 2016 and Frances Lincoln LTD, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, from Fantastic Forts: Inspiration for Wild Hideaways by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks.