The Seedling Blog

5 Amazing Forts Redefining Summer Staycation

Nothing says summer like camping — at home! Perfect for kids and adults alike, pitching a tent in your backyard or living room is low on stress, but big on family fun. Here’s your guide for building five amazing forts that allow you to just pretend and getaway from everyday life, channeling that vacation vibe:

1. The Simple Sheet Tent

This classic fort is easy to pull off with everyday household items, and it will be a chic modern addition to your backyard. We predict the grown-ups in the group won’t be able to resist this outdoor lounge, either. All you need is a bed sheet and some rope or twine to string between two trees or other fixed points. Upgrade your design with an inexpensive drop cloth reminiscent of beautifully crafted canvas tents and teepees. And if you prefer bold over simple elegance, grab some paint and add colorful graphics. All that’s left? Stake the four corners and enjoy a shaded nap.

2. The Sofa Fort

Building an awesome living room fort is a childhood art form, perfected over a summer of at-home campouts and slumber parties. You’ll need three sheets or blankets, pillows, sofa cushions, a couch, chairs, and safety or clothespins for securing your creation. Drape and arrange for maximum hiding, giggling, and comfort. Bonus tools: A flashlight for late-night storytelling, a silly “keep out” sign, and marshmallow treats.

3. The Box Fort 

At first glance, your Seedling shipping box might appear to be nothing more than utilitarian. But alone or combined with a city of cardboard boxes, it can be the fort of your child’s dreams. Stack boxes to build castles. Cut, tape, and paint a pirate ship. Sit in a hot air balloon. 

Repurposing your Seedling box also serves as a jumping off point for discussing art, upcycling, and even creative role playing — all important activities for developing your child’s independence, problem solving skills, emotional expression, and empathy. Gill Connell of Moving Smart further underscores how the cardboard box enhances this type of self-learning. In her post “What Cardboard Boxes Can Teach Kids,” she shares:

[T]he humble cardboard box is a great example of an asensory environment. The brown color suggests nothing in particular. The smooth sides infer little. The cube structure defines empty space…. This relief from the sensory world may explain, in part, why kids find the confines of a cardboard box so appealing. And of course, its very neutrality is the blank-slate upon which children so easily imprint their imaginations.

Most importantly, kids will have tons of fun thinking outside the box. 

4. The Hula-Hoop Fort

Create an airy, magical retreat fit for fairies by draping fabric strips around the perimeter of the hoop. You can attach the fabric with durable duck tape, staples, or a quick stitch. Add to the ambiance by draping ribbons and pom poms. Then, suspend from a tree by tying rope to four equidistant points on the hoop and attaching it to a higher center point. It will dance in the wind.

5. The Table Fort

Whether you take a simple approach of draping blankets over the table or cutting windows in old fabric scraps or tablecloths, children can’t resist crawling into this cozy fort and making it their own secret hiding space, reading nook, play house, or stuffed animal party pad.

What are your tips for building epic DIY forts? Share your #seedlingstory below and show us how you’re enjoying summer camp your way here and on Instagram!

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