It turns out that building forts, hideouts, and playhouses are part of the way that kids learn. David Sobel, a leading expert on children's play, describes fort-building as a universal drive that’s rooted in kids’ healthy development.

“The special place outside serves to symbolize the special place inside,” Sobel says. “It’s their own private chrysalis.”

Forts can be a calming, safe and welcoming space for children. A place to call their own. The fort can even become their home base, where they eat lunch or a snack, do activities or get some quiet time.

If forts are built by a large group of children such as at a camp or school, the process of building the fort —and enjoying it— can really bring the children together as a community.

You can find many videos and articles on building forts. This resource from Gulf Islands Center is great for educators and parents alike.