Skip to main content

How to build the best kids blanket fort this summer

When kids are out of school, they’re exploring the world. They’re experimenting with different things and doing a whole lot of imagining, and you might be ready for them to stop taking everything apart as they try to find ways to expend that freedom-loving energy.

Blanket forts are a childhood staple. Building them helps your child develop critical cognitive skills, and playing in one can help reduce screen time and alleviate boredom. Blanket forts are surprisingly easy to construct once you’ve gotten the hang of the basic structure, so listen up! We’ve got everything you need to know about building a blanket fort your kids will love.

Blanket fort safety

Before we get started, keep these things in mind:

  • Avoid building blanket forts with crawling babies or toddlers who can hurt themselves.
  • Move obstacles out of the way, so you’re less likely to experience an injury.
  • Use string or twine to build height. Save heavy weights like books for securing the bottom edges of the fort.
  • Supervise children during play and immediately remove any collapsed sections.

Blanket fort basics

blanket forts for kids
Freeograph / Shutterstock

You must master the basics before you can begin experimenting. Here’s what you need to know about building a blanket fort that doesn’t immediately collapse.

Light sheets on top

Yes, we know — it’s called a blanket fort. But putting your blankets as the structure of your fort will only get you a stiflingly hot fort that’s likely to cave in at any minute. Save those blankets for building up the base and snuggling in for a good book.

Light sheets on top allow you to build peaks and angles, giving you so much more flexibility in your design. Master those shapes, and you’ll be a legendary blanket fort builder.

Use creative materials

Take a look around your house to see what you could use. If your child has a tunnel toy, use it for a secret entrance. If you have a tall coat rack, use it to build height into one of your blanket fort sections.

Once you see the materials at hand in your house, you can unleash your creativity. The crucial aspects of building a fort involve not only supports but the innovative use of materials to create doorways, arches, and other features.

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Make room

Move smaller furniture away from the space. Lightweight furniture that will topple over is also not recommended. You may be able to use smaller furniture to create entrances instead of trying to use them as supports.

You’ll also want to remove any small items you don’t want crushed accidentally, or that could pose a tripping hazard. You’ve already got blankets and pillows throughout the space, so clear it of other items that may cause stubbed toes and tears.

Practice makes perfect

When you first start building, start with a simple shape. Squares are often the easiest to manage. Once you master a simple form, you can add other elements to expand. Don’t be upset if you can’t build a world-record-worthy fort on your first day.

Some blanket fort ideas

If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas. You can build them in a range of time frames from just a few minutes to a couple of hours.

The table fort

Luckily, anything can be used as a piece of support. If your child is asking for a blanket fort and you don’t have the time, experience, or materials to build something elaborate, take a good look at your kitchen table.

Drape a sheet over your table so that it covers all sides down to the floor. Arrange pillows and blankets underneath and tape a paper sign to the front announcing whose fort it is or who is allowed inside.

This takes just a few minutes and can please children for hours. Small tables are a perfect nook, while long tables may be appropriate for a family-size fort. And the best part? Cleanup takes just a few minutes too.

The table fort concept is also useful for any piece of furniture that could create space. If your child has a bunk bed, use the same method to cover the sides of the bed. If you’ve got a kitchen island or even a taller coffee table, the same rules apply.

blanket fort
Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock

Clothesline fort

A simple clothesline can create another unique blanket fort that’s easy to set up and take down. Attach a clothesline from one wall to another, whether across a room or simply in a small corner section. Drape a sheet over the clothesline and use books, toys, or other weighted objects to draw out the edges into a tent shape.

Make sure your clothesline is sturdy enough and won’t stretch under the weight of the sheet. Yarn won’t be appropriate, but nylon or real clothesline can hold the weight.

Corner fort

Use a corner of your room to build a fort with a single high point. Attach your sheet to the corner of the room using the corner of the sheet and anchor it by pulling the other edges to the side. 

Use two chairs or two side tables to create an entrance at the very front and use books to hold the sheet in place. If you can hang a small hook in the corner so that you can tie up the sheet, this could help anchor the fort in place. 

Avoid the temptation to load up heavy books onto the sheet to try to hold it. Books can slide off the top shelf and hit little heads. The safest method is a small hook for tying the twine or rope.

Building and experimenting with blanket forts

Building blanket forts is a wonderful way to bond with children and have a little fun yourself. You can practice and get creative each time, creating bigger and better forts. Spend some time imagining what you could build and get your children involved. And the most important part? Get into the fort with your children yourself. It’s time to learn to play.

Editors' Recommendations

4-year-old birthday party ideas: 7 low-stress themes your child will love
Have a preschool party to remember with these cool birthday party ideas
Boy is excited for his fourth birthday

Birthdays are the best when your kids are in preschool. There's so much excitement wrapped up in their upcoming birthday. Of course, you will want to have a party to mark the special occasion. This is such a fun age. Preschoolers are curious, have a great deal of energy, and love to play. When putting together a fabulous fourth birthday party, you'll need to have an engaging theme, but you also don’t want to overload yourself with added stress. Thankfully, soon-to-be 4-year-olds have a wealth of interests to choose an engaging theme from. There also isn't a shortage of 4-year-old birthday party ideas that are absolutely amazing.

Whether you're hosting at home, outside, or holding the party at a venue, the theme sets the tone for the party’s decor, cake, and goodie bags. To avoid giving yourself extra anxiety, pick a theme that’s easy to implement, easy on the budget, and of course, one that kids will be thrilled about. So, let's get ready to celebrate because we have a list of 4-year-old birthday party ideas that are fantastic.

Read more
Healthy extracurricular activities kids and teens should explore
Turn off the screen and sign up your kids for healthier activities
Kids playing games outside

It's all about Fortnite, Roblox, and YouTube when it comes to what kids do with their free time. But certain activities aren't the best for their minds and bodies, are they? We want our kids to have hobbies that challenge them and help them be smarter than we ever will be. That means getting them involved in healthier extracurricular activities than gaming or staring at a screen, and we can help with that.

Why kids need extracurricular activities
Can't kids just sit and play video games all evening? Tetris is known to improve memory and could help reduce anxiety, so it can't be all bad. While it would be fine to spend a little time gaming, kids need other adventures to stimulate different parts of their brains and get their bodies moving. Kids and teens need to find out what they like, so they have healthy hobbies as adults.
There's no right age to start
Whether your child is 7 or 17, they could sign up for an activity. There are classes for newborns, toddlers, and grade-school age, and we know there are endless activities for high schoolers. Whenever your child shows an interest in something, that's the right time to get them involved.
Kids don't need to do all the things
But it doesn't mean your child should be in nonstop activities all year, every year. You like vacations and time off, and so will your children. Like you get burned out from time to time, a child put into too many activities will, as well. Have open communication with your kids on how they like what they are in, if they want to do more, and if they want to do less.

Read more
The best rock painting kit of 2024
best rock painting kit

Rock painting kits are a unique and creative way for kids to make art. From storytelling to memory-making, these kits can be a peaceful bonding activity for families or a safe, hands-on craft for children.

In this post, we're exploring some of the best rock painting kits you can find in 2024, including my favorite—the National Geographic creepy creatures kit. It's the ideal combination of fun, creativity, and history with the included rock painting booklet. Whether you're child is a fan of creatures and critters, glittery or glow-in-the-dark colors, there's a kit for every preference in our round-up.
The best rock painting kits

Read more