Save your pillows for your bed and leave your fancy blankets organized in your linen closet because fort building kits are finally here.
No more worrying that your kid’s flimsy pillow fort will crumble into their Lego tower or your best sheets will slip off those kitchen chairs into your child’s chocolate milk. Fort building kits not only solve all these construction issues but they also open up your child’s imagination to endless building possibilities.
- What is a fort building kit?
- What to look for in a fort building kit
- Colorblock Fantasy fort kit
- Fun Fort kit
- Tentables Ice Cream Truck play tent and table cloth
- Little Tikes Big Waffle set
- The Foamnasium Blocksy Mini
- Transformable House Play Mat
What is a Fort Building Kit?
It’s a classic kid’s game, but fort building has many benefits for your kiddo—it teaches everything from teaching problem solving skills to encouraging physical activity, to learning through open-ended play.
This type of play is encouraged because according to the American Academy of Pediatrics: “Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.”
Fortunately, fort building kits are made to support all these skills. And the great news is that the pieces in these sets are designed to be used over and over in order to create as many different hideaways as your child can imagine, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
What to Look for in a Fort Building Kit
There are many different kits out there. Some are fabric. Some have plastic pieces. Some are made with older kids in mind. Some are made to start with your toddler and then stay until that same kid toddles off to college. There are definitely some options to think about before purchasing your very first fort building kit. Here are a few things to consider:
A kid’s imagination can be big at any age, but some of the motor skills needed to properly place parts while building is a thing to consider. Take a look at the recommended ages and know that some kits might require adult help while others encourage independent play.
- Indoor vs. Outdoor
Some indoor fort building kits are only made for the great indoors, so if you’re looking to have your child playing more in nature, you might want to explore some sets made specifically for outside playtime. You could also look for a kit that can be used indoors and outdoors so you’ll have the best of both worlds if you decide to take your playtime inside.
Really, the big question here is to ask yourself is: do you want a plastic or a squishy fort? While either fort building kit will contribute to imaginative-play and problem-solving skills, some of the plastic sets might require a little more big kid forethought in their assembly. Squishy forts, or those made of fabric pieces, are easier to put together because they have less complicated interlocking pieces. So, take a look at the set up before you set yourself up with one.
Some fort kits are made to outlast even those Doc Marten shoes you’ve had since high school. Ask yourself: Is my kid meticulous and gentle or rough and rugged when it comes to playtime? Having this answer may help you decide which kit is best for your builders.
- Size and Storage
If you enjoy keeping the playthings around your home organized, then check out the storage size of these sets. Some fort kits will pack away small but expand a great deal once under construction. However, others can’t be stored in small spaces and will possibly become a new part of your home decor.
When you’re ready to take that pillow fort to the next level, try one of these fort building kits for the ultimate fort building experience.
5 Fort Building Kits to Try
16 Piece Colorblock Fantasy Forts Kit
Hello to some quality time outside! Grabbing that time out in nature is super important and taking the Colorblock Fantasy Fort Kit with you will let everyone sneak in even more outdoor time! Your child will love the colorful design of the panels and there are endless combinations of design possibilities with this set. Feel free to pack this one up and take it to the park for a private picnic—and the price is well designed too!
This Colorblock Fantasy Fort Kit is perfect for taking your fort building skills outside. These brightly colored panels are made of a lightweight corrugated plastic which makes the boards easy for young builders to carry. Picking up these colorful panels without grown-up will encourage independence in your kids.
Designed for ages 3 and up, children can arrange the easy to assemble panels until totally satisfied and then attach it all together with carton-building clips and hook & loop tape. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a good project out in the great outdoors?
Fantasy Fort features:
- Can create a storage box with the panels included
- Made from water-resistant plastic
- 16 panels and each measures 22″ sq.
- Set includes 12 solid panels and four window panels
“Great product! I was worried about them being sturdy enough to withstand my feral 3-year- old but they have held up and been a really fun activity for the whole family even my 13-year-old! I highly recommend getting 2 sets to start.” – Wayfair Review
Keep in mind:
Many reviewers comment that kids ranging in ages from 2-17 have enjoyed playing and rearranging this fort. However, be aware that some say the plastic squares haven’t held up to the wear and tear as long as they’d hoped.
Fun Forts Kids Tent for Kids
If you remember your tinker toys fondly, then this fort building kit might find you building along with your kiddos. This set is made of sturdy BPA free plastic and designed for kids from ages 4 and up. If you’ve been looking for a good way to introduce a STEM project to your kid, then this indoor/outdoor kit is a great way to start. Insert the connecting rods into the multilink spheres, twist into place, and repeat to create your own rocket ship or hang out in your planted safety-on-the ground cabin.
There’s no denying the versatility of this Fort Building Kit. The good news is if your kid (or you) become overwhelmed by too many construction possibilities, there’s a book of instructions to help. This kit is totally affordable so feel free to leave an extra one over at the grandparents’ house!
Take a look at these other constructive points:
- Includes 15.75” rods and 2.4” balls
- Adult supervision is advised
- Not strong enough to climb on
- Non-toxic and BPA free
“This toy is great and my three kids (4, 6, and 7 years old) love it. They learn how to read plans and to assemble all kind of different structures. We even integrated this into our homeschool curriculum. It stimulates their creativity and helps fine motor skills as well. Bonus – it glows in the dark! I would definitely recommend this product.” – Amazon Review
Keep in mind:
One thing to note: some reviewers say that adult help is necessary with this fort. Additionally, the materials will only get you the bare bones of construction. You’ll still need to provide a sheet to recreate that comfy blanket fort feel and maybe add floor pillows and a string of lights to complete the look—and, of course, supply snacks.
Tentables Ice Cream Truck Play Tent and Table Cloth
Not a lot of room in your home for all the fort building? Then we’ve got you covered—literally. A different take on the traditional blanket fort, this inventive Tablecloth Playhouse can fit a folding table or your kitchen or dining room table. Create an instant ice cream truck play fort that’s easy to put up and even easier to take down. Oh, and it’s great for both indoor and outdoor play. Yay!
Sometimes the simplest of solutions prove to be the best and with this Tablecloth Playhouse you can’t really go wrong. Adding no more additional clutter to your space, this can be used as an actual table cloth and then taken down when your kids are done playing—or you’re done eating.
Check out what else is on the menu:
- Dimensions: 30” x 72” X 29.2”
- Comes with convenient carry bag for taking on-the-go or storing away when not in use
“It fit our table perfectly. And it’s sooo cute. The colors are vibrant and the fabric seems durable like it will hold up well. My daughters love it! And so do I, because maybe now they will quit building forts all over the house!”-Amazon review
Keep in mind:
One thing to note about this darling ice cream fort is that it is made to fit a 6-foot long table, so be sure you have the right size table at home before ordering. Otherwise, your kid may be just as disappointed as the time she dropped her real-life ice cream on the floor.
Little Tikes 18-Piece Big Waffle Building Set
Easy to clean and easy to assemble, these oversized colorful plastic blocks fit together snuggly like puzzle pieces. This allows kids as young as two to get creative when designing and redesigning forts, picturesque houses, and enchanted tunnels. Leave these classic tools indoors for some fort building fun or take them outside and let nature inspire your next build–they're made of durable plastic, so they'll hold up through wear and tear and are easy to clean. (You can even run them right through an outdoor hose.) The only problem? You’ll love them so much you might just have to buy another set.
The simple and well-thought-out design of this kit is one that little hands will enjoy getting a grip on. These pieces are thick enough for tiny fingers to grab but light enough to carry over to their next building site. This winning combination keeps both younger and older kids coming back for more. We did rate these as a “4” out of 5 though, because I will say that one mom who owns these blocks noted that 18 really isn’t enough blocks if you have more than one child. They’re so oversized you might want to consider picking up two sets to really build a true fort.
- Each piece measures 14″ L x 2″ W x 14″ H
- Includes 18 pieces
- Indoor and outdoor play
- Long lasting
“BEST EVER for multiple age siblings! We have a 7.5 and 2 year old and they play all day with/on these! So much fun creating and building. We ordered two sets and are going to order two more so they can build even bigger things. Plan to pass them down to their kids because these are made well and will hold up no doubt!” Amazon Review
Keep in mind:
The good news is many reviewers have commented that these blocks were once purchased for their own kids and are now being passed on to their grandchildren. However, you should keep in mind that once put together these do take up some space and many reviewers mentioned they needed more than one set to build large forts.
The Foamnasium Blocksy Mini
How about a squishy fort that doubles as a comfy couch? Put a little function in your fort with The Foamnaisum Blocksy Mini. Once your child is done creating their fort or secret cave, these pieces can be converted to a not-so-secret couch that will look fabulous in any room. This is a smaller play set, but don’t let its size fool you because it still encourages kids to imagine big and get actively creating with its folding base and two wedge cushions. This is also great option for parents who want to support their kiddo’s creativity through fort building, but don’t want a giant double-decker fort that takes over the entire home. The cushions are made of lightweight foam so they’re easy to move and stack in plenty of different ways.
Foamnaisum is family owned business that’s been crafting foam since 1952. Their play sets are high quality and super durable. Want to have your favorite snack in your fort or drink your juice box on your couch? Go ahead because the easy to scrub vinyl covers are ready to be cleaned. The product is light enough for toddlers to move but they may need help when trying to stack.
- Handles for moving and storage
- Free of any harmful chemicals, odors, lead, and phthalates
- CertiPUR – US Foam
- Easy to clean
- 68 pounds
- 23 x 23 x 16 inches
“My one-year-old loves it! I have it set up as a little reading couch, but it’s also great to pull out in the center of the room for playtime. Ramps, forts, or whatever your imagination can create. It’s great.” –Amazon Review
Keep in mind:
The quality and durability factor of this indoor fort is totally tops. The smaller amount of pieces hasn’t dampened construction possibilities, but some reviewers admit to eventually buying a second mini to expand the in-home building possibilities.
Transformable House Play Mat for Kids
This inventive play mat can be used during all of your child’s stages, starting with tummy time on up to fort building time. It folds easily or can be shaped into a house or tent. With no extra pieces to locate, this one is easy to cleanup and store under a bed or in a closet. This high-quality mat is made from non-toxic material and has smooth corners for extra safety. A great way to help kids explore their spatial awareness, this light weight mat is ready for your kid to uncover the many possibilities that will magically unfold with their brilliant fort building ideas.
Made with noise reduction and sound proofing materials, this mat is designed to support your child’s many phases. From the infant on up to the grade-schooler the Transformable House Play Mat is a great way to keep your kid’s imagination moving. If your kid can become easily frustrated when many pieces are involved in their projects, then this one play mat might be a good solution. Look into these other thoughtful points:
- Measures 94.49 x 53.15 x 1.57 Inches
- Covered with handmade nontoxic polyurethane fabric
- Mat also provides noise reduction and sound proofing
- Light pieces
- Modern design
“I wanted to buy a mat that would grow with my babies. Right now it is the perfect tummy time mat eventually we will be doing gymnastics and building forts with it!” Bed, Bath, and Beyond Reviewer
Keep in mind:
This mat is, well, a mat, so it’s not super cozy. If you enjoy more of a traditional pillow fort experience, then you might want to supplement with your own pillows or cushions when using this mat.
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