15 Best DIY Indoor And Outdoor Fort Ideas For Kids 

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Children are blessed with a vivid imagination and boundless energy. They keep talking to themselves, engaging in role-play, and creating an imaginary world around them. For children, forts represent their little magical world away from reality. It is their safe haven where they can relax and be alone.

Building forts will help your children channel their creativity and energy. It will also keep them occupied for hours. If you are looking for DIY fort building ideas to try out, you are in the right place. We bring you a list of 15 amazing fort ideas for children to enjoy.

Kids Outdoor Forts

If your children enjoy playing outdoors, here are a few outdoor fort ideas which you can try

1. Castle in the clouds

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A cardboard castle is fairly easy to make and looks great, too. You can cover it with colored paper or paint on it to make it look more attractive and authentic. When it is not too windy, it can be placed outdoors. Your child will feel like a real king while playing in it.

You will need:

  • 3 big cardboard boxes (two of the same size and one smaller)
  • Scissors
  • Strong adhesive
  • Color or colored papers (optional)

How to build:

  • Cut off the flaps from the top and bottom of all the three boxes and cut two to four-inch stripes out of them. Stick these stripes at the upper end of the boxes to form the top of the fort.
  • Cut out a section, on each of the big cardboard pieces, on the sides in the shape of windows.
  • Cut out a larger part for the entrance on the opposite side of the windows.
  • Stick the three cardboard boxes side to side such that the window and entrance side remains free.
  • To allow movement between the three sections, you can create a hinge between the boxes so that they can be moved easily.

2. A-frame fort

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This fort is durable enough to withstand some breeze and can be set in your backyard. The tent-like shape will give your child the feel of camping. It is light and can be easily carried. You only need a few materials that are easily available at any hardware store to get started.

You will need:

  • Five ¾-inch diameter and 5 feet long PVC pipes
  • Two ¾-inch diameter and 4 feet long PVC pipes
  • Four ¾-inch PVC elbow joints
  • PVC pipe cutters
  • Rope
  • Two 50” X 84” tab top curtains

How to build:

  • Tie the two five-foot-long pipes by crossing the top ends one over another. Do the same with the other two pipes.
  • Use the elbow joints to connect the four-foot-long pipes at the bottom of these two joints to form the frame.
  • The remaining five-foot-long pipe should be placed horizontally over the joints at the top.
  • Place the two curtains such that they cover the two sides of the A-frame and loop them through the horizontal pipe.
  • Tighten the curtains across the frame and then pull out the remaining part of the curtain from underneath the bottom pipes to secure them and form the base.

3. Cardboard playhouse

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This simple and easy-to-make playhouse can comfortably fit in your backyard. Your kids can create this to stimulate their creative side. This can be used as a playhouse or just a cozy hideout for your kids.

You will need:

  • Very large cardboard box
  • Few sheets of thick cardboard paper
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive
  • Colors

How to build:

  • Take the large cardboard box and ensure the base is completely removed.
  • Cut out a door and window on one of the sides. Ensure that you leave one side of the door attached so that it can open and close.
  • Align the flaps at the top in a way that it creates a raised triangular roof. Tape them together such that they hold their alignment.
  • Cut and fit a piece of cardboard paper on the sides of the raised triangular roof.
  • Color the playhouse as you wish.
  • You can use the remaining cardboard paper to create a fence around the fort.

Kids Indoor Forts

Be it bad weather or quarantine, if your children are stuck at home, here are some indoor fort ideas to entertain them.

4. Table blanket fort

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A table blanket fort can be your child’s special corner. They can play games, have tea parties, or sit for a story session with you in this fort. It is a simple fort and can be built easily and quickly.

You will need:

  • Two Blankets
  • A few cushions
  • Large table
  • Twinkle lights (optional)

How to build:

  • Arrange a large table (you can use a sturdy dinner table) against a sofa or a bed so that the fort stays enclosed on one side.
  • Arrange the blanket and cushions between the legs of the table to make the base.
  • For the ceiling, choose a large, heavy blanket and lay it on the top of the table.
  • You can put twinkle lights, games, and food in the fort to make it more fun.

5. Indoor teepee

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Teepees are great if your child loves to read or play alone. They will get their secret spot at home itself. The method given below doesn’t involve any sewing and is easy for children to make.

You will need:

  • 4 1 ¼-inch wooden dowels with the length of six inches
  • ¼-inch rope
  • 6” x 9” canvas
  • A few screws
  • Drill

How to build:

  • Drill holes on all the dowels about five inches from the top.
  • Insert the rope inside the hole of one dowel and tie it at the back. Insert the other end of the rope in another dowel. Do the same for all the dowels.
  • Cross the top parts of the dowels across each other and tie them together securely with the rope.
  • Wrap the canvas across the dowels evenly.
  • Slightly fold the top of the canvas and secure the canvas with a screw. Use a washer if the canvas is thin. Secure the canvas at the bottom of the tepee frame as well.
  • You can add blankets and cushions inside the teepee to make it cozy.

6. Clothesline fort

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If you do not have chairs or tables available at hand and need a quick fort for your child, a clothesline fort is perfect. This is a simple sheet tent. Your child will enjoy cozy evenings playing and lying down in this fort. The materials are easily available in most homes and can be built in a matter of minutes.

You will need:

  • Clothesline/long rope
  • Screw hooks
  • A large sheet/light blanket
  • One additional blanket and pillows for the base

How to build:

  • Drill holes within two opposite ends of the walls/door frames depending on the length of the sheet and clothesline/rope.
  • Twist the screw hooks in those holes and string the clothesline/rope on them.
  • Drape a large sheet/light blanket on the clothesline such that the opposite ends are equidistant from the bottom end.
  • You can set it up over the bed of your child or on a blanket. Add a few fluffy pillows/ stuffed animals for a cozy feel.
  • You can leave both ends open or set it against the wall to cover one side.

7. Cushion fort

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This is a very easy fort to make. Your children can make it themselves and use it as their own private space or play area. You just need a large space enough for a child to sleep in it, a lot of cushions, and a big comforter. You can use a king-size bed as the base or join furniture (sofa/chairs) to create a large area.

How to build:

  • Arrange four cushions in the form of a large rectangle.
  • Stack more cushions on the top of each of the four cushions to form four pillar-like structures.
  • Cover these cushions and the joined furniture with a large comforter. The fort is ready.

8. Stick fort

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This fort is a fun project for your children. If your kids love building things, crafts, or geometry, they would love this project. The fort is easy to make and occupies very little space. You can dismantle it and connect differently next time.

You will need:

  • 12” dowel sticks
  • Stick connectors
  • 3” Styrofoam balls
  • Non-stick clay
  • Paint and brushes (optional)
  • Blanket/comforter

How to build:

  • If you want the ends of the stick to look colorful, hand paint the balls before starting to build the fort.
  • Pierce the Styrofoam balls with the dowel sticks to make holes as required. To make sure the sticks remain firm, cover the ends of the stick with clay before inserting the stick in the ball.
  • You can start with a triangle shape and then go on to make bigger structures by connecting two sticks.
  • You can cover the structure with a blanket or a comforter to make an enclosed fort.

9. Cute reading nook

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Are you looking for a perfect fort that will motivate your kids to read? This DIY reading fort will do just that. This occupies hardly any space and is also portable.

You will need:

  • 2 shower curtains
  • Large binder ring
  • Hula hoop
  • Nylon rope
  • Felt and Velcro
  • Heavy-duty hooks with anchors
  • Drill
  • Scissors

How to build:

  • Drill four holes in the hula hoop. Each hole should be equidistant from its adjacent holes and should have one hole directly opposite to it.
  • Use a large binder ring and gather the shower curtains in it. Ensure it goes through both the curtains.
  • Cut four equal pieces of nylon rope. Each rope will go through each hole in the hula hoop and should loop back up. These ropes will hold the structure to the roof. Hence ensure you have sufficient length of rope.
  • Collect all ends of the rope and pull them through the center of the binder ring. Once the ropes are through, tie them together in such a way that the knot is close to the binder ring, leaving the long tail, which will be tied to the roof.
  • Install a ceiling hook.
  • Use Velcro to join the shower curtains at the top of hula hoops.
  • Now seal one end using Velcro while leaving another side partially open. This will be the entrance.

10. Castle made from air

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This castle is made using air. It is one of the simplest ones to build and replicate. This can be a perfect hideout for your creative kids on a hot summer day. The materials required to build this fort are easily available at home.

You will need:

  • Bed
  • Large bedsheet (should be much larger than the bed)
  • Clamps (for attaching bedsheet to bed)
  • Tape (duct tape)
  • A table fan or ceiling fan

How to build:

  • Tuck three sides of the bedsheet into the bed. Ensure that the majority of the blanket is left on the bed, i.e., the tuck is extremely loose.
  • Take the center point of the bedsheet’s open side and stick it on the top of the ceiling. You can also tie it on top of a table fan.
  • Turn the fan on. The bed sheet will be filled with air.
  • Get inside and locate places from where the air is leaking. Seal it using clamps.
  • Finally, if required, you can create an entrance by removing a part of the tucked bed sheet and placing weights to keep it in its place.

Some More Fort Ideas To Try

11. Stick fort

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This outdoor fort will ensure your child has fun outdoors without getting affected by sunlight or rain. It is shaped like a teepee with a narrow ceiling and wide bottom. The key materials required are readily available outdoors. You just need a big tree which will act as a support, some big logs, and big ropes to secure the logs. Building this fort can be a great bonding experience for you and your children.

12. Wooden playhouse

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This is not just a fort but a complete play area. The slide, swing set, and sitting area will get your children excited. Building this fort can be a great summer family activity. While building this would require some time and effort, your children will cherish the memories of playing in this fort for a long time.

13. Outdoor wooden castle

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This outdoor wooden framed fort is sturdy and can provide hours of fun time. You can choose the complexity of the castle based on your preference and the space available. Being open from the top, it allows free flow of air and light. This fort can be built by connecting multiple wooden fencing sections in the form of a square. You can create an elaborate one with doors or windows or a very small one where the child can easily step in and out. Don’t forget to add a flag on the top to give it a royal look.

14. Beautiful fort bed

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This cute bed fort will add a special charm to your child’s room. The excitement of sleeping in the cute fort will motivate your child to go to sleep early. While this bed fort needs a bit of woodwork to make, it is fairly easy and doesn’t need too much time to build. To decorate it, you can cover the top of the fort with embroidered cloth, place stuffed animals at the top of the frame and add a flag in the corner.

15. Indoor playhouse

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While most proper playhouses are in the backyard, this one can be created indoors. Having them around you can be useful in case you want to keep an eye on your little one’s mischiefs. This is a sturdy playhouse constructed with wood. Bring out the child in you by playing with your kids in this playhouse.

We hope our list has provided you the inspiration for building the perfect fort that suits the requirements of your children. Building a fort with your little ones is a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with them. You can also turn this into a fun learning experience for your children by guiding them at every step of the making process. While this exercise will require a significant investment of time and create some mess, the happiness and excitement on your children’s faces will make it all worth it.

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