10 Simple Indoor Fort Ideas to Inspire Creative Play

Published October 18, 2021
Mother and daughter watching movie on laptop in pillow house

Nothing beats spending time in the land of make believe without a care in the world. If your kids love dreaming the day away in creative indoor forts, these ten fort building ideas will make their imagination soar. The best part? You won't break your back or your bank account assembling these fantastic structures!

The Classic Indoor Pillow Fort

mother bringing daughter cookies in fort

No childhood is complete without spending an afternoon disassembling chairs and couches and using the cushions to construct a massive pillow fort. Take large square cushions used for sitting and prop them up as walls to your fort. Drape a thin sheet atop the cushions so kids feel like they are entirely enclosed. Make several of these small pillow forts side-by-side, and have the open side face a large television. Pop a classic movie on the telly and let the kids chill out with a fort and a film!

A Canopy Fort for Quiet Moments

A canopy fort is a perfect place to let kids unwind, read and relax. To create a corner canopy fort, you will need a large hula hoop, two curtains, ribbon, and a ceiling hook. Make a single cut in the hula hoop. Wrap any color ribbon you want around the hula hoop, securing it in place with hot glue. Thread the hoop through the holes of the curtains, leaving a small amount of space on the hoop where no curtain exists. This will make for easy entry access. Attach ribbon or heavy twine to parts of the hoop where there is a natural break in curtain material. Pull the ends of the twine or ribbon upwards, gather ends, and tie. This is where you will attach the ribbons or twine to the hook. Securely fasten a hook into the ceiling and hang the ribbon from it. Place floor pillows and a book bin filled with plenty of great books inside the tent.

Create a Cardboard Box Mansion

Colouring in cardboard castle

The great thing about a cardboard box house is you can make them sweet and singular using one large cardboard box, or you can gather up several large boxes to make one massive fort. If you are using one large cardboard box, cut a shape for the door and a few window shapes. Use fabric to make coverings for the door and windows by cutting material to size and stapling the fabric pieces to the openings.

If you are using multiple boxes, attach them all and cut holes so that kids can freely move throughout the boxes. You can really jazz up a simple cardboard box fort with a few strands of Christmas lights. Just punch holes into the top of the boxes and string lights through the holes.

Fashion a Fort From Your Dining Room Table

Fort From the Dining Room Table

Dining room tables can be used for much more than gathering the gang and holding family meals together. Using a large sheet, you can transform your table into a fun fort for the kids. Simply take the sheet and drape it over your table so that the entire under portion of the table is enclosed. If the sheet is older, and you have no use for it other than to create awesome indoor forts, cut a few holes for windows, and a large space for a door. Set up whatever you choose in your table fort. You can stuff toys, books and throw pillows in it. If you have kid-sized sleeping bags and a laptop, set the bags up facing the laptop and play a movie. Pop a small battery-operated lantern or lamp in your tent so the kids have plenty of light, and let them break out the crayons and paper, creating whatever they dream up in their fun, new space.

Totally Cool Tents Anyone Can Make

Camping indoors? Sure, why not? Create a camping experience for your kids by fashioning an indoor tent. Using four poles, materials for fastening the poles securely together, blankets, and plenty of comfy floor pillows, make a simple tent to play in. Enjoy other camping-related activities like telling funny ghost stories or having a s'mores treat before bed. Drape fairy lights in the room or around the tent to achieve the "sleeping under the stars" illusion. Consider setting up your tent near an indoor fireplace, but ensure that all safety precautions are in place, so kids don't get hurt.

Entryway Forts are Easy and Creative

A straightforward concept for easy indoor fort-making is to make a fort in the hallway. You will want to set this fort up about three to four feet from the end of the hallway. Cut a piece of fabric that will span the width of the hall wall. You'll want it to be taller than your children as well.

Have kids create a fun house design on the fabric. Include shingles for the roof, windows, garden accents, and a mailbox. Cut a slit in the mailbox and a shape for a doorway. You'll need three tension rods to set the tent up properly. Attach one rod via sewing to the top of the fabric, one to where the bottom of the roof ends, and one to the bottom of the fabric. Fit the rods so that the top one sets back some. This will create a 3D shape for your home. The other two rods jam into the hall walls, one on top of the other. Voila! Kids will play in the area behind the fabric, and when it is time to put everything away, you simply take the rods down and tuck it all underneath a bed for a different day.

Blanket Forts are Perfect for a Hot Summer's Day

If you are pressed for time but need to keep kids occupied, try building a blanket fort. All you need is a sheet, a box fan, and strong tape! Tape the short side of a sheet to a boxed fan. Next, turn the fan on. Tuck the long sides of the sheet towards the floor and bring the edges together. Fasten the edges to the floor. Now you'll tape the last opening down with tape on one side, leaving one portion of the final short side open for easy entry.

When deciding to go with a box fan blanket fort, keep a few things in mind. The tape needs to be strong. If you use weak tape, the edges will come undone, and you'll spend more time fixing the fort than watching the kids play in it. Second, consider using an area with short carpet or a hard-surfaced floor. This will help the tape stick better. Lastly, this is a fort for children who are NOT going to stick their fingers in the fan, so no tots in this one. As with any creation, you do need to supervise children, making sure they are safe at all times.

Clothesline Forts are Fun and Simple

Attach a clothesline to two ends of sturdy objects. You don't have to go drilling holes and hooks into walls (although you totally can, should you choose), but you do need to attach a line to two sturdy objects. DON'T attach a clothesline to anything that could tip over and hurt your child. If you want to attach a clothesline to two walls without damaging them, consider trying easy stick Command hooks that will hold at least five pounds of weight. Tie an end of the clothesline to each hook. Drape a lightweight sheet over the line. Fasten it securely to the line with clothespins. Keep both sides open for kids to come and go freely. This simple fort takes minimal time to construct, but leaves kids with countless hours of fun. That my friends, is a parenting win.

Blast Off to Space in a Rocket Fort

Dedicate an entire day to visiting outer space. If your kids love space, help them build a fort in the shape of a rocket ship! You'll need lots of sturdy cardboard, plenty of heavy-duty tape, markers, decorations, imagination, and patience! Once your rocket fort is assembled, pair playing in it with watching amazing livestreams from the International Space Station, directly from your fort. Sport a fun astronuat costume and dine on cool space snacks at mealtime. A space day is a day your child will not soon forget.

Build a Newspaper Fort

If you have stacks of newspapers lying around, reuse them to fashion a funky newspaper fort. To create this cool fort, you need plenty of newspaper, tape, a large sheet, pillows, and blankets. Get the entire family involved in this project, because the more hands on deck to roll paper, the better. You will lay a few sheets of newspaper on the floor and then roll them tightly, fastening the edges with tape. You'll want to make a whole lot of these! Take three of them and connect the ends with tape, making several triangles. Connect the triangles together, creating any shaped fort you choose. Weave twinkling lights throughout the structure and arrange a sheet on top. What a fabulous way to get rid of stacks of newspapers!

Fort Building Is a Perfect Bonding Experience

Building a fort is a perfect way to bond with your family. Get creative with materials and space, double down on patience (remember, this is supposed to be FUN), and make something with the kids that will remind them that you are, in fact, the coolest parent on the planet.

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10 Simple Indoor Fort Ideas to Inspire Creative Play