20 October 2011

Day 15 / 101 - Blanket Forts

A little over a year ago, my husband and son built a loft bed for my son's bedroom.  For my son, along with the excitement of sleeping near the ceiling, came the realization that this bed would yield really cool blanket forts!

I have yet to meet a child who didn't love to throw a blanket over a table, along with a couple of chairs, and hang out for the afternoon.  However, my children have taken blanket-fort-building to an entirely new level.  Their blanket forts include sketches for the maximum use of space, instruments to secure blankets together, hammer and nails to attach blankets to the walls, stud-finders to assure nailed blankets stay mounted to walls, countless other tools to add some finishing touches, etc.  The forts are always a work in progress.  Furniture might be moved in order to accomplish a better looking fort.  One blanket might be replaced for a more suitable one.  The idea of a hammock might be tried (and failed).  Huge empty cardboard boxes might be added to make the fort look more like a castle.

We have always allowed our children the freedom to construct and build as a method to express their creativity.  Although, several weeks ago, we came across this article, Why Your Teenager Can't Use a Hammer, which reassures us of our decision, as well as gives context for all the fort building.  It's worth a read.  Sobering statistics in the article show that one-third of teens spend zero time per week doing anything hands-on, and entertainment media eats up 53 hours a week for kids aged eight to 18.  In order for my children to not fit into those statistics, I'll keep giving them permission to nail blankets to the wall.

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