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The Best Kids’ Fort - 2021

Last updated on October 20, 2021
Best Kids' Fort

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Our Picks For The Top Kids' Forts

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

Tiny Land 130-Piece DIY Kids’ Fort

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Tiny Land

130-Piece DIY Kids' Fort

Overall Take

Versatile ChoiceTurn this fort building kit into a number of different structures with a bedsheet.

  Runner Up

Easy Playhouse Cardboard Color & Decorate Kids’ Dinosaur Fort

Easy Playhouse

Cardboard Color & Decorate Kids' Dinosaur Fort

Overall Take

Creative FunKids can color their easy-assemble dinosaur playhouse however they like.

  We Also Like

AIR FORT Inflatable Polyester Kids’ Fort

AIR FORT

Inflatable Polyester Kids' Fort

Overall Take

Quick SetupYou can put up this fun, lightweight, mess-free inflatable fort in seconds.

  Strong Contender

Easy Playhouse Cardboard Color & Decorte Kids’ Castle Fort

Easy Playhouse

Cardboard Color & Decorte Kids' Castle Fort

Overall Take

Unique FeaturesThis easy-setup fairy-tale castle-style fort has pictures to color on the walls.

Guide written by Anam Ahmed
Last updated on October 20, 2021

Kids of all ages enjoy imaginative play. Whether they are pretending to have a tea party with the queen or fighting a battle against a scary monster, they draw from countless creative ideas for their games. You can spur their play with a kids’ fort — a small sanctuary that offers enough space for a couple of children.

Forts can be homemade, simply put together from cardboard boxes leftover from parents’ purchases along with piles of cushions or bedsheets. Or, they can be fancier, constructed from actual building materials that require adult help. You can also buy a fort, or you can purchase kits that help your children create and decorate their own little child-size space.

Kids get many learning and developmental benefits from building forts. To start with, the process can improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving and planning. For example, they may draw up plans but then must figure out what to do when part of the fort crumbles. Kids can also develop personal skills, such as independence and confidence, while learning how to do things on their own instead of relying on a parent.

Another major benefit of playing with forts is that the activity may involve more than one child. Siblings, neighbors or friends may come together to build and play in the fort. This encourages kids to work on their social skills as well as their communication abilities. Younger ones can work on their speech by asking for their friends to pass them a cushion, for example. Older children can hone their negotiation skills, as when a friend wants to follow a different fort design..

The Best Kids' Forts

1
  Top Pick

Tiny Land 130-Piece DIY Kids’ Fort

Build castles, igloos and many other types of fun structures with this 130-piece kit. It includes dozens of balls and rods to join and connect to create frames that can become forts with the addition of just a bedsheet. The set comes with a carry bag.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Tiny Land
Model
2
  Runner Up

Easy Playhouse Cardboard Color & Decorate Kids’ Dinosaur Fort

This durable cardboard fort stands more than 3 feet fall and is easy to assemble. Kids can personalize the fort, which has closeable doors and windows, by coloring in the pictures on the walls and showing their creativity. Use it indoors or out.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Easy Playhouse
Model
3
  We Also Like

AIR FORT Inflatable Polyester Kids’ Fort

This fort only takes seconds to set up. With a 77 inch-wide space that's 50 inches tall, it can fit several children and adults inside. The fort is made from a breathable and lightweight polyester fabric and comes with a matching storage bag.

Features


Specifications

Brand
AIR FORT
Model
4
  Strong Contender

Easy Playhouse Cardboard Color & Decorte Kids’ Castle Fort

Kids will love personalizing this fairy-tale fort by coloring on the walls. It has windows and doors to connect with the outside world. The cardboard fort is easy to put together and offers hours of creative play time.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Easy Playhouse
Model
5
  Also Great

Bankers Box Corrugated Paper Color & Decorate Kids’ Unicorn Fort

This corrugated paper fort encourages kids to color and be creative, with beautiful artwork on the walls for kids to embellish. The fort is strong and sturdy and comes in several themes. It also has a 4-foot height and operable windows and doors.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Bankers Box
Model

Our Kids' Fort Buying Guide

Kids of all ages enjoy imaginative play. Whether they are pretending to have a tea party with the queen or fighting a battle against a scary monster, they draw from countless creative ideas for their games. You can spur their play with a kids’ fort — a small sanctuary that offers enough space for a couple of children.

Forts can be homemade, simply put together from cardboard boxes leftover from parents’ purchases along with piles of cushions or bedsheets. Or, they can be fancier, constructed from actual building materials that require adult help. You can also buy a fort, or you can purchase kits that help your children create and decorate their own little child-size space.

Kids get many learning and developmental benefits from building forts. To start with, the process can improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving and planning. For example, they may draw up plans but then must figure out what to do when part of the fort crumbles. Kids can also develop personal skills, such as independence and confidence, while learning how to do things on their own instead of relying on a parent.

Another major benefit of playing with forts is that the activity may involve more than one child. Siblings, neighbors or friends may come together to build and play in the fort. This encourages kids to work on their social skills as well as their communication abilities. Younger ones can work on their speech by asking for their friends to pass them a cushion, for example. Older children can hone their negotiation skills, as when a friend wants to follow a different fort design..

DWYM Fun Fact

There are many activities kids can do in forts. If they love stuffed animals or dolls, one way to play with them in the fort is to set up an elaborate sleepover for their toys. Kids can get blankets and pillows, sleeping bags, snacks and books to read to their stuffies. They can do quiet activities in there like coloring or building with Legos. A fort is also a great place to set up a base during a dart gun fight or for a spy mission.

Some kids need the sanctuary of the fort because it provides them with a safe space that is all theirs, especially when families are cooped up together because of weather, illness or other causes. Experts say that forts are an important, universal part of childhood that allows young people to build a sense of self, make sense of the world and feel in control of something. A fort can help regulate emotions, as it buffers sounds and textures for them, too. Kids start building in-home versions at age 4, and then venture outdoors starting at age 6 or 7.

The Kids' Fort Tips and Advice

  • The size of fort your kids will need will depend on a number of factors, such as how big the kids are and how many kids will be playing in the fort at one time. For example, taller kids will need a fort that has higher walls than shorter kids.
  • Versatility is important for any kind of toy that is used in imaginative play. Can a fort building set create both a castle or a school? Can it be a bunker or a secret hideout? See how flexible the kids’ fort is and whether it can be used to fashion multiple types of structures.
  • Consider any unique features your kids may enjoy. For example, will they prefer solid walls or would they like to have a view with a window? Do they want a door they can walk in or a tunnel entrance? How about a mail slot for letters from mom? These types of features enhance their imaginative play.
  • From a parent’s perspective, storage is of the utmost importance. How can the kids’ fort be stored when it is not in use? Is it possible to deconstruct and dismantle it easily or does it need to stay fixed in place? Can it be compressed into a small package and put away on a shelf or is it permanently on display in your living room?
  • Consider what types of activities the kids’ fort encourages. For kids that love arts and crafts, get a fort with pictures that can be colored with markers, crayons or even paints. Meanwhile, kids that are engineering-inclined may prefer a fort that requires construction using different parts, like rods and balls.

About The Author

Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. She values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.