You’ve probably got fond memories of building forts out of sofa cushions, tables, chairs, blankets, and everything else you can get your hands on as a child. Your parents made forts, and your children will love building forts too. Children love having their own special place, even inside their bedroom, that allows them to have a world-within-a-world where their imaginations can soar.
Some other benefits of fort building and indoor playhouses for toddlers and preschoolers include gaining confidence and independence, developing cognitive skills such as problem-solving and planning, and social skills such as cooperative play and teamwork. If your child is ready for their very own indoor play fort, consider some of our favorites! This post includes affiliate links to relevant products; we will receive a referral commission should you purchase through these links.
Crazy Forts- Crazy Forts are balls and sticks that connect to build structures that can hold up blankets, sheets, and other fort materials. There are 69 balls included and 44 sticks that can join together and form any play space you can imagine from a house to an igloo or just a big, square box. The Crazy Forts were also recognized as a leader in STEM toys and voted #1 engineering STEM fort toy by Purdue University and several magazines. Crazy forts are durable, study, and easy to assemble. The kit even includes a step-by-step instruction manual with diagrams on how to build five different structures. One set is perfect for toddler playtime, and additional kits can be purchased to make bigger forts as children get older or playgroups get larger. Another great thing about this play fort for toddlers is that it can come apart and be stored easily inside a tub or storage bag instead of having to stay up all the time like some indoor playhouses.
Ball Pit, Tent, and Tunnels- Does your toddler love the tunnels at the playground or the ball pit at Chucky Cheese or McDonalds? The Playz Ball Pit, Play Tent, and Tunnels is a great way to bring the fun and excitement of some of your two-year old’s favorite activities into your home. This bright, vibrant, pop up ball pit is a giant indoor playhouse for toddlers that will provide hours of fun. The tunnels and tents can be connected in different ways to create a new experience each time you set it up. We absolutely love that each part of the playhouse pops open in seconds and fasten close with easy locks that are frustration-free. Each part can fold down flat for easy storage, and the large playset fits into a portable storage bag that is included. You may have tried polyester playhouse tents in the past that ripped easily and weren’t very sturdy, but the Playz set is ultra-durable while also being lightweight. Your toddler will also develop arm and leg muscles while crawling through the fort and develop gross motor skills. Parents should know that the balls are not included, and the recommended amount of plastic ball pit balls is five hundred.
Indoor Kids Clubhouse- Every kid dreams of having their own clubhouse where adults aren’t allowed unless they have the secret password and their friends can play with them. While your toddler probably doesn’t understand passwords and clubhouses quite yet, the Indoor Kids Clubhouse is perfect for your growing toddler. Some parents like to put a beanbag chair and storybooks inside the clubhouse. You could also put puzzles, stuffed animals, puppets, and some of your toddler’s favorite toys inside to create a quiet environment for structured playtime as well. We paired this clubhouse with a pretend camping set and hosted living room campouts with our kids when they were little. These types of forts are also great for children with sensory processing disorders that need a quiet space to become regulated. The manufacturer also offers a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.
Princess Play Tent- If your little girl dreams of being a princess, this indoor/outdoor large princess tent is a great option. The pink, hexagonal castle tent for toddlers is 53 inches high and can fit one adult and two children inside easily. Beautiful pink curtains drape the tent all the way around and create an ethereal ambiance for your little princess. The tent is easy to assemble and even comes with an edged base, so if you dump a bunch of plastic ball bit balls inside, they won’t roll away so easy. Some parents choose to decorate the princess play tent for toddlers by putting string lights around the top, decorative pillows inside, and of course, your toddler’s very favorite books and stuffed animals. We have to admit that although the company touts easy assembly, there are 30 pole pieces and 19 connects total along with 40 star lights included that need put together. AA batteries are also needed but not included.
Fort Boards Fort Building Kit- This 90-piece kit by Fort Boards is a STEM supporting toy that promotes open-ended play and the ability to build anything your toddler dreams up! This ultra-fun learning toy introduces engineering and spatial reasoning, as well as problem-solving, planning, all while expanding their creativity and imagination. The Fort Board set includes 44 boards that are each eight inches by eight inches and 46 connectors that covers more than 20 square feet of surface area. Each part nestles easily into the others for easy storage inside one box. The boards are also made from non-toxic materials that are highly durable and ideal for indoor and outdoor use. Parents can download additional Fort Board design plans online to create rockets, castles, and other awesome structures. This kit is a bit advanced, and we recommend it for toddlers age three and up.
Fort building will never go out of style, but it’s amazing how the couch cushions and bedsheets design I grew up with has evolved over the years to be scientific and advanced. There are plenty of benefits to indoor playhouses for toddlers that you’re already aware of, the only thing you need to do now is choosing which one you like best.