Would you like to know how to camp at home for some summer fun, learning and kindergarten readiness? With a GORF–a good ol’ reliable fort.
Depending on the weather, GORF’s can be made outside or even inside. No matter where they are, they appeal to kids because they have a place of their own. Inside a GORF the kids make the rules and decide what happens. We don’t think of making decisions as being a skill, but kids need lots of opportunities to make them and experience the outcomes so that they learn how to make good decisions. For instance, it’s a bad choice to push on the walls of the fort because it collapses. Squishing into the space is a better choice. It’s a bad choice to fill the fort too full of stuff because there there’s no room to play inside. But kids need to learn what happens from their decisions.
Forts feel like safe spaces for kids. Because it’s such a small space, kids feel more in control. They also learn that it is okay to fail. Each time a fort collapses, that is a fail but it’s easy to deal with by building it back up again. That’s a great lesson for life! Inside, the fort can be quite magical, as kids can imagine it is anywhere and pretend to be and do what they want.
GORF’s are easy to create with some old blankets or sheets. Outside these can be draped across a rope between two trees, or over a clothesline or stand. Inside, try spreading them over furniture. They are even a great place for a nap when kids are tired out from all the fun and learning. Can making a GORF be your summer play-of-the-day?