kids reading outside of a couch fort

How to Make a Couch Fort

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Do you remember the days when the living room transformed into a realm of adventure with only the addition of a couch fort? There is something so magical about being surrounded by cushioned walls and blanketed ceilings. The humble couch fort is perfect for kids of all ages! It’s a great go-to activity that encourages creative play and keeps even the most active kids busy on a rainy day.

Learning how to make a couch fort will help you enter a magical world. So gather your fort materials, rally your fellow architects, and ready yourselves for an indoor adventure. We’re about to go deep into the art of couch fort construction, from the cushions all the way to your flag on top!

Benefits of Building a Couch Fort

Scared little children reading bedtime story at home

Any dull afternoon can become an adventure with a couch fort! Couch forts can do some amazing things for your kids!

  • Promotes imagination and creativity
  • Hones problem solving
  • Helps encourage children to understand basic physics…fort ceilings must be lighter than the walls or it won’t stand.
  • Fosters family bonds
  • Encourages collaboration
  • Helps with bordeom
  • Creates memories for the whole family.

Need more ideas for indoor activities for your kids? Read: Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Entertained

Gathering Your couch Fort Materials

Not sure what you’ll need to create the best couch fort ever? Let’s talk about what you need to gather.

  • A solid stack of cushions and pillows from your couches and beds—the more, the merrier.
  • Blankets, sheets or a tablecloth for the ceiling and walls
  • Large towels for areas on your fort where you need strong fort fabric.
  • Dining chairs offer a sturdy back for your fort’s framework.
  • A few heavy books or shoeboxes can prop up your walls like ancient fortresses of yore.
  • Secure your construction with clothespins, clips, or even sturdy rubber bands.
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Remember, each item in your home is a potential cornerstone of your living room adventure—search your home for fort materials and let imaginative play guide your choices.

Laying the Foundation

When making a couch fort is your ultimate goal, you’ll need to start with an often overlooked step. Remove the couch cushions! This leave the base of the couch as a great place to lay your foundation. Most sofa’s have armrests that will act as a nice space to prop up your cushion walls. Place the couch cushions vertically against the arm rests. You can even use some of the cushions to prop against the coffee table

Structural Integrity

Use heavier furniture like chairs to anchor the structure of your couch fort, avoiding the sad tumble of fabric walls. And while it’s tempting to make a maze of rooms and corridors, always plan for a clear entry and exit. This isn’t just for quick escapades from mythical beasts but also ensures safety in case your living room adventure needs to come to a quick pause for real-world reasons. So stack, arrange, and fortify with care.

child inside of a couch fort

Roofing and Walls

Once you’ve established a strong foundation for your fort, it’s time to give your couch fort a ceiling. Drape blankets or sheets neatly over the couch and chairs, ensuring they cascade down to create walls. Secure your fabrics at key points with clips or heavy books to prevent your fortress from crumbling in the middle of play.

And here’s where you can let your imagination soar—why not make windows or, devise secret tunnels with a trail of cushions.

Personalizing Your Fort

Dive into your treasure trove of throw pillows, fairy lights, and beloved plush toys to transform your couch fort. Imagine stringing lights overhead to light up the inside of your couch fort. Adorn the walls with your kids’ artwork or those holiday garlands gathering dust in the closet. Our kids often like to choose a side of the fort that is “their” side and they decorate it with their blankets, stuffies, and even a flag!

happy family father and children reading a book with a flashlight in a tent at home

Safety First: Fort-Building Precautions

Your couch fort should not be a hazard. Laying out some careful guidelines can help your kids keep things safe while they build. These are some things to keep in mind:

  • Fort Base: Begin with a solid foundation, avoiding wobbly furniture that could collapse under the fortress weight.
  • Exit Strategy: Design your fort with an easily accessible exit to dash out in case of a pillow avalanche.
  • No Sharp Objects: Ban any pointy fort materials that could transform from treasure to treachery.
  • Airflow is Key: Construct with breathability in mind
  • Space Awareness: Be mindful of space heaters and lamps

Dismantling Your Couch Fort

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with your living room adventure. If you are anything like me, you’ll start to get tired of the couch fort within a day or less. Just as your kids were able to create a wonderful couch fort, they should also be able to put it away.

  • Start by carefully removing the blankets or sheets from atop the fortress. Fold them neatly, as they’ll be easier to store and ready for the next round of fort building.
  • Disassemble the cushion architecture; gently stacking pillows and seat cushions back onto the couch preserves their shape and comfort for regular use.
  • Put chairs and other furniture pieces in their rightful spots.
  • For items that don’t belong in the living room, like sheets from the linen closet or pillows from the bedroom, escort them home.
  • If the fort included twinkling lights or other electronics, unplug them and tangle-free storage will save you from a headache later on.

Knowing how to build a couch fort can be an essential skill (and memory) of childhood. Your kids will love it, and you’ll love the time they spend away from screens, using their creativity!

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