This last week during our Gimme Shelter week at camp we transformed a few bamboo beams and pieces of fabric into magical shelters are houses, hide-outs, tents, castles or caves. Making forts is an opportunity for our campers to work together collaboratively building a dwelling under a shady tree during a hot summer day.
Through the tactile interactions with materials, the kids learned basic construction techniques of using rope to build and bind. We taught the kids some utilitarian knots that are essential for building a free-standing fort.
Using the double knot and fabric strips some of the kids made a garland for the tops of the fortresses. Some of the kids hadn't learned to tie a double knot yet so some older campers took advantage of the opportunity to teach the younger ones this knot.
The colorful garland really added some whimsy to our skeletal structure.
Next we added the fabric, discussing ideas and asking questions of what the structure might need for fortification and privacy.
Windows are a nice idea.
To reenforce the idea of communication we also made tin can phones by decorating old soup cans and tying string between the two. We thought this would be the perfect pairing with building forts. Not only were they great little objects, they actually worked.
It was a good old fashion afternoon of playing and creating.