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Works for Me Wednesday: The Traveling Fort

The traveling fort has been a road trip hit in our family for three years. It is just as thrilling for children as is flushing with a pail of water. Who doesn't like playing within the magical confines of blanket walls?

Adults can build a fort from the front seat, so long as they don't mind kneeling over the back of the seat, straining, grunting, and inevitably passing gas holding their breath in the process.

Here we go: Tie or tuck a blanket (tablecloth, sheet, whatever you have) to the grab handles above the windows on either side of the car, allowing the fabric to drape in front of and behind the children. Tuck the blanket in strategic places to give the fort a little volume. Leave room for the driver to see out the windows as needed. (There are no children in these demonstration forts. I wouldn't have been able to get them out of the car to eat dinner.)

If you don't use grab handles, tuck the blanket over the high backs of booster seats or headrests instead. See? Just as nice (but not as secure from collapse.)

The fort looks enormous in this photo. It's really covering just the back seat, but the blanket is draped over the front seats, and since there are no adults sitting in them the perspective is off. Build yours however you like.

I save the blanket fort and a little snack for when my kids get restless and whiney on road trips--usually late afternoon. They'll enjoy it for an hour or more and sometimes fall asleep. You can also build a fort for one child: My daughter loves to read or draw for long stretches in her own little hideaway.

Ah. . . there is one rule: I will fix a fallen fort once. If it falls again and they cannot fix it themselves, we try the fort again later. Needless to say, it's a good idea to start with a securely tied blanket so as to avoid disappointment.

Driving at dusk? Bring small flashlights or glow sticks.

Works for Me Wednesday is sponsored by Rocks in My Dryer.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 16th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
COOL. we will be doing this for our two summer road trips. thanks for the wonderfully fun idea!
May. 16th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yay! I hope your kids enjoy it. . .
May. 16th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Now that's ingenious! thanX for sharing :-)

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

What I'm Reading

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Impossible Will Take a Little While, edited by Paul Rogat Loeb

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling (reading to my children)

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

Understanding the Bible by John A. Buehrens

The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson