How to Build a Fort

A fort, much like a tree house, is a great structure to build for kids’ use. They can use it as a clubhouse, or just their own personal playing space. Those with the time and a bit of handy skill are best suited to building this structure.


  • Several pieces of plywood
  • Screws or bolts
  • Nails
  • Dark shower curtains
  • Shower curtain rings
  • Wiring and lights
  • Extension cords


  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Drill


  1. Identify the space where the fort will go. This can be on the ground in a backyard. If you choose to build the structure in an open field it will give you more control over the shape and structure than if you build it around a pre-existing edifice.
  2. Ensure you have an extension cord that will be able to reach the site you’ve chosen then commence excavation of the site.
  3. Use 2×4 plywood boards to make the fort’s foundation. The foundation must be flat and level as it is the supporting structure; if necessary, ground the floor first, until it is suitable.
  4. If you haven’t already, make a drawing or plan of what you want the structure to look like, including dimensions. Once you’ve completed this, make the support structure. Use 1×4 plywood board as a brace and make them 12” deep into the ground, to ensure the foundation is strong enough to withstand the weight of children. Secure the brace with nails.
  5. To create the crossbeams, use 4 wooden poles; ask an assistant to hold each pole while you set the points at which they’ll be drilled. Drill all four poles in turn then hold the crossbeam in position; have the assistant fit it into place with nails. Repeat this process for all three sides except the front.
  6. Use two wooden boards for the front and back; put the pole at the top of the already constructed crossbeam and repeat the steps you’ve conducted to create the corner and sides.
  7. Add the shower curtain rings and set up the shower curtain; add vines and plants around the site or tree branches to hide it if this is to your liking. Cut a piece of wood and make a sign with the name of your fort.

Tips and warnings

  • Properly test the electrical supply before supplying the fort with electricity. Try any of the electrical-powered appliances or devices before allowing children to play in the fort.
  • After the construction of the fort is finished, there will be a lot of scraps and debris around it. Clean the surrounding area first, before putting the fort to use. If small children will use the fort, conceal power cords appropriately so they will be out of the children’s way, and will not be tempted to tamper with it.
  • Don’t leave the children out of the planning and design of the fort. Try to incorporate their ideas, as after all, it is going to be their playing area.
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