Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tree Fort

According to Stephen Caney, is his book "Kid's America," you should scavenge materials when you build a tree fort. We had some nails.


We had some lumber scraps leftover from a fencing project.


We had a boy who was eager to build.


It is very tempting for a skillful and well-meaning adult to take over this kind of project and create his or her own dream fort. Don't do it. Be an assistant. Let your child be the architect, the foreman, and the carpenter, as much as possible.


This is the first level. It's about a foot off the ground.


The second level is about 4 and a half feet off the ground. I showed him how to use a level. We discussed how to attach it securely. I helped hammer when he got tired, and hammered the high ladder steps for him.



A little ladder leads up, up, up...


all the way up to a special spot he found for relaxing, way up high.


A special place for being up in the dappled light, nestled in the trees, touching bark and warm limbs, breezes blowing about him.....way, way up high in a place he had never been able to reach before.


Some friends came over to join in the fun. They sawed and hammered, too. They helped make a sign. They helped celebrate by doing laps in the little yard with pennants.


Do you have a little spot where you could let your child create his own fort? I didn't think I did, until today.


If you would like to make some pennants, there is a link in the right-hand column.

13 comments:

Lise said...

I loved that book when I was a kid!

There's currently a fort of scavenged wood, many many sticks found in a neighbor's brush heap, and overturned chairs assembled atop a straggly bush behind my clothesline. It's ugly as can be, but oh, so cool.

Imene said...

Such a wonderful project. I would love the boys to do things like that when they grow up

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

Oh my, he is very high up! How special for him. My girls have a place they call "sister in the bushes", (taken from a story in The Seven Year Old Wonder Book), they create a magical little space hidden away in the chokecherry and gamble oak.

softearthart said...

How wonderful,it is a long way up isn't. We helped our daughter build a tree hut, she had so much fun. You did a great job as his helper. Cheers Marie

hanci06 said...

Last few days my daughter (4) is talking about house on the tree.I hope this summer I'll make one for her like you did with your son!

Playing by the book said...

I have such happy memories of my own tree house but in our current garden we don't have any trees big enough... For a while my eldest had a "tree house" on top of the compost heap (!), but she's now too big, so she's created a den instead underneath a elderflower tree we have. She loves the special place!

Mandy said...

this is truly precious...but...nowhere for a tree house...definitely room for a cubby house tho...lol...xxx

boatbaby said...

What a wonderful perch he's created! My son would LOVE to do this, but our marina is too worried about liability and aesthetics to allow it. Blah. Luckily he's happy with regular tree climbing at the moment.

Nancherrow said...

I've been thinking about making a treehouse/fort for a while now, but have been too nervous to let the kids do it. You've inspired me! This will be a great project for my kidlets. Thanks!

Alison

FairiesNest said...

Forts of all kinds are wonderful fun for kids to build but there is a special magic to a tree fort.

Grace said...

Inspiring! Looks like he had a ball!

CHILDHOOD MAGIC said...

Childhood bliss!

alley said...

I love that you tell adults not to take over, but lend assistance if asked. when he was about 8 or 9, my son made a tree house with his friend. They scavenged left over wood scraps from a neighboring construction sight and spent months working on it, all by themselves. It wasn't lovely, but it was their own creation!