By Gen Cohen
By Gen Cohen
Have you ever wondered why we even bother buying our kids toys when all they really want is the cardboard box to build a fort? Grab your kids, and some scissors, and get ready to make some memories with these creative ideas for cardboard forts.
Calling all outdoor aficionados! Forts like this don't roll into town very often. If the recreational life suits you right, this one-of-a-kind RV fort could be in your future. All you need is a box cutter, duct tape, a paintbrush and some paint. Don't forget the license plate!
Rocket Ship to the Moon
Blast off with this adorable rocket ship fort, complete with turnable knobs and colorful accessories. Kids will love playing inside and peeking out the window as they pretend they're floating in space.
Fit for the Farm
Fit for Royalty
No princess could resist this elaborate castle fort. Its delicate climbing ivy and turrets are enough to impress any royal.
Grocery Shop Till You Drop
Give your little one his very own telephone booth to transform from mere mortal to superhero. You'll only need a box cutter, tape, and some paint to "mask" the cardboard box.
The Incredible Igloo
This intricate, igloo-inspired fort will take a bit more than a coat of paint to construct. The family at the blog Tales of a Monkey, a Bit, and a Bean used templates and a calculator to make it just so. Then they grabbed their blankets and pillows and cozied up inside.
Ready to slay some dragons and save the princess? Super Mario Bros. fans can delight in this unique fort. Go ahead, give Luigi a call and get building.
It's going to take some extra cardboard to create this gigantic fort, but the results will be worth it. Even an architect would be impressed with the modern angles of this cardboard fort tower.
By Gen Cohen
This past weekend, we moved my almost 3-year-old son from his crib to a big-boy bed. The transition hasn't exactly been seamless — he's transitioned himself to our bed every night around 2 a.m. — but the design process of transforming his nursery (check it out below) into a room fit for a growing boy (you can see his above): well, that was breezy.
Here's how you can turn your baby's bedroom into a little-kid space easily and affordably.
- Think ahead. If possible, design your nursery with the mindset that it won't always be the home of a newborn baby. Try to pick transitional wall colors (Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl is a personal, gender-neutral favorite), furniture pieces that will grow with your child (a sturdy dresser and a book case are my must-have investment pieces), and even artwork that doesn't scream baby. I had a gallery of photographer Sharon Montrose's baby animal prints in my son's nursery. While the collection hanging together seemed a bit baby-ish to me, a single baby zebra still looks great above his big-boy bed.
- Work within your nursery color scheme. My son's nursery was pretty neutral, with pops of mustard yellow and a medium grayish blue. When I spotted a camp-themed duvet from Serena & Lily that matched pretty much everything in his nursery, I jumped on it, even though he was years away from a big-boy bed. With that purchase, I guaranteed I could use his existing rug, pillows, blankets, storage baskets, and lamps, saving me tons of money.
- Get rid of the glider to make room for a play area. After you've spent years pretty much living in your glider for nursing, cuddling, and bedtime book sessions, it can be hard to imagine life without it. But, now's the time to move it to a different room (mine is currently my favorite reading spot in our master bedroom). With that real-estate now open, you can set up a sweet play space for your little kid, which both encourages independent play and gets some toys out of your living room. Consider adding a fun tent or play canopy to the room (I'm in love with the Land of Nod rocket ship I just purchased for my son), a play kitchen, or a reading nook.
- Ditch the crib. Even if your crib transitions to a toddler bed, I'd recommend ripping the Band-Aid off and making the switch to a twin or full-size bed. An official big-boy or -girl bed is an exciting thing for a little kid (my son wouldn't let his sister even sit on his for a week, despite screaming "I hate this bed" the whole two hours his dad was putting it together) and sends a message about their new "non-baby" status, which can be helpful if you're also working on potty training and/or new big-sister or-brother duties.