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50 Best Backyard Forts for Kids
Do you have outdoor spaces that you want to transform into a kids fort? If so, these backyard forts for kids will give you all the inspiration you need. You will find you don’t need much space for small children to have a great time. In fact, they can have a great playspace with little materials and a simple design.
Backyard Forts for Kids
Childhood is full of imagination and play and what better background for that play than an outdoor playhouse? Most of us have made indoor forts for ourselves or our children – likely with pillows, blankets, chairs, and other indoor furniture. Why not bring that fun outdoors? We all should spend more time outdoors!
Treehouses and forts are enough to make every family member spend more of their time in the sun and the fresh air.
Backyard forts can range from a a few sticks and a blanket to a carefully crafted wooden castle. Both have the ability to provide hours of outdoor fun and high-quality pretend play.
If you are just looking for something to throw together this afternoon, there are so many creative ways to do so! If you are interested in adding a more permanent structure to your backyard, there are a wide range of skills required for different projects – something for everyone.
If you have a tree in your backyard that is perfect for a treehouse, creative builders have come up with a wide assortment of plans and ideas to choose from. All you have to do is start! Below we have a few lists that include simple and cheap backyard forts, treehouses, and some more involved backyard forts that may require a little time.
Decide how much time and money you are able to commit and take your pick from these backyard forts for kids!
Cheap DIY Backyard Forts
Fort building does not have to be expensive or time-intensive. Outdoors spaces can be temporary and still provide a lot of fun. Cardboard boxes are perfect for creating a cardboard box clubhouse, but check out the list below! There are so many cheap, DIY ideas to choose from.
This no-sew tent is something that you can throw together fairly quickly once you have all of the materials. Grab the PVC pipe and curtains and you are ready for a sleeping bag and fun.
Outdoor Stick Fort
These little stick tents and forts, from How We Learn, look like camping equipment from another time. Perfect for the little kids to have their own private space!
Butcher Paper Playhouse
This new fort idea is inexpensive AND creative. The paper portion lets your kids create their own kind of space. This idea is the perfect opportunity for kids who love showing their creativity.
This backyard fort is a classic way to throw together a little temporary shelter.
5-minute Backyard Teepee
A bedsheet, bamboo stakes, clothespins, and a small rope are all you will need for this kid’s fort.
This floral fort, from Let’s Lasso the Moon, is a great place to spend a little time LITERALLY immersed in nature.
Plastic Tablecloth Pavilion
This is a cheap and easy fort! It uses plastic tablecloths and yard edging. You may have one or the other already sitting in your garage!
Curtain DIY Playhouse
This fun playhouse only requires you to build three walls. You can add in a curtain for the fourth. That way, you can have privacy if you like, but can also let in some natural light when you don’t!
This fort uses a fort-making kit specifically made for these sort of activities, but you could use PVC pipe and scrap fabric as well!
This twig fort is a great way to use up all those extra twigs and branches that blow around your yard during rough winds and weather.
Backyard Bedsheet Tent
This is about as simple and inexpensive as it gets! You could make this whatever size you want depending on the blanket or sheet size you use!
This pallet playhouse would be a good playhouse if you are looking for something a little more permanent.
Hula Hoop Hideouts
This backyard fort is perfect if you’ve got a few hula hoops and some spare fabric laying around.
Treehouse Fort Ideas
For most of these, you may need to head to Home Depot to pick up supplies. However, it’s important to remember that building tree houses does not have to be difficult!
The creators of these houses have given specific instructions on how to get the job done. Whether you just want an easy-to-build platform or a full tree houses with a climbing wall option, there are plenty to choose from.
Platform Treehouse with Rock Climbing Wall
Looking for a treehouse with a rock wall? This one, shown on Repurpose and Recycle, is a simple platform and you can add on a slide!
Classic Treehouse with Swing Set and Sandbox
If you are looking for some ideas that have wooden swing sets, this one is great! The house is simple and can have a sandbox underneath.
The perfect place to watch over the backyard.
This one is a dream for imaginative play. It may not be a beginner’s project, but with some time and a detailed plan, you can create the backyard fort of your princess’s dreams!
Mid Century Play Fort
Mid-century is very trendy and has been for awhile now! If your home tends to follow that trend, this playhouse would be a cohesive extension of the rest of your home!
This plan is for a well-structured tree house. It even has windows!
Modern Wooden Fort
Another mid- century modern design! The circular windows are so fun and unique.
Platform Treehouse with Sheet Tent
Installing a low-level platform like this gives you so many different options for add-ons. A slide? Rock climbing wall? Both could easily be added!
Small Tree Platform
While this may be on the smaller side of play areas, it gives young ones a great vantage point of the yard! Perfect for imagining that they are a super secret spy on lookout!
More Backyard Fort Ideas
These playhouse plans range from an incredibly unique spaceship to a simple, four-wall fort. Many of these playhouse plans offer a free plan and give you the opportunity to add a permanent structure to your backyard! If you are looking to add a trap door or fire pole to your treehouse or fort, there are plans for that below as well.
This fort structure is simple and modern. While it is one of the more permanent, involved structures on this list, it is on the easy side of that group.
Sail Boat Sandbox
This one is great for imaginative play – especially if you are looking for a pirate ship play area. If you want, you can leave the sand out, but it adds another layer of fun if you keep it in!
Easy Lean-to Playhouse
If you are looking for a simple, but structured and permanent design, this one is perfect. The plan is not overly complicated, but it is durable enough to last over time!
Play Platform with Slide
This one is simple, but also checks off most playhouse requirements. A slide? Check! Elevated platform with ladder? Also check!
The Simplest Fort
This fabulous fort is also an incredibly simple fort. It has a roof, elevated platform, and ladder. Leaving off part of the railing and adding a slide would not be very complicated!
Treehouse Without a Tree
This one looks complicated, but the creator of the plan calls it a beginner project. You can even use scrap wood and someone’s old slide if you can get your hands on one.
Low Level A-Frame Playhouse
If your young one is scared of heights, this playhouse is perfect. A low-level fort like this leaves room for plenty to play at once.
Wooden Spaceship Playhouse
This one is likely more involved and time consuming, but how fun would this be?!
Fort with Fire Pole
Playhouses with fire poles give another fun way to exit – and enter if you happen to be super strong!
Having a secret trap door for entry and exit would be a very fun feature to add to your child’s playhouse.
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