image courtesy kayepants via flickr

A rainy day across the state is a great time to break out the blanket fort. An iconic staple of childhood, the blanket fort is the ideal combination of fun, creativity, and comfort. It’s also a fantastic way to get the kids to work together on a project for a common goal. I am one of three siblings who fought constantly as children (my poor mother), but I don’t remember ever smacking my brother while in the sacred space of our blanket fortress.

We were anything we wanted to be in there; playing house, castle, army, reading, watching our favorite movies, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, or on Saturdays watching our favorite PBS show, Ghost Writer. No two blanket forts were ever the same. We’d drag the dining room chairs and two or three bar stools together with giant-plaid, flannel blankets and clothes pins along with our massive dictionaries for weights. Seriously, they were so huge. I remember using them as booster seats at the dinner table. Even the dining room table sometimes became a fort when we draped blankets around the chairs.

We stuffed our forts with all the pillows we could fit and our favorite snuggle blankets and stuffed friends. It was a magical space. I can see that same magic glint in my son’s eye when we start piling pillows and blankets into the middle of the living room floor. “Mommy, what you doing?,” he asks suspiciously. “Oh, just making a fort.” Intense, delighted dancing and woohooing ensues. One of my favorite memories is of coming home from grocery shopping to find my boys --which is to say my son and my husband -- camped under a huge fort that took up the entire room.

A quick Pinterest search will leave you overawed and filled with inspiration. If you somehow missed out on this adventure as a kid, it’s not too late. There’s even a WikiHow for making a blanket fort if you’re more into the materials list and step-by-step instructions type of thing.

Summer break is a great time to make memories with the kids while reading books or watching Sesame Street in the fort. Or, the grown-ups can camp out while watching Secret Seashore: Georgia Barrier Islands. Kick it up a notch with fairy lights or really go wild by moving the fort outside! We'd love to see your cozy fortress, so share it with us on the GPB Facebook page.

What fun blanket fort memories do you have? Share with us in the comments below.