Pillow forts are where kids go to get away from parents, where little girls enter into a dream world of magic and where brothers hide from sisters. The cushion caves are also a perfect way to transform a summer day. So we at YS set out to build the perfect pillow fort, and we called it a pillow fortress. Of course, we called it that before we made it, so the term turned out to be a bit of an embellishment. But here’s what we learned: building forts brings out the kid in you, even if you still love comic books and your second adult apartment is filled with Nerf swords (as is the case with our associate editor). Another thing we learned: if you’re looking for something to do on a summer day with the kids, then you’ll never look at laundry the same way (or ladders, chairs and that random string you tied the Christmas tree to the hood of your car with).
To get started you have to know your approach. You can go the traditional route using the edges of beds and chairs, or you can build up, starting on the bed. We chose the latter, and then sprang for a ladder. We had a whole carnival tent theme in mind, and used the step ladder to hold up the middle. We used blankets to cascade off to the sides, tucking some between the bed frame and the wall, and used the backs of chair to drape the others over. After stacking pillows from the floor to the entrance of the fort, we made an ultimate escape.
Now, let’s not forget that pillow forts need internal lighting. To illuminate the inside, we used a simple desk lamp, but you could use a planetarium. (Turn to pg. 42 to learn how to make one so awesome, your kids will be seeing stars.) Once the fort is in place and the lights are on, it’s time to grab toys and close the curtains.
The lifespan of a pillow fort can last anywhere from an afternoon, to a day or a pillow fortnight. Either way, half the fun is making the thing, and the other half is playing inside it. Cleaning up is actually no fun at all, but it’s a good way to get your kids to fold the sheets. Or your associate editor.