It’s amazing what kids will do with a little bit of adult help and a lot of imagination. One of the projects for this summer’s “fun with PVC” includes this lopsided fort built on top of a wood platform set between two trees. After re-securing and re-surfacing the platform (with a lot of instructional help from my brother-in-law), my sister and I made this structure out of PVC odds and ends and covered it with tarps. The result may be architectually comical, but the tree house/fort has already sparked the imagination of my visiting nieces and nephews. Yesterday I caught the group of 7 kids playing fiefdom in the yard, with the tree fort serving as throne room for the queen (the birthday girl), while her “vassals” (as the kids called themselves), bowed and took orders from her.
On their own, the kids picked up scrap pieces of PVC that were laying around to use as swords. Towels worked as capes, and with that a whole new world opened up in our back yard.
Do you need a kit to build a PVC fort? No. Does it have to be perfectly shaped? No. Just look at our fort and you’ll see that all you need is enough pieces of pvc and joints to make a structure over which you can drape some sheets, blankets or tarps. The real magic happens in the minds of the kids that use the fort.
How to Build a Fort out of PVC
Call it a fort, a castle, a prison cell, or just a box–it’s all the same structure. What makes it one thing or the other is the imagination of kids (of any age). The easiest PVC structure that can be transformed into one of these is a box shape as shown in the attached picture. Twelve lengths of PVC and eight joints. You can make all the PVC pieces the same length, or vary the lengths to get a longer or taller box. Glue all parts together and throw sheets over the structure for a basic indoor or outdoor child’s fort. This PVC fort is easy enough to have kids help in putting together. You can try leaving the pieces unglued for easy disassembly and storage.
Go ahead and experiment with different shapes. Our tree house fort has a standard roof shape which we had to anchor with bungee cords to keep from bending over in the wind. We were lucky to find many of the pieces at a local construction salvage yard, making this a very affordable playhouse.
Have a fun summer with PVC!