There is something just so timeless about blanket forts. I think blanket forts are actually really, really important to our lives—but are often dismissed as just another day in a kid’s life. A blanket fort is like a right of passage. I feel like a blanket fort is somehow one of those “truly American things” but its not….it is even bigger than America. Just like our LifeOnACouch, the blanket fort is an international phenomenon. The blanket fort knows no boundaries—not geographic, not demographic, not political, race, or religious. Kids love blanket forts. College students love blanket forts. And—admit it or not—adults love blanket forts too.
“Ask not if your furniture can become a blanket fort, ask if your blanket fort can become furniture.”
Its close cousin, the couch fort, is essentially the same thing, but depending on the materials at hand, some couch forts can be constructed by using couch cushions alone. A true couch fort can be as simple as two or three couch cushions balanced on one another providing shelter against threats as such as: monsters, light, darkness, dogs, or even little brothers. Using ropes, pipes, and other devices some have bastardized the art form in order to create these more sophisticated blanket forts. Call me idealistic, but this somehow violates my own childhood definition of what a blanket fort should be. I believe that a true blanket fort should be impromptu, and unplanned. The couch cushions are the bricks and the blankets the mortar.
According to Wikipedia: “A blanket fort is a construction commonly made using blankets, bed sheets, pillows, and sofa cushions. It is also known as a couch fort, pillow fort or sheet fort.” Notice, there’s no mention of ropes, stands, pipes, etc. Tools are for hacks.
The Advent of Sactionals – A New Material for Blanket Forts
Some may say that advancements were made with sectional couches, but I would argue that the first organic technological advancement of this decade made in the blanket-fort-building industry came part and parcel with the advent of Sactionals—a clearly superior piece of furniture for blanket fort building. I know that I’m biased on the topic, but just think about it…
- Sactionals are solid when connected but easily reassembled,
- Sactionals are movable,
- Sactionals are rectangular—making them configurable in different ways,
- Sactionals are stackable, and
- Sactionals are beautiful sofas as their day-job, but really earn their money as a 2-for-the-price-of-one blanket fort builder.
While I may be a purist as to the construction of blanket forts, I am a liberal in terms of what can happen within.
Kids will do strange things in there….mostly, they just like to take things in there. Its kind of like their first-first apartment. They get to “decorate it” themselves. They get to choose their own appliances, and amenities. Like mini interior designers, they delve into lighting, flooring, wall hangings, the whole composition becomes their domain.
College students do all kinds of things inside a blanket fort—typically taking it to a whole new level. The TV, the X-Box, the Wii, the PS2, they all go in. There’s evidence online of some upper-classmen living in blanket forts for weeks on nothing but pizza and beer. And who knows what else goes on in there? I will say that the Blanket Fort episode of NBC’s Community, will likely never be outdone in terms of capturing the soul of blanket forting for the adult age group. Epic.
We Secretely Want Our Own Fort
Finally, we have the parents—like myself. Are we really building these forts for our children with blankets, with couches, with sectional sofas, or with Sactionals? Aren’t we just waiting “by the phone” for our sons and daughters to ask us? Don’t we secretly all just want to crawl in and cuddle up in there with random items that we love? Based on some of the blanket fort masterpieces I’ve seen on on other blogs, for the non-purist, that is, he who can accept a blanket fort using more permanent materials, it is possible for the best of them to withstand a minor hurricane. But as for me in my house—we shall only use Sactionals bases, cushions and blankets. This discipline in blanket fort construction certainly limits the size and stability of the fort, but in the end—were blanket forts really meant to last?
Maybe like our fleeting childhood blanket forts were just never meant to last. In the immortal words of Robert Frost, “Nothing gold can stay.”
SHOW ME YOUR BLANKETFORT. TAG IT WITH #LIFEONACOUCH IN ANY SOCIAL MEDIA!
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