In their hunt for just the right materials to make an epic play fort, kids tend to raid the whole house, ripping the cushions off the couches and blankets off the beds. What if they had a dedicated fort kit instead? This one, currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, makes fort construction even more fun with built-in magnets. FORT comes with 12 pieces in five shapes, including squares, rectangles, triangles, semi-circles, and arches so you can come up with fittingly complex creations.
Designed by a father who was sick of his couch always being in disarray, FORT comes in six shades of blue, gray, green, and purple, and you can always buy multiple kits and mix them up to make extra-big forts. Keeping in mind the target age range between three and six years old, the magnets are strong enough to hold kid-built structures together, but not too strong for little hands to manipulate (or strong enough to hurt anyone). A non-magnetic option is also available, if that’s your preference. Each piece is light enough that a toddler could pick it up and move it. The faux leather upholstery is also wipeable, unlike most couch cushions, which means the kit can even be used outside on the lawn.
The pieces are big enough for dramatic castles, but that also means they don’t exactly fold down to a compact size for storage. You can assemble them all into a tidy cube, but it will still have to hang out somewhere until you want to use it. That’s where you might as well get creative. You can assemble the pieces into a small kid-friendly couch or other semi-permanent piece of furniture and make it a multipurpose product. Accessories are also available for the FORT, including a strap for carrying the cube-bundle and a microfiber case to turn the whole thing into a giant ottoman.
A description on the pillow fort’s Kickstarter page reads: “Structural and supportive foam that is dense enough to build with but soft enough to knock down without boo-boos! Our foam is made of a flexible polyurethane foam that is compliant with CertiPUR-US product standards. This means it is made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP flame retardants, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, and is low VOC for healthy indoor air!”
“We take the safety of our children seriously. If I don’t want my kids playing with it, I don’t want yours. That’s why we’ve worked obsessively to make sure the magnets don’t fall out. The magnets are sewn in place with nylon thread in a special pocket, and our leather is super durable.”
This isn’t the first fort kit of its kind. “Squishy Forts” offered a similar project back in 2013, featuring modular components with built-in rare earth magnets. Just like FORT, they piled up into a neat little square when not in use. The difference is that “Squishy Forts” did away with pretensions of being for children and marketed straight to adults. They don’t appear to be available anymore, though, so FORT stepped in to meet the demand. Let’s not pretend you aren’t going to buy this “for the kids,” and then pull it out to play with when they’re asleep (with or without the involvement of tequila). But hey, it’s okay. Live your best fort-building life.
To get one of your own, pledge $219 or more for the non-magnetic version or $259 and up for the magnetic version on Kickstarter, with estimated delivery in September 2021.