When I was little my dad built a really cool fort in our backyard. I was pretty young and I know my brother got a lot of use out of it with his friends, but I do remember playing in it as well. One thing I really remember about it was the hole in the floor that we used to lower a bucket so we could bring up supplies, it was high up so we had a ladder to climb to get up to the top. It was truly a legitimate fort with a solid construction job done by the best! Here we are with our dog Rusty, probably around 1984?
A few years later we moved into a new house and we had a pool table in our great room. My best friend, Stacey, and I used to drape sheets over the side of the pool table and voila we created our very own fort! There were little shelves in the corners underneath the pool table and we would put the necessities like our PJ’s, flashlights and books or games. We had pillows and blankets and we would sleep in our fort at night and play games and read books during the day. Underneath the bottom of the table was a slab of some sort of stone that made a fantastic chalk board. So we kept a carton of colored chalk on one of the shelves as well and we drew pictures, wrote our names in fun artistic ways, played tick tack toe and hangman and graffitied (is that a word??) to our hearts content.
When Jacob really got the hang of crawling, he began to get more adventurous. We used to put our oversized pillows to block the places we didn’t want him to crawl to, until he figured out that he could shift to 4×4 mode and crawl right over them. If anything was in his path, no problem, he just crawled right over/under it, actually, he loves to crawl out of his way so he can go over/under something. If I am sitting on the ground, he will crawl over my legs and then turn around and do it again, and again, and again. He tries to squeeze his way through tight places to get somewhere. I started arranging things in a sort of obstacle course for him and he loved it. A couple months ago, I was on Amazon browsing for something new to buy Jacob that would make his crawling adventures more fun and I came across the tunnels. Thanks to Amazon Prime I had it at my front door in 2 days and immediately opened it. The first few days Jacob just looked at it. He was trying to figure out what this big thing was. He would be at one end looking through the tunnel and I would be at the other end encouraging him to come through.
After about 2 days, I found myself crawling through it to show him how it is done (sorry, no pictures of that!). Then I put one of his toy balls that he loves halfway through the tunnel and that did the trick.
The nice thing about this one is the middle of the tunnel has mesh lining so it seems very open while inside the tunnel. Sometimes Jacob stops halfway through to check out the sky view. When he came through the first time, he stopped, turned around and thought about what he did and then went right back in, no toy necessary.
I’m sure when he gets older the tunnel will make a great addition to the forts he will build along with the couch pillows, tables and draped blankets. For now it is a great exercise/obstacle course/playtime game.