As a kid there was nothing more cool and more fun than building my own fort! Let your kids creative ideas flow, they can get as low key or as crazy as they want. Blankets, chairs, hampers, pillows, and anything you can find laying around the house.
Benefits to fort building:
Utilizes problem solving and planning skills
(If working together with a sibling or friend) social skills, cooperation & negotiation skills
Best Practices for parents:
Safety 1st, no blankets around heaters or electrical outlets
If they ask for help, help them
Let the kids be in charge, only enter if they invite you
Once the fort is built, offer snacks, books or other non messy games or toys
When things can be overwhelming for a child, building a fort can be a great way to seek out comfort and control. Check out this article from The Washington Post.
The Kentucky Science Center had an exhibit called "Who Forted?" and my kids went nuts over it. They had couches and furniture bolted to the floor, pvc pipes for building, blankets, carabiners, questions about building forts and engineering. It looked simplistic, when you first entered, but you could tell they really put a lot of thought and time into making it a safe, fun and educational exhibit for all.