Comments: In the months leading up to Christmas, I saw several bloggers with sponsored posts where they raved about their free Fort Magic kits. It looked pretty awesome, but while I was sure their reviews were honest, I was a little skeptical that it was worth the $150 price tag. As an engineer, I’ve been meaning to make something similar for my kids out of PVC pipe basically since I was pregnant with my first child, but as the mother of 3 young kids I’ve never gotten around to it. Honestly, I think this is better than anything I could have done myself and well worth the cost. It comes with a large number of pieces and connectors such that, so far, I’ve not been short a piece for anything I’ve wanted to make. We’ve made several of the suggestions in the accompanying booklet (a car, a rocket ship, a pirate ship, etc.) as well as many of our own creations such as a homemade Toothless dragon.
What I love most about this product is that not only does it foster creativity and spatial skills, but it is truly fun and accessible for everyone. My 3 and 5 year olds can fit the pieces together and make things for themselves while my 8 month old chews on the large connectors. We’ve had grandparents come over and say, “Man, I wish I had this when I was a kid.” I truly feel every child should have something like this. Interestingly, we also received the much less expensive construction fort building set by Discovery Kids and it is nowhere near as amazing. Don’t get me wrong, my kids love that we can build them spikey balls with the cheaper set, but they cannot get the pieces in themselves and after using our Fort Magic kit, we will not be using the smaller set to make forts.
Another point worth mentioning is how easy it is to cover your creations with fabric using the fabric clips (not included in the Discovery Kids set). When I saw the box, I thought, “Yeah, that castle/house/spaceship looks cool, but the covering must have been custom sewn.” I thought we would make a fort and then just throw a sheet over it and call ourselves done. That’s not how it works at all. With the fabric clips, you can take any piece of fabric, clip it onto the pipes to make a panel, and then twist the clips to roll the fabric onto itself to make it taut. We’ve used bed sheets, play silks, receiving blankets, and Hawaiian sarongs to cover our creations, and while it doesn’t look quite as amazing as the box, my kids don’t care, and I’ve been pretty impressed with what is possible. We got this set for Christmas and it has been used in some form or another nearly every day for the last month and a half.
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