How to Build a Snow Fort with Your Kids

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how to build a snow fort
I am horrible when it comes to building snowman. They typically look like some deformed monster out of a horror movie. One thing I do know, however, is how to build a snow fort! I experimented with different containers years ago when Jacob was about three, and I think I’ve perfected my method pretty well over the years. Last year, we didn’t get enough snow to build anything, let alone our very own fortress of solitude. This year, however, with two snow storms in a week, we had enough snow to play a bit last week. Plus, after the second storm, it became the perfect packing snow that you need for fun outdoor projects like this!

How to Build a Snow Fort With Your Kids

1. Get a square container from your stash of Tupperware or saved food containers. I used the kind that a pound of potato salad comes in at the grocery store. This was the perfect size because it’s deep, allowing you to make bigger bricks.

2.  Bundle up and head outdoors!

3. Find a nice, relatively flat surface to work on. If you want, draw out the area you plan to use for your fort. It’s fine to just wing it too!

4. Pack snow firmly into the container. You want a nice, solid brick capable of holding the weight of other bricks. Obviously, this works best with wet snow, not the powdery stuff.

how to bulild a snow fort

how to build a snow fort

5. Flip the container over and place the starting brick. Continue alternating step 4 and this step until you have your fort completed! You can either flip it over directly onto the ground or on top of a previously built row, or flip it into your hand and put it in place yourself for better accuracy.

how to build a snow fort 100_6172 100_6180

6. Reinforce the walls as you work. We packed snow around the base to make it more solid, then fill in the gaps with more snow.

When you’re done, you’ll have a nice solid fort to use for protecting yourself during snowball fights, or just to hang out in with the kids! Your fort can be as big or small as you want. It took us about an hour to build a small fort big enough for Jacob to sit in. I’ve yet to figure out how to make a ceiling, though, so if anyone has tips on that, I’d love to hear them!

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About Nicole Etolen

39 Responses to “How to Build a Snow Fort with Your Kids”

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  1. This looks like so much fun, I only wish we had the snow to do that :(

  2. Jennifer H says:

    how cute! We live in Florida so no snow for us, but sandcastles are fun. :)

    • Nicole says:

      Hey, I didn’t even think of trying this in the summer at the beach! Now maybe I can make sand castles that don’t look so pathetic too!

  3. I miss the days of playing in the snow with my kids. That is one of the most fun things a family can do together.

  4. bonnie holt says:

    Tht is truly awesome me myself i cant built a snowman either but we dont get a lot of snow anymore to be able to build one. This is relly a great how to thank you for sharing

  5. karen says:

    Ive never seen snow so I kinda need this tutorial should I ever actually end up in snow! Thanks

  6. JaShawndra R says:

    That is awesome! My brother and I made an “igloo” like that one year, except we didn’t think to use a bucket or anything so ours was horrible lol. Great post, thanks for sharing

  7. My boys love to build snow caves and are seriously disappointed that we don’t have the snow to do it right now. Love how dedicated your son is for filling that container to form his blocks.

    • Nicole Etolen says:

      Um, yeah, he really only filled about five of them. Long enough for me to take pictures. I ended up doing most of the work! LOL. But hey, he DID help!

  8. Nickida says:

    I wish we got that much snow. I would love to build a snow fort with my kids. They can’t wait for some good snow.

  9. Emily says:

    If only we’d get some snow – this looks like a fun activity!

  10. Kelly R says:

    I love this. I would never have thought about using a container. I miss the snow, I’m from NJ but now live in SC, we don’t get snow here.. but I do miss it.

  11. Kenzie Shoultz says:

    You guys did a great job!! Unfortunately Jax was sick the week we got 14 inches of snow :( Love the pics!

  12. wish we had snow in Florida to build this , my kids have never seen snow!

  13. Darcy says:

    I actually saw rectangle containers being sold at the store for his purpose!

  14. tazim says:

    what a fun activity! I’ve never done this before – now I wish that it would snow!

  15. Wow . . . 2 snowstorms in one week. We are still waiting for our first snow of the season. Looks like lots of fun, especially for Jacob. Keep using time wisely making memories with your family. Happy playing!

  16. jollyjillys says:

    What a fun idea I so wish we had enough snow at the mo to do that. Even if my kids are 32 and 27 lol. Never too old to play in the snow is what I say. Loved your post and your pictures so cute. thanks for sharing.

  17. How fun is that! The snowman needs to have a home, um, I mean a fort. :) It like blending beach fun with snowy weather. Thanks for the great idea. As for a ceiling, I have no idea.

  18. Cool looking snow fort. My kids don’t have chance to play with snow as we stay in the tropics.

  19. Jean says:

    I struggle with building snowmen as well! I think we used to actually have some sort of snow brick making machine. I am not sure on the roof either unless maybe you could try using smaller containers for smaller bricks as you went up and around but that would take a lot of patience, I think. Our winter has been pretty mild so far–it was 50 degrees today so we went and walked on a nature trail.

    • Nicole Etolen says:

      Our winter has been weird. A foot of snow one week, nearly 60 degrees the next. All the snow was gone the other night, then we had like 6 inches the next morning out of the blue!

  20. C. Lee Reed says:

    Gosh I used to make these with my Dad…see my post http://www.helicoptermomandjustplanedad.com/are-your-christmas-decorations-up-yet/helimom/teenagers/2012

    We had a red handled brick shaped container that we bought on base for making these forts. Since we now live in Florida, we don’t get snow so I’ve missed this memory with my own daughter. I will live vicariously through your photos. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Nickida says:

    I am still wishing we had that much snow so we could build awesome snow forts like that.

  22. Jenni Allen says:

    How fun! I think this is a great idea to do with kids. I second many of the comments that we rarely get snow, so I don’t think I will be able to try this at home, but maybe one day we will take a winter vacation and this will come in handy!

  23. Susan says:

    Definitely much cooler than the forts we built as kids!!! I wish we would have thought of making bricks.

  24. andi says:

    so if we get the snow here we’re supposed to get in NYC….. 😀

  25. Kim (babyw8) says:

    I love this!! I can’t wait until we have enough snow here to get out and do this with my son

  26. Yona says:

    What a cool (and easy) way to build a snow fort. I live in Upstate NY and we’re supposed to get a lot of snow in this region (known for it even), but the past couple of years have produced a puny amount of the white stuff. I have been wanting to build a snow dog for the past 2-3 years and there hasn’t been anything to work with here. I always complain about the cold and snow, and seeing your fun pictures makes me kind of envious…

  27. This really is an awesome fort! I have another tip for readers – choose small containers and you can make mini igloos. The winter equivalent of sandcastles! you build in a circle, leaving a gap for the door, then build each layer closer to the center until you close it at the top. It would be tempting to make a bigger one, but I’m not sure how safe it would be…

  28. NYCSingleMom says:

    What a building a snow fort primer? Hope I get to put into practice this year but i have a feeling we are not going to get snow this year

  29. Michelle says:

    How fun! I had an urge to grab hot chocolate just looking at those pictures. The South has me so spoiled with an overnight freeze being cause for schools to shut down for a week :)

  30. Felicia says:

    It looks like you guys had a lot of fun building the snow fort! I remember when I was a kid making forts with my brother. They were pretty elaborate sometimes too, but it all depended on how much snow we got and if it was good packing snow. We would spend ours building and playing in the forts. Those where the days!

  31. How adorable! My kids would love to do this, provided we ever get any snow. We live in Maryland and haven’t seen any snow in a couple years (other than a small dusting). But they are saying that we might get some snow on Friday…hopefully we’ll have enough for a snow fort :)

  32. Carrie Wood says:

    Oh, that looks like so much fun! Unfortunately, enough snow to make a fort in my backyard would mean that hell had frozen over. Here in Houston we only get a heavy frost maybe once a winter!

  33. Mackenzie says:

    I have a home daycare, with not many outdoor winter toys, so I needed something to do for the kids besides just them climbing in the snow. This definitely looks more entertaining (although they do love to jumping around in the snow)! I am going to try this today!

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