One of the indisputable best parts about being a kid is building forts. It's amazing to create a cozy lair where no one can see you, plus you get to make the rules (within reason, of course, and you have to come out for dinner, but still). And now that Antsy Pants Unicorn Building Sets exist, gone are the days when fort-building meant assembling a strange arrangement of couch pillows and beach towels held it place by heavy books; now you (err... your kid) can own a fort shaped like everyone's favorite mythical creature.
These fantastic DIY forts come in a building kit with everything you need to make the most majestic structure on the block. Not only can kids play and lounge inside the animal-shaped tent, the fort is designed so that kids can be fully hidden inside, making it appear that they are the unicorn. It’s giving me very Trojan Horse vibes, without the war motif.
The unicorn building set is brought to you by Antsy Pants, whose creators saw kids spending increasingly more time inside and in front of a screen, so they “set out to make an impact by creating an interactive product that encourages imagination and limitless play,” per the Antsy Pants website. Their products are fun and interactive (think fire truck tents, flamingo kites, and a pop-up pet clinic).
Not only is the unicorn build kit adorable, it gives back, too. Antsy Pants partners with Kaboom! and ParticipACTION by donating a portion of sales to improve playgrounds and play spaces in underserved areas. You can make your purchase a teachable moment with your child and explain how it feels good and is important to buy from brands that donate part of their proceeds to a cause you believe in.
There's actually a reason kids love building forts and it's a little deeper than it just being really fun. Tents, treehouses, and forts offer kids a sense of freedom and privacy, a quiet place where they get a break from expectations and rules; this really helps to explain why my favorite part of camping is lounging in the tent.
"Fort-building provides young children with the opportunity to engage in pretend and imaginary forms of play. Pretend play and imaginary play are wonderful for children for a number of reasons but, specifically, fort-building provides children with the chance to create their own world, a world in which they are ‘in charge,'" Dr. Michael Mintz, a clinical psychologist for Children's National Health System, said in a previous interview with Romper.
Aside from looking cute and having a blast, your child may gain a sense of independence and relaxation just from hanging out inside this adorable unicorn building set. I vividly remember the feeling of calm that would wash over me when I'd haphazardly throw some pillows and a sheet together, then grab a flashlight and a book and read inside my makeshift fort for undisturbed alone time.
The 42-piece set includes the fabric cover, color-coded poles that fit together using Snap & Click™ connectors (you can think of the poles like a life-size K’Nex set). No tools are needed (phew!) and the unicorn perfectly blends logic and building skills with imaginary play. The unicorn building set and other fun Antsy Pants items (including an awesome unicorn lawn bowling set) are available exclusively at Target; as if you needed another excuse to go.