How To Build A Kids Army Toy Fort
Little green army men, tanks and jeeps have been providing hours of outdoor army fun for boys for years.
But the fun doesn’t have to stop just because the weather gets wets or turns cold, not when you can build a toy fort for your army men to bring the fun indoors.
So gather up the craft supplies you have lying around your house, pop out and buy the rest and get your army mad kids in the mood for a little fort building.
I only spent $13.50 on items that I didn’t already have. So this is pretty cheap for a sturdy, custom made toy fort.
Alternatively you could of course just buy one. There’s a nice one HERE but at around $65 it’s a bit pricey.
Materials you will need
To make your fort you will need to assemble the following items:
- Foam core board: 2 sheets 30”x 15” (click here to buy from Amazon)
- A round cardboard oats box
- A pencil
- A permanent marker
- A tape measure
- A straight edge ruler
- Duct tape
- A craft knife
- A cutting mat
Step by step guide
Once you have your supplies together just follow these step by step instructions:
Measure 7 inches along the long edge of a piece of foam core. The foam core is 30 inches long so can be divided into four pieces.
Place the foam core on a cutting mat or cutting board on a flat surface. Cut four 7 inch sections from the foam core. Set the left over 2 inch piece aside. You will use it later.
Be careful when using a craft blade; be sure to keep your stabilizing hand out of the way.
After cutting through the front of the foam core turn it over and score through the cut mark from the front side. Once you have scored the back the piece will snap off cleanly as shown.
The next step is to find the center point on the bottom of the oat carton. Now draw a straight line across the center of the carton bottom and down the side of the carton.
Turn the oat carton and draw and line perpendicular to the original line to form an X. Continue the line down either side. You will now have divided the carton into 4 equal triangular sections. The label could be removed prior to marking the sections to make them easier to see.
Using scissors cut along the lines starting on one side, going up and across the top and down the other side.
After cutting the carton in half cut each half in half again. The craft knife may be necessary to cut through the thick rim.
You now have four pie-shaped sections and four 7-inch tall pieces of foam core.
Cut two of the 7-inch sections in half to leave you with two 7-inches x 15 inch and two 7-inches x 7.5-inch tall foam core sections and the four pie-shaped carton sections to use for the main fort structure.
If you would like to have a notched top edge on your fort cut 1-inch squares out along one edge of each piece at 2-3 inch intervals. Now is also the time to make windows or weapon access slits in the tower walls using the craft knife.
To assemble the fort, tape a pie-shaped section at each end of one of the 7-inch x 15-inch pieces on the inside and the outside as shown.
Before attaching the final 15-inch panel (this will be the front of the fort) you will need to cut a 4 inch x 3 inch doorway using a craft knife. In the center of the BACK of the panel start the door about 1.5 inches from the bottom edge cutting up one side, across the top of the door and down the other side and then across the bottom.
To finish the doorway so that it will drop open like a draw bridge turn the panel over and cut the sides and top all the way through the foam core. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE BOTTOM but lightly score it instead. This will allow the door to drop open and allow access for troops and armaments into your fort but will also let the door swing up and into place securely. See the second image below.
To finish the inside of your fort you will need to add a walkway along the upper portion to hold lookouts and arms. Using the second sheet of foam core measure and cut four 4-inch pieces.
Tape 2 of the pieces on the inside about 2 inches from the top edge of the fort wall by placing a piece of tape lengthwise along the piece so that half the tape is on the walkway piece and half goes up the fort wall. DO NOT TAPE FROM UNDERNEATH THE WALK WAY! Placing the tape along the bottom of the walkway will result in the ledge created tending to droop downward which will send your patrolmen tumbling to the ground.
To make the tower ladders you will need to retrieve the 2-inch piece of foam core left over from the wall sections and cut it in half to make two 2-inch x 7.5 inch pieces. Using a permanent marker draw a ladder on each side of the piece.
To attach the ladder piece under the tower sections simply use duct tape on the front and back. The ladders will not reach the ground of the fort. This is on purpose as it adds to the defensive position of the troops within the fort.
Now get out your army men, tanks and artillery
It’s time to arm your fort with your plastic army men and plan your military strategy in your custom made and very inexpensive military fortress!
You could also add in an extra step and paint your fort if desired.
Finished fortress with draw bridge
Full view of the fortress in action
Close up of the fortress in action. See the tower ladders and walkway in use and a view of the tower windows.
I’d love to see your fort if you make one. Please send me a photo.
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