The evolution of Fort Birthday – A Story in pictures

The evolution of Fort Birthday – A Story in pictures

As my boys became toddlers Fort Birthday’s form and function changed.

Fort Birthday became such a part of our life that we mostly have quick snap shots and a few videos from the last year. Scroll through them and enjoy.

Two boys in a box
Fort Birthday started with the main front entrance and an open window on one end.


Fort Birthday sign
Taking Fort Birthday Apart became a primary objective. So the Fort Birthday sign got moved up a level. You can see here how Fort Kenneth was already falling off the front due to poor structural planning.



Every time the boys played in the fort I decided to leave it up another week. This went on far longer than I expected

The First modifications

In the beginning the first changes were made in the name of keeping Fort Birthday Standing and were changed as the boys got bigger and more adventurous.


Boy in a box
You can see here how I tried to use some very sturdy gerber yogurt boxes to hold up the remains of Fort Kenneth


Fort Birthday and Fort Ward
This ends up photographing as an optical illusion, but Fort Birthday and Fort Ward combined- Its complicated so Ill explain.


My father is a photographer and he loves trompe l’oeil and optical illusion. So he pulled out an image of Fort Ward, Alexandria, Virginia (a Civil War Fort built to protect Washington, DC. And my childhood stomping ground) and printed a banner for Fort Birthday to add to the armaments. In the end the photograph was cut and shifted down and lasted until the boys tore it off.


Mom and a Boy in a box
Fort Birthday has held kids AND adults. Here my dear friend and her son practice lobbing bombs out of the turret. You can see the split Fort Ward picture here, as well.

‘Olde’ Fort Birthday

When I did the first real renovation of Fort Birthday I laughed about how touristy places slap the word ‘Olde’ on things to make them seem more enticing. So, I added an Olde addition to a new expansion. This is when you have such mom tiredness that things like this seem HILARIOUS, but mostly just to you.

Climbing a box
After the first Month the front of Fort Birthday was upgraded. Shortly, thereafter the boys discovered a new game.


Boy in trouble
Caught in the act, here my son uses his own sign to ask for help to get down.


Momma’s mistake was in thinking that this little Amazon Box would be too tall for them to climb


Fort Birthday
I attempted to foil further climbing I changed the Amazon box to something taller that they couldnt get on top of….. for a while.


Toddler Tantrum
When you are a toddler, life can be so hard all you can do is crawl partway into your Fort before you throw yourself on the floor in despair. Mommies are mean.

Fort Birthday Gets ‘red tagged’

Broken Box Fort
By January the boys had spent sufficient time crawling up and then backing down the turret hole to collapse the entrance to Fort Birthday. I knew the next iteration was going to have to come soon.

Look tomorrow for pictures of how I kept Fort Birthday standing for nearly a year. Structural hints for building a Box Fort that LASTS.

We share in Fort Birthday

7 Replies to “The evolution of Fort Birthday – A Story in pictures”

    1. Thank you for that. Sometimes I feel like all I do is yell and referee. I could have never lasted this long without a huge support network who have helped so so much.

    1. Thanks – it was such a spur of the moment, KISS thing that became something much bigger than a simple box fort. It’s everything I want to be as a mother, creative, thrifty, fun, adventurous.

Leave a Reply