When kids pull all the blankets out of the closet and the cushions off the couch to build a fort, they’re answering a developmental need buried deep in their psyches. David Sobel, the leading expert on kids and forts and author of the book Children’s Special Places: Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood, says that creating a special place allows kids to exercise their independence and better understand the world. And it’s just fun.
Grown folk no longer have that developmental need, but when the world seems scary, overwhelming and cold, a cozy den that literally shrinks your world and allows you to make the rules can be just the act of self care the doctor ordered. So next time that urge to hibernate hits? Grab your blankie and answer it.