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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Make a blanket fort

Make a comfy space to spend some time with your friends.

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You’ll need

  • Chairs
  • Blankets
  • Large sheets (lightweight)
  • Cushions
  • Clothes pegs or string
  • Heavy books
  • Battery-operated string lights (optional)
  • Snacks, quiet games, colouring activities, sensory toys (optional)

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Planning this activity

  • Plan whether you have enough space and resources for the whole group to make a simple blanket fort.
  • You could also split into smaller groups, with each group making their own fort.
  • Alternatively, everyone can work together to make a fort, and groups can take turns to enjoy it later.
  • Make sure the fort(s) don’t block doorways, pathways or emergency exits. 
  • Make sure to leave enough room around the forts for anyone who may need more space, such as wheelchair or mobility-aid users.

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. Someone should read We get the whole of you by Juliette Sexton. Make sure you save a copy of the poem before the session.
  3. After reading the poem, everyone should take some time to reflect on it as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you reflect in the pink box below.

We get you when you’re grumpy, like when you lost your favourite sock.
We get you when you’re happy, like when you found it in a box.
We get you when you’re worried, like when you thought your maths was bad.
We get you when you’re proudest, when you made those numbers add.
We get you when you’re saddest, like when you feel alone.
We get you when you’re excited, when you’re talking on the phone.

So you needn’t ever worry that, for us, you aren’t enough –
In fact, we’d like to find out more: about you and all your stuff.

So let’s spend some time playing, running, doing, being free,
Creating, planning – let’s build a fort! A space for us to be.
We can dream, dance, and imagine, safe inside the blanket walls.
Perhaps we’ll see a tiger pounce with shadow puppet paws!
Protect our castle against attack: by giants, witches, trolls.
Eat cake, read books, dress up, and practice shooting winning goals.

So you needn’t ever worry that, for us, you aren’t enough –
In fact, we’d like to find out more: about you and all your stuff.

And at the end of evening, when the sun’s about to set,
We’ll take some time to sit and chat, to see just who we’ve met.
We’ll think of all we did and said, and all the fun we had.
Considering the good times and reflecting on the bad.
We get the whole of you, our friend: the tears, the fun, the fuss.
We just ask that you remember that you get the whole of us!

By Juliette Sexton

Build your blanket fort

  1. Everyone should help to arrange four or six chairs into two rows opposite each other.
  2. Space the chairs out according to the size of your largest sheet.
  3. Place blankets and pillows on the floor between the chairs.
  4. Carefully place a sheet over the top of the chairs, to make the roof.
  5. Fix the sheet on using clothes pegs or string, or by carefully placing some heavy books on the edges.
  6. Add more sheets as needed, to completely cover the sides of the fort – but leave an opening to get in and out.
  7. Everyone should help make the finishing touches, including more cushions to make it super cosy.
  8. If you wanted to, you could peg string lights to the roof or place them on the floor around the edges of your fort.

Some top safety tips to remember are:

  • Make sure the chairs aren’t going to tip over when you add sheets on top. If you place the chairs facing inwards, with the backs on the outside, the fort will be more stable, but there’ll be less floor space. Chairs facing outwards will need something to weigh them down so they don’t tip over, such as placing heavy books on the seats.
  • If you want to bring light or entertainment into the fort, make sure the sheets and pillows don’t cover anything that could get hot, such as a lamp, television or any other electrical equipment.
  • Use battery-powered string lights, and make sure the wires don’t get tangled and can’t be tripped over.

Enjoy your comfy space

  1. If you’ve built one blanket fort for the whole group, groups can take turns to enjoy the comfy space they’ve created, while the other groups do a different activity.
  2. Enjoy some peaceful activities in the blanket fort with friends. There are lots of things you could do, but your group can decide how they want to spend time in the fort.
  • Do some colouring in.
  • Play paper games, such as a dot-to-dot or a maze.
  • Write your friends’ names using their favourite colours.
  • Choose a picture or story book and explore it together. 
  • Share some mess-free snacks together and find out your friends’ favourite foods. 
  • Have a teddy bear’s picnic.
  • Put together a playlist of your favourite songs and listen to music.
  • Do some simple or easy, mess-free crafts.
  • Do a jigsaw with friends.
  • Tell each other a story.
  • Explore some sensory toys together, such as tangle toys, squeezy or stretchy toys and fidget spinners. 
  • Play a speaking game, such as i-Spy.
  • Play a quiet card game or a board game.


This activity was about building friendships and improving wellbeing by working together and enjoying spending time with friends. You can reflect throughout the session or at the end. 

We get the whole of you

  • What makes you feel grumpy, worried or sad?
  • What makes you feel happy, proud or excited?

Build your blanket fort

  • What was it like to build a blanket fort?  How does it make you feel? Maybe it made you feel happy, proud or excited to go inside it for the first time.
  • Why is it good to work together?

Enjoy your comfy space

  • When you went inside the fort and enjoyed your comfy space, everyone got to spend some time with their friends and get to know people better. Did you like spending time with your friends? How did it make you feel?
  • What makes someone a good friend?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Heavy and awkward objects

Never lift or move heavy or awkward items alone. Ask for help or, if possible, break them down into smaller parts.

For an extra challenge, everyone could pick their own materials and design their own comfy space with Wild builders, or build a den outdoors with Den building. To make it easier, try using a pop-up tent or beach tent to make a comfy space.

Make sure the fort will be accessible for everyone, with a wide enough door and space inside. To make a larger fort, try hanging a washing line or string across the space, and hanging sheets over it. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Try making your own blanket fort at home, with some help from an adult. Invite friends or family to join you.

Support everyone to get involved in making the blanket fort and share their ideas on how they want to spend their time inside it.