“Confidence is earned through doing and believing.” -Erika Pope-Gusev
Shortly after sharing this post on how to build a simple fort, I was contacted by Fort Magic and asked if I’d like to review their fort building kit. My children make forts every single week (this week it’s a beaver dam/fort), so how I could I refuse?
There will be a generous giveaway at the end of this post.
When our Fort Magic kit arrived, I was impressed by the sheer quantity of materials (seven different stick sizes with over 350 pieces altogether). I spoke highly of our new toy to my lovely neighbors, and they all wanted to have a turn with Fort Magic. The kit made the rounds around our houses…a few times…and I can confidently say that it’s popular with girls and boys, and children between the ages of 1 and 7. Our 5-year old neighbor built a tent-fort over his bed and kept it there for a full month! The kit finally made it back to us and my 4-year old asked to make a submarine from the instruction manual (shown in my photos in this post).
Fort Magic was founded by entrepreneur and homeschooling mom Erica Pope-Gusev, who’s joining us today to talk about how she came about designing this imagination-building toy.
It’s great to have you here today, Erika! What is the inspiration behind Fort Magic?
Our family had purchased a dryer for our home. My son, who was 8 at the time, begged me to keep the huge box. I agreed. He played with this box for months! He and his friends turned that box into every imaginary item they could. Only it was large and in the way in our apartment. This sparked my imagination and instantly I invented Fort Magic in my mind! After 2 years of trial and error and invention we finally created the perfect Fort Building Kit for kids! Where a child can build a fort as big as their imagination with just one kit! Literally! 🙂
The materials used to build with Fort Magic are both simple and incredibly smart. What contributed to your design process?
The design process of creating Fort Magic was basically being a kid myself! We call our business the Fort Magic Fun Factory. I originally just started building (playing!) and working with my prototypes and would think, “hmm, this could be cool,” then I would try and add something else or create something new. After many months of building and trying lots of different sized pieces, we came up with our current kit components!
It really can build anything and it really is the ultimate building toy! And it fits nicely in one little bag. 🙂 Some companies create toys with just enough pieces that you have to buy a second to really do something cool with it. That is NOT our philosophy. We wanted out kit to be excellent enough to be purchased alone and STILL give a child enough to build fantastic life-sized forts! Kids deserve it. If a family wants 2 kits that is great also. But it won’t be because one kit leaves feeling cheaped-out, it would be because you just want to build more cool stuff!
What do you hope children will gain from the experience of playing with this these materials?
Oh my goodness! First and foremost we want kids to have fun! But also, Fort Magic is obsessed with children becoming their best! Our mission is the building of greatness in children one fort at a time. 🙂 Our goal is to give power to children to literally create their own realities, life size! Not only by building and creating life-sized forts of their own to play in, but by igniting a confident belief in their minds that maybe they CAN do anything else! Confidence is earned through doing and believing.
With Fort Magic kids learn to plan their designs, build their designs, cover and decorate their designs, and see their work! That is education: fun and confidence building in one experience!
Fort Magic also brings the whole family in to play. If you look at our Facebook page you’ll see so much creativity coming from the minds of boys AND girls! Building toys are often directed primarily at boys, but girls LOVE to build also! The long term plan is to support our product with our online World of Fort Magic page on our website where kids can learn how to create all kinds of DIY projects, educational materials to support themes, resources for parents on how to use Fort Magic to help their kids.
There are sooo many benefits from creative building toys like Fort Magic! I can hardly start to name all of them. We are busy preparing a lot of material that will launch soon on our World of Fort Magic page for customers to use. We are really excited about this!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I would just like to thank all of our fans, reviewers and customers for their enthusiasm and support! We are so happy to recieve emails and notes from kids and parents on how much they love their Fort Magic kits! It just makes our hearts soar. 🙂 We get a lot of positive reviews and we love it.
We are really aiming to create the best quality product we can for children. Safety first (highest standards of safety certification). Everything is the absolute best quality because kids deserve it! Our materials and are so well made they will last for generations and we love that! We’re just a family business started by a mom who loves her kids and is a big kid herself. Just pure, good fun toward the goal of helping our kids reach their best in life; that is Fort Magic. 🙂
Check the Fort Magic Facebook page for photos of kids and their creations! Each month we hold a Fort Magic Photo of the Month contest — winner receives an additional Fort Magic Kit, free!
To enter for your chance to win a complete Fort Magic Kit ($249 Value), click on the Rafflecopter giveaway. This is the first time I’ve used Rafflecopter to run a giveaway. I’d love to hear what you think about it. This is open to U.S. addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
That is Awesome!
This looks like so much fun! It would be great for my preschool classroom too.
I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good fort building kit for a while now, and this one looks incredible!
I absolutely love your blog. Thank you for sharing all of these great ideas!
What an amazing giveaway! This has to be the coolest building set ever!
Woah! seriously, this has to be THE coolest thing I’ve ever seen. ~Robin
LOVE this!!! What a great giveaway!!! Thanks for the chance!
OMG this is one of the coolest things I have seen, love the way it doesn’t permanently take up space move over kids I want a turn
My 3 year old would LOVE this! The tiny space behind our loveseat has been a barn and a castle with a drawbridge recently. I can’t even imagine what he would come up with for this!
You always expose me to the coolest supplies/idea/kits! The Fort Magic is no exception! My boys would love it!!
What a great idea! Looks like something my son would love to play with.
Wow, this kit is amazing!
Thanks for the giveaway…I like the rafflecopter!
What a cool idea! Thank you for sharing!
This is a brilliant idea! My kids and I would love Fort Magic!
Looks like a whole lot of fun!
That is the coolest fort in town! What a great concept, thank you for sharing 🙂
This looks very cool. We’d love to try it out!
This looks awesome. And maybe after I play with it I will let my daughter enjoy it. 🙂
These forts are incredible! I hope we can win the kit, or else we will have to start saving up for one :). Thanks for sharing!
This looks so cool! Thanks for the giveaway.
I saw this on Amazon, would love to have this for my 2 boys! They would love it. Thanks again Rachelle for bringing us a great giveaway.
my little guy loves building forts, this is awesome!
What an amazing product, my boys make forts all the time, they would love this!
The fort is amazing! I can only imagine how much fun my kids would have with that! Thanks for sharing!
It looks amazing. I love that there are different lengths included which would extend the possibilities greatly. I have three girls and they would love this!
What a cool set! We love making forts.
this looks really great! my kids would love it!
My little girl loves building things. She would love playing with this!
That looks like so much fun! My 2 boys would have a blast 🙂
How cool is this FORT! OMG! If I could go back and be my son’s age. Being able to make different shaped forts…. Now that is having an imagination!
Wow – it seems so much better than super fort – I can’t wait to try it out!
What an amazing product! I’m so glad to have read this post today. I started making our Christmas wish list just yesterday, and Fort Magic is going to the top of the list!
woohoo, how exciting! My kiddos will love this! Thank you.
great giveaway- I think we might have a fort day at home today!
Awesome giveaway! Looks fantastic, I’d love to win!
Looks like so much fun. My kids would love some Fort Magic!
This looks amazing. It would be great to have for all the indoor days during the cold winters.
This looks like so much fun! My kids love forts, too, and these are IMPRESSIVE!!
My daughter has been building forts more and more in our home, and this would be a fantastic addition to her “materials”.
These are amazing products.
My daughter would LOVE this!
My girls, nephews, nieces, even us adults would love this product. Looks like hours of fin and imagination. I have my fingers crossed:) Good luck to everyone.
Fantastic…my 2 boys are in love with forts!!! This would be absolutely amazing, thanks for having such a great giveaway!!!
This looks amazing 🙂 My kids would love something like this 🙂
I was just wondering if the giveaway to open to Canadians?
This looks so fun I think I will end up building myself a fort to hide in!
This. Looks. FANTASTIC. I have a five-year-old daughter, and a yard that needs a fort ASAP. Count me in!
This looks so much fun! I would have loved this when I was working at a recreation center with preschoolers!
My 4 kids would love this! So awesome.
So much fun!
I love the fort building kit and so would my daughter. The rafflecopter entry system works well and is really helpful – I like it.
My kids are crossing all their fingers and toes to win this 🙂
This is so cool!! I would love to make something with my kids!
This looks fantastic!! If I don’t win this, I’m going to buy one!
Looks like a great product. Thanks for the review!
I hadn’t heard of this before, but it looks neat! My 3 year old and her friends would love it.
Wow… those forts are amazing!!
Wow – cool fort kit. Thanks for the chance to win! Love that it’s a small mom-owned company!
These look really awesome!
What an awesome fort concept. Just what my little girl’s imagination needs.
This is amazing. Every household should be issued one upon the birth of their children!
I love this product! I haven’t ever seen it before, but it’s amazing! My three boys would love it!
This is sooo cool!
Just what I have been dreaming of for my kids- only I didn’t even know it. Thank goodness for the clever minds of industrious moms.
Awesome! I’ve always enjoyed making forts with my kiddos. I’ve used everything from our the kitchen table to an empty dresser on its side. I love this kit! I’m imagining what I could do with it already!
this is great! what an idea!
This kit looks amazing!!! This is what I’ve been searching for for a long time!! My kids would explode if we won!! LOL
This kit looks like so much fun! We built a fort this morning out of our dining room furniture and sheets but I would love another creative way to build a fort!
This kit is incredible- we would use it constantly! Thanks for the great giveaway.
This DOES look like the coolest fort in town! I’d love one in MY town!
This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Fort building looks like an awsome kit. My 2 boys would absolutely love this and mommy and daddy might join in on the fun. I love that the kids will get to use their imagination.
This looks crazy fun!
This looks fantastic! I love that it would appeal to both my 4 and 2-year old. Thanks for the chance!
love this giveaway- thanks!
That is the COOLEST kit ever! That would have a permanent home in our living room. I think my 13 year old would enjoy it more than her 2 year old sister!
I love building forts!! This is soooo cool!
This looks like hours of fun!
We love forts and this kit looks awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!
Oh my goodness…this is AWESOME! We love forts and box buildings in this house! Thanks for the chance to win!!
We love our sheets and clothespins, but man, oh man … this would be awesome!
This looks awesome! My 5 year old would love this!!!!!
my son would LOVE this!!!
I have a daughter that is really into forts. This would be a fantastic christmas gift for her!
How fun is this! My almost four-year-old loves to build things and make forts! This would be perfect for him!
My daycare kids would LOVE this!!
I want one for me…and then one for my daughter too!!! 🙂
This looks like an awesome set! I am a special ed preschool teacher and I can see so many possibilities with Fort Magic in my classroom!
We love to make forts. This kit looks like a ton of fun!
This looks like so much fun. I bought a set similar in concept to this, but they were not that easy to put together, these look like my kiddos would have an easier time handling the pieces!
This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time!
This is such a great thing to help your child use their imagination. My 6 year old has Hyper Activity disorder and before this kit she would jump from one thing to another and in 5 minutes say I’m bored. When we opened our kit she started taking the pieces and made one of the items displayed in the wonderful manual. She did it and was so proud then she said Mom how about we add this piece and this piece to make this instead. She played with it for over 2 hours without saying Mom I’m bored. I can’t believe it. And you know what she actually said the TV was distracting her from her building, please turn it off. WOW any toy that will get my kid to turn off the TV is the best. We have made a whole bunch of things from boats, tents, forts, cars and we even built a cat house so our cat could have a place instead of the top of our fort. Even if we don’t build something big it is just fun taking the little pieces and making shapes and objects. We made a heart for valentine’s day. This is very easy for children of all ages to use. All I have to do is find a space and get the box and let my daughter go with designing what she wants. I might have to help her with adding the fabric – which the clips for the fabric was a wonderful idea. And note for fabric I found that flat bed sheets work the best.I am also impressed with the quality of the product. It actually holds up and didn’t break after all the things we made. Unlike some other small kit toys that just didn’t hold up. I am also happy that it was American Made and created. I am not sure how to attach all my photos I have taken of our stuff but go to the fort magic facebook page and you will see most of our creations.This is well worth the money and time we spent as a family making things is priceless. Thank you Fort Magic.
I love this. My daughters would crazy for this!
We have also built many forts already this summer. What a great idea; my kids would love Fort Magic!
This brings back memories of being little! My daughter would LOVE this!
Thanks for another great interview. I always love reading about creative and inventive entrepeneurs. I don’t have that creative/business-sense myself…so the next best thing…I’m a big supporter of small business owners. I love that she emphasizes that it’s not just boys that love to build…but that girls do also!
Thanks for all the fun comments, friends! My kids and neighbors have had so much fun playing with this ginormous “tinker-toy” and I’m happy to spread the word and share good tips with you all.
Love how it encourages building skills and imaginative play!
What a great giveaway!
When my nephew sees this I’ll bet it gets immediately added to the Christmas wish list!
Oh this looks so fun!
What an awesome idea! And how lucky you are to promote their giveaway! My kids would be thrilled if I won, that’s for sure. Good luck everybody!
This morning my six year old daughter walked into my room and woke me up to ask if I would please help her build a fort in her room. This would be so amazing for her to win! She is enjoying making forts all over the house lately and this would be a fantastic tool for her to have.
Love Love Love!!!!
WOW!! Very cool!!! My son would have loved one of these kits when he was younger!! He makes forts for my daycare kids now instead!!… He still finds away to make them!!! Love it!
Fantastic fun – be it creating a fort,a den, a cave, an underground world, a tunnel, a hut, a hideaway, a shelter, a spaceship, a submarine- such a tremendous range of fun filled possibilities that are unlimited when in the hands of imaginative children…love it a lot
I hope I win! I have a family child care business and would absolutely love to add this to our imaginative play!!!
This is the first time ive heard of fort magic. I’m very excited about this giveaway. My boys would love this!
Genius. I’d love one for my classroom!
love this!!! thanks!!!
Thank you to everyone who entered this contest. I’m so lucky to have such great readers and look forward to these opportunities to share good products with you. I only wish I had 150 forts to give away! Congratulations to Susan S.! For those of you who mentioned that you’d like to add this to your holiday wish list, Fort Magic is running a summer sale for $199 ($50 off). http://www.fortmagic.com/
[…] were first introduced to this super-fun engineering kit for kids over a year ago, and our fort-building is still going strong. You can read our original review of Fort Magic here. […]
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