Independent play is important to help develop a healthy imagination, and nothing fosters that more than a space of your kid’s own. You can let them tear apart your couch every time they want to build a fort, or you can give them their own that they can always use—no matter who’s relaxing on the couch. Here are a few things your kids can do in their new fort for hours of entertainment.

Allowing kids to construct something of their own design is a great way to foster imagination. Crazy Forts

Forts are a great way for your children to entertain themselves, or a couple of friends. Let them take their favorite board or card games inside with them, adding a new dimension to familiar favorites. Having a tea party inside their fort is another crowd-pleaser. Using the power of imagination, they turn their fort into a drive-through or a giant mansion. Zoom trains through, as if it was a giant tunnel. The only limit is a child’s creativity.

Forts designed around a theme make role playing easy. USA Toyz

Taking a fort outside can elevate a game of chase, providing an awesome home base. In the warmer months, your kids can use their fort to shield themselves during a water balloon fight. You can even host the most epic foam-dart battle of all time with a fort serving as headquarters for the posse.

Part of the fun of a fort is figuring out how to get in and out. AIR FORT

Your child has a lot of energy—like, a whole lot of energy. You can help them burn some of that off by building an obstacle course, using their fort as an integral part. If they’re by themselves, you can set up time trials that encourage your kid to beat their own record. If their friends are around, see who is the fastest through your improvised course.