jackson-cranium-fort-2.jpgI love to watch his mind work. He furrows his brow and paces. Often he talks to himself too.

His favorite imaginary game is fort building. After he constructs his stronghold, he creates detailed plots as he wages war from behind his walls of furniture and blankets.

But I have to admit, sometimes it gets a little inconvenient to have the couch constantly torn apart and blankets strewn about the family room.

jackson-cranium-fort-1.jpgSo when offered to send Jackson a Cranium Super Fort (and to sponsor a giveaway of course!) I jumped on it.

It’s a perfect way to keep Jackson dreaming up his own unique designs, but with less damage to my furniture.

To say that it was a hit with Jackson, is an understatement. He loves it. Loves it more than ice cream. (And my kid loves ice cream!)

Don’t believe me? Listen in…

“Jackson it is time to get going to the Ice Cream Party at Ready to Read.”

“This matters more than ice cream! I am not that into ice cream.”

“Umm… Jackson we gotta go…you know? Friends… ice cream… You have been talking about this party for days!”

“Uh uh – nothing is funner than this.”

“Come on Jackson, we gotta go…”

“Uh uh – I am not leaving my new toy.”

“Jackson we have to get to the party.”

“I don’t care about an ice cream party – it is not funner than this toy. Just look at my creation.”

jackson-cranium-fort-3.jpgYes, creative play can even entice a six year old away from an ice cream party!

I finally did drag him away from his fort. Cruel mom forcing her child to go eat ice cream.

But when he came home, he was right back in there having a blast. Julia came over too and they had the best time making up stories in his fort.

I just love it when our kids have so much fun being kids. Play is their work. And I want to do all I can as a mom to encourage my kids to keep building their imaginations and challenging their minds. Do you need convincing? Just read this article from the experts at, “What’s the Case for Make Believe.”

Cranium Super Fort wasn’t the only great find that came out of this review for me. I am so excited to find I am going to be using tons of their activities with my kids!

The next one I am going to do with Jackson is this Crack the Code! A Spelling Challenge. Jackson will have so much fun, he won’t even realize that he is learning!

If you want to stretch your kids minds while they have fun being kids, you can enter here to win Cranium Super Fort as well as a cool game, Zimbbos, Elephantastic Pyramids, thanks to

To enter click over to and then leave a comment here at this post letting us know which activities or games from you think you might do with your kids this summer. This is open to U.S. or Canadian shipping addresses. The winner will be announced with the other Creative Summer Days winners on June 24.

UPDATE: I was so excited about the Crack the Code! A Spelling Challenge that today for Jackson’s play date I used the secret code game and made a treasure hunt with it. The boys had to crack the codes to find the next clues until they finally got to the “treasure” – a bag of microwave popcorn. (Jackson loves the microwave kind but I usually serve air popped. So for Jackson, microwave popcorn is exciting!)

The boys had a fantastic time, screaming with enthusiasm as they decoded each clue and then reached their treasure. What an easy, fun way to entertain six year old boys – and they were learning while they played. Thanks!


  1. says

    What an awesome resource! I can see this becoming a favourite over the summer. I can’t wait to do the Dictionary Treasure Hunt with my first grader. She’s in French Immersion and needs some help figuring out how to use the French/English Dictionary. This will be perfect! I also liked the Syllable I Spy and so many more!

  2. mo says

    Is this where I am supposd to comment ? For the givaway?
    Anywho…………….wow ! Incrredible stuff over ere there are so many things I think I might try but here are the top 3
    1-Experiment with ballon science
    2-Build a pop rocket
    3-Crack the code spelling challenge

    and many more as I also have a prekindergartener eager to “learn” as well

    Thanks for the info , love it all…………

  3. says

    What a great site!! I’ll definitely be bookmarking this one. My boys would love the ABC treasure hunt. Maybe well do that one later today. Thanks for the contest and the great site :)

  4. mannequin says

    Wow. I’ve bookmarked that site! A plethora of activities, games and ideas. Thanks!!
    I know for a fact what my son would like because it is a constant request. He would like an iPod nano. Now you may think that’s not an activity…that’s just jammin. But this is a child that is gifted in musical arts. He has played piano and guitar for 7 years and he creates videos of himself playing instruments, uploads them to my iPod and watches them to see how he can improve. It would be nice for him to have his own. His interests are musical and the iPod is that!

  5. says

    So many fun ideas on that site that I’d hate to pick just one. I’ll definitely have to point my creative 8 year old to that site~ I’m sure she’ll find tons to do. I saw a cute windchime craft that would be fun for summer.

  6. says

    I liked the idea of planting a historical herb garden. There are lots of fun activities that I’ll need to check out later as needed. 😉 My daughter would love, love, love the fort! Thanks!

  7. says

    I appreciated reading about developmental milestones, it seems other kids say more words than my two year old son, so it’s nice to know he’s actually age appropriate. I like the homemade puppets idea and think I would combine the use of the puppets with reading aloud to him.

  8. says

    The Bulls-eye Math Card Game would definitely benefit my kiddos. Also, thanks for sharing the site. I’ve never been to it before, and have joined.

  9. says

    I’ve had making a Fish Print on my list of cool things to try… if only JediBoy and his uncle can *catch* a fish, that is!

    Thanks for the contest.

  10. merideth says

    oh my goodness! what a great site! i was planning to do a little map adventure to our local splash pad (a mini waterpark) for our 3yo and our 4yo nephew, like the treasure hunt. i’ll add several of these other activities over the summer: homemade finger paints, the air-dry clay, the sensory table. we’ll stay busy all summer!

  11. says

    I love the idea on labeling objects around the house to help my kids learn to read/spell.

    And the handmade lacing cards? Brilliant.

    I also love the weather calendar! I am a weather hound; I hope to instill that interest in the kids, too.

    Thanks for the FABULOUS resource!

  12. says

    Wow this looks great! I love their flash card junction idea for 2nd grade and their counting ideas with marbles and coins (patterns)…this looks like a awesome site for the extra help I need to keep my soon to be 7 yr old’s mind sharp over the summer!! THANKS so much, count me in!!!

  13. says

    The Alphabet hunt game looks so fun. This is right up the 4 year olds alley. She loves to tell me what the names of letters are and she finds them all over the place and really loves it.

    She would also love to build a fort and is really into games.

  14. says

    Cool! Not only would me boys LOVE that fort, but there are some great preschool activities like the glue bumpy alphabet activity, that they would enjoy and are educational.

  15. says

    My nephews are visting in August and I’ve been wondering how to entertain to busy little guys . . . This site has some neat, neat ideas! Just for starters, I know that building a time capsule and making chocolate covered pretzels will go down well. I know they’d really like to make slime, but it’s what they’d do with that slime that worries me!

  16. says

    this is so awesome. my kids would enjoy this and i think my hubby would try and find a way to get in it too. he’s a science guy. i hope i win

  17. LisaW says

    Wow, this is a wonderful site! Right now my kids are really into words and letters, so I’ll probably try the “Words I Know” Book and “Glue a Bumpy Alphabet” with them first.

  18. says

    Founds some great stuff as my girl gets older, but for now (2 1/2) the things I think she would love love love are

    – making krispy kisses (she loves to cook!)
    – Bubble science (I think that one sounds super fun)
    – growing a sock garden (wow dirty socks on purpose)

  19. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this site!! I have a 2 1/2 year old and the lace the ABC’s will be great for him and this will be a fantastic resource for when my 6 month old twins get older! Thanks for sharing! (And doing these great giveaways!!!)

  20. says

    oh my goodness, i’m so thrilled with the website (thank you thank you thank you for exposing me to it!) that i don’t even care if we win anthing – although my 3 girls would love any of the giveaways.

    so, i can say with certainty that we will be building a treasure candle, skip counting, fishing for vowels, making our own rainbows, and counting mixed change.

  21. says

    Wow! This causes me to imagine how many hours of fun my boys would have together. It would also be nice to let the blankets and furniture have a rest from creating their current forts. :)

  22. says

    This is such a great site! I could have really used some of their high school activity ideas this year while homeschooling. One activity that caught my eye was “Lit’s In the Cards!” This would be a great way to review some of the summer reading my kids are doing, without making things too mundane. Thanks so much for sharing this link. I will definitely be checking it out for our next school year.

  23. Zana says

    great website, thanks for sharing. i think we’ll do several activities from there this summer, starting with making our own weather calander!

  24. says

    I think I am going to try several of the activities including making our own weather calendar and the egg-cellent counting. I’m also going to work on labels for things around the house. What a great idea to help word recognition.

  25. Wendy says

    I totally enjoyed surfing through There are so many ideas to choose from! I think my 13 year old would enjoy the Homemade Soap and the Family Newspaper activities. This site is a keeper.

  26. says

    We are going to do the Family Mailbox. I thought it was just a cute prediliciton my little jewel had for stalking the mailman…here I find an activity that will just thrill him and maybe pick up a skill or 2 long the way!

  27. Stephanie V says

    How big is your bedroom? (I still struggle with measurements as an adult!), start a words I know book.

  28. says

    The Cranium SuperFort wins out as being the coolest toy! My kids are constantly building forts with the couches, dining room table, bunk beds, etc and they would love to have one to build together. Thanks for such a fun giveaway!!

  29. says

    I’m going to be busy on that website for a while now! My favorite would be the homemade sidewalk chalk. What a fun project with my kids!

  30. says

    My son would love the treasure hunt activity! I bet he’d enjoy building a city out of bags too – what a very cool site. Thank you so much for sharing, and thanks for the opportunity to win!

  31. says

    Keep encouraging Jackson! He sound so much like my now 19 yr old who is a pre-engineering major. I believe allowing his creativity helped him so much. We homeschooled him and those afternoons were spent building around the farm or drawing plans. Creativity is important…yeah, I remember the messy living room, too. One day it’ll be clean and you’ll back on those days fondly. 😀

    Now, I think that I’ll enter the contests for some goodies for my 16 yr old special needs guy. He needs it from a therapy angle.

    Thanks for the giveaways!

  32. says

    The bulls eye math game looks like something we could definitely try and there’s a few more that look pretty interesting as well. I will be back to t visit the site.

  33. says

    Thanks for a great site to bookmark! My 2 yo would love the Bumpy Alphabet activity, but I know my 5 yo would be even more excited if I were to win the Cranium Super Fort– he and his sister love forts and dressing up lately!

  34. says

    I know this sounds silly but, with three teenagers, and then three more kids below the age of 7, I have a range that spans all over of kids.

    However, the middle school project of “Filling out Applications” was something I realized I never taught my kids, until my oldest, now 16, started looking for a summer job.
    Luckily, Old Navy took pity on her and gave her the job on her first interview, she starts this Saturday (YAY)
    However, she was so scared and had no idea how to fill out forms or interview.

    How could I have NOT taught her that?

    It’s a mistake I won’t make again.
    This site also has alot of great articles about college and entrance information, My daughter and I are going to start some scholarship letter now, so when she graduates, she has some grants. (If she doesn’t enlist, she’s leaning towards it right now)

    As for the giveaway, I have the little ones who would lOVE to play in it. And a 13 year old son who would love to create it for his little sisters. He’s the only boy, and they look at him like he’s the greatest creator in the world!

  35. says

    I love the Alphabet Photo Shoot! I had actually planned on doing that with both of my boys when they are a little older and then create an alphabet book for them! And I bookmarked the finger paint recipe because that is something I will for sure do with my boys this summer – they will love it!

  36. says

    oops…I didn’t leave which one in post #77 – sorry! I am interested in trying the “bake alphabet cookies” activity – fun & yummy!

  37. Elaine says

    I love the idea of baking Alphabet Cookies for my daughter too. She knows some letters, but this would engage her even more.

  38. clenna in NH says

    Wow – a great site
    One grand son is very much into crafts – making books, etc. So I would love any of those activities. He also is practicing his cursive – so the fun way to practice cursive activity is a must here. The second grandson is learning integers, fractions and story telling – so many activities to choose from. This is great.

  39. Ally says

    What a neat site, I plan on making the silly putty listed in 1st grade activities. I am deffinetly going back to explore a little more and will probably try several other things.
    I also like the ‘Is my child on track?’ option.

  40. says

    My son loves exploring and crawling around in something like the Cranium fort so this would be very adventurous for him.

    We checked out the game and activities and this summer we’d Make a Nonsense Book, my sons love me reading to them and Go pattern hopping, be able to use some chalk out on the sidewalk since we live in Apartments!

  41. says

    Count and Catch, Bump, Makins Slime, Pop Rocket, and reading and the puppets. Wow. Lots of those are great. Thanks for the tip. And thanks for the opportunity to win.

  42. says

    My children would love the Super Fort.
    I haven’t seen but I love it! Thanks for sharing this link. There are a ton of activities I can do with my second grader to help her improve her math. I’m sure we’ll do several of them.
    I already plan on doing the Father’s Day time line for this weekend.

  43. Amanda says

    With 2 boys, we’d need the fort! There’s lots of other cool stuff too. So many I need my own personal Santa LOL.

  44. says

    I will definitely use that site as a future resource! I saw many things I could use w/ my guy – the counting game, teaching the alphabet w/ dried glue, etc. Thanks for the resource! Boys and forts just go together! :-)

  45. says

    Love that site!! Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing that little treasure.
    I love all of their fun ways to practice the alphabet for preschoolers.

  46. says

    I think we are going to work on the teen studying this summer with Kelsey my oldest. But I also think I will check out the main ideas games for my class for the fall.

  47. says

    I love the bumpy letter activity. I have been trying to teach my daughter to recognize her letters, and she knows some of them, but not all. I can’t wait to try this.

  48. JenniferS. says

    wow, what a great site. I love it! My daughter would LOVE that fort and we’ll be playing the newspaper alphabet hunting game and I’ll keep searching for more. Thanks!

  49. Sandra says

    I would love to check out 16 Ways to Bring Books Alive…That is the gift I would really love to give my son.

    owatz (AT) telus (DOT) net

  50. kerri says

    iI have bookmarked their site i have a girl going into pre school and one in kindigarden and one going in 6 th gr There is so much useful things for us and i am grateful for you posting the site thanks

  51. says

    What a great product for kids that they can grow with for years. Other products on that I really like and think my son going into kindergarten would enjoy this summer are:

    – Bake some words
    – Alphabet hunt
    – ABC Treasure Hunt
    – Toss & Blend

    Thanks for the wonderful resource :)

  52. Nadia says

    what a great site! and so much to do just under Kindergarten! Well our 3 soon to be K’s love to eat so I think we would be doing the baked words, or chocolate pretzles..but I think they would love the flapping butterflys too!

  53. says

    as a previous reading specialist, and gifted and talented teacher, i think a lot of these activities are fantastic. I greatly appreciate all the different types of early literacy activities for parents. Every little bit of reading practice at home really helps us at school. Thanks for the contest, and for letting people know about such a helpful site.
    Melissa Neece (lots of pregnancy and natural living links) (holistic reviews for the practical person) (book reviews by a voracious reader)

  54. says

    We could make an alphabet book and play bingo.
    My son would LOVE that fort, and would probably stop tearing apart his bed to make one.

  55. says

    Baking words sounds fun! My nephew would really enjoy that! I’m bookmarking this site for future use. It has so many great ideas! Thanks for the chance to win!

  56. says

    My 2nd grader has been having lots of problems with learning her values of money, I love the counting mixed change activity. I would love to win the fort for my kids too!

  57. Tanya Moyer says

    What a great site! I love that they have very age/grade appropriate activities as I have a first and a fifth grader! I love the “Cut this Calendar” activity for my 1st grader – it looks like fun! Thanks for offering this – it’s a great giveaway!

  58. says

    Thanks for the great contest! Here are some of the ones I loved:

    Pop Rocket, Crack the Code, Create A Fish Art Print, Balloon Science Experiments, and the city made of bags

    sharingmystory AT yahoo dot com

  59. Jessica T says

    I’m gong to make homemade paper with my kids! That totally brought back memories of when I was a kid and my mom did it with me and my sister . . . I love those memories that you have totally forgotten about and then they pop up like it was yesterday!

  60. Elizabeth M. says

    We’re definitely going to be making butter and we’ll try out that Bullseye card game too. This is such a wonderful resource. Thank you for letting us know all about it.

  61. Laurie says

    What great ideas. Always looking for a way to increase my kindergarten students and grandchildren’s creative play.

  62. says

    The outside the box life skills activities really interest me, like the middle school “filling out forms” and “middle school mumbles”

  63. says

    This site is great! Out of the activities I’ve looked at so far, I like the Go Label Crazy, Alphabet Photo Shoot, Lace the ABCs, and Making Rice Pictures. So many cool ideas, so little time! :)


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