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Throwback summer: Get your kids to build a fort

Take a page from the 20th century – a 10-week guide on how to bring back the adventure of summer.

The architectural bargain goes like this: The kids can spend all day in the yard leaving you to do whatever you want, but their choice of materials is almost limitless. Pillows? They can take the pillows. Broomsticks for support? They can take the broomsticks. The cashmere throw for a roof? They cannot take the cashmere throw. And you can't help.

Building a fort is both a lesson in engineering and an exercise in creativity. You can't step in like some backyard starchitect and direct the project. Maybe all they come up with is a shoddy lean-to they will spend all day reading under, or a few cardboard boxes smashed together will be their abode. Whatever they come up with, it'll be magical. Just remember to bring the pillows inside at bedtime.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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