How to build an igloo snow fort

This is fun. Just 3 steps to help winter spies do what they do best.

How to build an igloo snow fort

How to build an igloo snow fort 1024 768 Looking out Loud

This is 60-second Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.


One of my favorite childhood winter memories is of building snow igloos. Whenever we got a big snow, my friends and I would get together to pile it up, pack it down, and dig it out. A couple of good years, we could fit three teenage boys inside, all sitting up comfortably.

This week the snow gods dumped 12 inches on our yard. So last night, I spent over an hour shoveling a pile nearly 5-feet tall. This morning, me and my kids, along with the neighbor friends, started digging.

We now have a beast of an igloo that five kids comfortably fit inside, complete with a spiky icicle entrance to scare the bad guys away. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Make (or find) a big pile of snow. Pile it high, pile it wide. Because it gets smaller in the next step.

Step 2: Climb up on top of it. Then jump up and down, roll around, and slide down the sides. You want to pack the snow as much as you can.

Step 3: Start digging it out. With hands, shovels, or garden tools, slowly carve a hole in the side, expanding it bigger and bigger into the middle. Make sure to leave the walls and ceiling at least 6-10 inches thick.

Periodically press your body weight all around the sides and top. If you’ve done a good job, the ceiling should be strong enough to stand on and slide down.

WARNING: Do not let anyone on top of the igloo while kids are inside!

Kids love making forts. So what could be better than a seasonal igloo?

It is a lot of work, but it’s so much fun. And so warm inside. It’s perfect for spying out at the world passing by. And it keeps the kids outside and entertained for hours. And that’s perfect for letting you spy from inside the house with a nice glass of wine.



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