Building a snow fort is one of the best parts of winter. If you're a child, you'll love the fact that the snow fort can shield you from your playmates' snowballs and prevent you from getting drenched in snow. If you're a parent, you'll appreciate the fact that snow forts — along with snowball fights — give you the chance to play around with your kids and build wonderful memories with them. 

If you're planning to construct a snow fort this winter, don't just get out and turn piles of snow into a haphazard shelter. Instead, follow these easy three DIY steps and get ready to build the ultimate shield against snowballs:

3 Steps to the Perfect Snow Fort

1. Determine how large your fort will be

The size of your snow fort depends on the amount of snow in the area. If there are several feet of snow available, you can plan to build a sturdy, four-walled structure with an intricate design. If you're stuck with just several inches of the white fluff, it's best to opt for one large wall with a couple of two-foot wings. 

Your snow fort's size also depends on the number of people on your team. Obviously, the more people you have, the bigger your fort should be. Don't forget to consider the height of team mates; your walls should be tall enough to provide cover to the tallest person yet still short enough to let the smallest person throw snowballs. 

Once you've decided on your fort's size, take out your snow shovel and outline the perimeter of your structure. This will serve as a guide when you start building your shelter.

 WATCH! Extreme winter snow fort video 1,055,394 views

2. Choose the right materials

Experienced snow warriors know that moist snow — not the powdery ones — are the best materials for an excellent snow fort since they easily stick together and form into blocks. But, if powdery snow is all that's available, don't worry: you can still use them as long as you pick those that fallen near houses and plants. They're wetter than snow in other areas and will be easier to transform into bricks.

Of course, if you want to make your structure sturdier, you can  use a material known as pykrete. It's basically a mixture of ice and wood pulp and will render your snow fort strong, sturdy, and even bullet-proof! How's that for the ultimate snow fort

3. Construct your fort

Once you've found the right snow, start building your fort. Get a bucket, fill it with the white fluff, and put your “bricks” along the line that you've previously traced on the ground. If you're out of time, get a large cooler and use it to make big bricks that you can easily stack on each other. Fill any gaps between the bricks with packed snow.

After stacking your bricks, take more snow and arrange it on your outer walls. Using an ergonomic Bosse shovel,

make your outer walls slant slightly (while keeping your inner walls straight and perpendicular). Doing this is will make your fort sturdier and more durable. Once you're done, pour cold water on your structure and let it harden overnight.

Use these sites for added inspiration! 

WIRED How to Make an Indestructible Snow Fort - With Pykrete

Smithsonian's How To Make the Best Snowfort Ever

Buzz Feed's 33 Ways to Build A Snow Fort You'll Want to Move In To