Kids will play with just about ANYTHING. Whether it’s the latest dolls and robots or just plain sand or dirt, they’ll find happiness with their toys. But as parents, you want your kids to engage in toys that will spark their learning and creativity. Selecting the right toy in a kingdom of toys can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for toys that keep them physically active and imaginative at the same time.
One of the best toys that combine both is a kids teepee.
“Really? A kid’s tent?” you may ask.
Yes! Kids love to play house and a teepee tent for kids is a cute addition to their room. Plus, if your little loved ones enjoy building forts or reading books, a teepee is the best gift. They can play games with their siblings, let their imagination run wild or enjoy their private space. Kids teepees promote imaginative and interesting play and you can think of building or purchasing one for your kids without any doubt.
What is a Teepee Used For: Why Kids Love Teepees
Just like adults, kids need a safe space, which a teepee provides. The feeling is similar to having your own bedroom or secluding yourself in a treehouse — the space is just for you. Playing in a teepee tent provides kids with freedom, as well as the feeling of having a private corner away from the prying eyes of parents (Sorry, Mom and Dad!).
Tents and forts also provide children with a way to relieve stress and feel security — two things they don’t easily achieve in the world of the big kids. Some children prefer to be in tight spaces because they feel safe or secure. Some children may also enjoy moving throughout different passageways or spaces, learning to be careful so as not to “destroy the fort.”
Kids tents also serve many purposes. They give your kids the good old cubby house feeling, providing them with a cozy space to play and hide. Instead of ogling on Facebook, they can just spend their time in the tent.
Parents can also enjoy the tent by lying inside with their kids and spend time reading stories.
What are the Benefits of a Kids Teepee?
Allowing your kids to play in a teepee promises many benefits for both the parents and the children. These little kids tents are not just fun, they are also a great place to encourage imaginative and creative play.
Consider the following benefits of having kids teepee in your home.
- Roleplay and social skills. A teepee tent for kids inspires role play, which encourages your children to be more confident and independent. Kids can role-play setting up their home, preparing meals and hunting and gathering. When they play pretend with siblings and/or friends, they get to role-play and practice their social skills. Your children will learn to share, to follow rules, to set boundaries, to stand up for themselves and to negotiate.
- Pretend play. A children’s tent offers many opportunities for pretend play, which encourages the kids to run wild with their imaginations. Children love to pretend to be in different situations, with most of them pretending to have their own house. Playing house encourages them to imagine being self-sufficient. Also, a kids teepee gives your children a new setting for pretend play. They can imagine being in the wilderness, practicing their survival skills. Or they can pretend to be in the rainforest.
- Reading nook. A kids teepee tent makes a great reading space. It encourages the kids to read their books and explore their imagination in their special space. A tent offers an additional layer of fun for children that love to read or the kids you want to start reading.
- Outdoor play. Teepee tents for kids aren’t exclusive indoors; you can set them up outside, too. When the weather is good, encourage the kids to play outside in their tent. A kids teepee motivates outdoor play and, at the same time, provides shelter from the wind or shade from the sun. Outdoor play encourages more active play. Kids can play hide and seek or tag and assign the tent as their base or a resting place for in-between outdoor games.
- As mentioned above, kids love privacy, too. A teepee offers them a safe space and retreat. Whether the kids use the tent to organize their toys or meet with their friends, it’s a special place for them.
- Playtime isn’t the only thing kids teepees are good for. You can also use the tent for naptimes, especially when the children are too stubborn to sleep in their beds. Even tired parents can sleep in the teepee.
What to Look For When Buying a Kids Teepee Tent
When shopping for a teepee tent for your kids, settling for any tent is not the case. When you shop for a teepee, consider the following:
- Design and features. The teepee’s design adds another level of fun. There are teepees available with cute patterns, some of them decked with your child’s favorite characters. Also, teepees can be placed almost anywhere, despite most kids tents being designed for indoor use. These tents also come with features and different choices of style and charm — both that can make tent shopping an exciting experience with your children.
- Kids teepee tents are available in different shapes and sizes so consider your free space requirement. Consider your room capacity, which room you’ll place it in and how much space you’ll need.
- Outdoor or indoor? As mentioned, not all teepees are designed for outdoor use. If you want to use your kids tent outside, look for teepees made from sturdier materials.
- Ease of set up. How easy can you set up the tent? If the product comes with a free assembly service, that’s better.
- For kids, babies, or both? Decide on who’s going to use the teepee. If your children are a mix of toddlers and kids, read more about each potential tent before buying. Also, find out if a potential tent comes with extra safety accessories.
How Do You Make a Teepee?
But what if you don’t have the budget to buy a kids teepee? Worry not, Mom and Dad! You can still DIY this project for the kids. In fact, you can have the children join you. Here’s how you can build a teepee tent for the kids.
- Frame materials.
- ¼ inch (1 yard) of rope
- Five 6ft. wooden dowels
- Tent materials
- Four yards of bias tape
- Four yards of sturdy fabric (57”- 60”) (note: if you want to save more on fabric, use a large drop cloth instead. Paint designs on the cloth to make it more fun).
- Four yards of trim
- Sewing machine
- Fabric chalk
- Matching thread
- Drill holes 10 inches from the top of the dowels. Sand around the holes to avoid splinters.
- Thread your rope through the dowels. Lay the dowels flat first for a sturdier job. Also tie a knot for extra security before you stand the dowels up and arrange them into a teepee shape. Once done, tie off the ropes and cut the excess.
- Measure the frame for your pattern. Once you’ve measured, create the pattern and cut the pieces. Add seam allowances to your measurements just to be safe. Get the width seam allowance by adding two to the width measurement.
- Sew the panels. Use a ½ inch seam. Once you’ve completed the sewing, the panels should form a circle. If you see the seams sticking out, don’t panic! That’s normal. Hem the top and the bottom of your teepee covering too.
- Next, sew the dowel slits with the sides facing in. Sew the slits at each of the seams. If you’re uncertain how big the slits should be, place your fabric around the mark and the dowel.
- Assemble the teepee! Lay the dowels down and turn the fabric right side out. When you combine them, they should collapse like an umbrella. Thread the dowels through the slits and stand the teepee outright to form the tent.
A teepee tent is a wonderful addition to your kid’s room or your backyard. Encourage imaginative play with a simple toy you can shop for or build on your own!