We asked a group of parents what they did for fun growing up. What activities they did in their free time or their favorite memories as a child.  In this post You will learn the step by step process on how to build teepee tents.

We got varied replies. Some said they would play with their friends, some liked going to parks and gardens, some said reading, some said painting and so on. What was common though in all the answers is that most activities were either outdoors or activities that required involvement or movement.

Perfect time utilization!!

Today’s kids, on the other hand, have a very different childhood. Their childhood memories will be filed with more time indoors and dominated by screen time. In today’s world of urban living and fast-paced life’s kids spend time away from nature, glued to screens and do not move enough.

We find less and less playing outside or involving in activities like painting or reading which are important in a child’s development and growth. Parents today look for innovative ways to get their kids outside and away from TVs and iPad.

They are constantly thinking of ideas to keep the kid excited and entertained. There are also bazillion interactive toys and games in the market today that keep the kid engaged.

dog lying on bed in a tent

A TEEPEE TENT is one such way which is becoming very famous amongst parents and kids these days. It’s like a small playhouse tent for your kids.

We all need a little space for just ourselves, including kids. Yes!

Kids love cozy spaces. Spaces to hide in or just spaces that they feel are hidden from the rest of the house. A teepee tent provides them with exactly that.

Your little ones can curl up and read a book, play with their soft toys or have fun with their friends in it. You will be surprised to see how just creating a separate play space can impact your kid’s activities.

WHY SHOULD YOU INSTALL A TEEPEE?

Yeah, kids love them and that should be the foremost reason. A teepee not only keeps your kids busy but it also helps them learn many things including their imagination and social skills. Experts also say that safe space as a teepee also helps kids build healthy habits like reading and managing their emotions.

Let me help you understand the depth of a small teepee for your kids.

Here are some ways your kid can benefit from a teepee tent. 

  • READING CORNER 

Teepee tents make a brilliant reading nook. Reading becomes extra fun when the kid has his own special place to do it. They can stack up their books in the tent and spend time dwelling in the fantasy world in their own little corner. Once in a while, you can lie in tents with them and read to them too. It’s a great way to encourage kids to read.

  • IMPROVE IMAGINATION & BUILD SOCIAL SKILLS

A teepee tent really encourages kids to use their imagination while playing. The kids involved in pretend play and think of it like their own house and do activities to become self-sufficient. Or they can pretend that they are out in the wild, camping or hiking and practice survival skills.

These games also help build one’s social skills. Children set rules and boundaries while playing. They earn to follow them. While playing with their siblings and friends they learn to interact, share and negotiate.

  • SAFE SPACE 

Teepee tents provide kids with their own little space- away from the rest of the world. It often becomes a safe space. They seek comfort and adventure here. They might read alone, keep their favorite toys or hold secret meetings with their friends. The tent basically is the kid’s special little place.

  • GET THEM OUTDOORS 

An outdoor teepee is a great way to shift play outdoors. It encourages the little one to play outdoors and makes activities fun and exciting. They can enjoy the sun and wind in their shelter.

In addition to all these Teepee Tents are real cute. They add great aesthetic value to your kid’s room or playroom. And well also make for the great post for your GRAM! 

happy father playing with daughter near teepee tent

MAKE YOUR OWN TEEPEE

The market is flooded with varieties of children’s teepee tents patterns. You can get them in various sizes, shapes, themes, etc.

BUT, they are UNBELIEVABLY EXPENSIVE!

Teepee Tents cost no less than $200-$250. YES!!!! Isn’t that insane?

But worry not. We have you covered.

You can use an easy method of making a Teepee Tent for your munchkins for under $40. 

YES, you heard me.UNDER $40.

Making a teepee tent is a great DIY activity you can do with your kids. They will be thrilled to build a playhouse of their own and love it even more.

A DIY children’s teepee tent offers you full flexibility as to how to make a kids teepee pattern the way you want. You get to decide every little thing, the materials, the size, the color, the theme- all of it.

Making a tepee for your toddler? Match the color to the nursery.

Planning for a homemade teepee for your little monster indoors? Select the size based on how much space you have in his room.

Does your princess love dolls? Well, build her, her own little dollhouse.

Basically, you can build a DIY Teepee tent as you wish. You can customize each and every detail as you like. You get to choose the fabric, the decoration, the props, the accessories- everything. This will never be possible with a ready-made store-bought teepee.

So here’s how you can make an indoor Teepee tent. Some easy instructions to build teepee at home.

kid teepee kids teepee

MATERIALS YOU NEED

  • FOUR 6’ POLES (OR DOWELS) OF 3/4” THICK 

The poles form the structure of the tent. So it is very important you select wooden poles that are sturdy and durable. A few people suggest using PVC pipes if you are building it for toddler kids. In the worst-case scenario if your Teepee tent is to collapse while the kid is playing, the PVC pipes are light and less likely hurt the kid as compared to wooden poles. However, that never happens if you build a kids teepee correctly.

Another thing to consider is the length of the pole. If you want to build a bigger teepee you will need a longer pole. You can also add poles (or sides) to make it an inch long and spread the poles to make it look bigger.

  • 5 METERS OF CLOTH

The drop cloth is the main body of the tee pee. The cloth you select will decide how durable your tent is. Remember, kids while playing will jump and move around a lot. So just selecting a fabric that’s pretty will not do. It is advisable to use durable and tough fabric like a painter’s canvas or cotton.

  • 1-1.5 METERS OF ROPE 

You need the rope to tie the poles together. You can use a nylon rope or jute rope. Anything works.

  • DECORATIVE MATERIALS 

You will need a few things like ribbon, mesh net/cloth, buttons, etc to decorate your tent and make windows.

TOOLS YOU NEED

  • DRILLING MACHINE 

You need a drilling machine to make holes in the pole. In case you don’t have one simply get the holes drilled from a hardware store or any carpenter.

  • SEWING MACHINE 

The sewing machine is needed to stitch the fabric and form a tent. In case you don’t have one, don’t worry I will also tell you how to make a no-sew Teepee Tent.

  • OTHERS

You will need other basic tools like scissors, measuring tape, glue guns, etc. too.

Sweing materials

STEPS TO DIY KIDS TEEPEE TENT 

  • DRILL HOLES IN THE POLES.

To begin with your teepee tent you first need to drill holes in all your poles. Drill holes at about 0.75-1 feet from the top.

You can also just drill holes in each pole as you start assembling them.

  • MAKE THE FRAME FOR TEEPEE
  • Begin with arranging your poles to create a faux teepee to know how the poles should be laid to have a hold of them stable. It will also give you an idea of the size of your teepee.

You can adjust the height and width to get the desired size.

  • Start putting a rope through the hole of one pole and tie a knot where it meets the pole.
  • Now take another pole and arrange it in a cross with pole #1 to form an ‘X’. Put the rope through pole #2 and wrap it across both poles to stabilize them.
  • Repeat the steps for pole #3 and pole #4. Place the two on either side of ‘X’ and tie the rope several times, around, over and under to get a stable structure.

CREATIVE TIP– You can use 5 or 6 poles to make a pentagon or hexagon teepee. It will make it bigger and different in shape from your regular teepees.

  • MEASURE AND CUT OUT THE FABRIC 
  • Once you have the frame, measure the height and width of your teepee. Measure the edges to get an exact measurement for the cloth.
  • Now add about 1 1/2 inches – 2 inches to each side. You need this for sewing and covering the poles. 
  • Measure out your fabric and cut them in a triangular shape with a narrow top and a wide bottom. Cut out 4 such pieces. (Or more if you are building a pentagon or hexagon teepee.)
  • Take one piece of fabric and cut it from the middle to form the entrance of the teepee. 
  • Take a small piece of fabric and measure out the top of your entrance to cover it little from the top. You can take a cloth of different colors or print to add a little detailing. You can also do this for all the sides. 

CREATIVE TIP – You can cut out windows on each side of your teepee. This will make the teepee more detailed and pretty. Plus it will allow light and wind to get into the tent.

  • SEW THE FABRIC 
  • Sew all the pieces together to form one big cloth for your tent. It will look like a triangle with a wider bottom and narrow top, both curved.
  • Hem the top, bottom and the edges of the entrance.
  • Take a ribbon of small pieces of fabric and stitch it to the joints. These will help tie the cloth onto the poles. Add ties both on top and bottom to keep the fabric sturdy and clinked to the pole.
  • Now sew the top of the entrance side. This will create a closed tent for you.

Colorful teepee tent

CREATIVE TIP– If you have cut out windows, you can add mesh netting from inside to make it beautiful. You can also sew ribbons or Pom-poms on the edges of entrance and windows to add a little more detail.

  • COVER THE POLES TO FORM THE TENT 
  • Now that your frame is ready and fabric sewed, all you have to do this cover the poles.
  • Simply hold the poles together. The teepee collapses like an umbrella. Slip-on the fabric from the top. Now fan out the poles again to form the teepee.
  • Tie the ribbons/fabric onto the poles on the inside to stabilize the cloth.
  • DECORATE THE TENT 
  • Decorate the tent as you like it. You can put some pillows and rugs inside the teepee.
  • Put ribbons on the top, feathers, maybe hang flowers. Go crazy and wild with your imagination.
  • If it’s indoors you can add fairy light around it too. But be careful to only have it at top and away from the kids.

TA-DA! Your homemade teepee tent is ready.

Take a million photos for the Gram before your kids launch themselves at it like cannonballs and destroy it.

Oh, wait. Don’t have a sewing machine?

Or simply don’t want to spend time and effort on building this teepee tent?

Here is how you can build a NO SEW TEEPEE TENT. 

The first two steps remain the same for a no-sew teepee too.

Now that you have the frame ready, all you have to do is cover it with a fabric.

  1.  Start by taking the fabric horizontally and finding the middle. Start draping from the side opposite to the entrance.
  1. Take the fabric and place across the poles, naturally taking the shape of the tent. Now start securing the fabric into the poles with a nail and hammer start from the top.
  1. Keep doing this on all sides. Tuck the excess fabric either at the bottom or from the front onto the inside.
  1. Make sure that the cloth fits tightly and uniformly on the poles. YOU can either cut out the excess fabric on all sides or simply stick the excess with the glue to keep it from hanging and getting in the way when your kids play.

No Sew - teepee tent for kids

And there, your NO SEW TEEPEE TENT is ready!

Easy DIY teepee right?

The best thing about these DIY teepee tents is that they are super convenient to move around. You can keep them outdoors during summer and spring and get them indoors during monsoon. Simply pull the poles together and move them wherever you want.

This also means you can put them away in the store or under the bed when not in use. Oh, you can also carry it to picnics and hiking trips for your kids. Isn’t that cool?

THEMES

Another benefit of building your teepee tent is that you can keep making changes if you get bored and as and when you like.

Say the fabric is gone dirty. In a sew tent you can simply remove the fabric and wash it. If your kid doesn’t like the color or print anymore, you can simply change the fabric altogether. You can also keep changing the theme or decoration on a tent to keep surprising your kid.

Are you thinking of what all you can do to decorate the teepee or how you can make it different?

Well here are some ideas and themes for teepee tents to help you out.

  • BOHEMIAN TENT

If you are building a tent for your little girls, the bohemian theme is a good option. You can add a lot of small elements to decorate and personalize the tent and make it truly unique. You can replace the cotton fabric with lace. It will be a little delicate but surely beautiful.

Hang dream catchers, feathers and flowers inside and on the outside to give it that full bohemian vibe.

  • COWBOY/PIRATE THEME 

A hit amongst the boys (for obvious reason) this teepee is an excellent choice for your kids. You can go with earthy toned fabric and decorate with bright colored pops. You can also give it a sort of tribal look with arrows, bows printed fabric or their cut-out hanging around.

  • CIRCUS THEMED TEEPEE

A personal favorite, this type of teepee is must pick for someone who is looking for a colorful teepee. Pick a multi-colored fabric for this tent. You can use a hula-hoop or any big hoop to create a circular tent. Wrap the cloth around the hoop and then hang the hoop from the ceiling (if indoors) or to a tree (if outdoors).

  • DISNEY/SUPERHERO THEMED 

A teepee tent is already very dreamy. Making it a superhero or Disney themed just makes it even more magical right out of your kid’s fantasy. You can select your kid’s favorite superhero or Disney character and build a teepee around it. They are definitely going to love it and spend maximum time on it.

  • ANIMAL WONDERLAND 

A teepee tent is a place for fun and entertainment for your little ones. How about making a teepee that also involves learning?

This type of teepee is great for kids between the ages of 2 – 4 years. You can make the teepee with animals and birds printed all over it. Or have alphabets, numbers, fruits & veggies or whatever you like printed all over it. You can add stuffed animal toys inside it. This way your kid can learn and play together.

  • CABIN TENT 

If you’re looking to make a teepee that is durable and sturdy, then you can make a cabin type tent. The basic idea is to make the frame in the shape of a house and help your kid get familiar with the whole idea of camping and hiking. This is surely bigger and is almost a playhouse for your kid. The only downside is it’s not easy to move around or collapse and put away.

So only opt for this teepee tent when you want a permanent teepee or playhouse for your kid.

  • PATCHWORK TENT 

This is a very unique no-sew tent. To build this tent you take pieces of different fabrics or sort of ribbons and keep wrapping them around the poles. It’s a great way to use waste fabric pieces. Plus it makes a great DIY activity for you and your kids to do together.

These were just a few ideas, the possibilities are endless. You can completely change the look of your teepee based on what fabric you use and the props and accessories you choose.

Blue and white teepee tent

ACTIVITIES TO DO IN/WITH A TEEPEE

Apart from being a playhouse for your kids, Teepee tents provide a great opportunity for you to do fun activities with your kids and bond with them. Here are a few activities you should try doing in a teepee with your little ones.

  • STORYTELLING NOOK

Teepee tents are cozy, comfortable and whimsical. This makes them a perfect spot for storytelling or reading sessions with your kids. You can use lighting and props to make the storytelling more interesting and entertaining. This can be your daily or weekly ritual. Something both you and your kids look forward to.

  • CAMPING 

Teepee tents are great to have camping nights in your backyard or in a garden-like you would camp in an actual forest. You can collect sticks and stones, light a small bonfire and roast marshmallows to make smores with your kids. It will be like a fun event.

  • SLEEP UNDER THE STARS

Another cool thing to do is take your teepee tents outdoors and sleep under the stars with your kids. You can have their friends come for a sleepover and make it a fun night. You can also set up some games or movie projector outdoors. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

  • NAP CORNER 

A teepee tent is warm and comfortable making it a perfect spot for your toddlers’ nap time. Put pillows and blankets and voila, you have a little welcoming corner for your kid to nap and relax in.

CONCLUSION 

Teepee tent allows your kids to have space for themselves which they can share with you and their friends. As you read, teepee tents are not only a good trending toy for kids but it is also a good method to build healthy habits in your kids.

You can build a teepee according to your kids’ choice or matching to your interiors. Experiment with different teepees with your kids but our most favorite teepee is Cabin tent. It is not only durable and sturdy but it also helps you inculcate the habits of a hiker from a very young age. It will not only make them confident and comfortable when you actually take them for their first hiking adventure but it will also make them independent in various manners.

So now that you know everything about building a teepee tent at home, when are you making one for your little kids?

What kind of teepee are you going to make? 

What are other fun activities you plan to do with your munchkins in a Teepee tent? 

Let us know in the comments below.

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