You don’t have to look too far to understand why kids love playing in tents. For the little ones, tents provide them with a level of privacy they don’t get anywhere else in the house. They can declare it off-limits to adults and expect that rule to be respected.
They can entertain themselves in whatever way they please, invite friends to have a party, play games or just lie down for a nap or contemplate their existence. The creative ones go as far as decorating their tents with small pieces of furniture to make it look like a real home. To them, it is a real home!
Kids tents come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Searching for the best play tents for children is usually an exercise packed with fun. The wide range of designs and colors can take your breath away.
But therein lies the problem. With so many cool-looking products, it is easy to purchase a kids tent that is not up to the required standard. Beneath the external aesthetics, many are downright poor in terms of quality.
In this guide, you’ll find many tents you and the kids would love. The tents are of the highest quality and are guaranteed to deliver on all their promises. Put simply, they are the perfect playhouse for kids you’d find anywhere.
20 Best Play Tents for Kids
The tents below were chosen as the best after hours of careful research. All of them highly functional and versatile enough so kids can enjoy playing in them alone or with their friends.
1. Princess Castle Tent
Designed with two shades of pink, this kids play tent would be an awesome way to tell your favorite little girl that she too can be the lady of a great castle. Easy to assemble, it can also be dismantled very easily ensuring you can take it anywhere so your kid can continue playing in her private space.
The support rods are made of sock-corded fiberglass rods so you don’t have to worry about the structure collapsing at any time. And not to disrupt the overall aesthetic of the tent, the poles are inserted in concealed sleeves so they remain hidden. This has the added benefit of preventing injuries from exposed rods.
2. Super Duper Tent
At 58″ x 58″ X 46″, up to 4 Kids would be able to play comfortably in this tent. Due to its size, it is the perfect indoor playhouse for kids. This is one to get for your kid so they could have a private place to play with their friends.
Other features that make this such a cool tent includes the mesh top to allow air to freely circulate. It could also be used by adults to discreetly check out how the kids are faring. It also comes with a waterproof floor, Velcro front door closure and two tunnel ports with roll down flaps to crawl in or out giving them extra fun exit/entry options. These could be their private doorway to a connected tent.
3. Children’s Circus Tent by Ikea
Dim the lights and blast the music because the greatest circus show is about to begin with your kid as the leader of the troupe. It would be a tad disappointing if your kid doesn’t have animal toys to play in his own circus. So do the needful and get him those animals.
With a diameter of 39.4″ and height of 47.2″, there is ample room to play without danger of hitting the sides of the tent. The floor is made from 100% polyethylene making it waterproof and a great tent to play with indoors. While the 100% polyester walls makes it durable and easy to clean with a damp cloth and soapy water.
4. Alvantor Rainbow Tent
Sometimes, the best tents just have to look like real tents to make a great impression on kids. Kids being kids, they’ll love that this tent is a mix mash of several bright colors making it a very attractive and eye-catching versatile piece suitable for kids’ parties, picnics, a nursery, and much more.
With a square floor space of 48 x 48 inches, kids have enough real estate to indulge in real and imagined play either alone or with other kids. It comes with a play tunnel they can connect with other play tunnels for increased fun and variety. And when they are done playing, it easily folds down to be stored in its large portable bag.
5. Club House Play Tent
Shaped like a simple cottage with clubhouse designs on the brown walls, this is one tent that allows a kid’s imagination to run wild creating fantastic make-believe worlds. It is going to be a huge stimulus to your kid’s creativity.
The tent features a door with a flap that ties open and windows (with flap covers too) for ventilation and for kids to peep outside. Also for ventilation and parents to unobtrusively peek in are mesh end panels. While a port at the back provides a secret passage for quick escapes or even to attach compatible tunnels.
6. Pink 2 Tunnel Playhouse Tent
With two crawl tunnels attached to each side of the main tent, this kit would be perfect for kids learning how to crawl. They are going to enjoy crawling through the tunnel to the tent and then out of the other tunnel. They’d love it that they have 3 options to either enter or exit. The variety gives them leeway for fun exploration.
The tent is made from high-quality, super-strong material ensuring it is both durable and easy on your kid’s skin. The unique design makes this excellent kids pop up tent easy to assemble or dismantle for storage.
7. Dome Tent Playhouse
This tent packs all of the best features we expect to see in indoor and outdoor tents made for kids. The colors are vibrant so kids would be instantly attracted to them. The floor size, at about 48″ square, gives them ample space for different types of play with friends, toys, etc.
With the crawl hole on one side, kids have an alternative exit/entryway as well as a place to attach play tunnels to. And the mesh panels at the top provide ventilation and easy viewing for supervision.
The 42″ high structure is supported by sturdy poles that are coated with materials to prevent them from splintering or shattering easily. The tent is guaranteed to be around for a while due to the tough polyester taffeta that prevents tears or rips.
8. Rocketship Tent with Projector
Give your kid a taste of outer space with this tent that is designed like a rocket complete with flaps on the side to look like the wings of real spaceships. You and the kid will love the projector toy with the 3 slides you can use to beam 24 space-themed images on the walls of the tent: a super fun way to teach them about all things outer space exploration.
They’ll have enough room to frolics about on the 40.5″ diameter circular floor made from non-toxic polyester. It designed with breathable mesh windows for ventilation and wide door with a tie-back flap. Like all the best tents, it is easy to assemble and dismantle while cleaning is a breeze with just soap and a damp cloth.
9. Secret Castle Bed Tent
The color of this cute bed tent suggests it would be a perfect gift for an equally cute little girl. But, even a dude won’t mind this awesome castle tent that would make a great bridge for toddlers transitioning to a twin size bed. Your kid would be in dreamland with the painted stars on the walls that give it that magical feeling.
It is equipped with a curtain front door running the whole length of the tent; mesh panels for ventilation and easy viewing; fitted outer skirt to secure a mini mattress you must consider buying; and super strong poles designed for easy set-up and dismantling.
Made from durable polyester, this is an excellent kids bed tent and comes with a carrying bag for easy storage and portability.
10. Cottage House Tent
This tent is huge. This is a good thing as it allows kids to play freely even while standing up. Shaped like a real house, it comes with several mesh-covered Windows, a mesh-covered skylight and a huge door with tie-back full curtains they could let down if they need absolute privacy from prying adults. The mesh coverings will provide the required ventilation while allowing parents to check up on kids without going inside.
The 50″ x 40″ x 50″ tent is easy to set up and comes with strong support poles. A carrying bag is also included in the kit for storage and as a carrying bag.
11. Big Tent Playhouse by Truedays
You’ll love the impulse that made you purchase this massive tent for your kid. The beautifully-designed tent would complement the decor of your apartment when installed indoors. Great decoration piece aside, your kid would feel really lucky to have such a big space to call their own. They could decorate it with kids furniture and other items and invite friends for some fun play.
Suitable for both outdoor and indoor use, the pop up design makes it very easy to setup. And the strong support poles ensure it’d never collapse.
The kids inside would get enough ventilation from the mesh-covered windows while the waterproof floor ensures spills would not mess the floor when it is indoors.
12. Teepee Tent for Kids
This teepee is the perfect way to introduce your kid to the culture of Native Americans. It is designed to look exactly like the tents the natives used until recently. Kids will be fascinated by the tales you’d tell them about American history. They’d be happy being a part of that history and the kids teepee would constantly remind them of that.
Besides the glorious history attached to this teepee, the ample space provides enough playing area for up to 4 Kids. The design also includes mesh windows and a flap door for ventilation and easy entry/exit respectively.
Assembling it is super easy; it also includes detailed instructions on how to do it to cover all bases for you.
13. Thomas the Tank Engine Tent
This would make a perfect kids tent if they are obsessed with the books or TV shows featuring the adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. In terms of design, the play tent resembles the famous locomotive engine with a smiling face at the front. Kids wouldn’t get enough of role-playing as the train driver going off on another epic adventure with Thomas.
Instead of pipes and rods to set it up, it comes with a unique twist mechanism that is twisted to instantly create a full Locomotive engine for your kid to start playing with.
The train tent is equipped with two entrances and portholes at the front for the train conductor. There is also a sunroof so you could easily check up on them.
14. Safari Dome Tent with Crawl Tunnel
Pacific Tents present another winning design concept with this tent. The strong and durable dome tent and crawl tunnel combo offers plenty of space for kids to play and generally do whatever they like away from the prying eyes of adults.
The safari-themed design would give them a sense of adventure ensuring their role-playing and games take on the appropriate excitement fit for the wildlife.
The interior padding and sturdy spring steel of the tunnel guarantee that crawling through it is a comfortable experience for kids.
15. Fire Engine Pop Up Tent
This fire engine tent concept allows kids to play the role of their firemen heroes improving their self-esteem while also honing their creative skills.
It comes with Playhut’s patented ‘twist and pop’ technology ensuring to make setup easy so your kid would start playing with it in seconds. The walls are painted to look like a real fire truck with a smiling driver inviting kids to come in so they could go save lives and buildings.
Big enough for two kids, the tent is made from high-quality, lightweight materials. This makes it very portable and convenient to keep in storage.
16. 4 Piece Play Tent by Playz
With this 4 piece children play tent, you might have to drag your kid away from it or they likely want to spend the whole day crawling, jumping, playing hide and seek, and if they have the balls, having a time of their lives in the ball pit.
The kit is a combination of one box tent, a triangular tent, and 2 crawl tunnels in a zipper storage bag. There are over 10 ways to install them together to give a variety of playing options for kids. It opens and folds easily making setup and storage convenient.
17. Playhouse Teepee for Kids
The second kids teepee on our list comes with a unique design concept of a castle and teepee combo. The large roll-back front opening found in real teepees combines with the mesh-covered 4 windows guarantees the good flow of air inside.
Made of 100% cotton, it is best suited indoors because the beige color makes it susceptible to dirt smudges. If you don’t mind cleaning dirt stains though, you could also install it outside. Installation is not hard while the combination of sturdy fiberglass poles and quality tent material with reinforced seams guarantees the durability of the tent.
18. 4 Way Tunnel Play Tent
This is a great tunnel and tent combo to get for kids to indulge in group play. With 4 tunnels attached to the central tent, it’s going to be wasted on just one kid. Your kid and their friends would spend hours playing hide and seek or any variation of the same game they can come up with.
It is a pop up kit ensuring play begins almost immediately after unpacking. And if you want to keep it in storage, you’ll love how easy it is to fold all the parts into a tidy little piece to fit nicely into the carrying case.
19. Children Tent and Playhouse by Kiddey
This multicolored tent would be a great getaway for kids of all ages. It is designed to inspire learning, imaginative role-play, communication skills, and social bonding because kids would love the share it with their friends.
Kids would love the multiple entrances featuring two tunnel windows with roll down flaps and front door with a Velcro cover. They’d be competing to either crawl in via the window tunnels or through the entrance. The mesh top panels provide a nice peephole for parents and kids while also keeping the air inside fresh.
Easy to install, it can be folded down in no time at all and stored in the carrying case. And the lightweight means you can take it anywhere easily.
20. Prince Knight Castle Tent
This castle tent would make a great gift for your son especially if he loves playing the hero Knight chasing down hoodlums and bringing nefarious characters to justice. With the included sword and shield set, he would have lots of fun in imaginative role-play.
The quality material it is made from ensures there would be no signs of wear and tear for a very long time no matter how long kids play with it. The pop-up design makes it easy to set up while the four sturdy poles keep it very stable. And you could easily fold it into the carrying bag for storage and easy portability.
Buying Considerations When Choosing a Kids Tent
It can’t be stressed how important it is to have a pretty good idea of the type of tent you want when shopping for a tent for the little ones. A guide like this is a good start. But, even armed with an excellent guide, certain factors must be taken into consideration before making a final decision.
Take the size of the tent for instance. If budget is not a limitation, bigger is better. But how about where you intend to set it up. Do you have enough space in your apartment for a big tent?
The way to go is to know the dimensions of the space. Then make sure your choice can comfortably fit there with enough space on all sides of the tent. That space is important for air to circulate freely around it. And if you happen to get one with a crawl hole, you don’t want it blocked by a wall.
Talking about circulation, a tent with openings around it for ventilation should be a priority. Though kids are unlikely to faint from lack of air in a windowless tent, windows for cross ventilation is healthier for the kids. They also serve to cool the air during sweltering heat waves.
So make sure the tent has doors and windows that can be rolled up/back easily. The main entrance too must come with an entrance that can be opened easily and held that way with a string or a suitable latch
Easy Set Up
You want to get a tent that is pretty straightforward in terms of setting it up. Most modern tents make that job easy with the pop up design using special springs and strong flexible wires. All you have to do is simply remove them from the carrying case and they open up for kids to start playing immediately.
Related to setting it up is how easy it is to dismantle the tent. This is an important consideration in so many ways. There would be times you’ll need to move it to a different location; taking it camping or to the beach instance for instance. You want to avoid the frustration of having to waste too much time figuring out how to dismantle and pack it in the carrying case.
The weight of the tent is a vital variable too. Go for lightweight. These make life so much easier for carrying about especially outdoors over long distances.
Indoor or Outdoor?
Here is another important consideration: if the tent is going to be indoors most of the time, ensure the floor is waterproof. You don’t want the inevitable spills from playing kids to soak through and mess up your floor. It gets even worse if the tent is on a rug.
Best Buy Overall
The Cottage House Tent by Pacific Play Tents stood out from the pack for all the right reasons. You can’t help but notice this tent due to its huge size. The countryside-themed paintings on the walls are so cool.
The tent is designed like a cottage with enough space for up to 4 Kids to play comfortably even while standing. Ventilation is assured with the mesh-covered windows, peephole on the roof and tie-back entrance.
Don’t be fooled by the size, it is easy to install. The supporting poles are super and easily nail the job of stabilizing the whole structure.
Best Budget Pick
If you are looking for a great budget tent for your kid, why not take a chance on the Rocketship Tent by USA Toyz. For a budget product, it came with all the expected features to like on any tent for children.
Designed like a rocket, it’s equipped with a waterproof floor, has adequate ventilation, quite stable on the floor, and durable too. You’ll love that it is big enough to accommodate three kids at once.
The min-projector that came with it made a big impression on us. With the included 3 slides, kids can enjoy 24 colorful images of some of the defining periods of space exploration on the wall of the tent.
How to Fold a Kids Play Tent?
Folks who have never bought tents for their kids can be put off by the thought of the difficulty involved in folding the tent for storage.
Fortunately, this isn’t hard by any means. Tents generally come with an instructions guide on how to go about it. The toughest part, which is very easy, is removing the support poles.
The actual folding would depend on the type of tent and manufacturer. Simply follow the easy-to-understand guide to get it done.
Torch Games for Kids to Play in a Tent
Knowing a variety of games to play is important so kids don’t get bored hanging out in the tent. Torch games are some of the easiest and fun to play in such a tight space.
Some of the most popular games include:
Scavenger hunt – Kids use flashlights to find hidden treasures
Catch the light – Who is fast enough to catch the light moving on the wall
Flashlight Limbo – Let’s see whose body is the first to break the beam of the flashlight while trying to pass under it
Capture the firefly – One kid tries to catch the kids flashing torches in the dark
Letter spotlight – This game involves placing the cutout of a letter in front of a lighted torch. The first kid to name the letter when the shadow appears on the wall wins that round.