Looking back to the most memorable parts of our childhood can bring up images of makeshift tents in the middle of the living room that served as a sacred playtime space. Children love the idea of tents, and the best play tents for kids come with a lot of fun features that will pique their excitement even more.
If your little one enjoys setting up a makeshift fort with blankets and pillows and controlling who gets to enter, they are bound to enjoy a proper play tent. Choose the right one for them with this list of the best time-tested play tent options that are ideal for children.
Top 14 Play Tents For Children To Buy
Play tents come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They may be functional or plain simple. Here are some that your child may want to play in.
1. Best With Realistic Camping Gear: Kaqinu Play Tent With Camping Set
This trusted camping tent for pretend play comes with all the essential gear tools for children to get adventurous with their playtime activities.
- Comes with various tools
- Made of non-toxic, BPA-free plastic material
- Toy oil lamp and burner with realistic effects
- Includes functional accessories, such as binocular, watch, compass, and cooking pan
- Easy to set up and store away
- Some may find the material flimsy
- May not hold up for long
"I found this play camping set a great option for my kid. The tent is sturdy, big, and easy to set up. Its see-through sides help me keep an eye on my children as they play in the tent. The Velcro food items seem cool, but adult supervision is necessary. Altogether, it is a nice addition with many play possibilities."
2. Best With LED Light Strip: Gerossi Princess Tent For Girls
Gerossi Princess Tent For Girls is an extra-large playhouse tent that can be the ideal spot for your little princesses to play, read, or sleep. It comes with a three-meter LED light strip with 20 bulbs. The tent is safe and versatile and can be used indoors and outdoors.
- Comes with a carry bag
- Curtains and top made of breathable mesh
- Poles may not be highly durable
- Installation instructions may not be clear
3. Best Foldable: Kiddey Ball Pit Pop-Up Play Tent
Loved by many reviewers, this pop-up tent can be used as a ball pit for children.
- Available in two variants
- Features two large, airy mesh fabric windows
- Transparent windows for easy access to parents for supervision
- Wire frame construction adds durability
- Easy to fold and comes with a zippered carry bag
- May topple when the child leans on the sides
- Does not include balls
"I found this ball pit tent pretty sturdy. It withstands rough use well and is easy to clean and move around. We add some extra balls for fun, but our little ones can easily make them roll out due to the low sides. Overall, it's entertaining, and its foldable option is useful for storage."
4. Best Easy-To-Clean: Kiddey Ball Pit Tent
This spacious tent can also double up as a ball pit for your child to play.
- Available as a single pack and with 200 crush-proof balls
- Made of durable fabric that is easy to clean
- Features six sides with plenty of room
- Features six large mesh windows and fabric doors that roll up and down
- May not be suitable for outdoors
- Velcro door may not be durable
"This ball pit tent has become my toddler's favorite. The high walls keep things under control, preventing balls from escaping the tent. It is great for indoor and outdoor play, but the velcro closures need improvement."
5. Best For Ample Ventilation: Pacific Play tent
Here’s a pretty pink and durable tent for your little girl to relax, read storybooks, or just laze around.
- Made of 190T polyester taffeta for durability
- Offers ample ventilation
- Offers adequate support with extra-strong poles
- Can be used on floor and fitted to a bed with the outer-skirt
- Flame-retardant sidewalls
- May take some time to assemble
"This tent is easy to set up, and the breathable fabric is lovely, but the frame is not as durable as I had expected. It can get a bit warm in the summer, but my kids like that it adds to the bedtime fun."
6. Best With Waterproof Base: Tazztoys Teepee Tent
- Made of 100% natural cotton
- Comes with sturdy pinewood poles
- Free of harmful chemicals
- Smoothened poles with no splinters
- Has two pockets on the inside for storage space
- Compact and easy to dismantle
- Safety-tested and CPSIA-approved
- May not be suitable for active toddlers
- Might be hard to keep in place
"I like this tent, as it has a nice earthy vibe, which complements our home decor. However, assembling it is challenging and needs additional support for stability. Despite occasional issues with poles and stitching, I find it a reliable option."
7. Best For Three Children: USA Toyz Rocket Ship Play Tent
This tried-and-tested rocket-shaped fun play tent is ideal for children who are aspiring astronauts.
- Rocket-themed tent with breathable mesh windows
- Can accommodate three children with ease
- Can be used both outdoors and indoors
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a portable projector for added fun
- May not be easy to assemble
- May not be very sturdy
"I found this play tent great for learning as well as having fun. My kids like using it both indoors and outside to set up a cozy reading nook and engage in imaginative play. The translucent side is a unique perl. It has been a delightful purchase so far."
8. Best For Easy Assembling: Kiddey Knight’s Castle Tent
With many positive reviews, it is an ideal play tent for kids who want the vibe of a knight’s castle during their playtime.
- Easy-to-assemble poles and secure ground stakes
- Comes with a sword and shield made of synthetic material
- Includes mesh windows and easy-to-open-and-close door flap
- Made of high-quality material—polyester fabric
- Lightweight, foldable, and portable
- May not be suitable for rough play
- Poles may not be durable
"My kids adore using this play tent. It is the correct size for our modest room and is multipurpose. Although we found it challenging to fold, the happiness it offers my children makes it worthwhile. The material is also worth mentioning."
9. Best Tent With Colorful Illustrations: Impirilux Rocketship Play Tent House
A colorful tent that resembles an actual rocket? Oh, yes! Children would love playing in this award-winning space-themed play tent.
- Vibrant tent with detailed illustrations
- Beautiful space drawing on the roof
- Made of non-toxic and water-resistant polyester fabric
- Comes with sturdy fiberglass rods
- Has two large mesh windows for ventilation
- May not be sturdy enough
- May not be large enough for two children
10. Best Glow-In-The-Dark Tent: Suesport Castle Play Tent
It is a glow-in-the-dark play tent for children to have hours of fun during sleepovers with their buddies.
- Available in two vibrant color variants that glow in the dark
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Comes with sturdy poles to ensure ease of assembly
- Features perforated, see-through windows
- Can be put under sunlight for light absorption to glow in the dark
- Not water-resistant
- May not be easy to clean
"The roomy interior of this princess castle tent has won my daughter over. I thought the product's assembly could be complicated, but I managed to complete it with clear directions. It is slightly big for her room but spacious enough for sleepovers and tea parties."
11. Best For Indoor And Outdoor Use: Alvantor Kids Tents
This vibrant, multi-colored toddler tent is designed for little children to play and learn.
- Lightweight and portable with mesh top
- Features a tunnel door that can be connected to compatible tents
- Can be used as an outdoor or indoor tent
- Easy to set up
- Poles may be prone to cracks over time
- May be smaller than you expect
"Having tested a few play tents, I stuck with this one for its cute design and durability. It is easy to set up and pretty spacious inside. My kids love playing in it and using it as a warm reading corner. However, it is not suitable for outdoor play. Overall, a worthwhile buy."
12. Best Customizable: Little Dove Teepee Play Tent
This cute canvas play tent can be customized in any way your child wants since it includes a floor mat, feathers, lights, and many other exciting accessories.
- Made of 100% natural, unpainted, non-toxic cotton canvas
- Can be painted and doodled on
- Can be steam-ironed to remove wrinkles
- Sturdy pinewood poles
- Has a front roll-on door that can be pulled up and down
- Features two inner pockets
- Assembly instructions may be confusing
- May go out of shape after extended use
"My children adore this one. Its longevity amazed me, even though constructing it can be difficult due to the tight canvas and poles. With the lights and decorations, it appears charming. It has also become my cozy reading nook."
13. Best For Young Girls: Monobeach Princess Tent
It is a big princess play tent for your little girl and her entire girl gang.
- Made of high-quality, easy-to-clean taffeta polyester material
- Can accommodate three children and can be used outdoors
- Includes poles, starlights, and connectors
- PVC rods for extra strength
- Stain-resistant material
- Some may find the star lights too pointy for little children
- May take time to assemble
14. Best Foldable And Compact: K-F Toyjoy Play Tent
This clubhouse-style jungle play tent is the perfect tent for outdoor adventures with your little child.
- Resembles an outdoor clubhouse
- Made of premium fabric with high-quality seams
- Rip- and tear-resistant material
- Includes a roll-up door for easy access
- Foldable, compact, and easy to carry around
- Some may find it small
- Plastic poles may not be durable
"I got this one because it's spacious and sturdy for a small group and quite easy to set up. But I felt it's not made for rough play and might need some minor fixes. However, the included floor mat offers extra padding for more comfort. Overall, it's a decent choice."
How To Choose The Right Play Tents For Kids?
Consider the following factors before choosing a play tent for your child.
- Safety: Consider checking the material used for the play tent. It should be child-safe, non-toxic, and BPA-free. Also, the assembly must be sturdy and it must not collapse in the middle of the play.
- Size: Check the dimensions of the product to find the right play tent. Consider your child’s age and height, the space available, the number of people the tent can accommodate, etc., to find a tent that meets your requirements.
- Age: Read the age recommendations of the play tent to find the right one for your child. While a small tent may work well for a younger child, older children may need one with more space and features.
- Theme and design: Consider your child’s interests and preferences when choosing a theme and design. You can choose among a ball pit, space, castle, camping, and other engaging play tents for an immersive experience. Also, pick a color that is reflective and bright enough to avoid heat absorption if you want to use it outdoors.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are play tents good for children?
Play tents give children a sense of safety, freedom, and a cozy corner to read, relax, imagine, or spend time with themselves or their friends. They also ensure physical movement as the children crawl in and out of them.
2. What should I put under a child’s play tent?
Some play tents come with a quilted floor mat and don’t require you to put anything under them. However, if the floor mat is not included or is thin, you may place a play mat or blanket under the play tent.
3. How should I weatherproof a play tent?
Some play tents are made of weatherproof or waterproof material for use outdoors. If the tent is not weatherproof, you may cover it with a tarpaulin sheet, but it can take away the aesthetic appeal of the play tent.
4. Is a play tent easy to assemble?
Yes, most play tents are easy to assemble. All you need to do is set up the frame using the poles and cover it up with the tent or insert the poles in the slots provided in the tent. Tents come in different designs and, often, with instructions for assembly.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Kids love playing inside their tents. However, finding the best playing tent can be a cumbersome task. To help you have a seamless shopping experience, we have curated this list of best playing tents for kids. We have analyzed product descriptions and evaluated numerous customer reviews to bring you this comprehensive list of the best parent-recommended playing tents. These best-selling tents are available in various designs and are made of durable material for long-lasting use.
Encourage pretend play in your children by gifting them play tents. These tents come in various styles and patterns, including houses, castles, and rocket ships, and help improve children’s motor skills and boost their creativity. If you’re looking for a playhouse and play tent combination, consider the princess-themed Monobeach Princess Tent. For a camping experience at home, the Kaqinu Play Tent With Camping Set is a great option, as it includes toy camping accessories. For fantasy-filled pretend play, our top recommendation is the USA Toyz Rocket Ship Play Tent. Of course, you could also bring home a simple play tent and let your child’s imagination take wings as they decorate the tent in any way they like. Regardless of which tent you choose, ensure it is made of safe and easy-to-clean materials free of harmful chemicals.
Infographic: What Are The Various Ways Of Using Play Tents For Children?
Play tents are portable and compact structures that offer children an imaginative and creative space to play. They come in various styles, colors, and sizes and make a fantastic addition to any playroom or backyard. Explore the following infographic to discover the fascinating ways play tents can be used to keep your child engaged and content.
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