A kids play tent provides so much more than hours of fun and joy. It develops their mental and physical skills, and a play tent for kids encourages social interaction with other children.
In our modern world full of tablets, phones, and TVs, giving them a space to play with toys and to use their imagination away from a screen is a wonderful thing.
You can find a play tent for toddlers or older children, and they can be used indoors or outdoors for endless games and amusement.
It’s also a safe space where kids can feel secure from the outside world, like a secret hideout place. Playing creatively has a much better impact on their health than digital playtime.
You can find play tents for kids in heaps of awesome themes, like pink princesses, cute teepee designs, rockets, cars, outer space, and so much more.
With such an abundance of choice, our list of the best child play tents can help you narrow down your decision and discover your favourite features and styles.
Best Tents for Kids to Play with Indoors and Outdoors
1. WOOHOO TOYS Play Tent for Kids
For all those future firefighters, this tent has a vibrant red fire truck exterior with doors and windows. There is raised panelling all around the bottom, so you can add balls to create a super fun ball pit for your kid. We think it would also work great for nap time, as you can add a small mattress inside.
For outdoor use, use the 4 provided stakes to anchor it into the ground for sturdiness. For opening and closing the door area, your child can simply insert their finger into the Velcro pocket hole with the corresponding Velcro cover. It folds down easily due to it being a kids pop-up tent, and it fits in the transport bag with a handle, so they can take it to friend’s houses.
- 54″ x 28″ x 36″
- Polyester Material
- Roller Cover for Door
- Carry Bag Included
2. Love Tree Kids Play Tent Castle
The adorable design of this large tent makes it extra cosy for playtime with toys or books. We think it’s a good size to fit multiple children. With the flat bottom, you can lay out a blanket and pillows, or even fit a small crib bed inside with the option of connecting a kids bed tent. The gorgeous colourful flag banner makes it feel like a castle, so your child can feel like a princess or prince during playtime.
There are four windows so you can view inside to watch them play safely. It’s constructed from lovely cotton canvas, which is soft and natural, plus highly durable for kids.
This tent is a beautiful addition to any playroom and fits nicely next to an adult bed tent also, so you can keep an eye on them. The variety of color choices also helps, you can choose from black, pink or beige to complement the theme of the bedroom.
- Fibreglass Pole Frame
- 2-Step Assembly
- Rolling Doors
- Carry Bag Case
3. Anpro Kids Teepee Tent
Made from high-quality canvas just like a regular sized tent, this is one of the prettiest teepees for kids we’ve ever seen. The natural white canvas cloth will enhance any bedroom or playroom area and is even designed to fit in small rooms. A string of battery-powered fairy lights is included to brighten up the tent, and your kid can hang their own trinkets on the poles at the top.
The pine rods are double polished for an extra smooth finish, so you don’t have to worry about splinters. A cute little window provides ventilation when the foldable doors are down. We think this would work great in the summer for providing shade and keeping your little one cool due to the canvas fabric. In winter, keep the doors closed and they’ll stay warm and cosy inside.
- Premium Russian Pine Poles
- Storage Pocket
4. The Original AirFort Inflatable Build-A-Fort
This incredibly lightweight inflatable kids fort is the perfect tent for family fun. It’s ready to go in just 30 seconds, which is one of the quickest installations we’ve seen. Available in 8 different colours, there’s a choice for every child. You can fold it down and put it inside a small drawstring bag, so you can take it anywhere – a friend’s house, into the garden, at the park, and so on.
The amount of air circulation is amazing, and we love how kids can easily crawl in and out by lifting the bottom because there’s no flooring. No poles mean no fears about snapping or shattering, and it works with any standard box shaped fan.
- No Assembly
- 77” Width x 50” Height
- Child Safety Tested & Approved
- Mesh Divider
5. UTEX Automatic Instant Play Tent
Great for the beach, backyard, or anywhere else outdoors, you can choose from a cute outer space model with rockets and planets, or a bright blue and orange one with penguins and animals of the sea. We love the unique hexagonal form at the roof because it allows plenty of room for little ones to play, very reminiscent of a dream tent design.
The entrance has a spaceship style door, so your kid can feel like they’re entering their own little rocket every time. For easy entry and exit, they can fold or roll the doors and use the Velcro to keep them open. There are mesh windows around the sides, so it won’t get stuffy inside while they fool around.
- 190T Polyester Fabric
- PVC Strong Frame
- Suitable for Indoors & Outdoors
- Washable Flooring
6. Pacific Play Tents Kids Safari Tunnel Dome Tent
For all those extra adventurous kids out there, this jungle-inspired dome and tunnel tent lets them crawl, hide, and play for hours of fun. It’s great for encouraging exercise and letting children play together with their imagination.
To keep an eye on the kids, you can see through the upper mesh panelling – this also helps with ventilation, especially if there are multiple children inside. The tunnel section is collapsible and sturdily constructed, plus it’s padded on the interior for extra comfort. The material is tough to prevent tears or scratches. To let them enter the tent without the tunnel, there is a large door that has a foldable cover.
- 48″ x 48″ x 42″
- 190T 70D Polyester Fabric
- Powder Coated Poles
- Water-Resistant Flooring
7. Hide n Side Kids Ball Pit Tent
This ultimate play house has so many cool games all wrapped into one. It comes with three different play sections and three connecting tunnels. Each section can be turned into a ball pit that can probably fit up to 600 balls. The teepee shaped part has a bullseye target game with Velcro, the square one has an opening for playing cornhole, and there’s a little basketball ring in the final section.
This tunnel tent can keep your kids active for hours on end – we think it really is every kids dream play fort. To make it easier for you, the installation is virtually non-existent thanks to the pop-up design. Simply attach the tunnels and it’s ready to go.
- Indoor & Outdoor Compatible
- 190T Soft Polyester
- Strong Steel Framework
8. Princess Tent With Tunnel
A large tent with a stunning castle design, you also receive a bonus adorable princess tiara, wand, tutu, and ring, all in silver and pink. A thoughtful gift for girls or boys who love fairy tales, it’s great for keeping them active whilst having fun.
Set up is effortless because you only need to insert the provided rods into the castle section. The carry bag makes it convenient for taking to sleepovers or relatives’ houses, and the polyester is durable enough for constant use. One of the best parts is the glow in the dark stars that create a truly magical playtime experience.
- Mesh Tunnel
- Bright Purple & Pink Design
- Suitable for Indoors & Outdoors
- Flooring in Both Tents
9. Alvantor Kids Tents Indoor Children Play Tent
This indoor and outdoor playhouse features a fun rainbow design to suit all children’s tastes. For your kids’ safety, the poles are made from fibreglass to prevent shattering. Installation is super easy, and your child can join in to help you by sliding the poles through the slots.
It can comfortably fit two to three children as a private space for reading, playing, and resting during naptime. To supervise the kids while they play, half of the roof is made from mesh. There are two entrance holes on either side, and one is a circular shape to fit tunnels to make an ultimate play pen, just purchase them separately.
- Weighs Only 1.9 pounds
- Closing Velcro Doors
- Portable Carry Bag
10. USA Toyz Rocketship Play Tent
Your kids can be over the moon with excitement to play inside this rocket ship tent. Place it outside in the garden for some fun outdoor night play or move it inside. The large D-shaped opening can be closed with the roller cover so they can feel like they’re in a real space ship.
No tools are required for set up because it’s an instant tent with a few poles, so your little astronauts can start lift-off immediately. If there are up to three children inside, the mesh windows will prevent stuffiness with airflow. To stop it from sliding around, there are sturdy floor and roof anchors. If your child is more into fantasy worlds, there is a gorgeous unicorn version available.
- Durable Polyester Fabric
- 41″ x 41″ x 53″
- Travel Tote
Buyers Guide – How Do You Choose the Best Kids Play Tent?
Think About the Size
Will just one child be using the tent, or two, or three, or more? Small ones are fine for use by just one or two young toddlers, but if you have lots of kids or you often invite their friends over, consider getting a slightly bigger chamber that will comfortably fit all of them.
A larger tent also means you don’t have to buy more whenever they start growing – choose one that will accommodate them as they get older.
Also contemplate how big the tent will be once you start putting extras in like toys, pillows, blankets, books, or balls to create a ball pit. You want there to be enough room for your little one to move around smoothly without feeling constricted.
Materials are Important
While most tents for play are intended for use outside and inside, take note if they are waterproof if you’ll be using it a lot outdoors.
If it’s made from polyester, it should be very easy to clean with some warm water and a cloth, which is great for little accidents. If it doesn’t have flooring, this works well for using it in the garden where your children don’t have to worry about being dirty on the grass. Canvas is an ideal material, as it’s highly breathable, non-toxic, easy to clean, and can be sewn if there are any rips.
Look out for fibreglass poles or thick pine for the framework. These will ensure the tent is sturdy and won’t move around.
From Pop Up to Instant – Set Up Should be Easy
Some tents have true pop up designs, and quite literally pop out of the box to play with immediately. Instant set up is very similar, however, usually requires some small assembly work by inserting poles into their sleeves.
Features as Creative as Their Minds
These types of tents are so much fun for kids, and some of them have really cool features to keep up with their fast-paced lives.
Many are suitable for use as a ball pit which adds another dimension to playtime. Some of them have tunnels where your kids can crawl in and out of to play hide and seek and other fun games. Probably the main feature that changes throughout all the tents is the exterior designs ranging across lots of different themes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Play Tent?
It’s basically a tent that comes in lots of different styles for kids to play inside. They add something special to playtime that regular toys can’t achieve.
They’re a haven for all children who love having the freedom to play and imagine they’re living in castles, rocket ships, the jungle, and so much more.
It gives them an element of privacy and secureness away from adults, and they can spend hours reading, sleeping, and having fun.
How to Set Up a Kids Play Tent?
From what we’ve gathered, the most popular ones range from pop up, instant, and even inflatable installation.
Pop up and instant are almost the same. The main difference is that instant tents come with poles that need to be attached together and slid inside the holes to finalise the structure.
It usually takes only a few minutes, and they are very easy to disassemble and store away.
Inflatable tents are another alternative, and the one on our list requires a simple box fan to instantly form the exterior.
Are Play Tents Waterproof?
Each one should have some element of water resistance to hold up against messy child’s play. They are typically not fully waterproof, however, and you shouldn’t leave them outdoors in the rain as they might get damaged.
Always check the specific information of a tent before assuming it’s waterproof.
If it’s made of cotton canvas, it’s waterproof in the sense that humidity from the inside is extracted so there is no fogginess.
As most kids tents for play are not intended for camping use, again, you should check if the manufacturer states that it’s fully waterproof.
What Size Play Tent Should I Buy?
Consider how many children will be using your tent. If you only have one child and it’s their own private space, a small one will work well.
For 2 kids, we recommend a medium sized tent that ranges from around 48” in length and 48” in width. For more than 3 kids, something on the large size will fit them agreeably.
Size also depends if you want any additional components, such as tunnels or extra connectable tents for more room during playtime.
If you want to include a ball pit, it’s wise to choose a large one because the balls will occupy a lot of space.
What is the Best Play Tent for a Kids Party?
Select a tent that will suit the theme of the party – does your child love princesses and castles or astronauts and rocket ships?
We suggest one that has lots of tunnels to accommodate for plenty of playful children. It gives them more space to crawl and move around so they won’t feel cramped.
A ball pit is a huge hit at any party. Find a tent with raised sides and you can purchase the balls additionally and put them wherever you want. Perhaps even consider a tent with a basketball hoop, so all the kids can have a go at scoring a goal.
Give your children a space to escape into their own imaginary world. A kids play tent is the solution to tech-free playtime indoors and outdoors that you’ve been longing for, and they can have benefits to their health when compared to screen usage.
They’ll experience increased motor skill development from crawling around inside, it will inspire their imaginations, and encourage social interaction between other children. Empower their growing minds with one of the best play tents for kids on our list.