The Best Indoor Tents for Kids

By Dr. Sheryl Grassie

What do princess castles, rocket ships, frogs, sharks, and bears all have in common? You guessed it; they are all types of tents. So maybe you didn’t actually guess that, but, it doesn’t even stop there. If you can imagine it, there probably is a tent in that shape or with that theme.

Play tents for kids are so popular because they overwhelmingly love them and can spend hours of uninterrupted play time secure in their enclosures. Check out our top picks for the best all-around indoor tent, best inflatable tent, best fantasy tent, and best built-it-yourself tent. Then we’ll help you narrow down your choices and know what to look for.


Our Picks for the Best Indoor Tents for Kids

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multicolor kids tent

Best Overall: 

Alvantor Indoor Children’s Play Tent For Boys And Girls

This versatile, easy to put together, multicolored tent is an ideal play space for indoor and outdoor children’s adventures, reading, or sleeping.

It comfortably holds 2-3 children and has tieback flaps on one side, a tunnel entrance on the other. This LA based company offers a 6-month limited warranty.

Blue Tent

Best Inflatable: 

The Original Inflatable AirFort

This fun inflatable play tent has a roof and surround, but no bottom. Place on carpet or flooring, it is large enough to hold adults and children together.

It comes in 6 color/design options and has a 60-day guarantee. It requires a standard box fan for inflation, which needs to be purchased separately.

Unicorn Tent

Best Fantasy Tent: 

USA Toyz Play Tent for Boys and Girls Rocket Ship and Unicorn

Cater to your child’s love of imaginative play with these fantasy tents. Good for indoor or outdoor use. They are fire retardant, easy to put together, and portable.

They comfortably hold up to three children for wonderful group play. Read, take a nap, or have a party in your alternative kingdom.

DIY Tent

Best Build-It-Yourself: 

Crazy Forts, Purple, 69 pieces

Build you own fort or tent with this Crazy Forts construction kit. Add blankets or sheets to create an enclosure. Engage your child’s imagination and construct a different tent every time.

This award-winning toy was voted a favorite by Smart Toys magazine, Purdue University, and Huffington Post. Durable, portable, and easy to put together.


Narrowing Down Your Tent Choices 

The four tents above are great examples of the wide range of tents available. There are simple pop-up tents, inflatable tents, bed tents, and more. You might start with who the tent is for and what that child is interested in.

Is it one or more children and of what sexes? Do they like to build things, have a stellar imagination, or want a prince or princess castle? If you have two boys and a girl, you may want to get a gender-neutral tent that all your kids will enjoy. Take some cures from your child regarding type and then think through the more practical aspects of buying a tent.

The Wide World of Tent Types

  • Pop-up – Usually on the smaller side and great for one child, they twist down to a circle and easily slide into a zipper case. They are great for travel, easy storage, small spaces, and moving from room to room.
  • Fantasy – Insite your child’s imagination or play off their existing interests, they come in all kinds of themes from jungle to race car.
  • Inflatable – Inflatable tents come in home and commercial sizes, some with built in bouncy floors. Add your box fan to inflate or rent a large tent for a party that comes with an air compressor.
  • Bed – Themed or un-themed bed tents that fit over your child’s single bed are great for play, but also great for sleeping. Some children just do better in a sung environment and a bed tent can help improve sleep.
  • Ball Pits – Colorful ball pits give great sensory input for children across the spectrum. They come in all shapes and sizes, for one child or a group.
  • Constructible – Building your own tent can be a very rewarding experience for kids. There are kits with parts to create an infrastructure for tents.
  • Teepees – In the tradition of the Native Americans, teepee style tents can be themed in any number of ways and come in different sizes. Kids love the angles of a teepee and parents love how easy they are to take down or put up.

Thinking About Purchasing a Tent for Your Kids?

There are a few things to think about when purchasing a kid’s tent. You have to set a budget, and pick the type of tent you want, but also what material you like, consider safety, and read a few reviews so you know if it will hold up. Is it important that you have a natural tent? They come in both natural and synthetic materials, like cotton and polyester. Some tents are treated with flame-retardant, which may be a health hazard for some children.


Summary

The best indoor tents for your kids, depends on your kids.  There are literally 100’s and 100’s of shapes, sizes, styles and themes of tents for kids. They are a great toy for the imagination and keep kids engaged. They can read, sleep, and play in their tent. Our top 4 picks in various categories can get you started, along with an online search of different options. Although your heart will leap at all the cute styles, take the time to read up on tent materials, warranties, and get a sense of the tent quality by browsing the customer reviews.


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