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Good, better, best: Kids play tents your child will spend all day in

A play tent is the ultimate accessory because it can be used in so many different ways. You can imagine you’re inside a ship, a castle, a submarine, a restaurant — anything! With windows and doors, you can serve friends from your food truck or scare them from inside your haunted house. Best of all, they are lightweight and easy to set up and fold up, and you can move them anywhere in the house or even out in the yard. They’re perfect for solo play, a reading nook, or playdate entertainment for any age, from toddlers to elementary school.

When shopping for a play tent, make sure they are durable and consider if you want extra elements like fairy lights or a crawling tunnel. No matter your choice, your kids’ imagination is what will make these play tents worth it.

Good: Swehouse Clubhouse Tent

This simple play tent is quick to set up, but the decoration on the fabric gives it an elaborate playhouse feel. At 42.5 inches tall, 38.6 inches wide, and 27.6 inches deep, kids can stand up inside and fit a playing pair inside at the same time. This clubhouse design includes signs like “Ring bell only if you know the secret password!” and a leaf roof, plus two windows and a door that have roll-up doors, so you can have total privacy inside. Kids will love playing in their lightweight new clubhouse that is easily portable for indoor or outdoor use.

Why we like it:

  • Easy to set up
  • Good for indoor and outdoor use
  • Big enough for two kids

Better: JOYIN Rocket Ship Play Tent with Pop-up Play Tent, Tunnel, and Playhouse

Blast off to hours of fun with this space-themed pop-up play tent with three parts: Rocket tent (54 inches tall and 41.5 inches wide), tunnel (38.7 inches long), and cube play tent (31 inches by 34.5 inches). This tent feels secure with floor anchors and four sturdy poles while being fast and easy to build. It folds up for storage with the included carry tote. Use the three pieces separately or connect them with the Velcro at the tunnel opening. The durable, breathable mesh walls are built to last, so your little astronaut can enjoy their rocket ship for light years.

Why we like it:

  • Easy to build
  • Features a tunnel and two play tents
  • Easy to fold up and store

Best: CXTSMSKT Kids Play Tent

This play tent comes with three kinds of lights: Curtain star lights with eight blinking modes, colorful ball lights, and small colorful star lights. The light and screens make this a magical refuge for your child where they can read and relax. At 55 inches by 53 inches, up to three kids can hang out together inside. The polyester taffeta is comfortable, lightweight, and durable, and the tent is easy to set up. The private hangout pad for bigger kids will make them feel like they have their own oasis.

Why we like it:

  • Features three kinds of lights
  • Big enough for three kids
  • Easy to set up

If your kids are stuck playing indoors, a play tent lets you create a new space within your space and transports them to a new world. Kids of all ages love having their own private space and will feel comfortable and snug inside their own little house. Whether you have a little toddler or an older elementary school child, one of these play tents will be their new go-to hangout.

Sarah Prager
Sarah is a writer and mom who lives in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National…
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