Back when I was first pregnant with Nate (like 8 or 9 weeks along), I was scrolling through Pinterest and discovered a few posts about indoor play tents and play tee-pees. I thought they looked pretty cute and since I don’t know any kid who don’t love building forts; I thought to myself how cool would it be to have a play tent set up in the house 24/7. I remember Kurt just rolling his eyes at me when I told him I wanted to get Nate one for his first birthday. They seem so fun and just think of all the play time possibilities! I’m a little disappointed with how popular they’ve become over the past few months because I feel like when I first came across them on Pinterest, I only found maybe 5 or 6 posts and now it seems that they’re all over the internet. Anyways…!
After spending months (and I literally mean months!) on Pinterest, Google, Etsy, and other various websites, I came to the conclusion that making my own might be cheaper. It seems most people sell them starting roughly around $140 and prices can go as high as over $300 depending on fabrics, details, and shipping fees. Crazy! I am definitely not a sewer and neither is Kurt so after reading some DIY tee-pee plans I started getting discouraged. There was no way we’d be able to pull off making our own and all the “No Sew” tee-pee plans still required you to sew just a little bit. I had almost given up hope I’d find the perfect one until I came across PlayTeepee on Etsy. Some of his items were crazy expensive after factoring in taxes as well as shipping and handling but he did have some Ready To Ship ones that were much cheaper. I found one I loved and ordered it right away.
I was so surprised with how fast it was sent to the post office. Within thirty minutes of my payment being received, I got an notification stating it was out for shipment. Wow! It took roughly eight days to arrive and I was able to pick it up from Canada Post last night.
I couldn’t wait to open the box and start setting up the tee-pee. Some tee-pees I found online came pre-assembled and all you had to do was simply take it out of the box and unfold it, however; after looking into this it seemed that due to the size of the package, shipment and import charges would be much greater. So some assembly required didn’t seem like a big deal to me. We received eight wooden dowel poles and four plastic connector pieces to attach the poles together with as well as the tee-pee fabric. The instructions made it seem like the poles connected together with little to no effort. This was not the case. I had the hardest time trying to get the poles to fit all the way into the plastic pieces even though the instructions said they would come together easily after lightly tapping the ends on the floor. When Kurt got home, he attempted to fit them in the rest of the way and while struggling with the last two dowel poles, the plastic connector snapped! Great. We headed out to Home Depot to see if they carried a part similar to what we were shipped but after looking throughout the entire store, we realized we were out of luck. We ended up buying a new wooden dowel pole that was the same length as the ones we already had connected. When we got home Kurt continued with the assembly. After the dowels are all connected, you put them through the openings in the fabric. This seems like it would be easy if using all the poles that came with the tee-pee itself but because we had a bigger one, it was a little difficult to feed it through the fabric. Once all the dowels were inserted, we just stood the tee-pee up, spread the dowels apart allowing the tops to criss cross and then tied it all off with the ties that were included.
Once it was all assembled and standing tall I decided this tee-pee was worth the trouble! I love the quality of the fabric. It’s a medium weight 100% cotton canvas with large horizontal navy blue stripes. It comes with four ties (two on the inside and two on the outside) so the door flaps can be opened which really appealed to me because a lot of other play tent makers used buttons which could pose as a choking hazard for young children. All the seams and fabric edges are reinforced for extra safety. I’m extremely pleased with how well its made and I’m definitely looking forward to all the years of fun and play it’ll bring to Nate the older he gets!
The tee-pee is big enough that both Nate and I can fit inside together quite easily. The base measures 48×48 inches and stands just over 5 feet tall. It’s easy to collapse and keep stored behind a door or in a closet when not in use. But seeing as how much Nate seems to enjoy it, I think we’ll be keeping it out most of the time.
I was so surprised with how excited Nate was by this tee-pee today. I figured he wouldn’t pay too much attention to it because he’s still so young but he was having an absolute blast with it all morning and afternoon. He would chase the cats inside then sit down laughing hysterically as they ran out underneath the sides to escape. He also thought it was super funny when I would hide inside the tee-pee with the door flaps closed then poke my head out yelling “peek-a-boo!”
Both Milo and Ari are also loving their new hide out/sleep spot!
Another benefit to having this tee-pee is that we can use it to store away all of Nate’s toys. The base is wide enough that Nate’s large exersaucer and toy bin fit perfectly inside. We can then just close the door flaps and viola! Mess is out of sight! I’m still not 100% sold on the spot we currently have it in (right beside the TV) but in a few months when we buy a new couch, I’ve got my eye on a great corner spot in our living room.
*Please note all opinions are my own. I bought this tee-pee myself and by no means was compensated for my thoughts on it. I’ve contacted PlayTeepee to see about getting a new plastic connector piece shipped as one of ours broke and am still waiting to hear back.*
**Update: I received a message from PlayTeepee this morning stating I will be spent replacement plastic pieces. I would highly recommend this seller if you’re looking for your own play tent for you little one!**