11 Best Kids Play Tents In 2017


All year round parents flock to toy stores looking for the perfect gift to give their kids for the latter’s birthday, special achievements, or even holidays. And while dolls for girls and toy cars and guns for boys make up the bulk of the gift suggestions, many also consider play tents as one of the most useful tools for children especially when they are engaged in imaginative or pretend play. These kiddie tents are excellent addition to the scenario being played by kids which can then help develop their psychomotor and cognitive skills as well as enhance their social and emotional development.

We know how crazy frustrating it can be to choose the best make-believe camp for children. As such, we are bringing to you the top eleven play tents you can ever find for your child and his or her friends.

How We Chose the Top Play Tents in Our List

Choosing the right tent for kids’ playtime activities can be very challenging. We tasked our team of dedicated researchers to come up with a shortlist of the top kiddie portable canvas shelters that we can share with you. After several days of toiling through mountains of data, product reviews, and careful analysis, they were able to give us the top 11 play tents for kids.

If you’re wondering how they did it, it was never easy. First they had to look at the overall design of the tent and make accurate assumptions as to how the product will be used by kids. More importantly, however, is how the tent will be able to help children develop or enhance their psychomotor, cognitive, emotional, and social skills. Next, the safety of the materials used as well as its construction have been examined closely. The tent maker’s reputation or credibility was also ascertained. If there are any awards, recognition, or certifications related to the product’s design, development, and manufacture, then these were also considered. Lastly, our team looked at the countless parents’ reviews and feedback about the products. At the very least, we can share with you gift suggestions that are also highly recommended by many parents.

Play Tents, Imaginative Play, and Your Child’s Development

Kiddie tents are usually used by children as props or accessories in their imaginative, dramatic, or pretend playtime activities. Depending on the objective of the game, children can surely benefit a lot from these kinds of playtime accessories or props.

First is the development or enhancement of children’s psychomotor skills. A kiddie tent provides enough covered area for playing. Children can crawl into their tent or even jump onto it. If they are old enough, they can assemble the tent themselves without additional parental support. All of these require excellent control of the muscles. It helps refine their control of gross and fine motor movements while at the same time enhancing their sense of visual motor coordination and balance. Tying some of the knots in a certain kid’s tent can help enhance manual dexterity.

Secondly, being important tools for imaginative or pretend play, kiddie tents can be excellent materials for enhancing children’s cognitive abilities. When children are given a large house-like structure made of canvas to play with, their imagination is greatly stimulated. They are able to harness other cognitive skills such as problem solving, memory, cause and effect relationships, spatial reasoning, and counterfactual reasoning.

Imagination requires input from the kid’s memory, the things he or she may have learned either through experience or from school. These pieces of information are processed by the brain to come up with a what-if situation. This is one of the crucial elements of critical thinking and divergent problem solving. This also helps in the identification of a variety of situations that are directly related to a single phenomenon. It helps foster curiosity which can further fuel the child’s critical thinking processes.

Playing with kiddie tents also help children develop and enhance their planning skills. They have to try to identify the objective of their role play and what the different activities they need to do. This is an essential skill to master as it lays the foundation for scientific problem solving where a problem is best solved using a set of objectives that are problem-oriented. Looking for solutions to accomplish the objectives will lead to the resolution of the problem. Role playing allows children to start understanding the concept of careful planning and objectives-setting. This is important when they do grow up as adults especially when they go into business as well as other endeavors that require planning.

Third, imaginative playing with friends helps encourage cooperation and negotiation. When role playing, kids eventually have to talk and discuss among themselves who plays which role as well as the different actions that each one has to perform. This helps develop children’s social skills. If they have to use the tent and there are many of them, children learn to take turns and share the different playthings in the kiddie playhouse. The social interaction obtained from imaginative role playing activities allow kids to learn empathy and consideration for the feelings of other children. They begin to understand the idea of proper behavior especially when they are in the real world.

Fourth, as a natural result of the increased social interaction playing with kiddie tents, children are also able to improve their language and communication skills. Pretend and imaginative play is a wonderful opportunity for children to use their very own vocabulary and language. They are able to use expressive language. Our role as parents is to help expand their vocabulary by paraphrasing what our kids have said during their pretend play. We can do this by using a more descriptive language which our kids will understand or by giving examples using expressive language.

Lastly, because children are able to express their thoughts and feelings through role playing and imaginative playtime activities, we help enhance their self-esteem. We are giving them power and control over their pretend world and these help enhance their creative abilities. They can create their very own story lines, decide what plots and twists to go with their story, and develop the personality of their main character in the story. All of these help enhance kids’ self-esteem by giving them the power to control their world. And if we show that we also enjoy and truly appreciate what our kids are doing, the more that we enhance their self-esteem.

The Bottom Line

Many of us adults may have already forgotten the joys of playing pretend or role playing. Kids need these types of playtime activities to help them in their cognitive, social, emotional, and psychomotor development. And when it comes to imaginative or pretend play, one of the most useful accessories or tools we can ever give our kids is a playtime tent. With our top 11 play tents you can start encouraging the imaginative play of your own kids. You won’t go wrong and kids will surely love you for it.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!


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