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A young girl in a pretty dress peeking out of a den in the garden, made using a white sheet.

Building a Tent by Teatime


Tent building in itself is superb fun, whether it’s pitched out in the back garden or in the front lounge. And the real lure of this design is that it needs to be completed by the time dinner is ready, so the kids can shut the adults out and eat their fish-and-chip supper under canvas (or Egyptian cotton!).

Kids love the idea of camping because it’s adventurous and exciting. You don’t need to pitch up a tent in the middle of nowhere for them to get that exhilarating and cosy feeling of hiding away in their own den. Building their own tent will really get their imaginations going, and they’ll start thinking outside the box (literally!) about the different ways a structure can be put together. It also gives them a chance to get creative, by decorating a sign to put on the front of the tent, and adding any other personal touches.

Here’s how to make a simple tent with blankets or sheets:

What you need:

The best thing about building your own tent is that you only need objects you’re likely to have lying around the house already. You may need to pay a quick visit to the garden centre for the bamboo canes!

  • A roll of rough string
  • Scissors
  • 3 x 8ft (2.4m) and 6 x 3ft (90cm) bamboo canes from a garden centre
  • Old sheets and blankets
  • Pens and card to make a sign for the entrance

What to do:

  1. The easiest tent to construct is a simple two-sided prism shape like a Toblerone box!
  2. You’ll need to make a sturdy frame using your canes - lay the 3 longest canes 3 ft (90cm) apart, and attach using the shorter canes and string, until your tent takes shape.
  3. Then drape with sheets or blankets, and decorate inside and out with pillows, rugs and pictures, before moving in and making mischief!

Be sure to stock the tent with an emergency supply box:

  • A torch
  • Some games or toys
  • A couple of pillows
  • Snacks
  • And anything else you might need

Monster time!

For extra fun pretend there is a monster outside. Your child can take turns with you pretending to be the monster. Peek out when you think the monster has gone away. Make friends with the monster and offer the monster a snack.

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