Some of our fondest memories as kids involve imaginative play such as pretend cooking, make-believe grocery stores, and of course, the classic bahay-bahayan. Today, our little ones can enjoy these games even more because of the variety of play tents on the market. Great for both indoor and outdoor activities, play tents are durable and easy to assemble.
Whether you have an aspiring little chef, firefighter, or entrepreneur, there is a perfect play tent that will spark your child's creativity and develop their social skills. Also, using this tent for pretend play can help reduce screen time and the likelihood of tantrums. In this article, we prepared a top 10 list and a buying guide for the best play tents for kids in the Philippines.
Och Gonzalez has been an early childhood educator in Manila for over 20 years. As a preschool teacher and grade school academic coach, she has worked with young children and their families to achieve learning goals and address developmental concerns. She has created reading programs that aim to develop literacy skills and a love for reading in young children. She holds an MA in Education from the Ateneo de Manila University and is also the author of the children’s book, “Every Sunday.”
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
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Table of Contents
Play tents can boost pretend play among toddlers and young kids. During this time when social interaction and outdoor activities are very limited, pretend play is a great supplement to sit-down sessions when homeschooling your little ones. Here are some benefits of pretend play, especially in reaching their developmental milestones.
Creative play involves a lot of movements such as crawling, jumping, turning, reaching, and dancing. Kids can spend hours playing inside and around their tents, which is a significant amount of time that they are off the sofa, either watching the television or playing games on their phone or tablet.
Pretend play is the perfect activity to encourage physical activity and simple exercise for kids. This allows them to refine their motor skills and body coordination as they figure out ways on how to play inside the tent.
Pretend play lets kids use their bodies in ways that they might not during other kinds of play activities. Pretending to be animals, for example, stretches their imagination and takes them beyond simple running, walking, and jumping movements.
Pretend play prepares kids for real-life events like cleaning the house or shopping for groceries. Sometimes, their creativity takes them to more serious scenarios, such as tending to a sick family member or putting out a fire.
In all these situations, kids learn to solve problems and think of the next step to take. By role-playing, they experience the process of decision-making and learn how to behave as adults would. Here, they can also start practicing their social skills as they learn how to react to certain circumstances.
Children learn how to plan through pretend play activities. Aside from planning how to carry out their "roles", they also learn how to decide who plays which role when they play with other kids. Dramatic play also helps them transfer or apply knowledge in one area to another, leading to a better synthesis of information and ideas.
One way to inspire creativity in kids is by using a play tent and filling it up with props for dress-up games. These include old clothes, handbags, hats, blankets, kitchen utensils, old phones, and dolls. The aforementioned items will spark their imagination and help them reenact real-life activities.
Having a play tent makes your child feel in charge of their “own place”—complete with the same items you have in a real house. Also, by reenacting familiar scenes at home, kids develop discipline and empathy as they begin to understand the roles of every family member and certain jobs in the community.
The act of role-playing has an intrinsic opportunity for developing socio-emotional intelligence. Even if your child is playing alone, with just a doll or a truck for company, they immediately switch to speaking from a different perspective in the course of playing.
This back-and-forth "exchange" of ideas, whether done alone or in a group, is important in story-building and in learning how to compromise, cooperate, and communicate.
Aside from conversations at home with the family, kids get to practice their narrating skills during pretend play. Most girls would talk to their dolls, and the boys would do the same with their robots or cars.
Since they feel the most comfortable and confident during pretend play in their “own space," the chance of them using new words is higher. They would copy real conversations they hear from adults and reenact them using toys.
One of the biggest benefits of pretend play is the space it offers for experimentation. Kids can experiment with new words and sounds, and use language to carry out their "vision." As a result, they tend to use higher forms of language than they normally use, simply because they are pretending to be an adult.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Play tents come in many different structures, designs, and materials, which you can select according to your preference. Made from cotton, canvas, polyester, or nylon, the tent's body can determine whether it can be used indoors or outdoors. The poles or frame is important, too, as it provides the structure for the tent. Whichever you choose, the tent must be breathable, sturdy, and easy to clean.
A teepee tent is shaped like a cone and has a cotton canvas body, making it breathable and suitable for hot days. It has door flaps in front, which can be tied back using strings. Giving it structure are the wooden poles that are tied together with a piece of cloth on top. As such, you can adjust the wooden poles to make the teepee wider or narrower.
Because of its size, it is recommended for small spaces such as apartments, condos, or your kid's room. Since most teepee tents are best for indoor use, your little one can use this play tent as a reading nook or as a bahay-bahayan for their dolls and other toys. Many parents also add teepee tents as a décor piece for their newborn's room.
Teepee tents are great for smaller homes where it can be hard to carve out some personal space for a child. Even a small teepee in a corner of the room can be a great hideaway when kids want some quiet time.
If your family likes going on outdoor adventures, consider getting a camping tent for your little one. The tent body is often made from a water-resistant material such as polyester and nylon to protect your child from rain showers and strong winds. Also, the floor of the tent is made from a waterproof material to keep your kid dry.
One of the most important parts of the tent is the poles, which give it structure and pin it to the ground. They must be flexible enough to hold the tent's shape but also sturdy enough to keep the tent in place. Usually, camping tents have door flaps, which can be tied using strings. However, some have zippers or velcro tabs to secure the door in place.
Camping tents add a feeling of adventure, especially when used outdoors. Kids can have an idea of what it's like to sleep outdoors and get excited about nature-related activities. This is a great first step if you want to train your kids to enjoy the outdoors and eventually go camping as a family bonding activity.
Play tunnels are pop-up tents that have an irregular shape and resemble jungle gyms in malls. They are collapsible and quick to set up, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. These tunnels are often made from polyester, hence, they are easy to clean.
They either come in one piece—usually a crawl tunnel—or a set that consists of a ball pit, a crawling zone, and a tent. If you choose the latter, you can use the pieces together or separately. This type of play tent is good for kids of all ages, from toddlers to older kids.
This type is great not just for developing motor skills but also for honing spatial intelligence. It's also good for training kids to overcome fears of going through narrow and constrained spaces, and helps build confidence for unfamiliar situations down the road.
Because of their eye-catching designs, themed tents are the most popular kind of tent for pretend play. Some of the designs include castles, cars, trucks, and stores. Most of the time, themed tents have additional windows to make them look more realistic. For example, an ice cream shop-themed tent has a serving window where your child can serve customers.
On the other hand, a car-themed tent has see-through windows reminiscent of a real automobile. The materials of themed tents may vary, from polyester tents and plastic poles to canvas tents and wooden poles. Thus, you need to double-check the description if the tent can be used indoors or outdoors.
Themed tents add a touch of whimsy to pretend play and heighten the excitement of role-playing. After all, when the environment is already perfect for the role they enjoy playing, it makes their skits and scenes even more realistic.
Aside from the design, consider the size of the tent. If it will be used indoors, measure the play area where you plan to place the tent. Make sure that the dimensions of the tent will give enough room for your kid to play inside and around it. It should be the right size for your son or daughter's playroom—not too big or too small.
Also, if the tent will be shared by two or more children, check the maximum occupancy of the tent. The tent must have the capacity to fit all your little ones comfortably to avoid tantrums or fights over who gets to enjoy the tent first. Better if the tent is big enough for all the kids, plus mommy and daddy, so the whole family can play together!
Even if space is limited, the tent should at least have enough room for the child to crawl and move around in, unless it's simply meant to be used as a reading nook.
It’s a great plus if the play tent is easy to assemble, particularly if it doesn't require any tools. Luckily, most play tents only need to be assembled using connectors, which is a convenient feature to have. There are also pop-up tents that don't need installation at all—you simply have to pop them open, and you're good to go!
Portability is also a key factor in picking the right play tent. This feature allows you to bring the tent during family trips—or to store it when not in use. Some tents come with carrying bags, too, making storage a whole lot easier. To sum it up, it's best to choose a lightweight tent that's easy to assemble and disassemble.
Lightweight tents are good for easy transport, but make sure that they are sturdy and well-built to avoid accidents. Remember that every toy you buy is also an investment that you would like your child to enjoy for a long time.
When choosing a play tent for your child, it's important to check if it has the following safety features. First, go for one that doesn't have any sharp edges or protruding sticks or poles to prevent injuries.
It should also be well-ventilated to prevent suffocation. For this, choose a tent that has large windows, mesh side panels, or one that has ties on the side of the door. Most importantly, get a tent that has a sturdy structure, so it wouldn't fall down even if there are children playing inside.
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Keoni Canvas Tent
The Most Realistic Bahay-Bahayan for Pretend Play
Serves as a Cozy, Personal Space for Your Kid
Pottly N Tubby
Fully Customizable to Match Your Child’s Play Room
Hexagon Castle Play Tent
A Large Play Tent for Your Little Prince or Princess
The Best Tent for Stargazing and Other Outdoor Adventures
Caterpillar Crawl Tunnel
Foldable and Portable, Ideal for Indoor or Outdoor Use
My Little Pony
Igloo Play Tent
This Colorful Tent Makes Camping More Fun for Your Little One
Monochrome Tee Pee Tent
A Teepee Tent That You Can Bring Anywhere
Fire Truck Play Tent
Enrich Your Child’s Creative Play With This Fire Truck Tent
3-in-1 Kids Tunnel Set
Your Very Own Foldable Jungle Gym at Home
This play tent is the dream pretend house for many girls and boys. It looks like a mini version of a real home, complete with two peep-out windows, a tie-back door, and a roof. Its canvas covering and mesh "door" are breathable, perfect for hot summer days.
The Keoni Canvas Tent is quite spacious, so you can place small pieces of furniture like a kitchen set or a mini sofa for the kids. It is also ideal for homeschooling since you can place a table and chair in the tent. The best part is that your child and their playmates have enough space to play inside.
In terms of safety and durability, this product ticks all the boxes. It comes with wooden poles and plastic connectors, which make the tent sturdy. These poles and connectors also have a smooth finish, so they're safe for kids. And with its simple design, you can either leave it as is or decorate it with string lights, banderitas, or pompoms. It comes with a free matching cushion as well, making it a sulit purchase!
Just like adults, kids need privacy, too. For the times when your child needs some alone time, this teepee is perfect for that! The front flaps can be closed completely, which provides them with a personal and quiet space for nap time and pretend play—while mommy and daddy can still keep watch through the window.
It has a lightweight canvas covering that will keep your little one cool despite the hot weather. It's also easy to maintain since the cloth cover is washable. Plus, its sturdy wooden poles are adjustable, so you can make the tent wider, best if your child has friends or cousins over.
Since it has a minimalist design, you and your kids can decorate it however you like! You can add some string lights for a magical effect or a few comfy pillows for reading time. You can even paint the canvas covering if you want to customize the tent!
If you want to match your child's play tent with their room's interiors, consider getting this customizable option from Pottly N Tubby. With lots of fabrics and designs to choose from, this play tent is definitely worth the splurge! You can also send them your child's name or their favorite quote to give it a more personal touch.
It has a large window and a rollable door for ventilation. But if your little one needs a little privacy for their naps or imaginative play, they can roll down the flap as well. It's also great for playtime, as it can easily fit 2 to 4 kids.
On top of that, it has a reinforced wooden structure, so it wouldn't topple over even if your child and their playmates are inside the tent. To make the tent cozier, you can add a cushion and your little one's favorite stuffed toys and blanket, too!
This lovely castle tent is the best choice for your little prince or princess. With its elegant and dreamy look, it will be the perfect backdrop for your child's birthday party or any other celebration. And since the mesh doors can be tied on the sides, it has enough room for everyone—including adults!
This feature also keeps the light and air in, making it presko for your little one. Because it has a waterproof body and flooring at the bottom, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Plus, it has plastic poles that make it lightweight and easy to store.
Add some fairy lights, and your son or daughter will have their dream hideaway for pretend play! Or, you can add a cushion, pillows, stuffed toys, and a blanket for siesta time. Decorating this tent is totally up to you and your child's imagination!
For kids who are getting bored inside the house, this camping tent provides a safe space for relaxing in the garden, backyard, or even outdoors! It has a big window and flapped doors to keep your child comfortable while they gaze at the stars. These features make the tent well-ventilated, too.
When it's time for a nap, you can unfold the window and remove the ties on the doors. In addition, this camping tent is made from a water-resistant material, keeping your child safe from sudden downpours. Assembly is easy as well, so your little one can help set up the tent.
Alternately, you can set up this camping tent in the living room and use a star projector, a moon lamp, and twinkle lights to create a relaxing atmosphere. Don't forget to add cozy pillows and blankets to complete the experience!
Need an easy-to-pack play tunnel for your active kiddo? Grab this crawl tunnel from Phoenix Hub! Thanks to its flexible structure, it is lightweight and easy to store. It also comes with a storage bag, so you can pack it for your next trip.
Made from padded polyester, it boasts comfort and durability, hence, your kid can use it for a long time. This makes it safe to use as well since the cushion will protect your child from impact. It can be used in indoor and outdoor settings, thus, you can use it in your sala, backyard, or the beach!
When using this product, it's best to put the door up so that air can circulate inside the tunnel. Also, remember to place this away from flammable, fragile, and sharp objects, as it has the tendency to spin around when your child is playing inside.
On your next camping trip, surprise your little one with this colorful tent! It is large enough to fit 2 people, so you can accompany your kid inside. It is also made for outdoor use since it has a water-resistant body and steel rods. Setting this up is fuss-free, thus, your child can help with assembling the tent.
Also, storage wouldn't be a problem! This portable tent comes with a carrying case, so it wouldn't take too much space inside your child's room. The door is worth mentioning, too, as it can be secured in place with velcro tabs. But if you need to put the door up, you can roll it and tie it with the strings.
Usually, teepees are made from heavy wooden sticks and cloth, which require a permanent place in your home. But if you're looking for one that you can bring during your outings, check out this lightweight alternative! Though it's smaller than most tents, it has a comfy mat at the bottom and a breathable tent body, which can lull even the fussiest toddler to sleep.
For your child's safety, the doors can be tied using strings, so you can see how your little one is doing. It is also easy to set up, which means that your little one can help put up the tent. Whether you use it inside or outside the house, this teepee would be a great choice for your kid!
This play tent is a great gift idea for kids who love fire trucks. It has a very detailed design—from the see-through windshield to the tent opening on the side, which serves as the car door. It even has a “sunroof” or a peep-out hole on top of the tent. The fire truck play tent is indeed perfect for pretend play!
Inside the tent, your little one has a spacious area for pretend driving, where you can place a chair for maximum comfort. Your kid can also bring their toys inside to join them during the ride! Since it's lightweight, portable, and foldable, this pop-up tent can fit in any play area or bedroom. Or, you can bring it during trips!
This 3-in-1 kids' tunnel set includes a tent, tunnel, and ball pit area. It is a nice alternative to jungle gyms in the malls, plus, it is foldable and easy to assemble. It comes with a carry bag for easy transport, too. This means that you can use it both indoors and outdoors.
Since each part can be separated, your child can use the tent, tunnel, or ball pit by itself. Also, this tent is made of polyester fabric, which is breathable, durable, and easy to clean. The tent body is enforced by a flexible steel boning, so it stays in shape even when your little one plays inside.
This tunnel set is great for birthday parties, playdates, and other gatherings. It is sturdy enough that your little one can play with other children—or even pets! Just add a bunch of plastic balls, and the kids will surely spend hours hanging out inside the tent.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by early childhood educator Och Gonzalez.
Prop boxes make pretend play so much richer. These are boxes or containers with themed toys and materials inside. You can collect items for specific roles (baking, restaurant, flower shop, doctor tools, etc.) and organize them so your child can use them readily—this is also a great lesson in categorizing!
And of course, it's always a good idea to have a selection of books and pillows in one corner if they need to have some quiet time.
While it's good for parents to join in the fun every now and then, kids should also have time playing on their own without adult interference. You can simply sit outside the tent, let them play out their own scenarios, and offer help only when asked. You can just facilitate by putting fun stuff in the tent for your child to use and then leaving it to them to play with as they wish.
Of course, it would be ideal if the tent has enough room for the child to move around in. But the size of the tent would depend on the available space you have in your home or in your child's room, so sometimes, a big play tent might not be possible.
The great thing about kids, though, is that they will find a way around limitations and still enjoy playtime. Sometimes, limitations in terms of toys can even make them more creative and resourceful!
See what play tents for kids Och Gonzalez recommends and why!
Pottly N Tubby is a great source for teepees and play tents with a modern design that still looks appealing to kids. One of the best things about them is that they offer a wide range of customization options.
You can choose from different colors and fabric types, from locally sourced canvas and cotton fabrics to premium organic designer fabrics from abroad. They even do free personalization with your child's name or any quote you would like to use! Their designs are also flexible, so you can have one that fits into your available space.
Restaurant-themed tents are always a great hit with kids because it opens up so much possibility for pretend play. The nature of restaurant play also makes it a great opportunity for language development and for learning how to plan and carry out that plan, since they have to do steps sequentially—greet customers, take orders, prepare food, cook, serve, and finally, receive "payment."
This ice cream house tent provides the perfect backdrop for such realistic pretend play. The colors are vibrant, and there's a cute little window that they can roll up once they're "open for business." Assembly might be a bit fussier than other foldable types of tents because it uses poles, but it's definitely worth it!
Complete your child's playroom with these highly-rated toys for kids! And to minimize clutter in the room, check out the best toy organizers in the market. Click the article links below to see our recommended products!
Author: Ayeza E. Mangulabnan
Re-editor: Aprille Jarcia
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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