How to Fold Up a Play Tent

Written by scott damon
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How to Fold Up a Play Tent
Learn how to fold a play tent for storage. (handy tent image by Diana Jex from

Setting up a play tent for your kids is a great way for them to get some fresh air outside while also using their imaginations as they play and create games around the tent. From hide and seek to having their first tent sleepover, a play tent can help provide a myriad of activities. But like many good things, play time must eventually come to an end, and that means the tent must be properly folded to be stored away.

Skill level:

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    Non-Easy Fold

  1. 1

    Remove any stakes or weights that are holding the tent in place. Depending on how elaborate the play tent is, it might need to be staked to the ground or have weights in the corners of the tent. Remove these items and set them aside.

  2. 2

    Undo any tent poles that are meant to be broken down upon storing. Some play tents have poles with a connective elastic material inside. These poles are then straightened out and slipped through pole sleeves on the tent. Remove those poles, stretch the elastic material inside the poles and break them down.

  3. 3

    Place the tent so that it is lying flat. Depending on the storing instructions for the actual tent you may roll the tent or fold it flat. To roll the tent, fold the tent several times so that it is between 18 inches and 24 inches wide. Then roll from the back of the tent toward where opening is on the play tent. This will force any air out of the tent. Once rolled you may store it in the tent bag. To fold the tent flat, simply continue to fold the tent in half, and then in half again. Repeat this until you've reached your desired size.

    Easy Fold

  1. 1

    Remove any poles within the easy fold tent. Some will have poles and others will be able to be folded with their structural supports inside.

  2. 2

    Press the left side of the tent toward the right side of the tent. Easy fold tents are essentially collapsible tents. As you press, the spine of the tent will naturally give way, collapsing the tent in half.

  3. 3

    Hold one side of the tent in each hand and bring it toward the other. Think of mimicking a clam shell action. Again the tent will begin to give way and the spine will fold. If you are having trouble creating leverage, consider stepping on one half of the tent with your foot and pressing down toward the floor to fold it in half.

  4. 4

    Twist the tent. Many easy fold tents have one final twisting action which snaps them into the closed position. Bring your left hand under your right hand until the twist and lock occurs.

  5. 5

    Slide in the easy fold tent into the tent bag and store.

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