How to Make an Indian Tepee for Our Preschool Classroom

Written by lacey dixon
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How to Make an Indian Tepee for Our Preschool Classroom
Tepees are cone-shaped structures covered with cloth. (tepees on the great plains image by Jeff from

Building an Indian tepee for a preschool classroom can be very easy and inexpensive. You can make it into an art project for the kids by allowing them to decorate and paint the fabric used to make the tepee. Tepees can take up a substantial amount of room but by following just a few simple steps you can make a tepee for your classroom that is sturdy and very easy to store while not in use.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3 pieces 1-inch diameter PVC pipe, 6 feet long
  • Bailer twine or rope
  • White or cream flat bed sheet
  • Velcro
  • 3, two-piece fasteners
  • Fabric paint

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  1. 1

    Gather all three PVC pipes together and tie together 6 inches from the top using bailer twine or rope. Spread the PVC pipe open into a cone shape.

  2. 2

    Wrap the outside of the PVC with a white or cream-coloured flat bed sheet. Loosely stitch the sheet to the appropriate size of the cone. Cut the excess fabric of the sheet and sew a new seam. Your fabric should rest comfortably around your frame.

  3. 3

    Cut a hole in the fabric for a door. You can either remove all the material to make your entrance open all the time or you can cut enough of the fabric to gain entrance inside your tepee and use Velcro strips inside and out to enable you to open and close the door.

  4. 4

    Use the excess fabric to make strips of fabric 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch tall. You will need nine strips of fabric cut to this length. Attach fasteners to either end of the strip of fabric. Stitch the strips inside the tepee to the bed sheet in line with the PVC pipe. Wrap the strips around the PVC and fasten to make your tepee more stable.

  5. 5

    Decorate your tepee by allowing the children to paint the fabric using fabric paint.

  6. 6

    Store your tepee by undoing the fasteners inside the tepee and compressing the PVC pipe back together. Tie the outside of the tepee together using rope to keep it from opening while in storage.

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