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How to fold a kids' pop-up tent

Updated July 18, 2017

Children's pop-up tents are primarily for children 10 and under. These theme tents can be used indoors and out, and usually feature a tunnel addition that can be crawled through. Whole tent cities can be built linking tents with each other via tunnels. Tents are considered active play for children; active play is essential to development, promoting motor skills, exercise, and social interaction while improving a child's physical skills and creativity.

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  1. Remove any toys that are inside the tent and gently sweep out any dirt or debris.

  2. Detach optional tunnel and secure opening with attached straps or zipper. Zip window openings and door closed leaving a 1-inch gap in zipper for air to escape through.

  3. Remove tent poles and separate along shock-cord line; store in case and set aside.

  4. Working from one corner at a time, gently stretch the tent material so it is distributed evenly over the surface of the tent.

  5. Measure tent storage bag and width of tent. Divide tent measurement by bag width. The tent will be folded either into thirds or fourths depending upon the size of the storage bag that came with the tent.

  6. If folding into thirds, fold one side in toward, and overlapping, the middle; walk around to the other side and fold it toward the middle overlapping previous fold. If folding into fourths, fold the tent in half width-wise, then move to the other side and fold in half again.

  7. Stand at one end of tent so it is lengthwise vertically in front of you. Starting with the end of the tent, tightly roll it up. Air trapped inside will escape through the opening left in zippers, but you want to press down to push additional trapped air out.

  8. If strings or ties came with the tent, wrap them around the tent roll. Otherwise, secure roll with string or yarn cut double the circumference of the roll. Place tent and poles in storage bag. If collapsed optional tunnel fits, place it in storage bag. Zip bag and store.

  9. If storage bag does not fit optional tunnel, join tunnel to tent bag with string so it does not get separated during storage.

  10. Tip

    Measuring teaches older children that math is used in daily living, so have them figure out how many folds are needed. Have children help with breakdown and folding so they know what happens to the tent when playtime is over.


    Watch for young children while separating tent poles. Small ties or string should not be left where infants can grab them.

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About the Author

Karen Sweeny-Justice is a writer living in Surprise, Ariz. Her work has appeared in "Writer's Digest" magazine and "RubberStampMadness" magazine, as well as in newspapers around the United States. She also writes book reviews for "RT Book Reviews" magazine.

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