A makeshift tent for indoor play

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So you know that I move things around all the time in our house, right? I'm always shifting furniture, trying new layouts, making new play spaces or living spaces out of the space we have. I enjoy the new spaces myself, but the kids also seem to change the way they play whenever the space is changed. Just as changing things up with art or with toys, changing the space we live in seems to give them a fresh inspiration. And all the more so when we purposefully create a new play space, such as this makeshift indoor tent.


Harry created this tent over the weekend by hanging a blanket from the ceiling. He tied rope around two points in the blanket (I think there are legos/duplos at each tie point for something to hold on to), although one would probably work as well.


The rope is attached to the ceiling with a cup hook and a hook-eye screw. This means we can take down the tent and leave the cup hook etc in the ceiling for when we need to rig up an indoor tent another time. Because, you know me, it probably won't stay here long…


The sides of the tent are propped up with chair backs (as with any self-respecting blanket fort) and clips (although Daphne keeps taking the clips off).


The girls spent quite a bit of time playing in here over the weekend with dolls, Maia's castle, and some peek-a-boo action on Daphne's part (as in the top photo).

Now if we had air conditioning I would say this is the perfect way to beat the heat on days like today (90 degrees!). But we don't, and instead I'm mentally compiling a list of all the air conditioned spaces we could spend our time in over this coming week as it's supposed to be above 90 each day. Because hot and grumpy does not make for a happy mama. I'm also starting to wonder — if we run ceiling fans in every room, does that use more energy than if we just went ahead and installed some sort of air conditioning? Because man, air conditioning would be a lot more effective.

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  1. says

    What a wonderful idea…my kids often make forts but have trouble with keeping the top part of the tent UP! The eye hooks would be quite unobtrusive when not in use – love the idea. I really enjoy your blog.

  2. says

    Very cute….what is it about kids and dens…they just can’t get enough! We spend soooo much of our time making them. I think it’s more the construction part that my boys love.

  3. says

    Looks fun! I agree — homemade play is always the best. Also, that way you don’t feel so bad when they move on to something else after a while as they inevitably do.

  4. says

    Yes! That reminds me. We need to get out our play silks and clothespins and cardboard boxes and other construction items. Maia would have more fun making her own fort. Thanks for the reminder!!

  5. Alea says

    My comment has nothing to do with your tent – but with your ceiling fans! I know – wierd. But you know that a ceiling fan only makes you FEEL cooler (because of the moving air), so if you’re not in the room it only wastes electricity. I’m jealous of your 90 degree weather – we’ve had the coolest, wettest year that I can remember and there’s no end to the rain in sight! School’s out on Friday and I’m going to have 4 kids going stir-crazy!

  6. says

    Magic. I have my own memories in the 50s of making tents and forts, and it was the best of the best. My kids would agree having done the same when they were growing up. A timeless classic creative experience. Just look at the expressions on your kids’ faces!! :)

  7. Cindy says

    Please share A/C list of places when you get that list done! :) Another hot mama.

  8. Amy says

    It’s true that ceiling fans only make you feel cooler, so having them on in an empty room wastes electricity. Fans use less than a tenth of the electricity that ac does. If you’re trying to live without ac, open the windows at night and place a box/window fan in them and blow the cool night air into your house. In the morning shut the windows and close the curtains. If you don’t care what the neighbors think, tape tinfoil to your window glass to keep the sun from heating your house as much during the day. If you do care, you cna buy window film at Lowes that does the same thing but isn’t visible. Or as visible. Doesn’t look tacky. Anywho. This approach works crazy well, and can keep the inside a good 15 or 20 degrees cooler than the outside. The only time you’ll be in trouble is when it is also hot at night. If this doesn’t make enough cool for you, and you own your home, you might consider geothermal. People think of this for winter warmth, but the same system cools your house in the summer. Crazy efficient.
    Lastly, if humidity isn’t an issue, spraying yourself down with a fine mist of water will provide dramatic cooling. It’s artificial sweating. you can buy gadgets or keep a spray bottle of water around. http://www.amazon.com/Hawk-Personal-Portable-Cooler-Mister/dp/B000QV23FI
    Probably TMI, but maybe there’s something useful for you in there.
    Keep cool!