8 Over-the-Top Play Forts for Kids
Create an instant play space inside or outside of the home with these pop-up play forts and tents. Imaginations will soar, and kids will pretend to be astronauts, chefs, business owners, pirates and more.
Re-Invented Cardboard Playhouse
Gone are the days of using an old refrigerator box as a playhouse. Meet Hulki playhouses, an eco-friendly way for your child to play. They come in various shapes like a turtle, whale or an owl for you and your child to build together. Available on the website. $64-$86.
Easy-to-Build Play Kits
Sure, all you need for a lemonade stand is a wooden or cardboard box, but the Antsy Pants Build and Play Kits will make your child’s summer a lot more creative. These easy-to-build, durable play structures feature color-coded Snap and Click™ poles and connectors, making assembling easy. Build a lemonade stand, pirate ship or castle. Available at Target. Prices vary by style.
Build and Design Playhouse
Kids can design and build their own playhouses with PopUp Play. Download the PopUp Build Lab app or visit the website, and choose options for playhouses including the shape, doors, windows and even the outer design. Purchase in-app and receive the creation at your door to build and color with markers, paints or crayons. Available to design on the website and the Apple App Store for free. Playhouses are $99; $10 shipping.
Play Under a Canopy
These fun play canopies can create an instant London telephone booth or a rocket ship for adventures. Simply hang from the ceiling and put pillows underneath for a fort. Available on the website (search for London calling playhouse canopy). Prices vary.
Play Food Truck
These kid-sized cardboard food trucks by Famous OTO are so much fun—choose from taco or ice cream truck and piece together for your child. Kids will love playing food truck driver and serving up their latest recipe out of the window. Available on the website. $69.
Conquer the High Seas
Kids can pretend to go out to sea and search for buried treasure with this pirate-themed tent. HABA’s Pirate’s Treasure Play Tent pops up to reveal plenty of play space, seafaring motifs and even a flag at the top just like a pirate ship. Available on the website. $119.99.
This is a far cry from the trash bag and fan days, Air Fort makes large forts in pink, blue and gray that blow up with the help of a box fan. After inflating, the fort becomes large enough for parent and child to fit inside and play. The set also comes with an easy-to-store bag and the air from the fan is an added cooling bonus when playing in the hot summer months.
The Jetaire Camper Kids Playhouse will allow for tons of imaginary vacations and road trips. Kids can look out of the windows, and the curtains even roll down like a real camper. The company also sells a pretend campfire and s’mores set, a perfect addition to the outside.