This past weekend the kids and I decided to build a real Teepee that they would be able to use this summer as their playhouse. We just finished reading “The Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen and we are almost through with “My Side of the Mountain” and my kids are on a huge wilderness survival kick. Their enthusiasm for outdoor survival is what inspired our Teepee build as well as several other projects that I hope to complete over the next few weeks. My goal is to give them an outdoor space that will not only provide physical exercise but also allow them to exercise their imaginations through imaginative play.
After searching through Pinterest boards I found several ideas that I liked but in the end, I came up with my own design because while I wanted this to be a nice teepee I also had a $25 budget. Most of the teepee designs that I found on Pinterest used 8ft poles or sticks so I decided that this would work for us as well. I headed over to our local hardware store and purchased 8 -1x1x8 pieces of lumber. On my way home from the hardware, I stopped by our local goodwill and purchased three queen size bed sheets that would become the exterior of our teepee. The only other supplies that I used were staples and a staple gun and laundry rope but I already had these at home so I didn’t have to purchase them.
When I got home the kids and I built the first part of the teepee by creating a tripod with three of the wooden pieces and tying them up nice and tight at the top with the laundry rope. We then placed the three-legged structure where we wanted the teepee to go and sunk an inch of the wood into the ground to make everything stable. Then we began to space out the additional wood pieces tying them tightly together and sinking the ends into the ground. Once we had our structure built we just needed to add the bedsheets and this was pretty simple. I just draped the sheets and began to staple them into the wooden poles until I had covered the entire structure except for the front door of the teepee. I left the doorway open but cut the remaining sheets I had to make two flowing curtains and then I stapled those up as well.
The whole process took under an hour and the kids love their new playhouse. We spent under $25 and the kids now have a great place to hang out, read books and tell ghost stories. I almost didn’t attempt this project because a lot of the directions I found for similar teepees were either too expensive or too complex but in the end I decided to wing it and it worked out just fine. If I can build a teepee anyone can and this is a great addition to a backyard for some old-fashioned imaginative play.