How to Make a Play Camping Teepee with Ropes Camping Teepee camping activities for kids

The “Cheater’s” Play Camp Teepee
– A Fun Camping Activities for Kids

Kids love to play in tents when they go camping, and this camping Teepee is a semi-disposable camping activity they can help make – and then play in.

It is an easier version of the Kid’s Camping Pole-teepee activity discussed earlier, but is designed to be made with baling twine, (or paracord), instead of poles.

The “Pole-less Camp Teepee Concept:
Note: You will need an overhead tree branch, rope-line, or something, to hang the Teepee support line from.

This play Teepee is so simple and easy to make, plus, it is a great camping activity that the kids can finish with their own decorations. Basically, all you need is an old bed sheet, and some baling twine or paracord. And, except for the “decorating part – you can have this play camping Teepee up and ready in about 15 minutes!

The Materials:

  • Baling Twine or Paracord – Approx. 75 feet of twine/cord/rope.

    Note: Baling Twine is best because it can just be cut down and tossed away when done, but Paracord is a good choice too, because it is inexpensive enough to discard if you want, and compact enough to be easy to store if you want to save it for another trip. And of course, other kinds of rope will work too – if you don’t mind cutting it up.

    Gus recommends baling twine primarily because it doesn’t have to be saved, but also because it will allow the kids to be involved in the TeePee construction each time you make one on a camping trip.

  • An old white bed sheet – A full-size bed sheet works best, but any size, except the smallest day bed sheets), will work. Even twin or king-size sheets. Just make sure it’s an old sheet you don’t want back because it is going to get decorated, and probably have holes cut and poked into it.
  • Office-type binder clips – 8 – 12 one-inch “squeeze-type paper binder clips. (you can usually find these inexpensively anywhere you find office or stationery supplies.

    (this is the kind of clip mentioned, but you can use any other kind of clip – even clothes pins – that you think has the strength to keep their grip)

  • Tent Stakes – You could use short stout sticks to stake out your lines, (the Teepee ribs), but real tent stakes work a lot better.
  • Poster paints or colored markers – Let the kids use these to decorate their teepee. It’s a big part of this camping activity. Imagine the fun they will have painting or drawing buffaloes or Indian symbols, or even their own “secret code” symbols on the blank cloth covering of their teepee.
    • Parent’s Tip: If your kids are young, have them put their painted hand prints on the teepee cloth, with their name or initials. It will be a memory you can look at for years to come as they grow up.
  • Bonus, a floor covering – It is not a necessity, but an old area rug, or even better, and old Indian-style blanket, would make a great floor for their teepee.

How to build the Pole-less Camp Teepee:
Start with making the “framing,” which will be six lines of baling twine. (or paracord)

  1. Cut three pieces of baling twine, 14′ long
  2. Fold in half so that you are holding a loop of six 7′ lengths.
  3. Make a knot with the looped end that you are holding. This will be the loop you tie your hanging line to. (see illustrations below)
  4. Tie a small loop at the end of each of the six pieces of line. These are for the tent stakes.
TeePee rope top knot


Teepee rope tent stake knot


Teepee rope rib line knots

TeePee rope rib line knots

Once you pick a spot to erect the teepee, (under a tree branch, or something. Remember?), drive in the six tent stakes in a circle approx. three feet across. Place the stakes as indicated in the illustration below. (Teepee diameter will be about 3 feet)

  • Two stakes for the front door flap – approx. approx. 2 feet apart.
  • Divide the remaining four stake placements on the remainder of the circle as shown.

Time to “build” the Teepee

  1. Drive the tent stakes, (through each rib-line loop), firmly into the ground – approximately as shown – tie a long piece of twine/cord through the top-knot loop. Toss it over whatever you picked as overhead support, and pull the Teepee rib lines tight.
  2. Starting with one end of the sheet, and one of the “doorway” rib lines – use 4 to 6 of the office binders to clip the end of the sheet to the line

    • Note that since the “doorway” will be triangular instead of rectangular, and starting at the bottom – as you proceed upwards with the clips you will have to tuck some of the sheets under before you clip it.

      At the top you should be tucking almost 2 feet of the sheet before you clip it.

  3. Drape the sheet around the Tepee and clip the other end to the opposite doorway rib-line just like you did on the other side.
  4. Using a short piece of twine – bunch up the loose sheet at the top of the Teepee and tie it closed, and you are done.

Now turn the kids loose to decorate it any way they want.

Recommended teepee materials

camping tent stakes or pegs
If you need some extra tent stakes – “just in case,” here are some inexpensive available choices: Camping Tent Stakes and Pegs

Tip:This can be one-time camping activity for kids, or you can dismantle it and save it to use on your next camping trip. Poles and all, or just the sheet – your choice.

More Fun Woodcraft and lashing Projects
For Kids

Weather Rock activity for camping kids to make

Idian Weather Rock
Camping Activity for Kids


Another Fun Woodcraft Activity
For Kids

A Play TeePee for camping kids to make

A Real Camping TeePee for Kids

An old sheet and some poles – A project kids will love.

*Note – all shopping links are my own Amazon affiliate links – which I only use to recommend good-quality camping gear – Gus

Was this useful?
Help us share by giving us a “Like”

Bad Weather Survival Ideas for Camping with Kids:
Bad Weather? Kids confined to the tent? Save your sanity – be prepared with these games and activities to keep them occupied.

The links are for individual products, or the all-in-one bad weather kit. (as pictured)

Available as an all-in-one kit Just click the image on the right to see complete all-in-one Camping activities for Kids and camp games for kids Bad Weather Survival kit” – All you have to do is select the item quantities to match your number of kids!

Here are a few items and resources that may prove helpful:

Camp First Aid kits

Kids love to use a compass, and there are plenty of camping activities for kids that use a compass. There are even camp games for kids that use maps and orientation.
Camping and Hiking Compass

Camping Safety Whistles

For emergencies, and your peace of mind, – every kid in camp should have a camp whistle on a lanyard around their neck! It’s a handy way for them to summon help when they need it.
Camp Safety Whistles

Kid's Camping Flashlights

Save the arguments – every kid needs their own camp flashlight, instead of arguing who gets yours or who has had it the longest and who’s turn it is now.
(ps. this is a great camp light for kids, but you can just pick some up at the Dollar store if you want)
Kid’s Camping Flashlights

Pie Iron for Campfire Cooking

Pie Irons for Campfire Cooking
If you go camping with kids, you should have at least one Pie Iron, (preferably one for each kid), in your camping cookware. They are versatile – you can make anything from grilled cheese sandwiches to instant fruit pies. And they are so safe and easy to use that you can let your young campers make their own fun camping recipes for kids.

Just pop in the ingredients, close, cook over the campfire, and out comes delicious sandwiches, or biscuit-dough fruit tarts, or dozens of other camp food choices.

Check out these great examples of camping gear items and camp games for kids you can find on Amazon.
Like the folding shovel and personal first aid kit, once you have these pieces of camp gear included in your list of camping equipment, you will wonder how you ever did without them.

Especially when you see how inexpensive they are when you buy them online at Amazon.

Tip: With young kids in camp, a portable camp toilet will make your life a lot easier. No interruptions for a long trip to the campsite bathrooms, and no “scary” after-dark trips to the latrine in the woods. ps. You will be surprised by how convenient and inexpensive portable camp toilets are. Here are some cheap portable camp toilets on Amazon. Check them out.

You might also like:

Related Posts:

Camping with Kids – Safety and Rules
Camping with Kids Campsite Layout
Camping Activities for Kids
Hiking and Camp – Games and Activities
Rainy Day Survival Kit – Games and Activities
Rugged Pocket Video camera for Camping
Camp Tools and Accessories Checklist

Return to Home page