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How to Fold a Child's Pop-Up Tent

By Dawn Sutton ; Updated April 18, 2017
Tent fun

Children can have loads of fun playing with a pop-up tent, however, when you go to fold one up, you might find it a little tricky. It's kind of like folding a map. It seems that it should just fold up the way it was unfolded, but this can end up being difficult. If you follow the steps below, you should be able to fold up your child's tent and it should get easier and easier with practice.

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Remove any pole frames. Examine the inside of the tent to see if there are any pole frames. Some children's pop-up tents have pole frames for extra support at the top of the tent, and some pop-up tents don't have any frames. Ignore this step if your tent doesn't contain pole frames.

Holding on to the top of the tent with both hands, grasp two sides of the tent and then push one side up against the opposite side so that the tent is now flat. Using both hands on opposite sides of the tent, run your hands down the sides while at the same time laying the tent down on a flat surface in front of you. The bottom of the tent should now be at your feet and you should have some excess tent material hanging out the bottom of the tent and at one side.

Lift the top piece of the flat tent about 6 inches and then tuck the material that is hanging out the bottom into the tent. Do the same with any material hanging out one side of the flat tent, and then lay the tent flat again.

Hold the bottom of the tent while you grasp the top of the tent, and then pull the top of the tent down to the middle of the flat tent. You will notice that the sides of the flat tent spring up in a circle shape on each side of the tent.

Grasp the circle shape on the left side and push the circle shape down flat, aiming it toward the center of the tent. While still holding that circle shape down flat with one hand, use your other hand to grasp the circle shape on the opposite side. Push that circle shape down flat on top of the first circle shape so that the tent is flat and in the shape of one circle. Grasp the outside edges of the circle from opposite sides.


Once you have your tent in the circle shape, it is important not to let go or it will unfold automatically. You need to secure the folded-up tent by placing it into some sort of container with a lid so that it cannot spring open again or by placing a heavy object directly on top of it to keep it in the folded shape. If you have just purchased a tent, it should come with instructions for folding it. You could also do a search on the Internet for the manufacturer's Web site and find instructions there. If you are a visual learner, several videos are available that demonstrate how to fold different styles of play tents; try http://www.playtents.org.uk/folding-a-kids-pop-up-tent.htm.

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About the Author

Dawn Sutton began her writing career in 2004 with an article on Internet counseling for a psychology journal. She writes numerous Internet articles on a variety of subjects including health, travel, education, crafts and much more. Sutton has published the books "The Manual" and "God's Girl" and numerous feature film scripts. She has a master's degree in social work from the University of Toronto.

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