Princes and Princesses
I've always had a disliking of gendered toys and the ridiculous idea that certain toys are not for boys or girls. Please, if your little boy likes dolls, nurture that instinct. If your daughter likes toy guns or football then don't teach her it is "tomboyish". It is so important that our little ones learn to be the best possible versions of themselves and if we close doors for them this early on they might never fulfil that potential!
I apologise for the rant but it is a subject that is very important to me and one that I noticed more than usual when looking up these play tents. Princesses live in pretty pink castles and boys get to play knight in their (in my opinion, better looking) castles. Ask most people and they will tell you that "only men were knights" but that's not even true. It was rare admittedly but women were admitted to the rank of knight in various European countries.
With that in mind I have found a bunch of fantastic looking play tents for boys and girls! Whether they be princes or princesses, knights or time travellers these castles will provide the perfect environment for their burgeoning imaginations.
While this one is a little smaller than the others on this list it looks so authentic and has so many wonderful touches that I needed to show it to you. Velcro torches, banners, and a shield! This is the perfect castle for little ones with a fascination with knights. Couple this with a few plastic swords and knight costumes and you'll have your own little army! Issue them quests like: Clean the kingdom or Clear the banquet table! Have some plastic or chocolate coins as rewards (though a knight should not need a reward!) and they will do anything you want! Also you get to act like a king or queen which is always fun!
The tent is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play and features strong polymer fabric which should prevent rippage, stains, and general wear and tear. Plus it is one of the few play tents where every review has said it is very sturdy so very promising, especially for its price!
- + Wonderful aesthetic
- + Sturdy
- + Suitable for 8 years old and under
- + Stain and rip resistant
This one is really cute with beautiful plants and animal decals on the walls and four little towers on the corners. This is perfect for any little royal or Disney princess fan looking for their own castle. As its a little bit less than a metre wide I can't imagine this fitting more than a prince and princess at a time. However one reviewer has said that it is "massive" which makes me think that maybe I'm underestimating how big 79x79cm is...
The manufacturer says it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. I checked the manufacturer's profile and they have quite a few play tents with 4 - 5 stars which reassured me when picking this one for my list! When I saw the price I considered making my own little tent empire!
- + Cute design
- + Trusted seller
- + Indoor/ Outdoor use
- + Good price
- - Likely not sturdy
While there are likely other similar castles that might be better quality I've opted to mention this one as it does not blatantly say "princess" on the product and I will wage a one woman war on gendered toys if I must!
This is one of those castles that is neutral enough to be the bastion of the good knights or the stronghold of the evil knights/orcs/zombies. The frame is apparently durable but reviews are saying it is either very strong or very flimsy so not entirely sure what is going on there. It does have one advantage over similarly priced play castles in that the ceiling is UV coated making it safe to use in the garden. One reviewer apparently took the tent on a family camping holiday!
With a diameter of 100cm the castle isn't tremendously big but reviews have said it is a good size for ~5 year olds and can comfortably fit 3 inside. Just be aware that while it says pop-up tent, you will need to prop it up with the included poles which can be "finnicky".
This is a fairly cheap play tent for its size so it's best to expect a short lifespan or if you're lucky enough to have careful knights then it should last much longer.
- + Large Diameter
- + Good price
- + Suitable for outside use
- - Reviewers can't seem to agree on sturdiness