While we were looking at $2 flip flops at WalMart I glanced over at the craft section and saw 5' bamboo sticks priced at 3 for $2.50. I knew immediately that I had to have some and that they'd become tee pee posts.
This project took an hour, total. Really. Ok, if you look closely at the tee pee you can tell it took an hour, it's too long and has a few issues, but this is for a handful of toddlers who couldn't care less about the details. If I decide to make another cover I'll put more time and effort into the construction and measurements.
The fabric is a bed cover type of thing from Target that I picked up at Goodwill for $2 (bringing the total cost for the project to around $7). I didn't have quite enough so I used cream muslim for the last two panels, and I'm glad I did because it adds a lot of light to the inside of the tee pee.
The poles are 5' tall and I cut the fabric about 42" wide at the base. With 6 sides that's much wider than it needed to be, next time I'd go narrower. The pole casings are made with french seams.
I drilled holes into the top of the bamboo poles to string a shoelace to help hold it all together. If the casings had been tighter that might not have been necessary, but it makes it all much easier to set up and maneuver.
And the reaction from the kids? They love it.