It's a great place to grow climbing plants, and a great place for the kids to hang out.
We've also noticed birds perching ontop of the teepee, which is fun to watch.
You will need:
Twine, rope, or yarn.
Climbing plants: Squash, pumpkins, peas, beans, etc.
A willing Toddler.
A white canvas drop cloth. (optional)
Paint and sharpies (optional)
Step 1: Gather Sticks
Step 2: Make Main Support.
Stand it up, and spread out the sticks so that they stay up. This is where the V 's in the sticks really help.
Take the hanging rope and wrap it around the teepee to keep it all together.
This is not the official way to make a teepee. This is not how my Eagle Scout husband would make a teepee, and this method would not work great if you wanted to make a really big teepee. This is the Mom, while watching two toddlers, and trying not to injure anyone method, but it works.
Step 3: Make a Door
Decide what side you want an entrance. Take a long stick and put it vertical in the middle of the side you want the door. Just rest it in place.
Step 4: Make Cross Pieces
Start with a side without a door.
Start at the bottom of the teepee. The first row I made is about a foot up. Find a stick that is long enough to go across, and lash it on. This web site gives good instructions on how to lash. http://www.roadsideresort.com/projects/how-to-lash-bamboo
For the door, just put cross pieces across half of the side of the teepee. Don't put cross pieces across your doorway.
Continue adding cross pieces up to the top. I also added a few more vertical pieces. You can sort of weave the sticks in and out, lash them on, and you have a pretty secure structure.
Step 5: Add Plants
We dug a small hole at the bottom of the teepee, and made a mound adding dehydrated manure, (or use compost, or soil) We trasnplanted plants that were growing in other parts of the yard, but you could plant seeds or seedlings. You could even just put potted plants around the teepee. We tried adding a hanging plant to the top of the teepee, but it didn't look right.
Take good care of your plants, and lead them to grow up the teepee. You might need to tie some of them in place.
Step 6: Wrap the Teepee
For added fun, have the kids paint the canvas to look like an authentic teepee.
Enjoy, and have a fun place for the kids to play this summer.