Fortunately, I am a devoted sewing blog reader. I came across this post from Queen of Darts, who had sewn a tent for her daughter. It was super cute, and she kindly included a tutorial. All righty then, my present problem was solved!
I did a little googling around for design ideas I could steal. The tents I perused ranged from 4 to 6 sides. My poor brain got real tired considering the pattern math. There was the whole isosceles triangle thing going on and it's been 55 years since I took any geometry. I decided to keep things as simple as possible and opted for 4 sides.
The Man is a physicist, so he kindly wrote up a formula to help me draft my tent pattern pieces. It had square roots and stuff, and it gave me a pretty good initial fit. I did a bit of draping to refine things.
Hmm. It could use a good press, but I didn't have the time or the gumption to wrassle five yards of canvas around on my ironing board.
I picked up some battery operated fairy lights from the office supply store downtown, just to add a little sparkle.
The finished tent was big enough for a five foot two grandma, so I figured a couple of toddlers would fit just fine.
I drove it down with me to LA and we set it up by the tree on Christmas Eve, after the kids were finally asleep.
The kids noticed it right away when we brought them down for breakfast the next morning.
My friend Kent says all it needs is a sign that says "Adults Keep Out," but with the "K" backwards.