The 9 Best Toddler Crawling Tunnels of 2023
Crawling tunnels are fantastic for developing your toddler’s gross motor skills, teaching them sensory perception, and providing a safe environment to exercise and explore. Best of all, babies and toddlers love them. They’re bright, colorful, engaging, and full of opportunities for peek-a-boo, creating their own private space, and imaginative play.
There are hundreds of options when choosing a play tunnel for younger kids and many things to consider to ensure your child’s safety. We’ve simplified things for you by rounding up the 9 best crawl tunnels for 2023 that are sure to keep your kids entertained.
Top Choice: Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Tunnel
The Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Tunnel takes first place as the best crawl tunnel for toddlers in 2023. Its redeeming features include:
- Melissa & Doug is a trusted brand with an excellent safety rating on its products and stellar customer service.
- The material is soft, lightweight, extra durable, and easy to clean.
- It comes with fun doors that attach to the front and back of the tunnel for lots of peek-a-boo and play.
- It’s priced affordably.
- It pops open into shape with no assembly and easily collapses down flat for storage.
Best Budget/Compact: Hide-N-Side Crawl-Through Play Tunnel
- ULTRA DURABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: Hide N Side Premium collapsible Tunnels are made with the highest quality 190T soft polyester fabric and thick steel wiring, assuring your kids or dogs a SAFE, LONG LASTING, and ENJOYABLE play experience.
- EASY ASSEMBLY, FAST STORAGE: Pop-up design allows for hassle free assembly. Simply pop open the tunnel and youre ready to go No need for tools! When play time is over the tunnel folds flat for easy storage.
- BUILD PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS: Climb into a new adventure in your own living room. This pop-up play tent is the ultimate play space for kids to enjoy year-round play.
- ACTIVE PLAY: Active kids love to run around and play. With this tunnel, kids 3 and up will have a place to play hide and seek, freeze tag, racing and more fun games!
The Hide-N-Side Play Tunnel is great for beginners. It’s budget-friendly and doesn’t take up much space. This crawl tunnel is best for ages 3-6 years. It folds easily, collapses flat, and can be kept in its included storage bag. The fabric is a durable, water-resistant, heavy-duty polyester material that is easy to clean.
This play tunnel is large enough in diameter for bigger kids to crawl through as well as accommodate most baby crawling types. I especially liked the mesh panel along the side for breathability and reassurance for toddlers who don’t like enclosed spaces.
The only negatives regarding this tunnel are the thick steel wiring that give it shape and structure. Because there’s no padding on the bottom of the tunnel, some babies and toddlers find it uncomfortable to crawl directly on top of the wires. This design is typical throughout most of these crawl tunnels but something to consider for parents of crawling children with sensory issues or special needs.
Best for Bigger Kids: Pacific Play Tents Super Sensory Crawl Tunnel
- Tunnel size: 9 ft. x 30 inch – Tunnel collapses flat for easy storage and portability
- 190T 70 Denier Polyester Taffeta fabric and No See-UM mesh with durable construction for long lasting play and fun
- Self standing hoop style setup for playtime fun
- Easily wipes clean with a damp cloth and mild soap – indoor or outdoor use
This play tunnel is built for ages 2-10 years and is exactly what parents need if they like to purchase something once and know it will last for many years.
The Pacific Play Tents Super Sensory Crawl Tunnel is big enough for older children to sit inside and for many kids to play in at once. Because the fabric and structure are just like a tent’s, it’s ideal for outdoor play.
The sturdy bottom has no wires to crawl over, and its arch shape makes it feel like a big walk-through tent. It comes with 4 mesh windows on each side for breathability. A set of streamers that affix to the inside roof of the arches dangle down for a fun, tickly, ribbon-filled entrance and exit.
The Pacific Play Tents tunnel is made from durable fabric with reinforced seams. Something to consider before buying this crawl tunnel: it’s assembled with tent poles. It is a bit of work to put together, especially by yourself. Once put together it is incredibly sturdy and holds up to rough play.
Best Convertible: Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel and Tent Combo
- ACTIVE EXPLORATION AND PLAYFUL ADVENTURE: Kiddey’s caterpillar pop up tunnel and tent. The crawl through tunnel for toddlers encourages exciting crawling escapades, while the tent sparks imaginative play. From wild expeditions to secret hideouts, every playtime transforms into an adventure they’ll cherish.
- MUSCLE BUILDING DISGUISED AS FUN: The baby crawl tunnel and tent duo is more than just fun – it’s a secret gym in disguise. Toddler crawling tunnel with dimensions (18 x 72) and tent with (31 x 31 x 34 inches) enhances motor skills while setting up the tent fosters coordination and strength.
- WHIMSICAL CATERPILLAR WONDERLAND: The caterpillar play tent with tunnel set is a magical gateway to endless wonder. The cheerful caterpillar indoor play tent, complete with a friendly grin, tongue, and antenna, welcomes your child to a realm of make-believe where dreams come to life.
- EFFORTLESS SETUP AND STORAGE: Our caterpillar tunnel for kids spring to life effortlessly, thanks to their innovative pop-up design. When playtime ends, they fold down flat for quick and easy storage, leaving you with more time to bask in your child’s joyful giggles.
This colorful, adorable caterpillar design is very appealing to toddlers (recommended for ages 3 and up). A crawl tunnel leading to a pop-up play tent is a fantastic way to keep your toddler engaged for hours.
The Kiddey Caterpillay Play Tunnel offers more options for creativity and play, and the play tent can be filled with ball-pit-style plastic balls for loads of fun. The ball pit also adds an opportunity for more sensory processing and development, refining your child’s gross motor skills.
Both the play tent and crawling tunnel can be used individually, which is excellent for travel or tight spaces. The pieces can be folded down and put away in their included storage bag. The tent pops open via steel wires sewn into the seams, making it easy to put up and collapse down. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and can be easily stored away when not in use.
There are many tent and tunnel options, and they can get extravagant and pricey. This one is well-made and affordable. Things to consider before buying this set: some reviewers stated that the tent and tunnel tended to separate while playing. Others said the durability of the fabric wasn’t exceptionally long-lasting.
Best Overall: Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Tunnel
- Giddy Buggy will inspire lots of activity with this striped tunnel
- Perfect indoors or out
- Durable, wipe-clean materials; this product ships in its own special e-commerce packaging intended to be easier to open and reduce waste
- 57. 5 x 18 inches diameter when opened to play, 18. 5 x 22 x 3 inches when put away
Parents know and love Melissa & Doug toys. They’re known for producing the highest quality, safe, educational, and built-to-last toys. The adorable Giddy Buggy Crawl-Through Tunnel caterpillar meets the brand’s reputation and is our choice for the best crawl tunnel. Because of their high standards for manufacturing and safety, it’s also one of the safest crawl tunnels you can buy.
This crawl tunnel is for ages 3-5. It’s affordably priced and easily folds down flat for easy storage. The best feature of this cute crawl tunnel is the removable “doors” that have a caterpillar’s face painted on them. They’re attached with Velcro straps–making for endless peek-a-boo opportunities and fun.
Many toddlers like the sanctuary of private space and will enjoy affixing the “doors” to the front and back and creating their own hideout.
The material is soft, lightweight, durable, and easy to wipe clean with a cloth and mild soap for when you bring your crawl tunnel outdoors. The reinforced seams are extra strong, which is a must-have feature.
Some things to consider before buying this tunnel: the age range is only two years, meaning your kid may outgrow it quickly. The tunnel is on the smaller side, as it is only intended for one child to crawl through at a time.
The manufacturer recommends storing the tunnel in the cardboard shipping sleeve that it comes in. That may be an issue if you prefer it to come with a storage bag for travel and easy transport. Rest assured that if you have any problems with their product, Melissa & Doug’s superior customer service will take care of it.
Best Outdoors: GUS Climb-N-Crawl Caterpillar Tunnel
- DURABLE KIDS’ PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT: This Climb-N-Crawl Tunnel is a brightly colored plastic climbing structure for active and imaginative play in preschools, daycares, child care centers or at home.
- INDOORS OR OUTDOOR USE: Our caterpillar play tunnel is made of weather- and fade-resistant materials and can be used in the backyard, lawn, or playground, indoors in a playroom or living room.
- HELPS DEVELOP MOTOR SKILLS: This tunnel is a great climbing structure for kids ages 3-8 years. It helps them develop motor skills as they climb, crawl and interact with the colorful play structure.
- CAN BE CONFIGURED MULTIPLE WAYS: Our children’s climbing structure features eight colorful, ready-to-assemble pieces that can be configured in different ways to keep children learning and engaged.
Gus the Caterpillar is in a league of its own, made from heavy-duty plastic. You can store it outside year-round, it’s incredibly durable, and you can climb on it. It is Greenguard certified, ensuring that this plastic has minimal chemical emissions, making it safe for both indoor and outdoor use.
It is the most expensive crawl tunnel on the list, but it is well worth the money if you’re looking for a fun, sturdy, durable toy that will last for older children as well. It is recommended for ages 3-8.
You won’t have to worry about leaving it outside–it’s weather-resistant and fade-resistant. You can clean and sanitize all the surfaces effortlessly because it’s made from non-porous plastic. This tunnel is an excellent alternative for children that don’t like the sensation of crawling over wires or in wobbly, unstructured tubes.
You can build this playful caterpillar in a straight or curvy configuration. It comes with all the hardware and tools to put it together. There are peek-a-boo windows on the sides of the crawl tunnel for play and breathability..
Another fun feature is the face on the front that allows your child to crawl through Gus’ mouth and a little extended tongue that forms a mini slide. Five pairs of “shoes” stabilize the tunnel to the ground, which is a nice feature for kids that play rough.
Things to consider before buying this tunnel is the space it takes up. It cannot be broken down to store when not in use. The pieces do not come apart once assembled. Also, there is no bottom to the tunnel, so if you want it for outdoor use, you may wish to purchase a mat for the inside or place it on a softer surface like grass or sand.
Best Travel: Hide-N-Side Kids Play Tunnel
- ULTRA DURABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: Hide N Side Premium collapsible Pet Tunnels are made with the highest quality 190T soft polyester fabric and thick steel wiring, assuring your pets, cats or dogs a SAFE, LONG LASTING, and ENJOYABLE play experience.
- EASY TWIST LOCKS: Make for a fast and easy experience opening and closing your foldable tunnel. Skip the frustration of trying to tie the 2 ends with one hand, while holding the giant tunnels together with your other hand.
- THE PERFECT GIFT: Perfect Pet, cat and dog holiday gift or girl or boys Birthday gifts for ages 3 4 5 year old. Fold up your colorful pet and kids tunnel crawl tube compactly for your little baby, to take along to Grandma’s house, and have fun interacting with your dog or child crawling through the mesh peak-a-boo tunnel window. Also great for daycare, preschool, nursery, playgroups.
- PLAY INDOORS OR OUTDOORS including the backyard, parks or playground. Avoid using the Dog Tunnel on course surfaces like Concrete or Pavement.
The Hide-N-Side Kids Play Tunnel is fantastic because it’s big enough for more than one child to play at a time. Four tunnels connect to a pod in the middle, creating a fun intersection for your toddlers to play hide-and-seek and explore. This tunnel is baby-friendly and recommended for ages 6 months and up.
It is made from a soft yet durable polyester fabric stretched over steel wiring, allowing it to pop up and into place without any assembly. You can easily fold it down–its carrying bag included. Making it ideal for taking it on trips or park dates with friends.
There are plenty of windows on this play tunnel allowing for airflow and a less-enclosed feel. This feature also makes it ideal for keeping an eye on your baby while they play.
This set doesn’t use ties to connect the tunnels but easy twist locks that are faster and super simple to put together. It also provides a more secure connection than ties, making them less likely to detach during play.
The material is easy to clean and intended for both indoor-outdoor uses. However, the manufacturer recommends using the tunnel outdoors on a softer surface, avoiding gravel and concrete.
While the material claims to be durable, some reviewers stated that it wears down eventually–causing the bright colors to fade. In some cases, the metal wires wore through the fabric. The manufacturer says there is a 100% money-back guarantee if you encounter issues with their baby crawling tunnel.
Best for Babies: PigPigPen Princess Play Tent Crawl Tunnel
- ★Best Gift Toys : The space world Theme 3 in 1 baby ball pit is designed for kids. The 3Pcs girls play tent includes a kids princess tent, a kids tunnel tent and a ball pit for toddlers. Each component can be used together or separately. This Combination of toddler tents are the best gift for toddlers.
- ★Safety First: Keeping your kids safe is our first and foremost priority. The kids tent is made with highest quality 190T soft polyester fabric and thick steel wiring. This tunnel ball pit further encourages your child to explore the space while crawling! A idea gift toys for 1-6 year old boys or girls.
- ★Practical & Useful: The perfect idea for Birthday Parties. Playhouse for kids allows your child to sleep and read, while the tunnel can exercise the child’s crawling ability, and the child can put any toy they like in the pool to play in it. This toddlers toy play tent helps develop arm and leg muscles and gross motor skills. This toddler ball pit toys is Recommended for Birthday gifts and Christmas Gift for boys ages 1-6.
- ★Portable & Folding House: Give it as a Christmas gift to 1-6 year old girls and boys. This kids playhouse set would be a perfect gift for Birthday, Christmas, or just a surprise to your kids .Best toddler toys for backyard or at home. This kids fort pops open up in seconds and folds away flat for convenient storage in a deluxe zipper carrying case.
This beautiful PigPigPen Princess Play Tent with a crawl tunnel and a ball pit is an excellent set for parents that want something engaging for babies who are not yet crawling. This tent and play center is designed to encourage crawling, stimulate your baby and incentivize them to take their first steps towards exploration.
What baby wouldn’t work hard to crawl towards a ball pit with a basketball hoop included? Three components connect to create a mini magical princess castle for your baby. It also comes in five alternative fun designs including a rocket ship, dinosaurs, unicorns, and more.
The tent features a roll-up door and a mesh window to ensure airflow and visibility. The tunnel has a large mesh panel along the side, allowing you always to see your baby.
Things to consider: the pieces are for babies and toddlers only. The fabric is not for rough playing older children.
Also, the set doesn’t come with pit balls. None of the ball pits found in these sets came with balls included. You may want to plan to have the added expense of purchasing balls.
Best for Large Spaces: Playz Ball Pit, Play Tent, and Tunnel
- LARGEST SET AVAILABLE: This bright vibrant Playz 7-piece indoor & outdoor pop up playhouse includes spacious kids play tent, big kids ball pit, and interactive crawl tunnels obstacle course that will keep children entertained for hours! Kids can customize the many different crazy maze combos and add more! A must-have toy for an active kid, toddler, baby, cats & dogs, and even adults, we recommend adding 500-1000 balls depending on the ball size. 👉BALL PIT BALLS NOT INCLUDED👈
- THE PERFECT GIFT on any occasion and impulse buying, this kids play tent with tunnel and ball pit brings fun on a whole new level on birthday parties, picnics, carnivals, and sleepovers. Enjoyable for kids and parents alike, this value bundle of 7-piece ball pit tent and tunnel set comes highly recommended for first Birthday gifts and Christmas Gift.
- NO BRAINER INSTANT ASSEMBLY & STORAGE: The entire Playz ball pit, play tent and tunnels for kids set pops open in seconds! The toy tunnels fasten close with frustration-free easy-locks. Teepee hut, cube cave & ball house fold away for flat storage in the included carry case. Easy-to-pack portable toy ball pit and play area for toddlers and kids to take along to Grandma’s home! Perfect for indoor or outdoor use in the backyard, parks, playground, daycare, preschool, nursery, playgroups.
- 100% HAPPINESS, PLAYZ PROMISE: Do your research! When you purchase a Playz product, you know the premium quality you will get. We care about the happiness of your kids, so don’t settle for anything but the best. If you run across any issues with your Playz pop up tent with ball pit, contact us right away and someone from out USA team will resolve any issues instantly!
The largest set available and designed for kids 3-8 years old. This 7-piece set includes 3 crawl tunnels, 3 pop-up tents, and a ball pit (balls not included).
The Playz Ball Pit, Play Tent, and Tunnel set is incredibly entertaining because there are many ways to piece it together, creating a fun obstacle course that can be different every time.
Kids can play with each piece independently if they don’t have the space or time for the complete set. This set is so big, bright, and colorful your kids will feel like they’re at the circus. It’s ideal for outdoor birthday parties, picnics, or living room sleepovers.
Every piece of the jungle gym toy pops open in seconds–no assembly required. The tunnels and tents affix together with frustration-free locks. Each part collapses down and folds flat for convenient storage in its provided storage bag.
It’s intended for indoor-outdoor use, but you will want to avoid using it on rough surfaces like pavement and concrete. It is made from ultra-durable and lightweight fabric, and is simple to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
The manufacturer states that this toy passes or exceeds all toy safety standards and offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their product.
Best Ease of Use: EocuSun Kids Play Tent & Ball Pit with Crawl Tunnel
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The EocuSun Play Tent, Crawl Tunnel, and Ball Pit set is recommended for babies 6 months and up and comes in a cute polka dot design. Kids can use each piece of the collection separately or together. The material is a soft polyester that is easy to clean.
With mesh panels along the tunnel for airflow, it’s ideal for the outdoors. The basketball hoop in the ball pit area is a fun feature for hours of play and the development of hand-eye coordination. As usual, balls are not included.
The pop-up design makes it easy to assemble and collapse down when playtime is over. It comes with a lightweight carrying bag for storage.
It’s made from durable fabric and double-stitching at the seams and a safety hose surrounding the steel frame, making this set extraordinarily safe and reassuring for parents.
Things to consider before buying this set: the ball pit has a hole in one side where the tunnel connects. If playing with the ball pit alone, you’re likely to lose a lot of balls and will have to scoop them up as you go. The tunnels also tie into the tent and ball pit, and you can easily lose balls that way, or connections come untied with rougher play.
- Ball pit balls: We recommend around 300 balls for the average pop-up play tent. Larger sets may require up to 1,000 balls. Generally, the manufacturer’s website will recommend how many balls to purchase.
- Crawling mats: For bigger tunnels with open bottoms or crawlers that don’t tolerate rough surfaces and wires.
- Crawling toys: While some might say a crawling tunnel is type of crawling toy in itself, there are tons of other great toys you can use to encourage your little one to crawl.
Are crawl tunnels safe for children?
This concern is understandable and valid for parents when buying a crawl tunnel for their child. It is vital to buy from a reputable and responsible manufacturer. Check if they have a good history of customer service.
Ensure that your crawl tunnel is intended for children (not all are) and that the recommended age range fits your child. Always watch your children closely when playing in crawl tunnels and tents.
Be especially aware that heat can build up inside play structures left in direct sunlight. It’s best to place any crawl tunnel in the shade and on grass or soft surfaces when playing outside.
It’s important to note that the top complaints most people have about crawl tunnels are that the seams rip easily and wires can poke through the fabric. Therefore, it is essential to inspect your play tents, ball pits, and crawl tunnels before every use.
What Should I Look For in a Crawl Tunnel?
Assembly and storage: It’s important to consider the size of the crawl tunnel and other pieces. Decide if you need something that is collapsable or stays in one place.
Consider how you plan to store the tunnel and if you need something that is easy to travel with. Who will be assembling it? How much time and effort are you willing to put into that process?
Materials: While fabric crawl tunnels are the top sellers, understand that there are risks involved with materials wearing down, holes or tears, or wires poking through. Do your research to purchase from a trusted manufacturer and look for details like reinforced stitching on the seams.
Alternatively, you might opt for solid plastic. Consider how many kids you want to be able to play with the structure and how rough they play. This will greatly influence the type of tunnel you want to buy.
Safety: As stated above, all of these crawl tunnels and play sets are intended to be used with adult supervision at all times. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommended age to ensure that the toy is designed specifically for your child.
Lastly, remember that play structures such as crawl tunnels can get extremely hot when in the sun. Make sure the material is breathable or there are windows in the structure. If your child is playing in it outside on a hot day, put your play tunnel in the shade and monitor your baby’s temperature.
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