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 2022 that are sure to keep your kids entertained.
Crawling Tunnel For Toddlers
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 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
- FUN, VERSATILE PLAY BUNDLE – Each set comes with a fun play tunnel and matching kid’s tent. Your child can play, crawl, explore, and pretend with friends!
- PROMOTES EARLY DEVELOPMENT – These tent and tunnel set helps build and strengthen your child’s muscle development and imaginative creativity.
- POP UP, FOLD AWAY DESIGN – Made with durable polyester fabric, each piece of this tunnel set “pops up” for easy use and then folds away flat for easy storage.
- FRIENDLY ‘BIG MOUTH’ CATERPILLAR – The tent features a fun, smiling, big-mouth caterpillar with tongue and antenna & the tunnel is a long body with legs!
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 Outdoors: GUS Climb-N-Crawl Caterpillar Tunnel
- 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 | Rated for indoor or outdoor use
- Product size – 85.5” L x 42.5” W x 39.5” H | Weight – 44 lb. | Weight limit – 220 lbs. | Opening – 17” across
- 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
- The ECR4Kids GUS Climb-N-Crawl comes ready to assemble with all tools and hardware needed for adult assembly | It can be configured and expandable with another GUS set
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.
Baby Crawl Tunnel Fisher Price
Play tunnel for kids 6 feet crawl through dog tunnel outdoor baby tunnel crawl indoor bounce crawling tunnel colorful kids’ play tents and tunnels for toddle infant children cat action nursery game: Toys & Games : Please keep a safe distance from your child when opening the crawling tunnel. Specifications: Material: spandex, steel Color: as shown in the pictures Size: Length: 180 cm/ 6 feet Height: 45 cm/ 17.72 inches Package includes: 1 x Colorful play tunnels for kids Notes: Manual measurement, please allow slight errors in size. The color may live a slight difference due to different screen displays.
Suitable for people over 3 years. Features: Long enough for crawling: The indoor baby crawling tube is about 180 cm/ 6 feet in length and 45 cm/ 17.72 inches in height, which is spacious enough to accommodate a baby to pass through, allowing them to play at ease. Independent space to play: The colorful kids tunnel gives your children a space to play independently and dominate their sense of space, helping to improve visual development.
The Organic Cotton Play Tunnel is perfect for playing hide and seek. Crawling helps develop strength and balance even after your toddler has started walking. Tie it together on one side to make a corner, stand it on its end to create a silly costume, or scrunch it up and watch it bounce back. Comes in its own organic cotton carrying case for on-the-go spelunking!