Top 10 Best Crawl Tunnels for Kids to Play In – 2020 Guide
Kids love to pal around inside crawl tunnels and other play spaces. For children, there’s nothing more engaging than exploring with friends. As an adult, it can be tough to figure out which crawl tunnels will be thrilling for your child and which will be a bore, however.
In this article, we’ll go over what makes a crawl tunnel entertaining so that you’ll be able to purchase the perfect tunnel for your children. We’ll also round up ten exceptional crawl tunnels for kids to play in to give you a few ideas.
Quick Picks: See Some of the Best Crawl Tunnels
- Crawl Tunnel Reviews
- Our #1 Choice – Kiddzery 4pc Kids Play tent Pop Up Pit
- Our #2 Choice – Hide N Side Kids 6ft Crawl Through Play Tunnel
- Our #3 Choice – Hide N Side Kids Play Tunnels, Indoor Outdoor Crawl Through Tunnel for Kids
- Our #4 Choice – Kiddey 3pc Kids Play Tent Crawl Tunnel and Pit Set
- Our #5 Choice – 5pc Kids Ball Pit Tents and Tunnels, Toddler Jungle Gym Play Tent
- Our #6 Choice – Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy Crawl-Through Tunnel
- Our #7 Choice – POCO DIVO 6-ft Play Tunnel Kids Tent Children Pop-up Tube
- Our #8 Choice – Pacific Play Tents 20435 Kids Safari Fun Dome Tent Crawl Tunnel Combo
- Our #9 Choice – Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel and Tent Combo
- Our #10 Choice – Matney Playhouse Tent Crawl Tunnel for Boys, Girls, Kids
- Crawl Tunnel FAQs
- What ages are crawl tunnels intended for?
- Are crawl tunnels safe?
- Do crawl tunnels really help with childhood development?
- Are ball pits necessary for crawl tunnels to make them interesting?
- Crawling Off Into The Sunset
Crawl Tunnel Reviews
Ready to explore our favorite crawl tunnels for toddlers? Read on.
Our #1 Choice – Kiddzery 4pc Kids Play tent Pop Up Pit
The Kiddzery Kids Play Tent has all of the standard features of a crawl tunnel, but it also has a ball tent area and multiple play configurations, too.
- Our best crawl tunnel
- Fresh design
- Made with two durable tunnels
- Comes with a convenient carrying case
- Multiple play combinations
- Sets up easily
- Mediocre aesthetics
With this Kiddzery set, you’ll get two tunnels, two tents, and a great carrying bag to bundle up the entire grouping. It’s almost perfect and sets up in no time!
The tunnel diameter in this playset is large enough for toddlers and kids up to age 12, which means that if you’re a small person, you could probably join your child in the crawlspace if you wanted.
The only issue with this crawling tunnel is that it isn’t a looker. The color scheme it’s made with is drab, and nothing about it appears to be especially appealing to the eye.
Our #2 Choice – Hide N Side Kids 6ft Crawl Through Play Tunnel
When you’re looking for a basic crawling tunnel that’s lightweight and easy to deploy, this tunnel is hard to beat.
- Sets up easily
- Colorful, cheerful look
- Partially transparent design
- Comes with heavy-duty polyester material
- Probably doesn’t do all of the things the marketing material claims that it does
You get exactly what you see with this crawling tunnel — one long play tube that’s fast to prepare and trivial to carry.
If you read the product design description of the crawl tunnel, however, you’ll find that it claims to help prevent the childhood development of neuropsychiatric disorders relating to sensory processing and motor coordination.
It’s highly improbable that a simple crawling tunnel would be perfect for these ends, but you can judge for yourself.
Our #3 Choice – Hide N Side Kids Play Tunnels, Indoor Outdoor Crawl Through Tunnel for Kids
With this colorful Hide N Side Play Tunnel, an entire family’s worth of kids can enjoy a crawling session.
- Comes with a four-tunnel crossing
- Suitable for baby or toddler
- Colorful tunnel design
- Easy lock-in setup
- Weak fabric in junction point
The big advantage of this tunnel set is that it’s made with a lot of room to crawl. You’ll also find that the tunnels are firmly in position once they are locked in. This means that the playspace tends to hold together without much additional effort. It’s one of the best crawling tunnels we have reviewed!
Your kids will have to be a bit careful of the central portion connecting all of the tunnels together, however. The fabric there is relatively easy to tear when children aren’t careful.
Our #4 Choice – Kiddey 3pc Kids Play Tent Crawl Tunnel and Pit Set
The Kiddey 3 piece Play Tent and Crawl Tunnel has three versatile components which can be combined to thrill your children — especially if you set up the pit of balls.
- Comes with a square pit section for balls
- Made with a reinforced crawling tube exterior
- Includes tent flaps
- Colorful design
- Tent stakes require substantial setup
The main appeal of this set is that its crawl tunnel space is especially safe and even because of its external reinforcing. The reinforcement on the outside means that it won’t ever collapse onto a baby or toddler when crawling.
You will want to give your children a fair degree of help with deploying the crawling tunnel with this set. The stakes require some manual force to drive into the ground, and if the tunnel is outside, you’ll need them if you want the set to stay stationary.
Our #5 Choice – 5pc Kids Ball Pit Tents and Tunnels, Toddler Jungle Gym Play Tent
When you’re looking for a crawl tunnel set that offers a huge amount of space to play, this Jungle Gym Play Tent might be the right choice.
- Design includes two ball bit sections
- Comes with external game surfaces on the play tent
- Shoot hoops in the open-top pit for balls
- Doesn’t include any balls
With this crawling tunnel, you’ll get a full playscape that has multiple independent play areas. There’s the external of the tunnel set, where your children can play ball games like basketball or pin the tail on the donkey.
Then, there are the interior sections. Two crawl tunnels, two pits for balls, and one triangular tent make for a lot of different niches. For a larger family, it’s even tough to beat the sheer scale of this crawling set. You’ll definitely want to take a close look at this one!
Our #6 Choice – Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy Crawl-Through Tunnel
Melissa and Doug’s beautiful caterpillar-themed crawl tunnel is a gorgeous addition to your children’s play routine.
- Made with a beautiful caterpillar aesthetic
- Expands rapidly from compressed state
- Great fun for a baby or toddler
- Not very durable fabric
The biggest appeal of this crawling tunnel is that it’s easy on the eyes. It’s even perfect for a single baby or child in a small family. The tunnel meets Melissa and Doug’s high-quality standards, so don’t worry about any manufacturing defects.
The downside of this tunnel set’s beauty is that it isn’t very resilient. The fabrics are thin and easy to perforate by accident. Furthermore, the little legs on the caterpillar are easy to break off despite their prettiness.
So, you should ensure that your toddlers are careful when they play with this near-perfect crawl tunnel. What a great time for a kid!
Our #7 Choice – POCO DIVO 6-ft Play Tunnel Kids Tent Children Pop-up Tube
POCO DIVO’s long crawl tunnel is great for toddlers who like to linger inside of the tunnel while they’re playing.
- Cheerful look and feel
- Long tunnel length
- Sets up easily
- Quality made
- Not compatible with other crawling tunnel play systems
Everything you expect from a home crawl tunnel is included with this POCO DIVO tunnel, so you won’t even have to worry about purchasing anything extra to make a great play experience for your children.
The disadvantage to this crawling tunnel’s design is that you won’t be able to hook it up to any other crawl tunnels or ball tents. The edges aren’t intended for attachment, but you may find that you can simply place it closely to other play sets to achieve the same effect.
Our #8 Choice – Pacific Play Tents 20435 Kids Safari Fun Dome Tent Crawl Tunnel Combo
Rather than purchasing a crawl tunnel alone, with this Kids Safari Fun Dome and Tent Crawl Tunnel combination set, you’ll get a big play tent that’s decorated with all sorts of beautiful wildlife.
- Wildlife aesthetic
- Large, durable tent portion
- A bright, cheerful look
- Comes with a bug-screened skylight on the tent
- Short tunnel for crawling
The only problem with this crawl tunnel is that it isn’t the focus of the set. The tent is the main appeal of the set, which means that the tunnel is short and not emphasized. It isn’t perfect but it is great!
On the bright side, the tent itself is fully featured. The tent has a separate exit, a skylight, and several poles which make it very sturdy. So, if your children only want to crawl a little bit, this may be the right set.
Our #9 Choice – Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel and Tent Combo
This Kiddey Caterpillar crawl tunnel is extra wide and extra cheerful, making it a great pickup for your family.
- Cheerful bright green caterpillar aesthetic
- Easy to secure for outside usage
- Extra large entry holes
- Bright colors get dirty quickly
The extra diameter on this crawl tunnel may be an appealing feature to many people. Especially if you like you get down on your knees, take a look, and crawl through the tunnel with your child, you will find that this tunnel is roomy enough to make the experience enjoyable.
You will probably want to wash the exterior of this crawl tunnel on a regular basis to keep the fabric looking fresh, however. The bright green coloration is exceptionally cheerful, but it seems to attract dirt very rapidly.
Our #10 Choice – Matney Playhouse Tent Crawl Tunnel for Boys, Girls, Kids
When you’re interested in a crawl tunnel that’s compatible with many other crawl tunnels and other play sets, this Matney Playhouse is an effective option.
- Durable components
- Simple snap setup takes little time
- Compatible with most crawl tunnels and tent play sets
- Not intended for outdoor use
If your family has a handful of other crawl tunnel sets, there’s a very high chance that you will be able to combine their pieces with the pieces from this set, meaning that it’s a great option for expanding an already-established crawl tunnel playscape.
You should confine your use of this crawl tunnel to indoor spaces, however. There isn’t any way to secure the set to the ground, which means that it can blow around or potentially blow away if there is a strong wind outside.
Crawl Tunnel FAQs
What ages are crawl tunnels intended for?
Crawl tunnels are great for children who are mobile and eager to crawl. In general, crawl tunnels are great for children from crawling age up through age 10. After age 10, the appeal of crawl tunnels tends to drop.
You will need to provide a different measure of supervision for your child depending on how old they are when they crawl through the crawl tunnels, however.
The youngest children will require the most supervision because they may get frightened or feel lost within the tunnel if they don’t have a line of sight to you. In contrast, older children may need help in avoiding roughhousing with their friends in times that they are inside of the tunnels.
You may also find that your youngest children require a little guidance regarding how to play in the crawl tunnel. Older children will figure it out in no time, however.
Are crawl tunnels safe?
Yes, well-constructed crawl tunnels are perfectly safe for home use. The older the children playing in the crawl tunnel, the safer they will be. Furthermore, the more supervision you provide to your children while they are in the crawl tunnel, the safer they will be.
The youngest children may be caught up in a crawl tunnel if it spontaneously collapses onto them, but most modern crawl tunnels are constructed so that collapses don’t happen. The tent portions of crawl tunnel sets are usually the most likely to accidentally collapse.
In fact, the easier it is to store the crawl tunnel at the end of a play session, the more likely it is that it can curl up before your child is done playing.
Do crawl tunnels really help with childhood development?
Many crawl tunnels claim to help children develop their sensorimotor and neurological capabilities, including:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Healthy neuropsychiatric patterns
- Sensation tolerance
- Fundamental social skills like eye contact
The basis for these claims is unclear, but it is likely that the manufacturers of the crawl tunnels are assuming that the act of physical activity and exploration can spur your child’s brain to develop properly over time.
While it is true that exercise is a necessary component for healthy neurological and physical development, there is no evidence which supports the idea that using crawl tunnels will prevent disorders like ADHD, autism, or motor control issues.
Furthermore, there is no evidence which suggests that crawl tunnels are effective treatments for any disease or disorder. However, your child will probably find that the crawl tunnels are a lot of fun.
The additional physical activity that your child performs while using the crawl tunnel can be a component of their health, and a potential way of helping them to build good habits for life over time.
This may contribute to their overall health, but you shouldn’t expect crawl tunnels to perform any medical miracles.
Are ball pits necessary for crawl tunnels to make them interesting?
Many crawl tunnel and tent sets include numerous spaces for pits that house balls. These pits are entertaining for children because they love to throw the balls and disguise themselves underneath the surface.
But, most crawl tunnels don’t include any balls to fill the pit with. So, these fun pits entail an additional cost that you’ll want to pay for if you want to get the most out of your purchase.
Luckily, you probably don’t need to purchase balls for the ball pits to make crawl tunnels interesting.
Balls are a nice bonus, but any pit for balls is an interior playspace that can be used for whatever your child prefers. You may want to populate an empty pit with other play items if you opt not to purchase balls.
The other perspective on the issue of ball pits is that most crawl tunnels have sufficient space to be a good set, even if they don’t need to have balls placed inside of the pit.
Pit spaces are a signifier of quality for crawl tunnels because they increase the number of different configurations that the tunnel set can have. Furthermore, pit spaces can be used to store other play items.
So long as your children keep their play items inside of their crawl tunnel’s pit for balls, they won’t be making a mess out of the home. Your children will play in their tunnel all the time!
Crawling Off Into The Sunset
Now that you know a thing or two about picking a winning crawl tunnel, it’s time to pick one for your family. Don’t worry too much about finding the perfect crawl tunnel; just try your hardest to match your children’s play habits with your choice.