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Best Crawl Tunnels for Kids of 2021

Updated
Crawling isn’t just for babies -- these crawl tunnels prove it’s cool for all ages.

Whether your child is just learning to crawl, an energy-packed preschooler, or somewhere in between, chances are they will enjoy a crawl tunnel. There’s something about making your way through that snug space that appeals to most children.

But with so many options to choose from, how do you select a crawl tunnel that works for your child and your family? We’ll go over how you can pick an outstanding product and share what we consider to be the best crawl tunnels for kids.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Pacific Play Tents 41855 Kids Galaxy Combo Dome Tent with 4 Tunnels - Glow in...
Best Space-Saving Crawl Tunnel
Pacific Play Tents Kids
  • Glow-in-the-dark star pattern
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Durable
Product Image of the ECR4Kids - ELR-12520 Gus Climb-N-Crawl Caterpillar, 4 Sections, Vibrant
Best Outdoor Crawl Tunnel
GUS Caterpillar Tunnel
  • For indoor & outdoor use
  • Strong enough to climb on
  • Easy to assemble
Product Image of the GeerWest Toddlers Tunnel for Kids, Pop Up Crawl Through Baby Tunnel Toy for...
Best for Toddlers
GeerWest Toddlers Tunnel
  • Shorter design for younger kids
  • Can be washed with damp cloth
  • Foldable for easy storage
Product Image of the Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel and Tent Combo (2-Piece Set) – Kids Crawling...
Best Crawl Tunnel & Tent Combo
Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel
  • Tent & crawl tunnel combo
  • Easy to erect
  • Takes up little storage space
Product Image of the Pacific Play Tents 95260 Super Sensory 6' Institutional Tunnel
Best Large Crawl Tunnel
Pacific Play Sensory
  • Large enough for several children
  • Tall arches allow kids to sit inside
  • Well-stitched seams
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Giddy Buggy Crawl-Through Tunnel (E-Commerce...
Safest Crawl Tunnel
Melissa & Doug Giddy
  • Cute & appealing design
  • Easy to collapse & store
  • Soft & light doors
Product Image of the Amazon Basics Kids Soft Play Single Tunnel
Best Foam Tunnel
AmazonBasics Kids’
  • Expandable
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile use
Product Image of the Kiddey Multicolored Play Tunnel for Kids (6’) – Crawl and Explore Tent, with...
Best Budget Crawl Tunnel
Kiddey Multicolored Play Tunnel
  • Long-lasting
  • Mesh paneling for breathability
  • Light padding
Product Image of the Playz 5-Piece Kids Pop up Play Tent Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit with Basketball...
Best with Ball Pit
Playz Pop-up Play Tent & Tunnel
  • Sturdy construction for rough play
  • Indoors & out use
  • Lots of play value
Product Image of the 3pc Kids Play Tent for Girls with Ball Pit, Crawl Tunnel, Princess Tents for...
Best for Babies
PigPigPen Princess Tents
  • Cute play space for babies
  • Encourages crawling
  • Three designs to choose from

Are Crawl Tunnels Safe for Kids?

Every parent worries about their child’s safety, and rightfully so. There are too many hazardous products out there. But a crawl tunnel produced by a responsible manufacturer, made specifically for children, and used correctly, will be safe.

At What Age Can Kids Use Crawl Tunnels?

There are no hard and fast rules that apply to how old a child should be before using a crawl tunnel. But if you’re looking for the best crawling tunnels for babies, look for shorter, less complicated ones.

Some crawl tunnels are even designed specifically for babies who aren’t crawling yet. These tunnels can be used as soon as a baby is old enough to roll over. More extensive tunnels are designed for children who are mobile enough to move through them safely.

Benefits of Crawl Tunnels for Kids

Crawl tunnels aren’t just fun — they have tangible playtime benefits that will help your child in a multitude of ways.

Development Of Gross Motor Skills

Think about how your child’s body moves when they crawl. These gross motor activities are not only fabulous for developing muscles in the limbs but they are also great for building core strength.

Exercise

Crawling along the tunnel, emerging from the end, and running around back to the beginning is an excellent form of exercise. And because it’s so much fun, your child will willingly step away from a tablet screen to do this activity.

Sensory Integration Therapy

Our brains take in, process, organize, and respond to an extraordinary amount of information from our five senses. For some people, this unconscious and complex process doesn’t always run smoothly. This can result in sensory processing problems.

Crawl tunnels provide many of the elements found in sensory integration therapy, which can help people with these issues cope with sensory overload (1).

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How to Choose the Best Crawl Tunnel for Kids

With so many options out there, how do you choose the best crawling tunnel for kids? By keeping these criteria in mind as you do your search.

Child’s Age

Check the recommended age range for any crawl tunnel under consideration. Some are sized for babies or toddlers, while others are sized to accommodate older children.

Material

Choose a crawl tunnel made from a strong enough material to stand up to rough and tumble play. This becomes especially important if multiple children will be using it.

Purpose

If you plan to use the tunnel outside, choose one that will stand up to the weather. Fabric pop-up style tunnels have a metal skeleton that could rust.

Also, check that it will not rip easily if crawled through on a rough surface.

Safety

After extensive research, we couldn’t find a single instance of an accident involving a crawl tunnel. However, always ensure anything you buy for your child is made or imported by a reputable company. This will minimize the chance of it being dangerous in any way.

Budget

You can find crawl tunnels at various budget points, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking the more you spend, the better the tunnel will be.

Instead, look at how much you can reasonably afford and buy the best option in your price range.

Size

Consider how many children will be playing with the tunnel and how big they are if you have kids of different ages and sizes. The wider the tunnel, the better, when you’ll need a crawling tunnel for siblings to share.

Then, consider storage. Look at whether the tunnel can be folded and stored flat.

Extra Features

To get the most fun for your dollar, look for a crawl tunnel with added value. You can find tunnels that come with a ball pit or tent, as well as crawl tunnels that fit together to make mega tunnels or mazes.


The Best Kids Crawl Tunnels of 2021

Here are the ten best crawl tunnels for kids.

1. Pacific Play Tents Kids Galaxy Combo Dome

Best Space-Saving Crawl Tunnel for Kids

This crawl tunnel from Pacific Play Tents is four feet long and a spacious 19 inches across, making it suitable for children up to around 12 years of age.

The outer spiral is made of strengthened spring steel, while the fabric is a 70 denier polyester. That makes this tunnel gentle on little hands and knees while being strong enough to stand up to outdoor rough and tumble play.

One side is enclosed, and the other is mesh. If you have kids who are a little fearful about being inside a tunnel, keep the mesh side up so they can see out. Alternatively, lay the mesh side down, and your child can enjoy hiding inside.

Then, when the fun is done, collapse the tunnel for easy storage.

Pros

  • Connects to tents by the same manufacturer.
  • The bright, galaxy pattern with glow-in-the-dark stars is fun for kids.
  • Easy to wipe clean.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • If your kids get mud or food on the mesh, it can be tricky to clean the holes.

Additional Specs

Age Range 1 to 12 years
Material Polyester
Length 4 feet
Diameter 19 inches
Extras None

2. GUS Climb-N-Crawl Caterpillar Tunnel

Best Outdoor Crawl Tunnel for Kids

Gus the Caterpillar is made from heavy-duty plastic that’s not only made to last but is also Greenguard certified for minimal chemical emissions.

There are four tunnel sections that can be configured in different ways to build a toy tunnel that is straight or one with a bend or two. The sections are arch-shaped and open on the underside with holes through which kids can play peek-a-boo.

As if it wasn’t already fun enough, one end is Gus the Caterpillar’s head, and kids emerge from the crawl tunnel through his mouth. Add to that the extended tongue, which forms a mini indoor slide, a pair of eyes, a button nose, and Gus’s five pairs of shoes — all these elements make the cuteness factor high for this crawl tunnel.

Pros

  • For indoor and outdoor use.
  • Can be left outside in winter.
  • Strong enough for this toy to be climb on.
  • Different sections are available to make the caterpillar longer or more twisty.
  • Easy to assemble.

Cons

  • Bulky to store when not in use.

Additional Specs

Age Range 3 to 8 years
Material Plastic
Length 7 feet 2 inches
Diameter 20 inches
Extras None

3. GeerWest Toddlers Tunnel

Best Crawl Tunnel for Toddlers

Short and sweet may be the best way to describe this crawl tunnel. It’s long enough to be fun at only 5.8 feet in length, but not so long that it’s scary for a younger child.

Comprising of five colors, the GeerWest toddler tunnel doesn’t show the dirt too quickly, which makes it a fabulous choice for outdoor play. Having said that, it is equally suitable for use inside, especially if you don’t have much space for fun activities.

The tunnel can be used as-is, but it can also be attached to the pacific play tents and tunnels.

Pros

  • Shorter design for younger kids and space-strapped parents.
  • For indoor and outdoor use.
  • Can be washed with a damp cloth.
  • Easy and quick to fold down for storage.

Cons

  • Kids grow too big for it more quickly than most other crawl tunnels.

Additional Specs

Age Range 3 years and above
Material 70 denier polyester
Length 5 feet 8 inches
Diameter 18 inches
Extras Steel-spring construction

4. Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel and Tent Combo

Best Crawl Tunnel And Tent Combo

The Caterpillar Combo from Kiddey is a glowing green crawl tunnel and tent set with bright yellow accents.

The tent is the caterpillar’s head, with the tent doorway at the front, acting as a vast, yawning mouth. The tunnel affixes to the tent’s side to form the body, which comes with four pairs of floppy fabric legs and feet.

Both parts are also stand-alone play items, so you don’t have to put up both the tent and the crawl tunnel each time your child wants to play. When they are done, both pieces fold down flat and can be put away in a storage bag, which is included.

Our youngest child did point out that caterpillars do not have noses, but this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone else.

Pros

  • The tent and crawl tunnel combo provides added play value.
  • Easy to erect.
  • Takes up little storage space.
  • Highly affordable.

Cons

  • The tunnel and tent do separate from time to time, which can be annoying.

Additional Specs

Age Range 3 to 8 years
Material Polyester
Length 6 feet
Diameter 18 inches
Extras Storage bag

5. Pacific Play Tents Super Sensory Crawl Tunnel

Best Large Crawl Tunnel for Kids

So much bigger than the average crawl tunnel, this Super Sensory one from Pacific Play Tents is arch-shaped, with four mesh windows down each side. Two of the windows on each side are circular, one is triangular, and the other is square.

This tunnel’s unique feature is the set of “streamer” sections that affix to the inside roof of the arches and dangle down into the tunnel. These sections turn the inside of the crawl tunnel into a tickly ribbon-filled tube, which is big enough for several children to play in at once.

Some parents complain that the tunnel doesn’t have a soft, padded underside, but this wasn’t a problem for us. Traditional crawl tunnels do not have a padded bottom either.

Pros

  • Large enough for several children at once.
  • Tall arches allow kids to sit inside.
  • Well-stitched seams.

Cons

  • Doesn’t pop-up, requires more effort to erect.

Additional Specs

Age Range 2 to 10 years
Material Polyester
Length 6 feet
Diameter 30 inches
Extras Streamer strips

6. Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Tunnel

Safest Crawl Tunnel for Kids

From the ever-popular Melissa & Doug comes the Giddy Buggy crawl tunnel for kids. A little longer than our toddlers’ pick that appeared earlier on this list, this option is one for the younger crowd, but it has an additional feature.

The tunnel comes with two discs, each of which is the same diameter as the tunnel and printed to look like the side view of a bug’s smiling face. These discs act as doors that can be affixed at the top of the tunnel, then drop down into place, turning the Giddy Buggy into a private tube.

These “doors” are soft and light, so if they fall into the closed position and onto your child, they will not be hurt.

Pros

  • Cute, appealing, caterpillar-like appearance.
  • Easy to collapse and store in the cardboard shipping sleeve.
  • It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Cons

  • Only a two-year age range, so your kids will outgrow it quickly.

Additional Specs

Age Range 3 to 5 years
Material Nylon
Length 4 feet, 8 ½ inches
Diameter 18 inches
Extras Removable “doors” on each end

7. AmazonBasics Kids’ Soft Play Single Tunnel

Best Foam Tunnel

With its bright, primary colors and easy clean surface, this foam tunnel combo from AmazonBasics is a must-have for home daycares, grandparents with lots of grandkids, and any child who enjoys rough play.

The tunnel comes with two additional elements — a slope and a set of steps. All three pieces are used separately, together in various combinations, or with other AmazonBasics Kids soft play items.

Each piece has hook and loop fastenings, which allow you to stick them together, and they also have hook and loop fabric on the underside to prevent the tunnel from sliding.

The foam inside is polyurethane, which is certified as being made without ozone-depleting chemicals, flame retardants, formaldehyde, heavy metals, or phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Pros

Cons

  • The tunnel is so small that your child may not fit through. If so, it can still be used as a tunnel for their toy cars, dolls, and fire trucks.

Additional Specs

Age Range 1 month and older
Material Polyurethane foam covered in PU Leather
Length 1 foot 8 inches
Diameter 15 inches
Extras Foam step and slope

8. Kiddey Multicolored Play Tunnel

Best Budget Crawl Tunnel for Kids

This tunnel from Kiddey is a strong, hard-wearing kids’ product suitable for any child big enough to crawl through it.

One half of the tunnel’s diameter is meshed for the entire length. This provides plenty of air-flow and light for those kids who may be reluctant to climb into a long dark space. Your child’s knees will get some support from the bottom of the tunnel, which offers a bit of light padding.

It has a basic pop-up design, which makes it simple to put away, and the accompanying storage bag makes the tunnel easy to store, without the fear of it popping up unintentionally.

This product is also available as a two-pack of tunnels that can be attached to each other, creating a mega tunnel that’s more than 11 feet.

Pros

  • Long-lasting.
  • Mesh paneling for breathability.
  • Easy to store.
  • Super affordable.

Cons

  • Pictured with ball pit balls, but they are not included.

Additional Specs

Age Range 2 to 8 years
Material Polyester
Length 5 feet, 10 inches
Diameter 18 inches
Extras Storage bag with zipper

9. Playz Pop-up Play Tent And Tunnel

Best Kids' Crawl Tunnel with Ball Pit

If you’re feeling adventurous and have space, the five-piece pop-up from Playz might be just what you’re looking for.

Two tunnels, a square-based pyramid tent, an open-top, tent-like cube, and a ball pit connect to create one mega-sized, versatile play area.

Both tunnels are half-panel and half mesh, as is the tent, which also has holes that act as windows or a place to throw your ball pit balls. There’s a removable mesh basketball hoop on the ball pit and a second hoop with a ball return funnel on the tent.

The tunnel opening panel on the ball pit is closeable so you can use each piece separately or in one of many configurations. The set does not, however, come with ball pit balls. You have to purchase those separately.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction stands up to rough play.
  • For use indoors and out.
  • Lots of play value.

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of room.

Additional Specs

Age Range 12 months and older
Material Polyester
Length 3 feet 7 inches
Diameter 18 inches
Extras Ball pit, tent, play cube, storage bag

10. PigPigPen Princess Play Tent Crawl Tunnel

Best Crawl Tunnel For Babies

You don’t have to wait for your child to start crawling before you get them a crawl tunnel. This learn-to-crawl tunnel from PigPigPen is designed to encourage your baby to take their first tentative “steps” into mobility.

There are three sets that can be interconnected together to create a mini magical kingdom for your baby princess. The tent has a roll-up door while the tunnel has a mesh window to ensure breathability while actively encouraging your child to crawl through and discover the end of the tunnel where a ball pit is found with a basketball hoop. Moreover, this large mesh roof panel ensures you can see your baby at all times, and they can see you.

Bright pink hearts decorate the entire set. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with pit balls which you can purchase separately to complete the pastel pink playtime with crawl tunnels.

Pros

  • Cute play space for babies.
  • Encourages crawling.
  • Three designs to choose from.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a ball pits.

Additional Specs

Age Range 1 to 6 years old
Material Alloy steel frame
Length 3 feet 8 inches
Diameter 18 inches
Extras None

Kids Crawl Tunnel Comparison Chart

Product Best Age Range Material Length Diameter
Pacific Play Tents Kids Space-Saving 1 to 12 years Polyester 4 feet 19″
GUS Climb-N-Crawl Caterpillar Tunnel Outdoor 3 to 8 years Plastic 7 feet 2″ 20″
GeerWest Toddlers Tunnel Toddlers 3 years and above 70 denier polyester 5 feet 8″ 18″
Kiddey Caterpillar Play Tunnel & Tent Tunnel & Tent Combo 3 to 8 years Polyester 6 feet 18″
Pacific Play Tents Sensory Crawl Tunnel Large 2 to 10 years Polyester 6 feet 30″
Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Safe 3 to 5 years Nylon 4 feet, 8 ½” 18″
AmazonBasics Kids’ Soft Play Tunnel Foam 1 month & older Polyurethane foam 1 foot 8″ 15″
Kiddey Multicolored Play Tunnel Budget Pick 2 to 8 years Polyester 5 feet, 10″ 18″
Playz Pop-up Play Tent & Tunnel Ball Pit 12 months & older Polyester 3 feet 7″ 18″
PigPigPen Princess Tents Babies 1 to 6 years old Alloy steel frame 3 feet 8″ 18″

Enjoy The Crawl

Kids of almost any age can enjoy crawl tunnels. They provide exercise, can stimulate the imagination, and are fun for all.

With the wide variety of styles, sizes, and price points available, you should be able to find something on our list that’s suitable for you and your family.

Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.