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The Best Tents & Tunnels For Children

Last updated on January 28, 2022
Best Tents & Tunnels For Children

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Tents & Tunnels For Children

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Hide N Side Ball Pit Tents & Mesh Tunnels Set For Children, 5-Piece

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Hide N Side

Ball Pit Tents & Mesh Tunnels Set For Children, 5-Piece

With a colorful triangle-shaped tent, a square tent, two tunnels, a dart wall and a ball pit complete with a hoop, this super lightweight, durable play tent and tunnel toy is designed for ages 1-6 and stores quickly and easily in an included carrying case.

Overall Take

For Every AdventureSet this fun jungle gym up in your house or yard and your little ones will entertain themselves for hours.

 Runner Up

Hide N Side Pop-Up Connecting Tunnels For Children, 2-Piece

Hide N Side

Pop-Up Connecting Tunnels For Children, 2-Piece

Designed for small children (and pets, too!), Hide N Side's pop-up, collapsible tunnel toy has a spring steel frame covered with soft, brightly-colored polyester fabric. There's even a mesh peekaboo tunnel window. The two pieces can connect.

Overall Take

They'll Burrow Right ThroughYour little ones will enjoy crawling and hiding in these two polyester play tunnels that connect to one another.

 We Also Like

Playz Flat Folding Connectable Tents & Tunnels For Children, 4-Piece


Flat Folding Connectable Tents & Tunnels For Children, 4-Piece

This four-piece play tent/tunnel gym can be set up in different ways and features two giant forts of soft, thick fabric, plus two tunnels with mesh sides. The tent/tunnel combo is easy to assemble, take apart and store in its zippered carrying case.

Overall Take

It Has Interchangeable PartsYou can set up this awesome toy in 10 different ways, so your little ones will never get bored!

 Strong Contender

PLAYVIBE Dart Ball Game Tents & Tunnels For Children, 7-Piece


Dart Ball Game Tents & Tunnels For Children, 7-Piece

Playvibe's seven-piece kids' tunnel set is geared for ages 3-7 and includes four different tents, three tunnels, dart balls, a ball pit and basketball hoops. It pops open quickly for easy assembly and can be put together in different ways.

Overall Take

Deluxe and Designed for FunThis seven-piece tunnel set conforms to the highest safety standards, but kids will only know that it's fun.

Buying Guide

Gone are the days when kids could only enjoy tunnel and tent toys in places like McDonald’s and Chuck E. Cheese. Today’s child play structures are affordable and made from lightweight, durable materials that can be set up and taken down in minutes.

Some of the larger ones may have features like hoops, dartboards or ball pits on their sides. Look for ones with easy pop-up construction. Mesh sides are also good because they provide a way for you to keep an eye on your kids while they’re playing — and they can peek out at you, too.

You can use these toys inside and outside, but you’ll want to bring them in if it starts to rain or snow. They are usually made with polyester fabrics that you can wipe down when they get dirty. Most of them come with carrying bags you store them in when they aren’t being used. You can take them on camping trips, vacations and visits to grandma and grandpa.

Tent and tunnel toys help kids develop motor skills and provide excellent opportunities to exercise and socialize with family members and friends. They also encourage coordination and creativity; kids may imagine they are animals living underground, for example. Little ones also like to hide out in tents when they want privacy. Put a few books, snacks or toys in there for them to find.

What to Look For

  • Larger tent and tunnel sets come with different parts that can be set up in different ways, so it’s like getting several different toys in one.
  • Most of these toys with ball pits do not include the balls; these are usually sold separately, so keep that in mind.
  • Some of these toys are compatible with other kids’ tent and tunnel products, so you can add on and create opportunities for additional types of play.
  • Read the product descriptions to see what age group the toy is appropriate for before buying.
  • Dogs and cats also enjoy playing with tunnel toys.

More to Explore

Ball pits are ingrained into our culture, and kids of all ages (adults, too) just love playing in them. They’re actually the brainchild of an English immigrant who moved to Toronto, Canada. Design consultant Eric McMillan created them decades ago and improved his designs over time.

He initially worked as an exhibition designer for Montreal’s Expo ’67 and was later the chief designer at Ontario Place, home to the world’s first IMAX theater. There, he created an innovative playground called Children’s Village and followed it up with a water-based play area that influenced today’s water parks.

He installed his first ball pit, or” ball crawl,” at San Diego’s SeaWorld Captain Kids World in 1976 after getting inspired by a jar of pickled onions. When he designed Philadelphia’s Sesame Place in 1980, that pit had about 80,000 plastic balls!

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