Are you in the market for the kind of toy that will enthrall and exhaust your toddler? If so, then we recommend taking a gander at the world of baby crawl tunnels and ball pits. These toys can provide plenty of enrichment as well as be a great energy outlet for your child. 

Our Top Picks

How to Pick the Best Ball Pits & Crawl Tunnels

You know better than anyone what will engage your active tot, so always listen to your instincts as you browse the toy aisles. If your instincts need a little help, though, here are some things to keep in mind while you shop.

1. Recommended Age

It is vital to purchase a ball pit or tunnel that is age-appropriate for your child. Buying a product designed for a toddler older than your own can easily be an accident waiting to happen in any number of ways, including choking hazards or suffocation risks. 

2. Material Matters

You will want to find breathable, sturdy material that will hold up even when your tot engages her hyperdrive crawl or bounce, but nothing so rough that it would irritate your kiddo’s skin as she jumps and wriggles against it. 

3. Cleanability

Toddlers are very clean creatures and rarely make a mess…said no one ever. With this in mind, always consider how easy a ball pit or crawl tunnel will be to clean and disinfect. Does it have a lot of hard to reach nooks and crannies? Will a wipe down with soap and water be enough to tackle everyday playtime messes? Will the fabric show every drool stain ever drooled? 

4. Storage

It’s very likely that leaving your baby crawl tunnels and ball pits up 365 days a year is not feasible for your household, so you might want to pick a product that can be easily stored away.

5. Size

Be sure you have a big enough space to ensure maximum toy enjoyment. Remember not to just measure wall to wall, but also the available floor space in your play area. Protip: plan ahead as to where you want to stash this toy when it’s not in use and measure that too. 

6. Safety Features

Some, but not all, products have certificates confirming their safety standards meet or exceed those outlined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or ASTM International. For those that don’t, consider a few safety points. You will want a tunnel crafted from breathable material, that allows plenty of ventilation, and is made sturdily enough to not collapse on your kiddo while she plays. Ball pits should be filled with balls too large to pose a choking hazard. 

The Winners

#1

Playz Rocket Ship Astronaut

Editor's Choice

Our Editor’s Choice comes with a basketball hoop, fun rocket ship tent, and spacious ball pit complete with a basketball hoop. Playz Rocket Ship Tent is affordable, relatively easy to clean, a cinch to assemble, and great for both indoor and outdoor play use. Mesh fabric keeps the insides well ventilated and a convenient carrying bag means this lightweight toy can go anywhere your kiddo goes.

Recommended Age:1+ Years
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Moderate
Storage Type: Fold Up
Size: 55”H x 39”D (rocket tent), 18″H x 48″W (ball pit), 44″L x 19″D (tunnel)
Safety Features: Meets all U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines

 

#2

EocuSun Polka Dot Play Tent

Upgrade Choice

Eocusun Play Tent is a great upgrade choice in the world of playsets. It’s colorful, easy to assemble, and can be cleaned with just soap and water. Balls are not included and, as always, will add a bit more time to the cleaning process. Each piece can be used on its own or joined together for a fun crawling experience. This toy is great for both indoor and outdoor use and makes a fabulous centerpiece for any playtime.

Recommended Age: 6+ Months
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Moderate
Storage Type: Fold Up
Size: 117″L x 47″W x 39″H
Safety Features: Meets all U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guideline

#3

PLAYZ POP UP TENT

UPGRADE CHOICE

Between a basketball hoop, ball pit, and two tunnels, your tot won’t get bored easily with this Playz Pop Up Tent budget buy. Mesh siding provides ample ventilation but requires a bit more elbow grease to clean after any particularly messy play sessions. A simple soap and water mixture will get things spick and span. Assembly is easy and if you choose to play outside you can secure each piece to the ground by utilizing the built-in anchor loops.

Recommended Age: 3+ years
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Easy
Storage Type: Folds up
Size: 27.5″L x 27.5”W x 29.5”H (tent) / 18”D x 69”L (tunnel)
Safety: Well vented, sturdy when assembled

#4

This extravagant setup comes with 500 jumbo sized balls, a continue-flow blower for inflation, patch kit, and even ground stakes for a safe outdoor setup. While clean up is less of a breeze with this My Bouncer playset, especially if you have to disinfect all the balls in the ball pit, it is easy to assemble and provides enough bounce for your kiddo to have fun without you having to worry about her launching herself to the moon.

Recommended Age: 2 – 10 years / 150lb weight limit
Material: Nylon and Rubber
Cleanability: Moderate to Difficult
Storage Type: Quick Deflate and pack away
Size: 118″L x 72″H
Safety Features: Mesh velcro doors seal to keep kids securely inside the bounce house

#5

Quick and easy to assemble, this Joyin Pop play tent is durable enough to be used indoors or out and comes with ground stakes to keep everything securely grounded in the yard. Cleaning can be accomplished with soap and water, although cleaning each ball will take a bit of time.

Recommended Age: 3+ months
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Moderate
Storage Type: Fold Up
Size: 43″ (tunnels) / 28″ x 28″ x 30″ (cubic tents) / 31″ x 31″ x 31″ (triangle tents)
Safety Features: Material fire-retardant and BPA free, mesh ventilation on sides

#6

Surprisingly easy to assemble, just pop up the individual pieces and slide them into each other, this Hide N’ Slide playset is on the large side and includes plenty of fun features and activities. While its dimensions make it a little tricky to clean, you won’t need anything other than soap and water. Be sure to purchase 400 – 600 balls to fully take advantage of the ball pit.

Recommended Age: 3+ Years
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Moderate to Difficult
Storage Type: Fold Up
Size: Approximately 60″L x 24″D (tunnels), 60″L x 24″H (ball pit), 30″L x 30″W x 30″ H (cube tent), 30″L x 36″H (triangle tent)
Safety Features: Meets all U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines

#7

As the name suggests, you can enjoy this UTEX activity tent in your yard or living room alike. Meshing along the sides of the tunnels and tents provide plenty of ventilation and this toy can be used both indoors and out. It’s easy to clean with soap and water, assembles smoothly, and folds up for easy storage.

Recommended Age: 1+ Years
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Easy to moderate
Storage Type: Fold Up
Size: 31.5″L x 31.5″W x 35.5″H (play tent) 27″L x 27″W x 28″H (square tent), 59″L x 19″D (tunnel)
Safety Features: Meets ASTM International safety standards

#8

If your little lady is looking to be treated like royalty, we have crowned this Playz Tent playset as the best crawl tunnel and ball pit for girls. Complete with a basketball hoop, ball pit, tent, and tunnel this playset assembles with little effort, is easily folded down, and cleans up nicely using just a mild soap and water mixture.

Recommended Age: 3+ Months
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Easy to moderate
Storage Type: Fold Up
Size: 55″H x 39″D (castle tent), 18″ H x 48″ W (ball pit), 42″L x 18.5″D (tunnel)
Safety Features: Meets ASTM International safety standards

#9

You can breathe easier knowing that your kiddo can breathe easy in this two-piece set. The well-ventilated POCO tent and tunnel can be enjoyed as separate pieces or as one gloriously green bug. It’s easy to clean with a damp towel and soap, requires no tools to assemble, and it folds flat for easy storage.

Recommended Age: 3+ years
Material: Polyester
Cleanability: Easy
Storage Type: Folds up
Size: 38” H x 43” Diagonal Base Width (triangle tent) / 31” H x 38” Diagonal Base Width (square tent) / 18” Base Height x 32” Hoop Height x 48” Width (ball pit with basketball hoop)
Safety: Meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines

DIY, Craft and Décor: Ideas for Ball Pits & Crawl Tunnels

By using some PVC piping, mesh fabric, pool noodles, and zip ties, you can whip up a pretty great ball pit on your own. While it won’t be collapsible it will be enjoyable.
DIY Ball pit
Finally, a good way to use those large Amazon boxes! This is a simple project wherein you turn a box, or several, into fun tunnels for tots. Add items like leggings for extra enrichment and watch your kiddo go!
If you’re looking for something to leave as an outside toy, why not pick up a large culvert pipe and get creative? Not only will your child have a blast, but it’s a good way to get some of your dog’s energy out too!
DIY -Build A Playground Tunnel
If you’re into a bit of woodworking and looking to put a tent at the end of a tunnel, here’s a pretty straightforward A-frame design. All you need are some dowel rods, whitewood boards, and sheets and your tot will have quite the cool tunnel accessory.
DIY Play tent
Although it might sound overly ambitious, this is a surprisingly doable DIY project to undertake. You’ll need quite a few materials, including some woodworking tools, boards, and pool noodles, but the result will mean your kiddo will be the envy of all her friends.
DIY Ball pit

Quick Decision

Playz Rocket Ship Astronaut Play Tent– Best Overall

Safe, versatile, and affordable, this product delivers a fun experience for your tots and will keep them occupied for hours. 

EocuSun Polka Dot Play Tent with Tunnel– Upgrade Choice

Spacious and eye-catching, this is the perfect addition to any party or picnic where children are looking to have fun.

Playz Pop Up Tent– Best Budget Buy

This product delivers a playset that retails for an affordable price without compromising on safety, features, or quality.

Does your heart drop on days where the weather doesn’t permit outdoor play? Check out our selections for the best indoor slides.

Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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