We have a busy toddler and are always looking for fun activities for him that are open-ended and inspire creativity. Some of our all-time favorites so far are a ball, a truck to push around, and some blocks (we have a wooden set and some plastic Megabloks). These items, along with his play kitchen, easel, and books, are about 75% of what he plays with every day.
In the past year, we bought a play tunnel plus a small pop-up tent for our two year old son. Over the winter it was amazing to have something to do that kept him moving around and burning off energy! The tunnel was from Amazon and the tent was from Wal-Mart. He LOVED them both and I loved that I could fold them up and store them behind our couch. But they both broke within a few months! We had to toss them because they were a safety hazard and could have poked out an eye or punctured skin. No bueno. Last week I was given the opportunity to review a three piece tunnel/tent combo by Kiddey. You can read more about it HERE on Amazon if you are curious. I’m going to compare this set to those broken ones, in case you are trying to decide what to choose for your family.
1: we like this Kiddey set better. It has three pieces rather than two separate ones. So we can pull out one component or all three if we’re feeling generous. 😉 And they all fold up into one storage case, so it’s easier to stick it behind the couch.
2: Our other (first) tunnel broke within a few months when the wire spiral coil that gave it shape busted through the fabric. Now we’ve only had this set for a week but my husband and I think this set will last longer. In the tunnel we bought before, the circular framework actually ripped through the nylon and started to stick out. I was worried it would poke my son in the eye since it was right at the entrance of the tunnel. I don’t think this one will rip so easily; it seems to be better quality supports.
3: Our other (first) tent broke much easier than the tunnel, even. The framework broke in several spots. My husband tried to repair the “poles” but it just didn’t hold. For what it’s worth, our son is not very destructive. I think that one broke easier because it was a bit complicated to fold down, then twist into shape to store it. In this Kiddey set, it’s a metal framework and we can tell it’s MUCH less likely to break. Perhaps it would bend out of shape, but then we could just bend it back into place. (With that said, we do have to fold it into a circle to get it into the case and it’s folds easily, so I’m not worried about the structural integrity of this set!)
4: This set folds down much easier than the other set we had. The tunnel is basically the same as far as collapsing it, but the tents are waaaay easier than our previous one. They fold in on themselves, then you twist them into a circle. I struggled with the last set but can do this one myself.
5: This set has lots of see-through mesh. At first I wasn’t crazy about that, but with my son playing inside them, he got so much joy in being able to peek through and tell me “peek-a-boo!” So now I see it as a good thing. Who knew being in a tent but being able to see Mama was so much fun? Ha.
Like I said earlier, I don’t think this set will rip or break as easy as our prior tunnel and tent, but even if one thing breaks, there are still two more to enjoy. I see this set lasting a couple years whereas the last set didn’t even make it 6 months. I do think the fabric is a tiny bit thinner in this set BUT since we had more trouble with the supports (as opposed to the fabric), I don’t think it will make a big difference. End result: my son loves this set, even more than the two standalone pieces we had before. We like that they seem like they will hold up better, and LOVE that we can just fold them and store them behind the couch. Great purchase!
I received a discount on this product in exchange for my honest review and opinion. As I mentioned, we have purchased this type of item before and we already hunting for something like this to replace our broken pieces. So this truly is a fun, well-loved product in our home!