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I invested in a few more toys for the garden this year as it was the first year that my son was really able to play in the garden and it was nice for him to play out there with his friends. I knew that a lot of toys would be age restricted but was confident that Tesco would stock a few items that he would like.
When browsing the outdoor toys section I came across this caterpillar crawl through tunnel for £9.90 and knew it was definitely something that my son would like, at an affordable price. The tunnel comes in a circular, flat red bag with a black zip, so it would not take up much storage space in our shed either - perfect.
The tunnel itself is made from a plastic material - so completely rain proof. It is red in colour and slightly off-circular in shape - this means that it stands on the ground well and doesn't start rolling as soon as your toddler starts to crawl into it. Along the side of the tunnel, there are feet drawn on (more of a centipede detail than a caterpillar for me). At the front of the tunnel, there is a Velcro strip at the top. This is where the caterpillar's face - a green plastic circle with eyes, nose and a smiley mouth drawn on and two red antennae on the top.
The tunnel is recommended for use for children aged 1-2 years and can be used indoors as well as out. I wish we had found this earlier as this would have been great indoors when my son first learned to crawl and then could have been moved outside for outdoor play when he was a toddler (and thus even better value for money). My son was instantly attracted to this and wanted to explore it - particularly the flap through which he could crawl in to the tunnel. The tunnel isn't very long - which is nice for babies as it is less daunting - so it didn't keep him occupied for too long at a time but he liked to crawl through it or kick his ball in to it.
I found the flap very frustrating. The Velcro didn't hold at all well and I can't help thinking that there must be a better way to attach this. It came loose every time my son crawled through and even when the wind caught it - we ended up just using the tunnel without this the majority of the time (somewhat losing the caterpillar effect!). The wind would also catch the tunnel when it was not occupied and blow it around the garden, so it would be nice to have it weighted somehow. The tunnel did stand up to the toddlers crawling through well though, despite how thin the material feels - it is surprisingly robust.
I was dubious about folding the tunnel away as I had previous experience of pop up garden toys and I had never managed to get them quite down to the size they first were! However, the instructions that came with this were clear and easy to follow and I successfully managed to fold this back in to the bag it came in for storage.
Overall, this is a decent tunnel for the price but it is quite short so not brilliant for toddlers. I would recommend for indoor play when babies are learning to crawl though.