Children love to move through these lightweight tunnels during physical activity sessions.
Note the soft mat added for safety and comfort.
I can’t say enough about the versatility of tunnel play for physical development and for adding imaginative play to movement activities for children. When I know that children love a certain piece of equipment I do my best to use that piece of equipment in a variety of ways and as often as possible. To be honest, I have four tunnels—short ones and long ones—and I use them regularly in my movement classes with children of all ages. Why? Simply because kids love tunnels!
Tunnels add variety and value
- The first point to note is that play tunnels are usually reasonably priced and can be found in toy shops, department stores, or even supermarkets, not to mention online. Try a browser search for “play tunnels” to see what is available near you.
- Tunnels are easy to use and compact to store. They usually come in a zippered case that is easy to carry.
- They are handy and adaptable for a multitude of fun movement activities at a moment’s notice.
- Tunnels are a great way to set the tone of enthusiasm for a movement session.
Children can move through the tunnel in different ways
- Crawling forwards on hands and knees
- Crawling backwards on hands and knees
- Sliding through on the back with the feet first
- Sliding through on the back with the head first
- Sliding through on the tummy using the arms to move forward
Crawling backwards is a good way to go.
Implement tunnel play for physical development and creative fun
- Use tunnels as an element in creating movement circuits. Each time the children complete the circuit they can move through the tunnels in a different way.
- Use a tunnel for doing log rolls! Have a child lie in the middle of the tunnel with the body long and straight and roll over like a log. The tunnel rolls over, too.
- Tie two or three tunnels together to make one long tunnel if you have them. The children can be choo-choo trains going through the long tunnel, or whatever they can imagine. Your children will love this.
- Use a tunnel for transitions. It is a great way for the children to enter or leave the activity room or to transition from one group to another. They have to crawl through the tunnel to get to the next destination.
- Let the children make a tunnel out of hoops and take turns crawling through. Hoop tunnel is one of the fun activities in the MoovKids curriculum.
Kids create a hoop tunnel and take turns going through!
Take good care of your tunnels
- Keeping the tunnels in good shape is important for safety. Be sure to check that the metal spiral does not poke through the fabric at the ends of the tunnel. This could seriously hurt a child. Check the ends regulary when you put the tunnels out and patch rips or tears if you notice them.
- If the metal piping in a tunnel hurts the children knees as they crawl, place a soft mat in the tunnel to make the activity more comfortable to do.
If you don’t have a tunnel yet, consider adding one or a few to your equipment set. The versatility of tunnel play for physical development of your children will bring immense joy and imaginative fun to learning fundamental movement skills.
P.S.: I would be very happy to present the MoovKids curriculum options and explain how MoovKids can inspire and support you with coordinating the children in your care!