If you’re the parent of a budding toddler, you know just how much they can get around. Children start to gain greater control over their motor functions and abilities at about 18 months of age. Once they realize their independence in this regard, they’re off to the races: jumping, running, and climbing at just about every opportunity they can get.
That’s why climbing toys can be such a great way for your toddler to get out their energy. Not only will they help your baby develop necessary motor skills, like balance and hand-eye coordination, but you can rest easy knowing they’re climbing things that are safe and primarily designed with them in mind.
In this article, we’ll talk more about why toddlers climb and give you a list of the best climbing toys out there!
Table of Contents
- Best Indoor Toy: The Pikler Triangle
- Best Outdoor Toy: Lifetime Geometric Dome
- Best Toy For Small Spaces: Wooden Balance Board
- Best All-In-One Toy: The Avenlur 6-in-1 Jungle Gym
Toddlers are not meant to sit still. If you’re a parent, there’s no doubt you already know this to be true. If you’re concerned about your child’s newfound habits, you shouldn’t be! Just like learning to hold their head up and learning to take their first steps, climbing is a natural thing that many young children do—and in the long run, has even been proven to be beneficial to their long-term growth and development.
Climbing is an excellent way for children to build strength, flexibility, and balance. It’s also a great way for them to learn more about their surroundings and gain confidence in their abilities. But short of taking away every scalable item in your home, there’s really not much you can do to avoid this impulse your child has to climb.
But that’s where the right climbing toys can be extremely beneficial to both your peace of mind and your child’s development!
When considering the right type of climbing toy to invest in, you want to keep a few different things in mind. Not only do you of course want to think about how high the toy actually goes, but you want to think about what material it’s made out of, as well as if you want to set it up somewhere inside your home or perhaps go the outdoor route.
The following is a list of some of the best climbing toys for your little one, depending on your (and their!) specific needs:
- Best Indoor Climbing Toy: The Pikler Triangle
- Best Outdoor Climbing Toy: The Lifetime Geometric Dome
- Best Toy For Small Spaces: The Wooden Balance Board
- Best All-In-One Toy: The Avenlur 6-in-1 Jungle Gym
In the following sections, we’ll talk about each of these toys a bit more in-depth to help you decide which one would be the perfect choice for you!
Best Indoor Toy: The Pikler Triangle
The Pikler Triangle was developed over 100 years ago by Hungarian pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler. In its most simple form: it’s a climbing frame. But in the mind of an imaginative child, it can also be a castle, a mountain, or any number of amazing and fantastical things.
Think of Pikler Triangles as training wheels for the larger outdoor playsets with swings, slides, and monkey bars that your child is likely to use when they’re older. And what’s also great about them is not only are they perfect for indoor use, they can be also be used for quite some time! Pikler Triangles are designed for children as young as 6 months to as old as 5 years, so these toys are perfect for continuing to help your child as they continue to grow and develop!!
There are a variety of Pikler Triangles on the market today, but our top choice is the Cassarokids collection of triangles, also known as “climbers” online. Not only do these triangles come in a variety of color palettes to match your home, but they are also available in a variety of heights, from mini-sized to large, meaning you can also pick the height that is most appropriate for your child!
They’re made with 100% wood and painted with water-based paints, meaning they’re completely safe for your child to play around on for hours! It also supports up to 200 pounds, meaning that multiple children could even play on it at once. The “natural” wooden finish mini-climber currently costs about $149, meaning it’s also one of the more affordable options on the market today.
Best Outdoor Toy: Lifetime Geometric Dome
If you’re looking for an outdoor climbing toy that is sure to keep your little one entertained, look no further than the Lifetime Geometric Dome! Made with weather and rust-resistant powder-coated steel, this jungle gym stands at about 5 feet high and is suitable for children as young as 3 to as old as 10!
The dome comes in a variety of color schemes and with a weight capacity of up to 600 lbs, would be perfect for those families that also happen to have more than one young child. It also comes equipped with climbing grips to help ensure your child is able to climb and adventure safely!
Coming in at about $230 on Amazon, it is a bit of an investment, but when you consider that it can be used until your child is about 10 years old, depending on how old your child is currently, you could end up getting a lot of mileage out of it in the end!
It also comes with a 1-year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that you can return it if something happens to go wrong.
Best Toy For Small Spaces: Wooden Balance Board
If you’re searching for a way to develop your child’s motor skills while still living within the means of a small space, like an apartment, then a wooden balance board would be the perfect alternative to the more “traditional” climbing toys out there.
Also known as “wobble boards,” these toys are essentially just a curved piece of wood that your child can use to help foster their imagination and motor skills as well as stimulate the vestibular system in the brain, which helps with balance, spatial coordination, and spatial orientation. Think of it like a standing rocking chair!
These are perfect for smaller spaces because they hardly take up any room at all, but can be used in a variety of different ways depending on how imaginative you and your child can be! The right balance board can be a seat, a bridge, or even a slide! And what’s even better is that your kids aren’t the only ones who can join in on the fun. Balance boards are often sturdy enough to support over 400 lbs, meaning you can even use it yourself if you feel so inclined!
Our top choice for a wooden balance board is the Gentle Monster Wooden Wobble Balance Board. It’s made with high-quality wood, measures about 35 inches long, and can support up to 480 lbs! Currently being sold at around $60 (and with an option to save an additional $10 with an available coupon), it’s also one of the most affordable wobble boards out there.
Best All-In-One Toy: The Avenlur 6-in-1 Jungle Gym
If you’re on the hunt for a climbing toy that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use (say, if you want to be able to put it outside during the warmer months but inside during the cooler season), then look no further than the Avenlur 6-in-1 Jungle Gym!
Coming in at just under $500 on Amazon, this is a monster of a climbing toy! Not only does it come with its own mini rock climbing wall, it also has a slide, monkey bars, a rope ladder, a wooden ladder, and even a swing. No doubt your child will have hours upon hours of fun exploring all of the different ways to climb and play around!
While it is mostly marketed as an indoor climbing gym, it’s made from 100% varnished pine wood, which means you could easily set it up outside as well—particularly if you live in an area with more favorable weather conditions. It also comes in two size dimensions, medium and large, meaning you have some flexibility in your choice and can better cater to your child’s specific needs.
It’s suitable for children ages 2-6 and also comes in a variety of color schemes, meaning you can pick the perfect one to fit the decor of your home or your child’s playroom!
Climbing is a natural extension of your child’s developmental process and helps them develop necessary motor skills like strength, flexibility, and balance. While it may be unnerving to know your child may start scaling just about everything in sight, you can help mitigate these fears (at least somewhat) by investing in the right climbing toy!
In this article, we talked about 4 of our top choices for climbing toys, but there are so many available out there, especially from smaller sellers like those found on Etsy. If nothing else, hopefully, this article has at least helped to point you in the right direction toward finding the perfect climbing toy for your toddler!