The Best Pikler Triangles for Open-Ended Play

Turn your home into an indoor obstacle course and encourage movement and play with a pikler triangle set.
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Associate E-Commerce Editor
July 19, 2022
best pikler triangles for little climbers 2022
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Is your toddler literally climbing the walls? Play structures and climbing toys allow your mini to burn off excess energy while safely satisfying their urge to physically explore the world around them.

One of the most popular options for indoor movement and play is a pikler triangle. This multi-purpose wooden toy adapts to your child’s developmental stage, meaning babies and tots can play on their own terms. But what is a pikler triangle exactly—and how will using one benefit your child’s development? Keep reading to get the lowdown on these climbing triangles—plus, check out a few of our favorite options available now.

What Is a Pikler Triangle?

Popularized by child-centered, hands-on approaches to education, the pikler triangle was named for Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian pediatrician who believed that movement and play are the heart of a child’s development. Typically made from wood and other materials, a pikler triangle has a wide, sturdy base so littles can climb without fear of tipping. Pikler triangles are suitable for children ages 6 months up to 5+ years—and the basic structure can be used in a number of ways. For example, a young infant can use the rungs to practice pulling up and standing, while an older child can explore, climb and play. To that end, many brands offer accessories like ramps, tunnels and rockers to keep the good times going as a child grows and their skill set becomes more advanced.

Benefits of a Pikler Triangle

Every child develops at their own pace, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that most kiddos become significant more mobile by the time they’re about 8 months old—so don’t be surprised if your child attempts to scale the furniture at a very young age. According to Laura Linn Knight, a parenting educator, author and former elementary school teacher, tots love to climb for a few important reasons: “As a natural instinct, when babies and toddlers climb, they’re improving their gross motor skills. Additionally, climbing allows for a child to mimic the actions they see adults doing.” She adds that climbing also gives kids a sense of independence. Suffice it to say that a pikler triangle gives your budding adventurer a place to safely practice and play.

Beyond climbing, pikler triangles offer a multitude of uses that encourage gross motor skill development and foster critical thinking. Some of the top benefits of a pikler triangle include:

  • It satisfies a child’s natural impulse to climb and explore

  • It helps children meet key milestones, like standing upright and cruising

  • Open-ended play encourages creativity

  • It increases spatial awareness, problem-solving and balance skills

  • Active play develops gross motor skills, which is an important prerequisite for learning control and coordination of the body, explains Linn Knight.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pikler Triangle

Here are a few of the main considerations to take into account when shopping for a pikler triangle.

  • Size: Pikler triangles range in size from approximately 20″ to 30″ in height. Linn Knight recommends that you choose a climbing triangle that’s an appropriate distance from the ground (in other words, it shouldn’t be too high). If you have limited space, opt for a pikler triangle that can be folded away for easy storage.

  • Price: Pikler triangles can be expensive, but the best options will stand the test of time. Before you buy, set a budget and research the different options.

  • Safety: Safety is a key concern when purchasing a pikler triangle. Look for a sturdy climbing frame made with quality materials. Linn Knight also recommends placing the pikler triangle on a safe surface like a play mat. Tumbles are inevitable, so it’s important to supervise your child at all times while they climb.

The Best Pikler Triangles

Ready to start your search for the best climbing triangles? We’ve done the research, read the reviews and selected the top five pikler triangles on the market.

Image: Cassarokids

Cassarokids Mini Climbing Triangle Rainbow

Cassarokids creates some of the best sustainable wooden toys out there—including pikler triangles. This mini option is perfect for tots that are still finding their footing. It has a solid birch and beech wood construction with evenly spaced rungs painted in child-friendly rainbow colors. And at $129, it’s an affordable pikler triangle to boot. The best part? It supports up to 200 pounds, meaning multiple children can play with it at once. For more advanced climbers, check out the larger options or the climbing triangle and ramp combo.

Age range: 12 months and up

Dimensions: 17.5" x 23" x 17.5"

What we love:

  • Affordable price
  • Sustainable materials
  • Solid wood construction

What to consider:

  • Adventurous kids may outgrow the mini climber relatively quickly

Buy it: $129,

Image: Lily & River

Lily & River Birch Wood Climber

Next up is a bestselling playset by Lily & River. It’s crafted from FSC-certified birch hardwood and stainless steel, meaning it’ll last a lifetime. This climber offers endless playtime possibilities. Kids can use it on its own or with the rockwall and ladder accessories. As your child grows, simply raise the accessories to up the ante… Bonus: This foldable pikler triangle stores away flat.

Age range: 6 months to 5 years

Dimensions: 30″ x 33″ x 24.5″

What we love:

  • Folds flat
  • Ladder doubles as a slide
  • Accessories offer endless play combinations

What to consider:

  • Weight capacity is 90 pounds
  • Assembly required
  • More expensive option

Buy it: Starting from $485,

Image: ShopJoeyCo/Etsy

ShopJoeyCo Large Foldable Montessori Climbing Triangle

How about a handmade pikler climbing triangle? Pegged as one of the best options out there by Etsy’s style and trend editors, this pick checks every box on our list. Hand-crafted by a design team in Houston, Texas, it has a wide, stable base, but is tall enough to present a healthy challenge to new climbers. Purchase the triangle on its own, or opt for a bundle with the accessories of your choice. Options include arches, climbing cubes and a rockwall that doubles as a slide.

Age range: 6 months and up

Dimensions: 31" x 27" x 34"

What we love:

  • Affordable option
  • Folds flat

What to consider:

  • Assembly required
  • Made using birch plywood rather than hardwood

Buy it: Starting from $125,

Image: Piccalio

Piccalio Mini Climber Pikler Triangle

Piccalio is a design-focused brand that creates beautiful wooden play furniture with an emphasis on quality. Our top pick? The mini climber set, which comes with a pikler triangle and a reversible rockwall ramp. Bonus: Each piece is made from FSC-certified wood and meets the highest safety standards.

Age range: 6 months to 6 years

Dimensions: 30.5" x 27.5" x 36.5"

What we love:

  • Folds flat
  • Stylish aesthetic
  • Accessories included
  • Made from premium birch plywood and pine

What to consider:

  • Assembly required
  • Some customers report that the assembly instructions are complicated

Buy it: $349,

Image: Wood and Hearts

Wood And Hearts Store Triangle for Kids Toddlers Rock with Ramp

Searching for a truly affordable pikler triangle? Check out this set available on Amazon. It’s manufactured in Ukraine and includes a triangle climber, a ramp and an arch. Your little one can use it to refine their balance and climbing skills—all while having fun! It’s crafted from birch and beech wood and coated with an environmentally-friendly, non-toxic varnish for a smooth finish.

Age range: 2 to 8 years

Dimensions: 31.9" x 30.2" x 34.3"

What we love:

  • Affordable price
  • Accessories included

What to consider:

  • Assembly required
  • It doesn’t fold flat

Buy it: $179,

About the expert:

Laura Linn Knight, is a parenting educator, mindfulness and meditation leader, former elementary school teacher and the author of Break Free from Reactive Parenting.

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