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The Best Pikler Triangles for Tots Who Love to Climb

Turn your home into an indoor obstacle course and encourage your toddler to move and play with a pikler triangle set.
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By Martina Garvey, E-Commerce Editor
Updated November 2, 2023
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Image: Avenlur
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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, then check out a few of our favorite options available now.

What Is a Pikler Triangle?

A pikler triangle is a climbing structure developed by Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian pediatrician who believed that movement and play are the heart of a child’s development. Pikler popularized these toys as part of a child-centered, hands-on approach to education. Typically made from wood and other materials, a pikler triangle has a wide, sturdy base so kids can climb without fear of it tipping over. 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 baby can use the rungs to practice pulling themselves 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

Everyone develops at their own pace, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that most kids become significantly 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 play and safely push their physical boundaries.

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 inches 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 available.
  • Safety: Safety is a key concern when purchasing a pikler triangle. Look for a sturdy climbing frame with a wide stable base. Linn Knight also recommends placing the pikler triangle on a soft surface like a floor mat. Tumbles are inevitable, so it’s important to supervise your child at all times while they climb.
  • Materials. Play furniture is no different from regular furniture in that it’s important to consider the materials used. Our advice? Look for triangle climbing frames made from FSC-certified wood, meaning it came from responsibly managed forests. It’s also a good idea to look for options that are Greenguard Gold certified, as this means that the product was thoroughly screened for toxic chemicals and pollutants.

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 pikler triangles and climbing frames on the market.

Overall best climbing triangle set

Maple - Wood Small Triangle Climbing Set with Ladder Slide
Image: Avenlur
What We Love
  • Multiple configurations
  • Folds for easy storage
  • Relatively affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required

Voted the overall best toddler toy in this year’s Best of the Bump awards, this climbing triangle set is top of our list. Crafted from sustainable New Zealand pine, this pick is designed to stand the test of time and folds away for easy storage. The set includes a pikler style triangle, an arch ramp that also functions as a rocker and a rockwall that doubles as a slide. The triangle itself has a stable base and evenly spaced rungs. Plus, the low-profile design is perfect for younger toddlers and older children alike.

Age range: 1 to 5 years | Dimensions: 59.5" (L) x 19.7" (W) x 17.7" (H) | Weight: 23.9 lbs. | Capacity: 132 lbs.

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Best certified pikler triangle

Pikler Triangle
Image: RAD Childrens Furniture
What We Love
  • Handmade in the US
  • Certified by the Pikler Organization
  • Folds flat for easy storage
Things To Consider
  • Accessories sold separately

Next up on our list is the RAD Pikler Triangle. What makes this climbing frame so special? It’s the first (and only) climbing triangle in North America to be certified by the Pikler Organization, meaning it meets the exacting standards laid out by the inventor Emmi Pikler. Made from responsibly sourced Birch wood, the RAD has a wide stable base that locks into place when opened. The perfectly spaced rungs make it easy for kids to climb and explore their environment, and it's safe to use for children up to 5 years old. Use it on its own or with a long or short ramp. Bonus: For an additional fee you can have the triangle assembled by a professional.

Age range: 6 months to 5 years | Dimensions: 28" (L) x 35" (W) x 29" (H) | Weight: 13 lbs. | Capacity: 100 lbs. per child

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Best mini climbing triangle

Small Foldable Triangle
Image: Cassarokids
Buying Options
Cassarokids|$255
What We Love
  • Affordable price
  • Sustainable materials
  • Solid wood construction
Things To Consider
  • Kids may outgrow the mini climber relatively quickly

Cassarokids creates some of the best sustainable wooden toys out there—including options inspired by the original pikler triangle. 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. The best part? It supports up to 150 pounds, meaning multiple children can play on it at once. And when playtime is over, simply fold it up and stow it out of the way. For more advanced climbers, check out the company’s larger options or the triangle and ramp combo.

Age range: 6+ months | Dimensions: 22" (L) x 28" (W) x 26" (H) | Weight: N/A | Capacity: 150 lbs.

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Best adjustable climbing triangle

Little Partners Learn and Climb Triangle
Image: Target
What We Love
  • No assembly required
  • Greenguard Gold certified
  • Offers three climbing positions
Things To Consider
  • Accessories sold separately
  • Not suitable for young toddlers
  • Some parents say the set arrived with minor damage

No need to look any further than your local Target for a climbing triangle set. This option comes fully assembled, meaning it’s ready to go right out of the box! It’s made from solid hardwood with metal connectors to ensure a strong and sturdy base. Better yet, quick-release fasteners let you raise and lower the height of the climber to three varying levels of difficulty. Add to the adventure with the Little Partners ramp-slide, which locks into place for safety.

Age range: 3+ years | Dimensions: 48.3" (L) x 33.5" (W) x 29.1" (H) | Weight: 24.9 | Capacity: 200 lbs.

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Best large climbing triangle

Montessori Climbing Gym Pikler Triangle Set
Image: ShopJoeyCo | Etsy
Buying Options
Etsy|From $54
What We Love
  • Affordable price point
  • Folds flat
  • Tall frame
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required
  • Made using birch plywood rather than hardwood

How about a handmade climbing triangle set? 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 pikler-style 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 | Dimensions: 34" (L) x 27" (W) x 31" (H) | Weight: N/A | Capacity: 120 lbs.

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Best climbing triangle and rockwall set

What We Love
  • Folds flat
  • Ladder doubles as a slide
  • Accessories offer endless play combinations
Things To Consider
  • Low weight capacity
  • Assembly required
  • High price point

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 climbing triangle stores away flat.

Age range: 6 months to 5 years | Dimensions: 51.5" (L) x 31.5" (W) x 24.5" (H) | Weight: 32 lbs. | Capacity: 90 lbs.

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Mini pikler triangle and rockwall

Climber Pikler Triangle Set
Image: Piccalio
Buying Options
Piccalio|$349
What We Love
  • Folds flat
  • Stylish aesthetic
  • Accessories included
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required
  • Some parents say assembly instructions are complicated

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 climbing triangle and a reversible rockwall ramp. Each piece is made from FSC-certified wood and meets the highest safety standards. And it folds flat for easy storage.

Age range: 6 months to 6 years | Dimensions: 36.5" (L) x 27.5" (W) x 30.5" (H) | Weight: N/A | Capacity: 132 lbs.

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Best budget-friendly climbing triangle set

Set of three Climbing Ramp and Arch and Foldable Triangle Indoor playground
Image: woodandhearts | Etsy
What We Love
  • Affordable price point
  • High weight capacity
  • Accessories included
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required

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: 30.2" (L) x 34.3" (W) x 31.9" (H) | Weight: N/A | Capacity: 220 lbs.

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How We Chose the Best Pikler Triangles

When it comes to toys the choices can be overwhelming, making it hard to find the best fit for your family. That’s why simple toys—like a pikler triangle—that offer multiple benefits and play opportunities are often best. To streamline your decision-making process, our goal is to do the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through online retailers. We do this by considering a list of criteria when sourcing climbing triangle sets, including quality and durability, height and weight, value, storage options and, last but definitely not least, safety. This way you can count on getting the best bang for your buck, while also having a dependable climbing frame that will meet your child’s needs.

To decide which products are the best options on the market, we leverage our familiarity with leading baby brands to make sure items are from reliable manufacturers. We read user reviews to get the low-down on how these products work for families, and typically don’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. And since many of us are also parents, we rely on our writers’ and editors’ experience using these products with their own families.

To make sure we’re highlighting products that are safe and effective, we spoke with a parenting educator and former elementary school teacher to understand essential features and safety considerations to keep top of mind when you’re shopping. We also follow the safety recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and look for certifications and seals of approval from key organizations.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Sources

Laura Linn Knight is a parenting educator, mindfulness and meditation leader, former elementary school teacher and the author of Break Free from Reactive Parenting(https://www.amazon.com/dp/1646044045?&linkCode=ll1&tag=tb-pikler-triangles-20&linkId=be6dca49b5d66560aac0f82273390b6e&language=en_US&ref=asli_ss_tl).

American Academy of Pediatrics, Movement: Babies 8 to 12 Months, April 2021

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