Have a little climber on your hands? If your child climbs bookshelves, stand on chairs, or climbs all over you, it may be time to think about a climbing toy!
A climbing toy not only occupies your children, it actually aids development of the brain and body. If you’ve done any Google search for climbing toys you will find there are a million options. So how do you go about picking the right climbing toy for your children’s development, indoor and outdoor space available?
It’s a tough decision!
Don’t worry I am here to help you out with picking the right climbing toy for your family and budget!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Benefits Of A Climbing Toy For Child Development
Climbing toys or jungle gyms promote the following benefits toward child development:
-Increased cardiovascular flow by raising their arms above their head
-More flexibility because children are stretching muscles to climb
-Movements like ladder climbing of pulling up with their hands and arms promotes upper body, arm, and grip strength
-Ladder movements also promote increased leg strength and overall coordination of the body
-Sliding down a slide and swing from monkey bars also promotes the body’s vestibular system or your child’s sense of balance
On top of all these benefits, climbing toys and jungle gyms increases your child’s imagination and provides hours of entertainment and physical exercise for years to come!
Finding The Right Climbing Toy
Every climbing toy is unique as your child. It’s important to find a climbing toy that fits your children’s developmental needs, family budget, and the space you have available.
To find the right toy for your family, here are some things you need to consider:
Family budget- Money is tight for many families. You need to find a climbing toy that fits a predetermined amount you are willing to spend.
Space- Many climbing toys do not require much space! However, you still need to determine the space you have available inside your home or in your backyard. It all depends on where you want to keep a climbing toy.
Child’s age and development- As you know every toy today comes with a recommended age range. Some climbing toys are for children under three, while others recommend an age of 8 or more. But even though you should consider the recommended age first, you also need to consider your child’s development and how long your child will be able to use the climbing toy. The last thing you want is for your child to outgrow it a year later.
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This activity is set tops this list in the number one spot for multiple reasons! First, the recommended age for this climbing toy set is 9 months to three years old. It’s made of soft material to prevent injuries for very young children and can be placed almost anywhere in the home.
It is lightweight, yet easy to move around the house and store away in a closet when you need the extra space.
While this foam climbing set will help gross motor development in children under three, older children may lose or have no interest in playing on it. But again that’s all up to child preference!
-Easy to clean
-You can configure the set into many combinations
-Suitable for children under 1
-Durable, but lightweight
-Perfect for small spaces
-Children over three may lose interest
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center
The Geometric Dome Climber is an all-in-one play center where children can climb, hang, and swing. The dome is made of sturdy metal to support multiple children at once.
This climbing toy is great for the backyard and can be made into a large fort! One reviewer on Amazon purchased a 20ft rainbow parachute to add an extra element of fun for his kids!
-Sturdy steel construction
-Multiple children can play at once
-Can be used for years
-Not suited for younger children
-Does not come with tie downs (you will need to buy tie downs separately)
-Depending on where you live, the steel may rust over time
Pickler Triangle & Ladder Set
The best thing about a Pickler Triangle and Ladder set: Simplicity. Based on Montessori principles, this climbing set is made of a solid wood structure and is rated for indoor and outdoor use (dry weather only).
-All-natural, non-toxic material used
-Perfect for small spaces
-Holds up to 60 kg (132 lbs)
-Recommended for children 8 months to 8 years
-Does not easily fold away and size makes it tough store away in a closet
Winner of the the 2019 Parent’s Choice Award, this climbing toy offers children 18 months to 6 years the opportunity to use their imagination with built-in steering wheel, vehicle doors, and crawl through ‘tires.’ Children can use it for sliding, crawling, and climbing.
-Low to the ground construction (perfect for smaller children)
-Made of sturdy plastic
-Too bulky for inside the home
-Depending on the height and weight of a child, he or she may grow out of the climbing toy before 6 years old
Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber
The Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber is a simple designed for small children equipped with a slide and rock climbing wall. I have seen this exact climbing toy inside daycares or in the home and it doesn’t take up much space. This is a major plus!
-Small design allows for indoor use
-Made of sturdy plastic
-Recommended for children 12 months to 4 years old
-Great price for any budget
-Some Amazon reviewers feel the climbing toy is too small for four year old’s. Which means, depending on your child’s height and weight, your child may outgrow it before 4 years of age.
Another climbing toy curtesy of Little Tikes, this bus allows your child to climb, crawl, slide, and even drive! The bus includes a musical dashboard for an interactive experience. Similar to Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber it is a small design that can easily fit inside the home.
-Musical dashboard that includes learning about letters, numbers, and nursery rhymes
-Fosters imaginative play
-Your child may outgrow the climbing toy faster than expected
If your children aspire to be a Ninja Warrior then this is the climbing toy set for them! This complete kit comes with a variety of monkey bars, a swing, ladder, and a climbing rope. All you need to do is tether it between two trees and it holds a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds!
-Perfect for older children (5 plus)
-Easy set up
-Adults can use it too
-Variety of different gross motor activities
-You have to have trees in your backyard to use as anchoring points
This climbing toy is part TP, part, hideaway, and part jungle gym! The Explorer 2 Climbing Set is the tallest climbing structure on this list and can hold up to 220 pounds.
While your children can climb and crawl through the metal structure, the top portion of the TP is a canopy that can be used for backyards sleepovers!
-Multiple children can use it at once
-Tall structure for kids who love heights
-Canopy section for lounging and sleepovers
-Recommended age is between 3 years and 12 years old. It may be fairly large for children under five or for children who love to climb, but don’t like to go too high.
-Tall structure only allows for outdoor use
If you already have an outdoor playset, a cargo net can be added for an extra climbing challenge. The cargo net can also be used indoor if anchored properly from the ceiling.
-Can be added to almost any existing playset structure
-Recommended for children over 12 years old
-Can be attached to the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course Set (see above)
-Some assembly is required. The rope is not tied with knots, but plastic interlocking joints with screws. I would imagine this would take a little time to put together.
This climbing structure is adorable! On a cuteness scale, this climbing toy is definitely at the top of the list! Children can crawl through, peek out of holes, and use the same peek-a-boo holes for climbing on top of the caterpillar.
-Cute and fun for imaginative play while climbing and crawling
-Durable plastic structure
-Suited for younger children
-It can be used indoor and outdoor, however it does look fairly large to be inside so you would need a lot of space inside.
-Limited age range of 2 to 4 years old means children will grow out of it quickly
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If you’re like me… I have a little climber on my hands! My one year old is up and down on everything (including me) all day long! It’s exhausting.
Children need to climb though. It enhances their gross motor skills like upper body strength and helps aid coordination and balance. So instead of telling your child to stop climbing on things all day, encourage the behavior in a positive way by trying out a climbing toy!