My little boy Matthias turned a year old at the end of August. He is now a full-fledged toddler, walking (nearly running) everywhere. He also wants to climb on everything – everything! It’s amazing to watch his physical development!
Far too often he is choosing things to climb on that just aren’t appropriate for climbing, like this ride-on toy. I snapped a quick picture of his proud little face before I made him get down.
Yes, he looks awfully cute with that big smile but this is not a safe climbing toy for toddlers. Those wheels work, plus he could make it tip forward.
I decided it was time to get him a few climbing toys that would be a bit more appropriate for him, and I prefer to buy Montessori toys for my toddlers when possible.
Why Montessori Climbing Toys?
The thing is that toddlers have a natural desire to climb. They just WANT to do it. It’s part of their development and it’s good for them to do it!
Montessori climbing toys are designed to develop coordination and strong muscles while also promoting balance and control. The open-ended designs of Montessori climbing toys promote creative and active play.
What is the Montessori Philosophy?
According to the American Montessori Society, Montessori is an education philosophy and practice that fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development, with a goal of nurturing each child’s natural desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect.
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori method of education is a type of educational method that involves children’s natural interests and activities rather than formal teaching methods. In a Montessori classroom, the teacher places an emphasis on hands-on learning and developing real-world skills.
Although I don’t strictly practice only the Montessori method with my children, there are aspects of it that I really appreciate and utilize with my children, especially during their toddler years. I like to let my children explore the world around them and learn through hands-on activities, educational toys, and real-world living.
The Best Montessori Climbing Toys
I went on a search for Montessori climbing toys for toddlers. Today wanted to share the best ones with you today.
The toys pictured below are from Bunny Hopkins. They are my #1 choice for many of the Montessori Climbing toys because they use high-quality materials and their toys are 100% handcrafted right here in the United States. The high-quality wood, craftsmanship, and attention to detail just can’t be beat!
A wobble board was the first toy Matthias learned to climb on. You should have seen the proud look on his face the first time he stood on top of his upside-down wobble board.
He spent hours that day climbing up, standing, squatting back down, and crawling off, only to do it all over again.
Wobble boards are such a great investment for kids because they will use them for years and years to get their wiggles out. My older kids love to turn it over, spread their legs apart, and rock back and forth. Playing on this board helps kids improve their balance and gross motor skills.
The Pikler Triangle was the second climbing toy I got for my son and he immediately was intrigued by it! It allows little ones to practice climbing similar to climbing a ladder, without the height being too extremely high for them.
Pikler triangles come in two sizes. I got the smaller size for now and will upgrade to a larger size when he is a little bit bigger. He spends a lot of time climbing on this! These climbing triangles are a great way for toddlers to practice hand-eye coordination.
There are so many fun ways for toddlers to use a rocker toy. Matthias likes to climb over it, under it, and inside of it too when set up in a boat-like position. It’s a great way for toddlers to start practicing balance.
As children get older, the rockers are great for pretend play too. My preschoolers like to pretend it’s a boat or turn it on the other side and use it like a bridge.
A ramp is great if you have a Piklar triangle because it can be added to the triangle for additional play. We got a ramp from Bunny Hopkins and I love it because it is smooth on one side (my son loves to use that side like an indoor slide) and on the other side has a rock wall for climbing. Matthias climbs on and off of the ramp all day long.
Piklar Triangle, Ramp, and Rocker Combo
You can combine a Piklar Triangle with a ramp and/or rocker for additional Montessori climbing fun! Sometimes we put all three of ours together or the kids set it up like an obstacle course using all three.
My kids, including my toddler, love to play on toddler stones. Of course, with a young toddler, the climbing stones need to be positioned pretty close together. However, as he gets older and is a more skillful walker, we will separate them further.
Combine stepping stones with a Pikler triangle so toddlers have to start on a stone, climb onto the triangle or ramp and then back down onto a stepping stone on the other side.
Just as the name suggests, balance beams are great for practicing balance for little ones. You can find ones that are low to the ground so if your toddler falls, he or she won’t fall far.
Montessori Indoor Playground
If your space is big enough, consider a Montessori indoor playground.
There are lots of great soft cushions for toddlers to build with and climb on. Look for ones that are easy to clean and made of sturdy cushion that won’t sag after lots of climbing.
Cushioned Floor Mat
This item is not necessarily one your children will climb on, but it’s a great idea to lay one of these down under your toddler’s climbing toys to help minimize the impact of falls.
Montessori Climbing Toys for Toddler Buyers Guide
I’ve assembled a list of my favorite Montessori climbing toys for young children you can buy online and linked them for you.
If you have a toddler, you might also find these other posts helpful, like this one about helping your toddler to be more independent, this one with sensory play activities for toddlers, and this one about moving your toddler from a crib to a toddler bed.
Once you purchase a Pikler triangle, here’s a helpful post with 10 fun activities to do with your Pikler triangle.