Goodbye dull rainy days, hello countless hours of independent play! Indoor Montessori climbing toys are a total game-changer.
Montessori climbers promote gross motor skill development, spatial awareness, and balance through child-led exploration. The best part? They facilitate a safe, fun educational experience in the comfort of your own home.
This post covers only the best Montessori climbing toys for indoor toddler play and includes something for every budget in 2022!
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- What are Montessori climbing toys?
- The 15 Best Montessori Climbing Toys to Keep Toddlers Busy Indoors in 2022
- The last thing you need to know about the best Montessori climbing toys
What are Montessori climbing toys?
Montessori climbing toys are often (but not always) made of natural materials such as wood and aim to help children develop gross motor skills, balance, and spatial awareness.
Children often use Montessori climbing toys as a way to explore their environment. Climbing toys often have an open design that allows children to explore the structure from all angles and at different levels.
What is the Montessori method?
The Montessori method is a child-led, exploration-based approach to learning that has been in practice for over 100 years. Developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, and educator, Montessori believes that children thrive when in control of their learning environment.
In Montessori, educators and parents act as facilitators (not lecturers), allowing children to explore materials and activities at their own pace. The goal of Montessori education is to develop independence and self-discipline.
Types of Montessori climbing toys
Montessori climbing toys vary in complexity, material, and function. Some of the most popular types include:
- Pikler Triangle
- Pikler Arch
- Swedish climbing wall
- Multidimensional climbers & jungle gyms
- Foam climbers & play couches
Many Montessori climbing toys include a combination of two or more of these structures.
When should you introduce a Montessori climber?
Once your baby begins crawling and pulling up, they may be ready for their first Montessori climbing toy! Be sure to consult the product manufacturer’s age guidelines and maintain close supervision when your child is using their climbing toy.
How much do Montessori climbers cost?
Here is the deal: Safe and durable climbing toys are not cheap! However, if you subscribe to the Montessori method, you already know that quality far exceeds quantity for educational toys.
The average piece of Montessori climbing equipment will run you about $300-350.
Are Montessori climbers worth it?
Yes! Montessori climbers are one of the most effective ways to keep kids entertained and engaged in independent play. They are also a great way to keep your kids from getting bored inside on rainy days.
Many parents worry that Montessori climbers are too expensive or take up too much space. Rest assured, we’ve covered something for every budget and living space in our top 15 list below.
The 15 Best Montessori Climbing Toys to Keep Toddlers Busy Indoors in 2022
Best Pikler Triangles
Developed by Hungarian pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler, the Pikler triangle aims to help children develop their spatial awareness and fine motor skills. The classic Pikler triangle climbing toy is triangular with ladder-style rungs and is open on the inside.
The Pikler triangle is often one of the first climbing structures parents choose when babies become mobile and ready to explore! Little ones will love pulling up on the rungs even before they begin climbing.
Best Overall Pikler Triangle
If you can already envision your perfect Pikler-style triangle, look no further than Lily and River’s customizable Little Climber! With 15 different customization features, you’re likely to find what you have in mind.
Choose between natural birch wood and bamboo, seven color options, and an add-on slide, ladder, and rock climber. You can even have this sturdy, foldable triangle monogrammed!
Best Pikler Triangle on a Budget
You can find this budget-friendly Pikler-style triangle on Amazon with gorgeous natural wood and primary color accents.
As a mom to a 4-year-old and 1-year-old, I’m always looking for activities my kids both do. Tents have an incredible way of bringing siblings together!
I love that this Driddle climber comes with an attachable tent overlay for multipurpose use. At the time of this post, it retails for less than $130.
Best Pikler Arches
Pikler arches are another popular type of Montessori climbing toy for toddlers. They are aesthetically similar to the Pikler triangle; however, can usually be turned upside down too for rocking!
Best Overall Pikler Arch
Developed by Montessori specialists, the Pikler-style Climbing Gym by EZPlay goes above and beyond, featuring a climbing triangle, slide/ramp, and arch. No wobbly legs here. The quality equipment speaks for itself.
The gym’s detachable arch easily flips over into a rocker for hours of open-ended play for toddlers ages 18 months and up.
Best Pikler Arch on a Budget
The Goodevas arch is a great cost-effective choice for toddlers ages one to three. Are you trying to decide between a climbing triangle or an arch? I prefer the arch.
Why? The ability to turn it upside-down and into a rocking toy is a big win for me. So for less than $140 (at the time of this post), you can get two pieces of Montessori climbing equipment!
If you’re longing for a piece of large climbing equipment for your toddler, but have limited space, consider a ramp.
We do not have a designated playroom, so I love flat toys like ramps. They easily slide under the living room couch for storage and can completely disappear!
Best Overall Ramp
Best Ramp on a Budget
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, yet multidimensional piece of equipment, consider this reversible ramp from Dripex, which sells for under $180 plus shipping (at the time of this post).
Not only does the ramp flip from slide to a rock-climbing wall, but the attached cube has rungs that can be arranged into an additional climber, chair, or even a small side table.
Best Swedish Climbing Walls
A Swedish climbing wall is a ladder with similar rungs to the Pikler triangle. It may appeal to families with older toddlers ready to climb to new heights.
The Swedish wall’s vertical design makes it an excellent choice for minimizing surface space.
Best Overall Swedish Climbing Wall
If you enjoy diving into open-ended play with your kids or you want to expand your home gym, Wedanta’s Swedish wall will fit the bill and then some!
In addition to the multidimensional climbing wall, this sturdy exercise set holds up to 290 lbs and includes a rope ladder, slide, trapeze, pull-up bars, and an ab bench.
Best Swedish Wall on a Budget
If you are on a tight budget, I will be honest that a Swedish climbing wall may not be the right fit. Consider that your child will be climbing upwards of seven feet high on a structure mounted to your wall. This is not one to skimp on quality!
This highly durable, gorgeous gecko Swedish climbing wall by EZPlay gets my pick for the best value and it’s from a reputable company I trust! At the time of this post, it retails for under $350.
Best Indoor Jungle Gyms
If your budget and space allow, consider a multidimensional piece of climbing equipment. Structures with multiple features, such as indoor jungle gyms, will grow with your rapidly developing toddler into their early childhood years.
In addition, full playsets are ideal for playdates and families with siblings as children can play on the equipment simultaneously. Naturally, toddlers will want to do the same thing at the same time! However, the benefit is they can play on something different while they try to wait patiently for their turn.
Best Overall Indoor Jungle Gym
Does your child have to constantly burn off energy to stay calm through the day? The Panda Playground Jungle Gym by EZPlay will get the job done no matter the weather.
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, this gorgeous natural wood structure will keep toddlers ages 18 months and up on the go for hours. Unlike many playsets, this jungle gym folds up for easy storage!
Best Indoor Jungle Gym on a Budget
If your child has high energy, but you’re looking to keep your budget low, Avenlur’s Indoor Playground will give you six pieces of engaging equipment for under $500.
With a Swedish wall, rock-climbing wall, ramp/slide, swing, monkey bars, and rope ladder, children ages 2-6 will stay busy for hours! Assembly is overall pretty straightforward, but consider adding a drill to speed things up.
Best Foam Climbers & Play Couches
If the words “assembly required” are already giving you a headache, foam climbers will be your new best friend!
Contrary to popular belief, Montessori climbing toys do not have to be made from wood. Foam climbing bocks and play couches are open-ended and spark serious child-led exploration and imagination.
My then three-and-a-half and 10-month-old received a play couch last Christmas and it was the first toy they could truly play with together. From forts to obstacle courses, and towers to spaceships, the possibilities (and shared laughs) are truly endless!
Best Overall Foam Climber
If you’re looking for high-quality, durable foam climbers, consider Discount School Supply. Their products can withstand daycares and classrooms’ daily wear and tear for years.
I love this classic soft tunnel climber by Children’s Factory®. The Greenguard Gold Certified, high-density foam blocks include an internal looping system to hold them in place. It even comes with a 2-year warranty to see your little one through their toddler years!
Best Foam Climber on a Budget
This aesthetically pleasing 5-piece foam climber set will keep infants and toddlers busy climbing, exploring, and stacking.
These durable blocks are easy to clean and stack for storage. At the time of this post, they retail on Amazon for under $180.
Caution: These foam blocks can be a bit slick on the carpet, so I suggest using a playmat!
Best Overall Play Couch
If you’re longing to create some moments of bonding between siblings, I swear by the magic of The Nugget! My 4-year-old and 1-year-old have been sharing daily laughs over this 4-piece foam wonder for months.
In addition, climbing and exploring in the comfort of a soft play structure has helped my son grow leaps and bounds in his physical confidence and courage!
Best Play Couch on a Budget
There are quite a few inexpensive play couches covered in sticky vinyl, which fail to provide the same experience as the Nugget!
This foam play couch by Jaxx comes with removable, washable, microsuede covers that provide a genuine soft play experience kids love. It currently retails for under $150, about 30% less than the Nugget!
The last thing you need to know about the best Montessori climbing toys
If you’re eager to pursue Montessori-style learning and play in your home, but worry about the price tag, know this: Quality is more important than quantity.
Adding a Montesorri climbing toy to your home is a significant purchase. However, you will save yourself from buying an excess of smaller toys that kids quickly lose interest in.
If your child is always on the go, a Montessori climber might be the perfect avenue for keeping them learning and exploring for years!