There are a lot of different activities that toddlers can do to begin to learn to climb safely. I’m going to show you some safe climbing activities for toddlers that use some fun and exciting products that will help your children learn quickly and safely to climb and practice other coordination skills whilst also exercising and having lots of imaginative play and fun. I want you to see why the Montessori method can help make climbing activities for toddlers a learning experience that can help them build a whole range of skills ranging from physical and coordination skills to cognitive imaginative play activities all while using toddler climbing toys.
Toddlers can safely learn to climb from a young age using foam climbing blocks and a toddlers pikler triangle that can help a child transition from crawling to walking and climbing. Toddlers can then progress up to indoor play structures that look very much like an indoor playground before swinging on an indoor jungle gym and as they get older eventually playing on their very own garden obstacle courses.
My favourite safe climbing activities for toddlers
Table of Contents
- 1 My favourite safe climbing activities for toddlers
- 2 How climbing activity toys can help toddlers learn climbing skills
- 3 What makes a climbing activity safe for toddlers
Here are a few climbing activities using fun and educational toys that are safe for toddlers to climb and play on. I’m going to show you a variety of different activity ideas and products so you can hopefully find the right products and activities for your young children to play and develop climbing skills.
Foam climbing blocks for toddlers
Click image to view the ECR4kids climb and crawl blocks on Amazon
These Soft foam climb and crawl blocks are created by ECR4Kids and offer toddlers the perfect chance to start to practice crawling up a ramp and to learn to pull their body weight up and over soft and safe blocks which helps with their gross motor skills. These foam blocks are colourful which help stimulate infants imagination and this makes playing on them a lot more exciting for young children who are drawn to colourful objects they can touch and climb on. Young toddlers often roll around and fall because they haven’t yet learnt to balance properly, so using climbing equipment that is made of foam means that when they fall or crawl into the surface it is much softer, safer and more comfortable.
Foam blocks are the safest and easiest to use with young toddlers learning to climb. It is also possible to pile blocks on top of each other and move them around to create towers and different fun shapes. These blocks are low above the ground and don’t have bars for children to pull themselves up onto and climb properly but they offer the chance for little ones to practice pulling their body weight onto objects by transferring their weight, learning to balance and building strength crawling up soft ramps.
Wooden climbing triangles
Click the image to view the Cassaro Large Pikler triangle on Amazon
After your toddlers begin to grow and build strength in their arm muscles, they can start to progress up from the soft and safe foam blocks to wooden climbing triangles. These climbing triangles have lots of bars which toddlers can crawl underneath, hold on to and pull their body weight along. As your youngsters build more strength they will be able to start to stand up alongside the bars by holding onto them and then safely begin to pull themselves up and eventually learn to climb to the top of the frame with your supervision. Many of these climbing triangles can be used by toddlers for a number of different safe climbing activities and often also used as tunnels and covered in blankets to create a fun hideaway. Some of the best products have attachments including ramps, slides and other activities that make playing with them even more exciting.
These pikler triangles are popular with parents who like to follow the Montessori education method. Your toddlers can develop physical skills while also improving coordination and cognitive skills. Learning to climb safely and with some independence is the aim of using these climbing toys. Usually the wooden bars are close together making it easier for toddlers to find the next step with their feet. Sometimes there are colourful bars that encourage children to learn the colours and aim to reach up to the next colour as they grow stronger. Learning to climb should include safe activities that encourage some level of independence for toddlers as they begin to improve their stability and balance which is important when learning to climb.
Indoor adventure climbing activity frames
Click the image to view the Simplay3 adventure climber on Amazon
Now your children have learnt to lift up their body weight they can begin to explore indoor adventure climbing playgrounds and all the fun and safe activities they offer. Indoor climbing frames offer a selection of climbing ramps, climbing walls, slides, tunnels and other fun activities. Having so many activities in one place helps toddlers to use their imagination and really explore the possibilities for learning new skills and having fun. I love when these climbing activity centres are themed and offer interactive buttons, handles, wheels and other toys that make a child’s experience that little bit more magically and help them learn about the world around them through touching, feeling and manipulating objects. These frames are usually only a few foot off the ground so they are secure places where children can be shielded from the dangers of a big outdoor playground at your local park until they are ready and confident enough to climb there.
Safe Outdoor toddler climbing activity frames
Click the image above to view the Eezy Peezy monkey bar climbing tower on Amazon
During the summer months I love to have some exciting play equipment and activities for my children to play on. It is now possible to buy climbing toys for your garden that are safe for young children to climb on. The Eezy Peezy monkey bars climbing tower is one of the most popular safe climbing activities for toddlers to play in their garden. To make garden play equipment safer, I always try to place it on the grass and if possible place soft blankets or a gymnastics mat or crash mat underneath for toddlers to jump down on to rather than landing on the harder ground.
Toddler obstacles courses
Click image to view the Hyponix Sporting Obstacle course on Amazon
Once your children are more confident and can climb safely, these new slackline obstacle courses for your backyard offer a whole range of climbing and swinging activities for children to play. Kids can climb up the rope ladders or a single rope attached to the main obstacle course. Climb and swing across the rope by navigating balls, bars, stepping stones and other fun activities. These activities might seem a long way off when your toddlers are still young but they will quickly learn to pull themselves up and climb onto objects and once they master that they will soon be climbing on outdoor playgrounds and climbing into tree houses with ease. You can even buy your own rope tunnel bridge or your children to crawl and climb along.
How climbing activity toys can help toddlers learn climbing skills
Choosing safe climbing activities for toddlers to learn to climb is important. With safe equipment and activities, young children can begin to gain confidence in their own ability to climb up and onto objects. For children learning to climb it is best to give them stepping stones on their journey to being able to climb independently. Start with the foam blocks that encourage toddlers to crawl and pull their bodies up and onto objects. Next move on to pikler triangles and small climbing frames that have bars that are close to the ground for children to start to pull themselves along before gradually standing up and then climbing higher with supervision. Once toddlers have learnt the basic coordination skills required to climb they can explore playgrounds, monkey bars and take part in more imaginative climbing play activities using safe equipment. It is even possible to think up some ideas for a toddler obstacle course with this equipment.
What makes a climbing activity safe for toddlers
Not all climbing activities are suitable for a toddler so you need to be sure that you pay attention to your child’s physical ability level so you can find activities and climbing toys that are suitable for them to play on. Supervising toddlers at all times and being close enough to stop them falling off raised objects is important. Make sure any climbing activities take place in a room or garden with enough space around the climbing equipment to make sure they can’t bump into any other objects. I often use small crash mats or gymnastics mats for helping toddlers learn to climb, by giving them a safe surface underneath the climbing apparatus in case they fall.