Updated on January 4, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Climbing toys are fun and have many benefits for children of all ages. For toddlers, they help develop gross motor, language, and roleplaying skills. They also provide physical activity and increase agility. Climbers can help with balance and spatial awareness as well. The number of benefits acquired from physical play is tremendous, and it’s definitely worth our time as parents to invest in toys that promote it.
Best Climbing Toys For Toddlers & Preschoolers
(Best all around — $$)
Why it’s great: This climber comes with an attached basketball hoop, climbing ladder, football toss, soccer area, slide, and scorekeeper. It comes with three sports balls as well. It is durable and stands very sturdy. More than 1 child can play on this set at the same time to increase the fun!
This item rates 4.4 out of 5 at Amazon and is definitely loved by kiddos. It builds motor skills, language, and vocabulary concepts, and promotes physical activity. With this climber, role play can be imagined, social skills can be learned, and creativity can run wild. The bright colors are a bonus as well!
Keep in mind: Some complaints have been that the instructions aren’t explained very well. When using the instructions to put together the pieces, most pieces simply snap together, but some had to drill their own holes in one specific place. I say, if you choose this climber, have a drill handy. If you need it, your solution is ready and waiting.
Good for: Children 24 months to 6 years.
(Best climber — $$)
Why it’s great: This is a dome-shaped climbing tower with a little tower section at the top. It’s made of strong plastic, which is also really easy for your child to grip. Your toddler will be able to learn how to climb, while also strengthening their motor skills and balance. They will also be improving their hand-eye coordination as they navigate their way to the top. It also promotes imagination and creativity as your child finds new ways to play and use the structure. It is easy to assemble and is UV protected, so it won’t rust or pale in color out in the sun, giving your child years of fun.
Keep in mind: This is just a climbing tower and doesn’t have any other accessories or entertainment.
Good for: Children ages 3 to 8 years weighing up to 150lbs combined.
(Best for storage — $$$)
Why it’s great: This is a triangle structure with rails that your child will love to climb. Each rail is a different, bright color, which makes it more appealing to young kids. It also comes with a detachable piece that is smooth on one side and has rungs on the other side. The rungs can either be used to give your child less of an incline to try to climb the structure. The smooth side can be used as a slide for your child. It is made of solid wood and the triangular design gives it added stability. This climber also folds up easily for storage when not in use.
Keep in mind: It does take up a bit of space, but there’s a smaller version you can purchase if your space is limited or if you want something for a younger toddler.
Good for: Children 6 months to 6 years weighing up to 132lbs combined.
(Easiest care — $$)
Why it’s great: This climb and playset comes in three color choices. It encourages physical activity, social skills, and gross-motor skills. It can also help with vocabulary, language development, and balance. The blocks wipe clean easily and the material is environmentally safe.
The product comes with a 2 year warranty and there is practically no assembly required. It can be used indoors and outdoors and is made with hook and loop closures, so the blocks don’t slide. This climbing set rates a 4.8 out of 5 stars. This playset can be set up in the center of a room and it doesn’t come apart.
Keep in mind: Some customers have mentioned the price being a little steep. However, it’s important to remember that each piece comes with connectors so the blocks sliding apart won’t be an issue with this toy. Also, the materials it’s made of are proven to be super easy to manage.
Good for: Children 8 months and up.
(Best for young toddlers — $$)
Why it’s great: This jungle gym has a small climbing section, slide, toss target, and comes with an attached ball pit. It also comes with 50 brightly colored balls to fill the pit. With plenty of options for play, your toddler will be entertained for hours. The climb to the slide is easy for younger children and they’ll love going down the slide. It promotes creativity, fine and gross motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. It’s made of high quality plastic with interlocking tubes that are durable, sturdy, and easy to assemble.
Keep in mind: The climbing structure itself is pretty small, so it’s best suited for younger toddlers.
Good for: Children ages 1 to 3 years weighing up to 150lbs combined.
(Most adorable — $$)
Why it’s great: Toddlers will love this adorable climbing set! This precious little yellow school bus attached to a slide will give your little ones’ hours of play. While playing, the songs from the popular “Baby Bum” videos will entertain your child and help to promote language skills. The climber works well both indoors and out, is durable and safe, and roleplay and creativity are certain to develop in your child’s mind.
Keep in mind: There is no off switch for the sounds, so once your child is done playing with it, you’ll either need to wait for it to turn off or take out the batteries.
Good for: Children 18 months and up.
(Most versatile — $$$)
Why it’s great: This tower can be used in so many different ways! The rungs are easy for a toddler to climb and there’s a detachable piece that can be used as a slide. The backside of the slide piece has a chalkboard that you can prop up diagonally or install it vertically on the side of the structure. Your child can also use this as a step stool to help in the kitchen. This tower promotes motor skills, creativity, and confidence in your toddler. It’s made of sturdy wood and will keep your busy child occupied for hours. It’s also compatible with the Pikler triangle for added entertainment and value.
Keep in mind: On its own, your child can really only climb up or down, but if you get the Pikler triangle, they’ll have more options for climbing.
Good for: Children ages 3 and up weighing up to 180lbs combined.
(Best indoor — $$)
Why it’s great: This is a doorway unit that has a ladder, rope climb, swing, rings, and trapeze attachments. There’s no need to have a whole, huge, outdoor jungle gym when you can easily create a small, indoor playground with this set. Your child can learn to climb the knots of a rope or a ladder, right in the middle of your home. Plus, since it’s attached to the top of the doorway, you don’t have to worry about your child falling very far. This set promotes physical activity, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
Keep in mind: You can only use one attachment at a time, so it’s better for a single child.
Good for: Children ages 3 and up weighing up to 300lbs.
(Best for older toddlers — $$$)
Why it’s great: This is a solid wood structure that the whole family can use. It has a wall ladder, rope ladder, trapeze, swing, removable pull up bars, bar2fit, and an abs bench. With so many options, your child will be entertained for hours. This set promotes creativity, motor skills, critical thinking, and physical activity. Your toddler will love swinging and climbing on this structure and you’ll love using it to get your workout in. It is easy to assemble and comes with everything you need to install it.
Keep in mind: You will need to mount this to one of your walls.
Good for: Children and adults weighing up to 290lbs.
(Best budget friendly — $)
Why it’s great: This is an adorable, elephant shaped slide with closed in steps that are easy for your toddler to climb. The slide is long and has a 3 stage design that makes it lots of fun, while still safe for you child. It also comes with a basketball hoop and a ring toss that your child can use either while on the slide or independently. At an affordable price, this playset will give your toddler something to play and climb on in the comfort of their own home.
Keep in mind: While there’s not a whole lot of climbing, the stairs will help to improve your child’s motor skills, balance, and coordination.
Good for: Children ages 1 to 3 years old.
(Most imaginative — $$)
Why it’s great: This is an amazing tunnel and climbing structure that is shaped like a big, happy caterpillar. The tunnel makes up the caterpillar’s body and has a cute head sticking out of the top. There are holes around the entire tunnel, which will allow your child to climb around the outside and on top of the tunnel. It also has super cute, little, colorful feet all along the bottom. Your toddler will work on their balance as they try to step across the feet. They’ll also be improving their fine and gross motor skills by climbing or crawling through the structure.
Keep in mind: The head may get loose and come off if your child is constantly shaking or pulling on it.
Good for: Children ages 2 to 6 years old.
FAQ’s about Climbers
1. Why is climbing beneficial for toddlers?
Climbing is beneficial to children because it increases muscle strength, improves agility, and builds stamina. It is a great choice for physical activity as long as it’s supervised.
2. Are dome climbers safe?
Yes. They are safe because they won’t lift off of the ground due to their wide base, and they are great for a child’s agility.
3. At what age can a baby climb a ladder?
Children who are active and get plenty of play outside should be climbing ladders between 3 and 4 years of age with adult supervision. Full climbing skills may not develop until ages 6 or 7
4. At what age do you teach a child to throw a ball?
The best age to teach a child to throw balls is between 2.5 and 3 years old. Depending on the development of your child, you should introduce ball throwing at 2 and expect them to mimic the throwing and show the coordination skills to throw a ball by age 3.
5. Are indoor climbers safe?
Yes, indoor climbers are safe because your child has the opportunity to enjoy play without the heat of the sun’s UV rays, and the climber itself isn’t exposed to fading from the sun and weathering.
Although there are several climbing sets to choose from, any of these top 7 are great choices for your child. Using these toys gives them a head start on many skills that develop into much larger concepts as they grow.
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