Heard of a pikler triangle but not quite sure what it is or where it comes from? Or maybe you’re trying to decide if your little one could benefit from a climbing triangle? Either way, in this article we’ll answer all your questions, specifically what a pikler triangle is as well as some of our favorites on the market!
If you’re ready to purchase, check out the Best Pikler Triangles for 2021 right here. From Lily & River, Wiwiurka to foldable triangles from Etsy, we’ve got it all!
When and where did the pikler triangle originate?
The pikler triangle, also known as a Montessori climber or a pikler climber, is becoming one of the most popular Montessori toys out there. Therefore, it’s essential that you know where the idea came from and the story behind this great climbing frame.
Over 100 years ago, the pikler triangle was created by Hungarian pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler. Dr. Pikler believed that each child is entitled to respect surrounding their own natural development. Through her work, she developed many theories of infant education and eventually created the pikler triangle.
The pikler triangle hasn’t changed much since it was first created – obviously a few tweaks here and there to ensure safety and high-quality, but not much else. In the 1960’s, the climbing toy became popular in the U.S. as parents began to focus on the radical concept of respecting children.
What is the point of a pikler triangle?
There are not just a few benefits of the pikler triangle. Instead, this climbing ramp allows children to experiment and grow in many different aspects.
Firstly, it encourages independent play. Because the pikler triangle is well-made and safe, children can explore their body and learn/set boundaries for themselves on their own terms as they experiment with free movement.
Secondly, the pikler encourages children to expand gross motor skills at their own pace, making it great for childhood development.
Thirdly, it improves spacial awareness for all ages – whether the climber is a year-old child or an older kid.
Fourthly, it encourages creativity through open-ended play. There’s endless possibilities with the pikler triangle – or maybe it’s a dinosaur jungle or a wooded forest?!
Lastly, it aids in muscle growth and strength. It’s a great feeling watching your children achieve milestones with this wooden toy!
What is the pikler triangle made of?
A pikler triangle is usually made out of wood. The type of wood used really depends on the specific company making the triangle (and therefore, the price). Whether you’re doing a DIY pikler triangle or are purchasing one – I recommend using either birch wood, oak or maple.
Typically, the best pikler triangles are made out of birch wood. Trust me, you don’t want your toddler climbing and getting splinters – you want your pikler triangle safe and well-made.
What age is the pikler triangle for?
One of the bests parts about this “toy” is there truly is no “right age” for your little nugget to begin. Children as young as six months old are able to use it and can utilize it up to four to five years (depending on the weight limit of your triangle). It’s a great foundation for all milestones.
You may be wondering…my six month old is barely crawling, how could it possibly be safe for them to experiment with this toy? Well, the pikler triangle is actually designed so your baby can play under or around the triangle. As they begin to gain more mobility, they can lay under the triangle and use the rungs to eventually pull themselves up to stand.
As your kids get older, you can start to introduce new skills within the climber. Most pikler triangles come with the option to add-on accessories. For instance, you can purchase a ladder/slide option, with one side as a ladder and the other a slide. Or, some even transition into a ramp, table or bridge. Others may opt for one with a climbing wall on one side and a ramp on the other. There are seriously endless possibilities with this gross motor development toy!
How do I introduce the pikler triangle to my baby?
For starters, not all babies are going to react to the pikler triangle in the same way. Therefore, it’s crucial that you allow your little one to set the pace and take the lead. Don’t rush anything!
Introduce the climbing structure to your baby in the playroom. Make it known that they don’t HAVE to play with it. Whatever their reaction is, go with it. Remember, you want to empower them and don’t want to turn them off to the idea of the toy. Trust me, their self-confidence will grow naturally.
If they didn’t take to the triangle right away, re-introduce it at another time. But remember, if they don’t want to entertain the idea, don’t force them!
How is a pikler triangle different from other toys?
You may have already guessed this, but one of the greatest parts of the pikler triangle is that it will grow with your child. The triangle is not created for a specific age group. Instead, your child will be able to use this product for years. I know it sounds crazy, but it really is true.
I know they’re a bit pricey, but it is honestly a good investment because you can utilize them for so long.
What is the difference between a pikler triangle and a tower?
You may be asking…why spend the money on a pikler triangle when you could just buy a cheaper tower for your kids to climb on?
Firstly, the main object of the triangle is to improve gross motor development skills. This isn’t a main focus of the tower.
Secondly, as I mentioned above, this toy will grow with your children. You can buy it when your little one is a baby and they will utilize it until they’re much older…trust me, it’s worth the investment.
Thirdly, most towers aren’t made for babies. The spacing on the handgrips and the distance between where to place their feet can be overwhelming for little ones.
Now, although these climbing triangles are often associated with Montessori, Waldorf classrooms and playrooms will also often incorporate one of these climbers, as long as they are made with natural, wood materials and go with the muted aesthetic of a Waldorf playroom. Seriously, any preschooler will fall in love with the joy of climbing on any of these models.
Why are pikler triangles so expensive?
Most pikler triangle models are made of Birch Plywood, which is an expensive type of wood (60-70% of the total triangle cost). Raw materials are expensive! Then, you have the labor and shipping prices. These last forever though – and your child will grow with them. In my opinion – totally worth it! Also, you can often add on additional pieces to create a complete set. For example, a balance board is a popular add on that many companies offer. The balance board from Picallio is our personal favorite. You can find it here. This is another playroom item that even older children will enjoy.
Another popular add on is a climbing ramp, which most of the companies on our Best Pikler Triangles for 2021 will offer. A rocker is another favorite, and is transformable from a rocker to a tunnel to a rainbow, there are truly endless combinations!
Pikler Climbers are expensive – are they worth it?
Yes, yes, yes! In our opinion, this is one of the best “toys” out there. Essentially, it’s a combined sensory AND motor development helper for your little ones. Your children are growing with the pikler triangle – which is hard to find in a “toy”. Babies can play under and around the triangle, and as they progress they can begin to use the rungs to stand. Once your kiddos get older – you can add accessories onto the climber – bridge, ramp, table, climbing arch – whatever your heart desires. As your kids experiment, they’ll become both more comfortable and more confident in their ability to navigate self-play. Finding toys that develop gross motor skills are essential for your little ones!
What are the materials needed for a pikler triangle?
If you’re wanting to do a DIY pikler triangle project you’ll need a variety of materials and special equipment. I’ve never actually made a pikler triangle, but if you want to give it a try, check out this Instructables How-To.
If you’re wanting to invest in your very own pikler triangle, check out the Best Pikler Triangles of 2021 article right here. In this article, we pick out our favorite triangles – ranging from foldable models, rainbow colors, climbing ramps and so much more!
Trust us, you don’t want to miss it! If you have any questions – please let us know in the comments.