Once your child starts walking, it’s hard to slow them down! Creating an engaging play environment is a great way for your little one to burn off energy.
It can be difficult to find toys that can grow with your child, but with an indoor climbing frame your child can create adventure and fun at any time of the day!
Indoor climbing frames offer a minimalist yet versatile approach to play, and toddlers benefit from activities that stimulate their mental and physical selves.
What exactly is an indoor climbing frame?
An indoor climbing frame, or pikler triangle, is a Montessori-inspired climbing frame. Montessori-inspired toys are designed to inspire children to develop natural interests and activities by getting hands-on with their play and engaging with other children through collaborative play.
An indoor climbing frame is designed to expand in functionality as your child grows and develops making it a great toy to aid their development.
In their simplest forms, indoor climbing frames are pyramid-shaped with rungs that allow for climbing and exploration, some indoor climbing frames even offer more equipment for extended and differentiated play.
Are indoor climbing frames safe?
As with any children’s toys, no toy is 100% safe and parental supervision is always advised. You know your own child better than anyone, and you can monitor them to ensure they’re safe. As with any toys, you need to ensure you adhere to any age and weight guidelines outlined by the manufacturer as each climbing frame is designed differently.
The great thing about indoor climbing frames is that they allow your child to explore their environment and they allow you to keep a close eye on them in a safe environment.
What age is best for an indoor climbing frame?
This completely depends on the manufacturer’s guidelines, but some indoor climbing frames allow for children as young as six months to start to play, and children aged 5+ can still enjoy these too.
When children are around the age of 1, they can play with the frame by exploring all different parts of it. As they develop more both physically and cognitively, they can use the frame to climb and play on.
What are the benefits of an indoor climbing frame?
Indoor climbing frames offer a fun and inviting play environment for children of all ages to develop their gross motor skills. There are plenty of benefits of indoor climbing frames, including:
- Giving your child a safe place to climb and teach them the motor skills needed to climb safely
- Keeps your child engaged and busy
- Encourages your child to explore and helps them become more creative and braver
- Enhances your child’s self-confidence
- Helps improve your child’s spatial awareness, balance, and coordination
What to look for when choosing an indoor climbing frame
Space – Most indoor climbing frames require a decent amount of clear floor space around the structure, so you should consider this before choosing the frame you want.
Age suitability – You should consider the age suitability for your indoor climbing frame as some can be dangerous for small children to use. It’s also important to look at the maximum weight limit, especially if you have multiple children playing together on the same frame.
Material – The majority of indoor climbing frames are made from wood or plastic. Each material has its pros and cons – for example durable wood will be extremely hardwearing and is likely to have a longer manufacturer guarantee. Plastic frames can be cheaper and are easy to clean but can get hot if using it outside and can discolour easily in the sun.
Assembly – Most indoor climbing frames will come in many parts and require assembling. Depending on how good you are at DIY, it might be worth asking someone to help you assemble it as it can be quite tricky.
Extras – Most indoor climbing frames can accompany added extras such as bridges, bars, and ramps, but you should make sure that you’re getting the most for your money. 90% of the time images on websites will often include added extras that you need to purchase separately.
It can also be worth checking that your indoor frame can have other sections added too if you want it to grow with your child.
How to use an indoor climbing frame
The great thing about an indoor climbing frame is that it’s designed to work from when your child is a toddler through to pre-school age – it’s designed to grow with your child to help them develop at all milestones. Indoor climbing frames can be used in a variety of ways including:
- Babies can play beneath the frame and use it as a fort or den, as your child begins to walk, they can then use the rungs to balance themselves
- As your child gets to toddler age, you can add on accessories such as ramps and slides to help encourage exploration and creativity
Are indoor climbing frames worth the investment?
With a pretty hefty price tag of around £200, are indoor climbing frames worth the investment? Most parents we’ve spoken to absolutely love their indoor climbing frames due to the years of fun your child gets out of it.
The fact that accessories can be added to it makes it even more worthwhile and they have also been known to retain their value.
If it’s out of your budget, though, then your child will still learn all the amazing things that this frame teaches them so don’t worry about investing in one too much.
Your children will learn other ways to climb, using the sofa, or coffee table for support. Place some cushions on the floor and it acts as an obstacle course for them!