Are your children or grandchildren always on the move? Are they constantly climbing the stairs or on the sofa? Are you tired of them standing on the kitchen table? Are you always asking, ‘why is the baby climbing on me?! or “is climbing good for babies?’
If so, this is the article for you. The simple answer is climbing is ESSENTIAL for babies, toddlers, and children.
There are so many hidden benefits of having a baby climbing frame indoors for children as young as 6 months, that you may not have even considered for your child or grandchild.
5 Benefits of an Indoor Baby Climbing Frame
1) Supports a child to develop at their own pace
2) Helps enable major developmental milestones, including fine and gross motor skills
3) Allows the child to climb safely at home
4) Encourages determination and confidence, supports the imagination
OF COURSE, it goes without saying that climbing outdoors is the best-case scenario, the more time a child can spend in nature the better. However, you cannot be outside ALL the time, so when the weather sends you indoors or you need to cook supper and your child is climbing the walls … there is a better solution, an indoor baby climbing frame and slide!
Benefit 1: An Indoor Baby Climbing Frame Helps a Child Develop at their own Pace.
Caption: Happy customer on a PomPom Climbing Triangle, UK made.
Every child develops at its own pace and a wooden climbing triangle meets them exactly where they are and celebrates the stage of their development. It creates a safe opportunity for exploration and adventure (from 6 months – 5 years).
Much has been written about the physical and psychological advantages in allowing children to be where they are NOW, and celebrating their successes, rather than constantly pushing them into the next stage.
As parents and grandparents we can, and should, delight in every stage of a baby’s journey, rather than constantly encouraging a child to ‘climb’ or ‘get to the top.’ Using the first rung should invite as much joy for the baby and caregiver as when they may, one day, reach the top.
Benefit 2: An Indoor Baby Climbing Frame Supports Developmental Milestones
Caption: Happy children at Montessori Day Care loving the PomPom Climbing Triangle.
All children develop at different ages and stages and a toddler climbing frame can help support their fine and gross motor skills, from 6 months to 5 years old.
It is important that the play space is able to appropriately support these milestones at the child’s own pace with the unique opportunities to go further when they are ready. A wooden baby climber can do this.
Gross Motor Skills - Gross motor skills involve the larger muscles in the arms, legs and torso.
During the early years an able-bodied baby will learn to roll, crawl, sit up, pull to stand, stand, climb, walk, jump. Using the triangle as part of their play, the structure will naturally help build muscles and strengthen bones.
This is how a Pikler triangle MAY be used from 6 months – 5 years (please note, I am not adding any further age ‘appropriate’ brackets, as children develop at different stages):
- The lower rungs of the triangle can help by a child to pull themselves over to roll.
- The rungs can be used to pull themselves up to sit or stand
- Children will crawl on and off the slide, on / off / on / off
- Children will crawl up the slide and slide down
- Kids may crawl through the triangle or hide under the triangle
- Children may climb up the triangle
- Children may climb over the triangle
- Children may climb headfirst over the triangle and down the slide
- Children may climb backwards over the triangle and down the slide
- Children may stand on the top of the triangle
- Children may jump off the triangle
- Children may jump off the slide
- Children may hop on the slide
- Children may race over the triangle
These gross motor skills are all transferable into other supports and daily life. Physical movement keeps babies, toddlers and children active and healthy.
Fine Motor Skills - Fine motor skills for a baby refer to the coordination of small muscles, so the movement linking eyes, hands and fingers. So for a baby, this is how they are able to reach or grasp objects, bring an object to their mouth or explore an object, through hand-eye coordination.
Children will grasp the rungs of the ladder, the grip and release movement helps to strengthen their fingers.
The triangle will be used as the basis of play. Children will pick up toys and place them on the slide, throw objects or balls through the rungs, hide objects beneath the slide. This all helps with their learning of cause and effect and gravity, all the while working on developing those fine motor skills.
Benefit 3: An indoor toddler climbing frame makes climbing safe!
Caption: A child climbs up shelves, a children's indoor climbing frame keeps climbing safe!
Children are by nature bold and adventurous. They want to explore, push their physical limits, test adult boundaries and can do this through climbing. It is healthy for children to want to take risks and should be given opportunities to safely do so; climbing trees, rocks or a climbing frame.
Risky play is an essential part of growing up, it encourages emotional resilience.
Without a climbing frame you will find your toddler on the counter top, climbing on the table, climbing up the curtains! All these things frighten a parent or caregiver who want to support their adventurous nature without squashing their spirit.
You often Google, “Is a Pikler Triangle Safe?” A baby climbing frame enables children to play safely. Of course, children must be supervised on any structure but a climbing triangle has been designed for children and tested for child safety.
The stairs / the dining room table / your sofa however has not!
Do your research before you buy a Piker Triangle, UK made. You will find less expensive versions of a Pikler climber on Etsy, however please note any wooden climbing triangle over 80cms needs (no word of a lie!) concrete blocks to hold it in place.
To create the best climbing triangle, UK made, we worked closely with the child safety testing centre of Interteks to create the highest possible climbing triangle while maintaining child safety.
Benefit 4: A Toddler Climbing Frame encourages determination, confidence and imagination.
Caption: A 4 year old girl balances on the top of her PomPom Climbing Triangle in her bedroom, it's hours of fun!
Yes, it's good for all children, adults too! It encourages patience, determination and confidence.
A toddler climbing frame helps young children carefully problem solve how they will climb, jump or slide. They consider their own physical abilities, the shape and structure of the frame and what they need to do to achieve their goals.
“Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength … As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges,” from American Academy of Paediatrics on the Importance of Play.
Be clear that a child may not always achieve what they set out to do first time! This can of course lead to tears of frustration. However, children are resilient and on the whole, a child – when left physically unaided – will try again and again, determined to succeed.
This repetition helps children to master new skills which leads to greater confidence in their physical abilities and belief in themselves.
Journalist Sarah Dawson reviewed the PomPom Climbing Triangle for Made for Mums online magazine, and declared it the Best Indoor Climbing Frame for Toddlers, here she writes,
“Edie can’t be prised off it once it’s up, and her climbing confidence has improved so much since we bought the baby indoor climbing frame. I just love the soft rainbow colours of this climbing triangle, which looks so stylish. I’d be happy to have it up all the time but it’s also really easy to fold up and store. We put ours in the cupboard under the stairs but it would fit behind a sofa.”
Benefit 5: An Indoor Climbing Frame for Toddlers instills a sense of FUN!
Caption: this toddler is having a wonderful time playing inside on this wooden baby climber frame.
Uninterrupted play instils a sense of fun in children. I have written extensively on the importance of play and indeed, the benefits of risky play.
Dr. Joe Frost was the Godfather of Play, he researched play for over 50 years and extolled the benefits of play areas or playgrounds. He wrote extensively about climbing and why it is so crucial for kids today.
You can read more about why climbing is so important for children, why kids climb on everything here!
“Children climb for fun,” says Dr. Frost. They climb to explore, to compete, to tap into their imagination and play make-believe, to chase their friends, and so much more.
What is the best Baby Climbing Frame for Indoors?
Caption: the PomPom Climbing Triangle sits in the centre of Rex's room, 1 year old son of influencer Kelly Eastwood.
Well, officially according to both the IndyBest, Independent AND the award-winning magazine MadeforMums, it is the PomPom Climbing Triangle, UK made.
Our triangle has been awarded the highest accolade, a Gold Award by Junior Design Magazine for “Best Toy Ages 0-2 Years” and House and Garden consider it a ‘must have’ toy for all children.
It is the ONLY certified triangle with 3 adjustable heights, so it grows with your child.