We Didn’t Think Pikler Triangles Were Worth it. We Were Wrong
Toys go in and out of style all the time, but one of the biggest toy trends might just be here to stay. Parents and child development experts have been raving about a toy for toddlers called the Pikler triangle.
Considering the wooden contraptions start at around $200, it's understandable to want to know if Pikler triangles are all they're cracked up to be before you pick one up. Go ahead and add it to your shopping cart, because the answer is a resounding yes.
What Is a Pikler Triangle?
A Pikler triangle doesn't look like much at first glance. Invented by a Hungarian pediatrician, Dr. Emmi Pikler over 100 years ago, the Pikler triangle is a triangular, wooden frame made to be climbed on.
The mini, minimalistic play structure has been very popular among Montessori educators for years, although it's not specifically from the Montessori method.
Pikler triangles have been around for over a century, but the rest of the world is finally catching on to the benefits (and fun) of these unique devices.
Benefits of Pikler Triangles
Shaped like a short, symmetrical ladder with rungs on each side, Pikler triangles are meant to encourage babies and toddlers to explore movement and safely test their limits. According to early childhood development experts, Pikler triangles can help babies and toddlers do all of the following:
- Improve limb and core strength
- Enhance gross motor skills, like sitting, walking, running and climbing
- Improve balance and spacial awareness
- Build self-confidence
- Develop a sense of independence
- Develop problem-solving skills
In addition to their developmental and play benefits, they offer significant perks for parents. Since they're kept in your own living room, they're much cleaner than public playgrounds. No worries about germs, even for high-risk kiddos.
They also give kids something to climb on that doesn't require suffering through a trip to the park during chilly, wet weather.
Lastly, they're one of the most attractive toys on the market. Their wooden, minimalistic design comes in multiple finishes to match home decor. So much better than those horrendous, bright red and blue plastic slides.
Let's be real. What parent really likes looking at this eyesore?
Why Parents (and Kids) Love Them
Aesthetic aside, Pikler triangles are so much fun. Many sellers offer Pikler triangle sets and extensions to expand play options even further. Common attachments include balance boards, climbing platforms, slides, arches and even tunnels.
You can't tell us this doesn't look fun. If you're into fun colors, that's an option too. There are larger climbing structures with similar benefits, but a standard Pikler triangle is plenty versatile enough to keep a busy toddler entertained for hours.
Toss a blanket over it, and it even turns into a tiny, tot-sized hideout.
What Age Range Is the Pikler Triangle Designed For?
As soon as your baby starts pulling up, they're ready for a Pikler triangle. Six months is usually a good age to purchase one. That way, they're already familiar with it by the time they start crawling and cruising.
Initially, they'll only explore the bottom rungs. Give it a few months and they'll be scaling the triangle like a pro. Most kids outgrow it by the time they're 5 or 6, so it's best to buy it early on to maximize its use.
Regardless of your child's age, keep the triangle in the living room or another area of the house that you spend a lot of time in. Pikler triangles are very safe, but taking a tumble now and again is part of being a toddler.
While they're testing their limits, they're bound to get it wrong once in a while. Always keep an eye on them during play just in case they decide to emulate Evel Knievel.
For extra safety, consider putting a rubberized mat or rug under the triangle, just in case.
The Final Verdict: Are Pikler Triangles Worth Buying?
Yes, yes and more yes. They're not the cheapest of toys, but Pikler triangles are a worthwhile investment. When you're shopping for one, consider a few factors, like:
- What are the dimensions of the triangle?
- How many positive reviews does it have?
- Does it have optional add-ons or come as a set?
- Are there different color options?
Etsy is a great place to find Pikler triangle playsets, but they're also available on Amazon, Roam Creative Play, EZ Play and more. They can also be found secondhand on Facebook Marketplace, consignment stores, and local Montessori Facebook groups.
Just make sure they're in good condition before buying, and use Paypal or another protected payment option to avoid scams.
Wherever you buy it, have fun with your new Pikler triangle. We know your toddler will.