Why Do I Need a Pikler Triangle And What The Heck Is it?
When you first see this large wooden Pikler Triangle, you know you kind of want it but you might not even know what it is. A large wooden triangle with rungs on the sides, and sort of hand made looking. Sometimes rainbow ramps and climbing walls are attached. A jungle gym for indoors?
Or maybe you have a Montessori baby and you know exactly what it is- but is it worth the steep price?
Sort of. The Pikler Triangle is a sturdy indoor climbing structure that encourages little ones (ages 6 months to 6 years) to practice gross motor development skills and physical challenges at their own pace.
The idea behind the Pikler is empowering children to safely explore what their body is capable of independently of their parents; encouraging curiosity and self confidence in their own physical abilities!
The Pikler Triangle is associated with the Montessori method for learning, but it is actually based on observations of Dr. Emmi Pikler. Dr. Pikler believed in respectful child rearing and free movement and independent learning through play for young ones.
If you are interested in reading my review of our Nugget Comfort, another imaginative toy we love, click here.
My baby is already a climber and it scares me. Why would I want to encourage that more?
Contrary to popular belief, playing on the Pikler won’t encourage your tot to start climbing up walls. But you want your child to have physical self awareness! You want them to have better balance for their own safety, as well as awareness of their own boundaries and limits.
This is not just about the physical though- the Pikler also supports concentration, independence and even grip strength which is needed in school. (Grip strength is important development for many reasons- holding silverware so they can feed themselves, coloring and one day- for holding a pencil correctly when they learn to write their first letters).
But Is The Pikler Triangle Even Safe?
It will surprise you how soon an infant will want to play with the Pikler Triangle. As babies are pulling up on things around them, they are ready. They will experiment, tentatively at first, until figuring out how to pull themselves onto the first rung. You will stay close… but don’t hover!
Letting your child explore on their own terms in your presence is a completely different concept from unsupervised play. The Pikler Triangle goes in a communal area where you close by. It doesn’t go in children’s rooms. Your Piker should sit on a mat or a soft surface, with nothing hard or sharp edges near by. Aside from that, your job is to just watch, helping them down or reassuring only as needed.
But that’s the point. They get to let you know when they are ready to climb, or when they are uncomfortable! And get ready- the first moment they figure out how to climb to the top is a big “I did it” moment. My babies always laughed at the top the first few times. Out of sheer joy, and amazement at their own ability.
Our Pikler has a “stop” that you screw in that stops the triangle from folding up when your child is playing on it. All our climbing structures are from the über popular Wiwiurka. It was not cheap, but I am SO glad I went with this company because I never worry about the rings breaking or splintering. Their reviews were what gave me the confidence to order.
What age is the Pikler Triange best for?
This toy is best for children ages 6 months to 6 years. I recommend starting as early as possible. Older children can (and will) play on it in different ways. It is versatile – not a toy you spend a lot of money on that your children outgrow in a season.
Our Wiwiurka and How We Use It Now That Our Kids Are Older
Wiwiurka makes the Pikler Triangles in various sizes. We now have the XL size since my youngest children are 3 and 5 at this point. If you have a new baby, I recommend getting a smaller size.
We have a few of the cool accessories that have kept my older children’s interest. We have two double sided ramps – one has a rock wall on one side, and when you turn it over it is a slide! The climbing arch is a favorite of the older ones. You could say we’re committed!
So let’s sum up why we are so obsessed with our Pikler Triangle:
- Although my kids are on the older end now, this was an invaluable tool when they are small. As your babe is learning to pull up, crawl and climb, the Pikler Triangle encourages gross motor skills, balance, grip strength and more physical challenges.
- “Conquering” the Pikler Triangle gave my babes confidence that we couldn’t teach them. They beamed with pride and tiny baby confidence at the top, because they did something hard on their own!
- We LOVE imaginative toys that don’t have batteries, sounds, or screens! This toy encourages active imagination. As your children age, the Pikler (and some of the cool accessories) foster their developing imagination in ways a battery operated toy doesn’t.
- Ours folds up and could slide under or behind furniture. When shopping for yours, make sure you not only find a high quality Pikler that will be safe, but one that can fold up.
- The Pikler triangle has grown with my kids. Until my youngest is 6 or 7, we will be playing with the Pikler often.
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I hope explaining our experience with the Pikler Triangle helped you. We have been very happy and feel safe with our Wiwiurka toys. We found all of these items from the Wiwiurka Etsy shop.