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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best climbing toy for toddlers is, I’d recommend the Constructive Playthings 5-Piece Soft Play.
Has your toddler suddenly started climbing everywhere? Climbing toys are a fantastic option that’s safer and challenges them in a fun way.
If you’re trying to find climbing toys to keep your kid busy inside or outdoors, look no further. I found the best climbing toys for toddlers taking their first steps, as well as preschool-age acrobats.
Here are the climbing toys for toddlers I will be reviewing:
What You Need to Know Before Buying
Climbing toys are great for a kid’s development, from improving their motor skills to giving them exercise. But if it’s your first time, these are some of the things to pay attention to when looking for the best climbing toys for toddlers.
Types of Climbing Toys
There are a couple of different types of climbing toys that are appropriate for different environments.
Foam piece sets are one of the best climbing toys for toddlers. You can start using them as soon as they can move around or crawl on their own. Later, your child will learn to climb and support themselves on the blocks, as well as stack them up or create fun obstacle courses.
Foam blocks are usually covered with vinyl or faux leather, and they’re meant for indoor use. They’re a fantastic way to burn off energy with very active toddlers, especially on rainy days or other moments when you can’t go outside.
You could also use them as decoration for a treehouse, especially if you live in a dry climate. The best part is that they’re lightweight and extremely easy to move around, even for a toddler.
If your kids are older than three or four years, foam piece sets may be small and uninteresting to them, so it’s best to buy one when they’re still learning how to move around on their own.
Another popular option for kids starting from about three years onward are large climbing structures, such as domes. They’re large constructions made of metal or strong plastic bars, ideal for kids who are acrobatic and have lots of energy.
You can usually bolt these kinds of structures to the ground for extra security or move them around if needed. They do often weigh quite a bit, so you’ll need some upper body strength.
Place a swing or a hammock inside or if you use the dome indoors, pile up pillows and blankets for extra safety. You can also throw a tarp or a blanket on top of the dome to make a fort or tent.
Plastic climbers come in all shapes and sizes. They’re often meant for outdoor use, but if you have some extra room, you may be able to keep them indoors.
The size of the climber is related to your kid’s age. Some may come with swings, slides, or climbing nets. Just think about what your kids are most likely to value for longer to make the most out of your investment.
Keep in Mind
Here are some aspects of the best climbing toys for toddlers you should take into account before buying.
Age and Weight
The selection of a climbing toy often comes down to age and weight, so always check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Plastic and metal climbers usually have a maximum weight allowance that can range from 100 pounds all the way to 600 or more, like in the case of the Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber.
If you have more than one child, think about what would be the best investment for them. For a toddler, foam blocks are an entertaining and safe way to get exercise. If your child is getting closer to preschool age, you might want to invest in something a bit more challenging.
Outdoor climbers, from metal domes to plastic slides, may deteriorate under harsh conditions over the years. The best climbing toys for toddlers are corrosion and UV-resistant. In a very humid environment, this can really extend the life of your climber.
Foam blocks are usually made to resist rough handling. You’ll get a lot of spilled food and drinks with kids, so you’ll need to be able to clean them up fast. Most models can easily be wiped with a wet cloth and a mild soap solution.
Safety is key, and even more so when picking climbing toys. It’s crucial to make sure your children are of the appropriate age and weight for their toys. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s weight and age limits and instruct your kids to use their toys safely.
Even foam blocks can be problematic for small children if they’re not watched. If the pieces don’t have a non-slip bottom, they can move around when playing, but there is a solution. You can add some velcro to keep the pieces in place.
Another critical issue is toxicity. Some types of plastic included in climbing blocks, like vinyl, may include phthalates for added softness.
Phthalates are a chemical found in many things, from cosmetics to electronic devices. Their effect on human health is not clear, but limiting children’s exposure to them is advised. Our top choices for the best climbing toys for toddlers are phthalate-free.
My Toddler Climbing Toys Reviews
If you’re ready to dive into the world of climbing toys, check out our reviews below.
This Constructive Playthings five-piece set is a toddler favorite. It consists of a ramp, a cylinder and a half-cylinder, and two large building blocks. They’re soft enough to be safe for a toddler but firm enough for kids to climb over them.
The set is suitable for toddlers from 12 months old, and will likely be fun and interesting to them until they’re about four years old. Still, this set is most suitable for young kids. Babies can crawl over the set and practice climbing to strengthen their muscles for standing and walking.
Later on, your kids can play with these in many ways, from stacking them to jumping on and over the pieces, or sliding down the ramp. They can also build a tunnel or a fun obstacle course, and get even more fun out of the set.
If you buy more than one set, your kids can really use their imagination to build forts and other more elaborate constructions. This will also extend the set’s life in your home to when your kids outgrow the toddler phase.
One negative part of this set is that the pieces don’t attach to each other. This means they may move around a bit when playing, depending on the surface.
Overall, this is a durable and sturdy set. The pieces are well-made and can be wiped clean, so you’ll likely be able to use them for years. They do take up quite a lot of room, but you can pile them up and store them in a corner when the kids aren’t using them.
For bigger kids, you can buy a fun climbing structure for the outdoors, like this dome from Easy Outdoor. This one is a super fun construction you can start using with kids as young as three years old. It’s also challenging enough to be suitable for preschool and school-aged kids.
The maximum capacity of this structure is 1000 pounds, which means it will be suitable for your child and their friends at the same time! They can use the dome to climb, hang, or sit on top of, which will give their muscles and balance some practice. How about a fun game of tag or hot lava on the dome?
The dome is 46 inches high and 91 inches in diameter, so it’s large for indoor use but perfectly suitable for most backyards. It can be staked to the ground, but it’s very stable on a grass surface on its own. If you do decide not to bolt it down, you’ll be able to move it around easily to mow the lawn.
Assembly is not the best part of a dome like this, and you’ll probably need two people for the job. Keeping all the parts together and perfectly square while you put the design together, and then tightening the bolts is a lot of work.
If you decide to make this purchase, prepare for a good couple of hours of assembling. You’ll need a wrench and possibly even a cordless drill. There are about 100 bolts, so your arms will get tired!
It’s corrosion and UV-resistant and amazingly sturdy. Still, it likely won’t last eternally in the outdoors. Especially if you live close to the sea or in a humid location, prepare for metal parts to slightly rust over the years.
Not a fan of the super bright colors of foam playsets? For this model from ECR4Kids, you can make your pick from different color schemes to find the one best suited to your taste. They have the traditional bright colors, as well as a more contemporary palette with tones of blue and grey.
It’s also a safe option for your children, especially if your floors are slippery. The bottoms of the large pieces are non-slip, which prevents them from moving around when kids are playing.
The foam material is polyurethane. If you’re worried about the safety, the pieces are also Greenguard certified for low emissions of chemicals into the air when in use. The vinyl cover is also phthalate-free for safe playing.
This set is recommended to kids starting at nine months old, as soon as they’re old enough to crawl, and will be fun to play with for their toddler years. It includes two rectangular blocks, a ramp, a cylinder, and a half-cylinder.
The pieces are lightweight enough for children to move them around on their own. The whole set weighs about 9 pounds, so kids can pile up the pieces. This helps develop their coordination skills and gives them a sense of independence.
This set also maintains its shape very well during play. A toddler’s weight doesn’t deform or leave a dent on the blocks, even though they’re soft and safe to play with.
The cover material is vinyl, but soft to the touch and has a leather feel. It can be wiped clean with a wet cloth and a mild soap solution. However, over time the material can wear out a bit and show some signs of use.
This Eezy Peezy tower is basically a climbing dome, but it includes a square tower at the top for extra challenging acrobatics. It’s meant for kids from ages three to eight, though the distances between the bars can be quite big, and climbing will be quite challenging for a toddler
The bars are reinforced plastic in bright colors. The plastic has UV protection for extra durability in the outdoors. The plastic is comfortable to the touch and remains non-slippery even when wet.
The dome is slightly over 70 inches in diameter and about 47 inches in height. It weighs 27 pounds, which means it’s easy to move around when needed. You can even use it in a playroom inside the house. It can handle up to 150 pounds of weight, so it’s not the strongest dome, but it’s enough for a couple of kids to play at the same time.
If you do use the dome indoors, it’s best over a carpet to make sure it doesn’t move around when your kids are playing. Outdoors, you can attach it to the ground or just let it stand alone.
You can add some versatility to your kids’ playtime by placing some big pillows or even a ball pit inside. It makes a magnificent pillow fort, and you’ll make sure children don’t hurt themselves when playing.
The tubes and connector pieces are interlocking, which makes assembly a bit easier, but they don’t keep everything perfectly in place. It may still take you a couple of hours and will be easiest if you have some help. Also, prepare for a job with a screwdriver and make sure you read the instructions as you’re assembling.
This toddler playset is a fantastic way for your kids to have fun and get exercise without being too difficult to use.
It has a wide platform they can climb onto, a slide, and a small tunnel to crawl through. The slide, in particular, is a toddler favorite that guarantees hours of fun play for small kids.
The maximum weight allowance is 60 pounds, and the climber itself weighs 33 pounds. The size is 52.5 by 33.25 by 43.5 inches, which means it’s quite small for a preschool-age kid.
This playset is recommended for kids starting from 18 months. Given its small size, it’s best suited for a toddler as soon as they’re old enough to climb the ladder. The slide may get too small for them at five years old.
The sides are wide and comfortable to grab for children, and the platform has a railing for extra security. It’s also sturdy and doesn’t move or tip when a child is up on the platform.
The plastic is durable polyurethane that’s easy to wipe clean. It will likely last you for years, even in outdoor use. And getting fresh air is great for kids, especially in the summer!
Still, it’s light enough to move around if you’re looking for an indoor climber for those moments you just can’t get outside. It comes in a neutral palette, adaptable to all backyards and homes.
This product requires assembly, but luckily it’s straightforward. There are only a couple of pieces on the climber, so you may even be able to put it together without another person’s help.
The Foamnasium playset comes complete with seven pieces, including a large block with a tunnel and two ramps that can work as slides. The set also includes a piece with stairs for small toddlers, a mailbox, and two thinner corner pieces.
This variety gives you more possibilities to let your kids play with their cars, dolls, or other toys. The stairs are great for small kids, and the corner pieces add safety and softness when your kids are jumping around. They’ll also give them more variety for building forts or obstacle courses!
The vinyl cover is durable, easy to clean, and free of harmful chemicals, lead, and phthalates. The foam is soft under the touch but maintains its shape well under a toddler’s weight, and the colors are bright.
Overall, this is a great addition to any home with kids from one to three years or even more. As soon as your children are old enough to crawl and start climbing, they’ll enjoy a quality set of foam blocks like this one.
One negative of the design is the tunnel. It’s almost comically small, only fit for a baby to crawl under but not suitable for a toddler. Another minus point is that the pieces don’t attach to each other or have any sort of non-slip surface. This means that they may move around a bit when playing.
If you have very little room in your home, this Milliard ramp is an excellent option for your toddler. It consists of two pieces, a ramp, and stairs, that your toddler can climb, slide, and sit on.
The length and width of both of the pieces is 20 inches and 10 inches in height. It’s small enough so that even smaller kids are safe to play with it without worry. It also weighs only about 10 pounds, so it’s easy to move around. The pieces have no sharp corners your kids would scratch themselves with.
Milliard makes quality mattresses, so their foam is sure to be top quality, soft but firm. This model is made of high-quality polyurethane and the cover is phthalate-free vinyl that’s water-resistant and easy to wipe clean. There’s also a zipper to take the covers off, should you need it.
The pieces attach together with a velcro strip that’s located at the bottom of the blocks. It keeps the pieces together reasonably well.
However, since the velcro is at the bottom, the top of the pieces may slightly move apart when your child is climbing. This can create a bit of a crack between the pieces, though not big enough for a toddler to fall in.
This set is best for smaller toddlers, but probably not the most interesting toy for kids over three. When your kid grows, however, these forms can still be a fun and safe part of their other games. Thanks to only having two pieces, this set is also easy to store in a corner.
The Step2 Skyward Summit is a fantastic option if you have a lot of space outdoors, and your kids are serious climbers. It has four different surfaces for climbing, so there’s enough challenge for even an energetic child.
This climber has a realistic mountain-like look and rock-climbing grips, which makes the experience even more fun for your children. It also has a small platform on the top, where they can stand and look at the views. On the top, there’s a flag at the peak, so you can make a fun game out of reaching the summit.
It also includes a climbing net on one of the sides and comfortable handgrips and holes on the other. It really challenges your children and lets them develop their problem-solving skills as they make their way to the peak.
The Skyward Summit is recommended for children from four to eight years old. Its maximum weight allowance is 320 pounds, so it’s big enough for approximately four kids to use at the same time.
This is a sizable product, so it’s great for a backyard but not so much for indoors. The height is about 6.5 feet, and the ground footprint is 80 by 50 inches.
The best part of this model is its versatility. Your kids can use it for climbing and as a place to hang out. Given that the top space at the bottom is so big, it can even replace a treehouse in your yard as a space for playing.
This climber requires assembly, but since the pieces are large, it’s not complicated to figure out. You’ll need a screwdriver, and possibly even a cordless drill to save your arms when putting the handgrips and the net in place.
The Lifetime Geometric Dome is a large, sturdy climbing dome. The bars are heavy-duty steel that will resist a maximum weight of 600 pounds. It also stands on its own quite firmly and doesn’t move around when kids are playing. However, you can bolt it into the ground for extra safety, especially in areas with strong winds.
One fantastic feature of this dome is that the connections between the bars are rock climbing handgrips. This helps kids pull themselves up if they need more than just the bars. Using the grips also helps maintain the metal bars without scratches.
You can add a swing or a hammock to use the space inside the dome, or even spread a tarp over it to build a big fort. This way, you can give your kids even more ideas to use it and make it easier for a toddler to participate in playing outside.
This construction is sturdy and heavy. It’s recommended for kids starting at three years old, but it’s quite sizable for a kid of that age. The distance between the bars especially can be too big for a toddler to climb up.
It’s 5 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter, so it does require quite a lot of space. The dome weighs about 70 pounds, so it’s heavy, but you can still move it around.
A definite negative in this and other dome constructions is the assembly. It’s a two-person job and will take you a while and require some basic tools, like a screwdriver.
This set of six foam blocks is covered with a water-resistant faux leather. In the pack, you get two ramps, two rectangular blocks, a cylinder, and a half-cylinder. They can all easily be stacked on top of each other to save room in your home.
These blocks come in bright colors, perfect for a kid’s room. They can be used as soon as your child starts moving around on their own, and the pieces are sturdy enough for them to climb on it without losing its shape. There are no sharp edges that could cause injury, and the outer material is soft to the touch.
Overall, this is a nice and safe set with enough variety in the blocks for your kids to keep busy for a long time. The whole set weighs just about 20 pounds and is smartly designed so you can pile them together to save space.
When the blocks get dirty, you can wipe them clean with a damp cloth and let them dry. The faux leather has a soft feel to the touch, which makes it perfect for toddlers. It’s also safe and doesn’t have a plastic smell to it even when you take it out of the box.
The Constructive Playthings 5-Piece Soft Play forms are the best climbing toys for toddlers. They have enough variety but not too much of a challenge for a small child. This set also has a great price and is amazingly durable, easy-to-clean vinyl.
The set has just enough pieces to be interesting for a toddler. They can use their energy, build their muscles, and learn to climb in a safe way.