Since we purchased our Pikler Triangle I’ve gotten SO MANY QUESTIONS about it. What is that? Where did you get it? Why are they so expensive? Do you think it’s worth it? Which one should I get my toddler?
So, we’re breaking it down today in my FULL Pikler Triangle Review. We’ll cover:
- What is a Pikler Triangle?
- Uses of the Pikler Triangle
- Is it safe?
- Where did we get our Pikler Triangle?
- Overall, is it worth it?
What is a Pikler Triangle?
While the Pikler Triangle seems to be a new fad, it was actually designed 100 years ago by Hungarian pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler. It’s essentially an indoor climbing structure that encourages kids to freely practice their gross motor development skills all while learning their own physical boundaries at their own pace. It also helps develop grip skills (important for self-feeding and later holding writing utensils). It’s best suited for 6 months through about 6 years. (More on ways to use it below)
Dr. Pikler believed was a believer in independent play for children. The idea behind the Pikler is to empower children to safely explore what their body is capable of, without the intervention of their parents/adults. It helps foster self-confidence and curiosity about their physical abilities.
Ways to use The Pikler Triangle
The neat thing about the triangle is it’s designed to work literally from 6 months through 6 years just as it is (although you can make some adjustments to the setup, which I’ll discuss below.) It’s designed to work as the foundation for all milestones.
So, for example, babies can first play under or around the triangle, then as babies begin to pull themselves up, they can use the rungs to stand. It’s known that babies actually learn to climb before they stand, which is why the Pikler is great as early as 6 months. As they get older they can climb over the triangle.
As they turn into toddlers, you can add on the “accessories.” We have both a double-sided ramp with a slide on one side and a rock wall on the other. We also have the wooden bridge, which can be used as a ramp, table, or bridge. Down the road, we may opt to add a climbing arch, as well.
You’ll notice your kids will experiment slowly at first, figuring out how to pull themselves onto the rungs. The magic of the Pikler Triangle is letting your child explore at their pace on their own terms. I don’t let Miles play with the triangle when I’m not nearby, but don’t hover when he climbs.
Is it safe?
I feel like the biggest hesitancy against a Pikler Triangle for many, besides that they can be expensive, is that they aren’t safe. You may think “my kid climbs on everything already, isn’t this going to just encourage MORE climbing?”
Contrary to this thought, the Pikler isn’t going to encourage your child to start climbing MORE. We all know that kids are going to climb, whether we give them something to do it on or not. What the Pikler Triangle does is give them a developmentally appropriate place to do this climbing. And, in my parenting style, I like giving him a place that’s “OK” to climb in the house. Now, when he starts climbing the sofa I’ll say to him “let’s go climb your triangle instead!”
When discussing if we were going to buy the triangle with my husband, Michael, the conversation went something like “well, he already climbs all over the sofa, I’d rather give him an appropriate place to practice those skills.” Could Miles fall from the triangle? Yes, of course. Just yesterday he tripped climbing up the first rung. But, could Miles also fall from the sofa, the bed, going down the stairs for, climbing the dining room chairs? Also, yes. I don’t believe the triangle makes them climb more nor does it really increase the chance of falls.
It’s my opinion that the Pikler Triangle sets kids up to do something they are already going to do, but in a more developmentally appropriate way that fosters their skills.
For safety, I don’t suggest it’s used somewhere unsupervised. I always watch Miles on the triangle, although I don’t hover. We also have it on our Ruggable which has the plush mat underneath. Shop Ruggable and save 10% off with code AFF10. A foam play mat, like this one from Little Nomad, is another great option.
Where to get the Pikler Triangle?
So, the short answer is a lot of places. What it really comes down to is you want to get the RIGHT one. The few things to look for is:
- The attachments – The first thing to know is Pikler triangles come in pieces. As you can see from my set, we have 2 triangles, a ramp/bridge, and the slide/rock wall. This allows us to create a ton of different variations. You can also get climbing arches. So, first things first, choose someone with the attachments you want.
- Is it foldable – if you want a triangle that folds flat for easy storage make sure the one you get does.
- Quality – a Pikler, in my opinion, isn’t really a place to try to go budget on. If you’re looking to save, I suggest you do fewer attachments as opposed to finding a cheaper version. In general, expect to pay $120-$250 per triangle/attachment.
- Size – Note that some Piklers are short! Unless you really just want a triangle for 0-24 months, I suggest you don’t get one too small. We have two triangles, one taller (32 inches) and one slightly shorter (28 inches). If you’re only getting one, I highly suggest at least 31 inches.
After some research, we opted to get our Pikler on Etsy from a shop called Wood Photo Gift which is in Latvia. The Pikler is handmade using wood sourced right from Latvia. We were extremely happy with our purchase. It arrived in under a week and is beautiful quality. I can’t recommend it enough.
For your reference, this is the exact items we ordered. We got their Wood Pikler Triangle including the following variations:
- Pikler Triangle
- Little Triangle
- Slide/Rock Ramp
- Large Bridge/Race
So, why do we love our Pikler Triangle (is it worth it?)
Answer is yes yes yes.
- It helps to teach invaluable skills like pulling up, climbing, grip, balance, gross motor skills, physical boundaries, and more.
- It grows with your children. It really can be used for 6 months to 6 years. There aren’t a lot of toys you can say that do that. While we technically bought it for Miles’ 2nd birthday, it was really a family gift. With baby two coming in a few months, we know both babies will use this item for years.
- Gives children a developmentally appropriate place to climb, slide, and balance (which we all know they are going to do regardless of if you give them something to do it on or not.)
- It helps build self-awareness and body confidence.
- Amazing for rainy days or if you, like me, live somewhere where it’s not beautiful outside all year round.
- It’s an open-ended, imaginative toy with endless ways to be used. It encourages creative and imaginative play.
- Foldable, ours can fold flat so we can store it away when/if we want. Note that not all do this. It is a nice space saver.