Looking for a way for your toddler to burn up some energy? Here are the best climbing toys for 1 year olds!
Having a 1 year old is wild. It feels like you just had a baby and now all of the sudden they are turning into real humans.
Don’t get me wrong – one year olds can be very sweet. But they can also be wild, climbing all over everything.
I have now had 2 one year olds (haha – I currently have a 3 year old and a 1 year old!) and I really think that if you can give them a safe place to climb, you will both be happy!
Are climbing toys good for 1 year olds?
Climbing toys are AWESOME for toddlers. First of all, they help your kiddo get their energy out.
Secondly, if your kid is going to climb, having designated climbing toys gives them a safe place to do that climbing – while supervised, of course.
Finally, climbers build physical strength as well as confidence in themselves that will translate to other areas of physical play!
Looking for something bigger that will grow with your child? Here are my favorite indoor jungle gyms!
What to do with toddlers that like to climb?
Toddlers that like to climb should be given a safe place to do so. That means equipment designed for climbing with a safe weight limit, a safe play area to land if they fall, and proper adult supervision.
Here are my favorite indoor climbing toys for toddlers!
Why is climbing good for toddlers?
Climbing helps your toddler to develop physical strength and gross motor skills as well as independence and bravery! Plus, it helps to keep them busy and entertained!
Can 1 year olds climb?
Yes! Our son started using a pikler triangle at his first birthday. We had to show him what to do, but he was definitely interested. He didn’t start independently climbing until he was about 18 months old.
DIY toddler climbing toys
If you are a DIY-lover, you can definitely DIY your own kid’s climbing toys. The easiest to build is the pikler climbing arch – here’s a great tutorial!
The best indoor climbing toys for 1 year olds
Here are some of the very best toddler climbers – that I have tried or that I have friends that love!
Pikler triangles are wooden climbing structures. They are triangular shaped and have dowel-style rungs for toddlers to climb like a ladder.
Kids love climbing to the top, over, and down the other side.
Be sure to look for a triangle that is foldable if storage space is an issue!
We have had a pikler triangle since my son’s first birthday. I love the wooden aesthetic and it’s great in obstacle courses, too!
You can read all about the benefits of a Pikler Triangle here!
A common item to pair with a climbing triangle is a climbing arch. These are arch-shaped climbers, usually with slats instead of dowel rungs.
Arches are cool because they can be flipped over and used as rockers.
The big negative to a climbing arch is that they are large and do not fold to store. You need a big space to store them!
The nugget is a popular kid’s play couch that comes with 4 pieces – a thick foam rectangle, a thin, soft foam rectangle, and two foam triangles.
The Nugget is great for building, lounging, and playing. If you have two, they can serve as a small sofa in your play space.
Our son loves his nugget, though he didn’t really start actively playing with it until he was around 2 years old. Now, at almost 3, it is his very favorite toy!
Here are my favorite Nugget builds for babies!
The blocksy is an alternative to the nugget. It is slightly smaller and wider and has a slick cover that is wipe-clean, which makes it very popular with parents!
Foamnasium Mega Wedges
Mega Wedges are a set of 2 wedge shaped foam pieces. They are great for use alone or with a play couch!
Wedges are great for practicing climbing and crawling in a safe way!
Little Tikes First Slide
This plastic slide is super easy to assemble – it’s just two pieces that you snap together – and it’s instant fun.
We actually keep ours outdoors but I have a friend who uses it as an indoor slide in her playroom.
Our son could climb and slide around 18 months. I will say that the slide is a bit short and not a huge hit with anyone 3 or older. It’s definitely a toddler slide.
Our local children’s museaum has this caterpillar tunnel and it is a big hit! It’s a tunnel with peek a boo holes all along the inside. It comes in two sizes depending on your space and number of kids.
While this is fun, it is huge. If you have a smaller space, I recommend a folding tunnel instead.
If you are tight on space, consider getting stepping stones! These are great for older kids, too.
They are plastic and can be picked up and moved around.
Kids love stepping or jumping from stone to stone. These are great for obstacle courses, too!
Wobble boards can be used as a ramp, a slide, or a rocker. They are slim plywood bent into an arc shape.
We like to use ours as a slide in conjunction with our Nugget, or as a bridge for cars to go over and under!
Here are our favorite ways to use a balance board with kids!
Our bounce house is our #1 requested kids toy. Our son literally gets in bed at night asking to do it the next day!
We can fit our bounce house in our playroom, but they also go great in garages. It’s nice because they deflate and store in about a 2 foot by 1 foot bag.
Our daughter has been in the bounce house since she was an infant, just held in our lap, and treated gently obviously. This one is really great for all ages!
Thanks for reading!