Pikler toys are a type of educational toy that can help children learn how to climb safely. The toy is named after Hungarian Paediatrician, Dr. Emmi Pikler, who developed the original structure. This article will go over what a Pikler toy is, how they work, and the ways that they can benefit your child’s development and play.
What is a Pikler Toy?
A Pikler toy is a type of triangular-shaped indoor climbing frame. The original toy was designed to help toddlers stay active and curious while they learned how to climb safely. The frame is made from sturdy wood or metal and has three sides that come together at sharp angles, forming a triangle. There are no moving parts or sharp edges, making it safe for toddlers to use. The frame typically doesn’t stand too far from the ground, making it very easy and accessible for children to mount and climb over.
While a learning tower is not a particularly new concept, the benefits of these kinds of toys are still being discovered. Some of the biggest benefits of a Pikler toy include:
Keeps Toddlers Engaged with Climbing
Climbing is a natural human behaviour and something that’s important for children and toddlers to learn to do to some degree of proficiency. However, there are obviously many objects and structures around the home that are simply not safe to climb or not designed to be mounted. A Pikler toy is a great way to keep your toddler engaged with climbing. These structures are designed to help toddlers stay active and curious while they learn how to climb safely.
Enhances Fine Gross Skills
The fixed shape of the climbing triangle helps toddlers to develop their gross motor skills as they pull themselves up and down. Gross motor skills are important in early development, allowing your child to perform everyday functions more efficiently now and throughout the rest of their life.
The close proximity of the ground to the top of the Pikler toy encourages toddlers to experiment and explore their capabilities. Children being able to test their own boundaries and abilities in this manner can increase their confidence and help them navigate other obstacles that they may encounter in other environments.
Using Pikler Toys
Pikler toys can be used in a variety of ways depending on the child’s age and ability. For younger toddlers, the toy can be used as a crawling tunnel. Older toddlers can use it as a climbing frame, pulling themselves up to the top and then safely sliding down the sides. Once children are confident climbers, they can even incorporate the Pikler toy as part of an obstacle course, climbing from one side to the other in a sequence with other educational toys you may have on hand.
Tips for Using Pikler Toys
While the design of this type of toy makes its use intuitive, there are still some important things to be aware of in order to keep your child safe. Here are some tips for using Pikler toys in the most effective and safest way possible:
- Start with the basics – When first introducing a child to a Pikler toy, start with the basics. Let them familiarise themselves with the structure initially, and once they’re comfortable, assist them with climbing it.
- Make it fun – While you may be excited to see your toddler develop into a confident climber, don’t forget to make it fun and stimulating beyond the physical activity itself. Feel free to add some fun elements to the Pikler toy, such as painting the wooden bars in a rainbow pattern. This can help to encourage your toddler to play and explore.
- Be safe – Always supervise children when they’re using a Pikler toy, and make sure that the area around the toy is clear of any potential hazards. While the risk of falling is very minimal and the triangle itself isn’t very far off the ground, it’s still best practice to always supervise this type of play.