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Choosing the Best Pikler Triangle for Your Child (2024)

Choosing the Best Pikler Triangle for Your Child (2024)

Are you considering purchasing a Pikler triangle for your little one but feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of options available? Fear not! In this guide, we'll navigate through the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect Pikler triangle for your child.

Age Appropriateness: Is Your Child Ready?

Pikler triangles are suitable for children as young as six months old, although they can continue to enjoy them well into their preschool years. However, it's essential to supervise younger children during play to ensure their safety. As they grow, they'll develop strength, coordination, and confidence through exploration and play on the triangle.

Size Matters: Finding the Right Fit

When it comes to Pikler triangles, size matters. Consider the available space in your home and the age of your child. Opting for a triangle that's too small might limit your child's ability to explore and maneuver as he or she grows. If your child is just 6-12 months old, a Pikler triangle with max height of 27" is ideal, however by around the age of 2-3 year old, your little one will have enough strength and confidence to most certainly prefer the largest versions.

Here is a comparison of heights for popular Pikler triangles on the market, as measured when the triangle is in the open position:

  • Lily & River Little Climber: 24"
  • Lily & River Little Climber XL: 35"
  • Goodevas Pikler Triangle: 37"
  • GrowGo Pikler Triangle: 31"
  • All Circles Playbox: 20"
  • Bunny Hopkins Starter: 27"
  • Bunny Hopkins Large: 36"

Material Matters: Why Plywood

Traditional Pikler triangles are made out of plywood. Unlike solid wood, plywood is made out of multiple sheets of wood in a construction that increases stability. Plywood is also ideal as it is much better at holding screws, which is a key component to ensure the product remains safe over time. The top veneer of a plywood sheet can be derived from many different types of wood - birch, maple, pine, oak, etc - the choice is really dictated by the aesthetic look, however keep in mind that birch is the cheapest material and oak one of the most expensive. Manufacturers sometimes mention plywood, other times just the visible veneer of the plywood sheet (e.g. maple). 

Safety First: Prioritizing Your Child's Well-being

Safety is paramount when choosing a Pikler triangle. Look for sturdy construction, smooth edges, and non-toxic finishes. Ensure that the triangle meets safety standards and has undergone rigorous testing to guarantee your child's protection during playtime. Generally Pikler triangles are finished to both increase aesthetic appeal and durability. Unfinished wood is porous and will stain easily. Check that the coating used is safe. If unsure, we'd rather err on the side of caution and avoid painted wood if your baby is still teething. Even though water based paints are technically safe, if the baby is teething on the rungs, it will still chip and end up on your baby's mouth.

Price: Finding Value without Sacrificing Quality

The cost of Pikler triangles often reflects the quality of materials, craftsmanship, and safety standards. However, some manufacturers may command higher prices by virtue of having developed brand recognition. Handcrafted triangles made from sustainable wood and finished with non-toxic paints or stains require skilled labor and attention to detail, contributing to their higher price tag. If you are looking for value, here is the cost of pikler triangles by product length across different brands:

  • Lily & River Little Climber: $299 / 24"...................$12.5/in
  • Lily & River Little Climber XL: $375/ 35" ............. $10.7/in
  • Goodevas Pikler Triangle: $89/37"........................$2.4/in
  • Bunny Hopkins Starter: $199/27".........................$7.4/in
  • Bunny Hopkins Large: $249/36"...........................$6.9/in

Pikler Triangle Accessories & Play Sets

Most often, Pikler Triangles are used in combination with a variety of accessories, such as a climbing ramps & slide on the reverse side that can be combined with the Pikler to create big play structures. We love GrowGo Kids unique and patented accessories which can be used to turn the Pikler triangle in a marble run, slide, or even a play tent! 

Alternatives to the Pikler Triangle

The Climbing Arch

The most popular alternative to the Pikler triangle is the climbing arch. The climbing arch is even more versatile than the original Pikler triangle because not only it can still be combined with ramps and slides, but it can also be used as a rocker. However, it does come with the downside of not being foldable, so it's better suited for larger spaces. The most high end climbing arch on the market is Fitwood's Luoto Climbing Arch. We like that screws are hidden and can be used even as a table or toy storage solution when not in use.

The Dome

Lily & River first developed the idea of the "little dome" - kids can not only climb on the top just as they would for a Pikler triangle, but they can also swing from the bottom and build up a lot of physical strength! If you're on a budget, Goodevas makes a cheaper version of the dome

The PlayBox

We love All Circle's extension of the Pikler triangle with their Play Box. In a single play structure you get a toy chest a box - to be used as a hiding spot - and more classical ladder and slides. Plus, this is a modular system and you could extend it over time to build an even bigger structure.

Wall Bars

The Goodevas team has came up with an ingenious solution where their standard Pikler triangle can be combined with their proprietary accessory to turn into a wall bar. We love the idea as it provides with a much cheaper and multi-functional solutions - should we add easy to store as well - for parents who like to introduce a wall bar to their child's play room.

Outdoor Use: Can You Take It Outside?

Wooden Pikler triangles are designed for indoor use. However, on a dry, sunny day, you could certainly temporarily bring a Pikler outdoor, possibly over a blanket. Just keep in mind that all wood and plywood, even if properly finished, is prone to warping and developing mold if kept outdoor due to humidity (especially overnight).

Is a Play Mat Necessary

We do recommend purchasing a play mat if your baby is younger than 3 years old to cushion inevitable falls. Make sure the mat is large enough to extend at least 2 feet around the Pikler triangle. Make sure that the Play Mat is not too thick (no more than 0.6") so that the Pikler remains stably grounded on the floor.

Do Kids Actually Use It? The Verdict

Absolutely! Children are naturally drawn to Pikler triangles, enticed by the opportunity for movement, exploration, and imaginative play. Whether they're climbing, peeking through the rungs, or creating imaginative worlds with blankets and cushions, Pikler triangles engage children in active, meaningful play experiences.

In conclusion, choosing the best Pikler triangle involves careful consideration of size, price, safety, material, and age appropriateness. By prioritizing quality, safety, and alignment with your child's developmental needs, you can select a Pikler triangle that will provide years of enriching play and exploration.

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