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When it comes to toddlers, no piece of furniture is off-limits. If it can be climbed, it will be climbed. That’s just one of the many undeniable toddler truths. And if you have a kid who likes to scale everything in sight, you’re probably ready to invest in one of the best climbing toys for toddlers. The good news is that you can outfit both your living room or backyard (or both) with structures that allow your tot to do their thing in a safe way.
While some risky play is a natural part of childhood, you want to give your toddler as many safe opportunities as possible to wear themselves out during the day. After all, toddlers need a way to burn off energy, especially if they are active kids and naptimes are a struggle.
Chances are, you’re already chasing your toddler around at every minute of the day. Climbing toys will give your toddler the opportunity to develop key motor skills — like strength, coordination, and balance. Plus, the act of climbing can be great for imaginative play, teamwork, and goal-setting.
Ready to get something that stops your kid from climbing on everything from the furniture to walls? Check out our favorite indoor and outdoor climbing toys for toddlers. (Note: while the sets below are categorized as indoor or outdoor, some have the versatility to be moved inside or out as seasons change.)
The Best Indoor Climbing Toys For Toddlers
1. This 4-Piece Climbing Toy Set For Customizable Play
Boasting a 4.8-star rating after more than 2,000 reviews on Amazon, this popular multi-piece playset is customizable, easy to clean, and of “great quality.” The four individual pieces can be used alone or connected together to give your toddler plenty of chances to crawl, play, and climb. Each piece serves a different purpose, creating different opportunities to learn and grow. It’s compact enough to fit in any space at 40 by 40 by 10 inches and is made of CertiPUR-US- ertified PU foam with imitation leather covering.
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2. A Wood Climbing Toy Set That Folds Up For Easy Storage
Although this wooden climbing toy set is a little on the pricier side, it’s worth it because of all the different ways it can be customized – eight in total. It’s made for tots ages 12-months to 72-months, so it can be adapted to your child’s needs as they grow. It comes with a miniature rock-climbing wall and climbing bars, shaped like a house. Toddlers can make a fort underneath the climbing bars for even more fun. Best of all, this set can be folded up and put away once your toddler is done playing, making it perfect for small spaces. “It will last for years because it can be made into many shapes. It's very sturdy... Excellent quality and very easy to assemble as well as fold,” one reviewer raved. “I highly recommend this!”
You can also spring for the double-sided slide as an add-on if you want to allow for slip-sliding and rock-climbing.
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3. A Play House For Young Toddlers Learning To Climb
Looking for the perfect climbing toy for your young toddler? This Little Tikes garden playhouse is the right choice for you. Recommended for ages 6 months to 3 years, it comes with a ton of different activities, and it can be used as closed play house or an open, two-sided activity center. The mini-slide provides plenty of climbing opportunities for them to develop multifunctional motor skills, and the ball drop, shutters, and telescope add to the fun. The over 8,000 ratings show that it is a popular choice among parents, with one reviewer stating, “We have this to our granddaughter at age 6 months. She is now 14 months and continues to play with it more and more…She loves to crawl through all the openings.”
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The Best Outdoor Climbing Toys For Toddlers
4. A Versatile Climbing Toy Play Set That’s Built To Last
One of the best things about this playset is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors. With over 1,200 reviews, this climbing set is extremely popular among parents with toddlers. In fact, it’s so popular among parents that it even won the 2019 Parents’ Choice Award. It features doors that can be opened, wheels that can be turned, and a fantastic slide for your toddler to play on. Plus, it’s durable enough to withstand the elements thanks to its weather- and UV-resistant build. Just note: some assembly is required. One reviewer noted, “This is built to last. We got [it] for our 3 year old, and when he's ready, our 10 month old - but our 5 and 7 year olds play on it too. It can withstand some pretty heavy playing by three kids at once. Our kids LOVE it.”
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5. A Climbing Toy With A Slide & Ball Run
If you’re looking for a climbing toy with some extra bells and whistles, the Step 2 Fun Climber is perfect for your household. The slide on the front is attached to a ladder that your toddler can climb up, providing hours of fun. It also includes a ball pit that doubles as a water table, a ball maze, and 10 balls that are included with the play set. It can be used indoors or outdoors. With over 1,600 ratings, it’s clear that parents love it just as much as their toddlers do. One reviewer stated, “This is such a great set to have for an active 18 month old child, who by the way, climbs every piece of furniture in our house!” Relatable, right?
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6. This Caterpillar Climbing Toy With An Adorable Design
This cute caterpillar climbing toy is a great addition to any playroom or backyard. With its brightly colored design, it’s perfect for helping your child develop more than their motor skills – especially since it is meant for ages 2 to4. They can learn their numbers by counting the caterpillar’s feet, learn their colors as they identify them on the structure, and more. It’s weather-resistant too, so you can count it looking good season after season. Reviewers love this climbing toy because of its longevity and easy assembly, finding it perfect for their wild little ones. One reviewer called this caterpillar “an awesome outlet for a high-energy toddler!”
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7. The Sea Creature Climbing Toy That Doubles As A Ball Pit Or Sand Box
Having multi-use toys that can be used throughout toddlerhood can help save you money in the long run. That’s always a bonus, right? This KidKraft climbing toy is a neat outdoor toy for your toddler to use as they get a little bit older, including a sandbox or ball pit (though the sand and balls are not included) and climbing bars. It can help them to build muscle strength, fine motor skills, and develop their imagination. Reviewers love this for its easy assembly, stating “So easy to put together right out of the box and so easy for my kids to set up when they want to use it.”
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