The best indoor and outdoor climbing toys for toddlers


If you have an active toddler like I do, you know how much they love climbing everything and would enjoy climbing toys. Even one year olds who just started walking show interest in climbing and need a safe environment to do it in. Here’s a complete list of the best climbing toys for toddlers, so take a look and find the perfect climbing toy for their age and skill level. 

best climbing toys for toddlers graphic

Benefits of Climbing Toys

Climbing can be scary for parents to watch, but children love it and benefit from it. There are multiple areas of physical development that will benefit from climbing toys like these. A few of the biggest benefits of climbing include:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Balance
  • Gross motor development
  • Fine motor skills
  • Muscle strength

Best Indoor Climbing Toys 

For all those long winter days or times you need your children to play near you inside, check out these perfect indoor climbing toys. Help them build gross motor skills and burn off extra energy the days you’re inside. Most of these work no matter the room or amount of space you have at home. 

best indoor climbing toys for toddlers graphic

Soft Climb and Slide 

For the littlest climber and even new walkers, this is an awesome starter climbing toy. It’s low to the ground, no sharp edges, and soft, so that it’s safe when a child falls. This toy will help start the climbing and balance for young children.

For new climbers, they can be hesitating or even scared to start the climbing. But once they get the hang out it, they’ll love climbing all over this toy. They just need a little encouragement at first.

You can help your child get used to climbing on the toy at the beginning by climbing with them. Or you can show them how to put toys on it like putting cars down the ramp. This way your child will already like to play on it, and eventually will start climbing on it by themselves. 

Nugget Couch 

You may have seen this awesome kids couch on social media, and I’m here to tell you it really does live up to the hype. This one is so much fun and can be used in so many different ways with cushions of all different shapes. Their website even has different configurations for you to follow or leave it up to your child for imaginative play. 

The great part about this ‘toy’ is that it really is a functioning couch that’s nice enough to keep in your living room if you have the room. It’s made with high quality materials and easily washable as well.

Let your child go wild building forts, climbing up ramps, and jumping around with this couch. There are limitless possibilities and so much fun to be had by both younger and older kids. It is an investment with the price, but sure to last you many years to come.

Pikler Triangle 

This wooden climbing triangle is a great toy to have inside. A classic climbing toy, this triangle is a favorite of therapists and development experts because of the simpleness but effectiveness.

The model we found folds up for easy storage and has an adjustable angle to make it less steep or steeper according to what your child can do. it’s made from solid wood and sure to last you a long time. There’s even add-on pieces like climbing ramps you can get to go with it.

At first, you’ll have to supervise your child closely as they get used to this climbing toy. But as they practice, you’ll see they get more confident and don’t need you as close.

3 in 1 Climber 

Here’s the next step up from the simple Pikler triangle. This toy comes with three climbing pieces that can be connected and rearranged for even more fun. Children will love the variety and challenge of this toy once they are used to climbing.

This is still small enough to fit in most houses and can be moved around easily. The pieces come apart and fold up for easier storage, too. 

This is a great way to make the most of small spaces with just one climbing toy and perfect for indoor use in any room. And you can choose from all natural wood or one with bright colors. Toddlers of all skill levels will love this one and enjoy having it. 

Indoor Jungle Gym 

If you want to go all out and have an avid climber, consider getting this complete jungle gym for inside your home. This toy comes with it all-a rope ladder, climbing wall, ramps, and more! Children who like to climb and be active could play on this for hours! 

We recommend putting this toy on the carpet or a padded play mat because there will be falls. While they’re usually small falls and this toy isn’t too high off the ground, the padded landed will help minimize the risk. Be sure to supervise your child while they are still learning to climb and play on it.

Another great feature of this toy is that it comes with a swing for your child, too. Who wouldn’t want to swing inside? Just remember there is a weight limit on these and may not be suited for big kids.

Best Outdoor Climbing Toys 

In addition to the indoor toys, there’s so many great outdoor climbing toys for toddlers. It’s a good idea to have both for wherever your child wants to play. Some of these toys can be used for both. 

The main difference between the outdoor and indoor toys is how much room they take up. So if you do have the room outside (or lack of room inside), these are all great options. Check out all of the best outdoor climbing toys here. 

best outdoor climbing toys for toddlers graphic

Climber Basketball Hoop 

Here’s a fun and simple climbing toy for the beginners out there like younger toddlers. The climbing half of the toy is great for little hands and feet who need a lot of practice and somewhere to hold on. Not to mention the slide that is always a favorite among young children. 

This little tikes toy is great because it’s multiple toys in one. Your child will also have a blast using the basketball hoop as well. The great thing about this one is that it’s easier to put together than some of the other toys on the list and an excellent choice for a low risk toy.

Climbing Rope 

This is a great option for outdoor play if you have limited space or budget for the bigger climbing toys. The climbing ladder is also a swing that can be hung on a tree or makes a great addition to a swing set. Help build up that physical strength as they have fun climbing up the rope. 

The good news is that you’ll get years of use out of this swing. The younger children can start using it as a swing immediately and will learn the climbing part as they get older. 

The climbing part of the rope may be challenging for young toddlers, but tons of fun for older children. 

Domed Monkey Bars 

These dome climbers are a child favorite because of the easy climbing frame. This toy is a great investment that can be used with older toddlers all the way to big kids. It’s also the perfect addition if you already have a swing set but are looking to add climbing toys. 

This model has great reviews online and even has a video on how to set it up. The first time your child tries to play on it, you’ll probably want to be there to help and at least show them the safe way to get down. 

If you love this toy but need something for indoor use, they do make a mini version. The mini version may also be a good choice for young toddlers. But if you do have a good climber, they will still love this climber and grow into it fast. 

Climbing Arch

Check out this super fun climbing structure for young kids that’s similar to the indoor jungle gym but better suited for outdoor use. They’ll love the challenge of climbing on this toy and playing games on it. It has both vertical and horizontal bars to encourage different ways of climbing. 

The simple design makes it easy to set up and a great climbing toy for kids of all skill levels. Outdoor toys like this one will be used by both little and big kids because the maximum weight is higher that some of the other toys. 

Encourage active play with your children by making up games to play on the structure. The best ways to get them to start using it is to go out there with them at first. This fun climber is a great choice for imaginative play in children, too. 

Swing Set

If you’re looking for the biggest and most useable climbing toy (but also the biggest investment), you need to get the full swing set. This is great for kids of all ages, and they will use it for years and years to come. Swing sets do take up the most space, so be sure to measure before you order one. 

Swing sets are the best for learning climbing skills because they’re made to be safe but also a little challenging. There’s so many models out there that come with different climbing styles like a rock wall, rope ladders, a steering wheel, and stairs. Some even come with interchangeable parts.

Another thing to consider if you’re getting a swing set or you already have one is the attachable climbing toys. There’s so many swings, jungle gyms, or ropes you can choose from.  

A Note on Risky Play

Climbing can be scary with toddlers because you don’t want them to fall and hurt themselves. And you should supervise to make sure they are not in any real and imminent danger. Let’s face it-as much as they want it to be, not everything in the house or outside should be climbed on. 

However, risky play is great for toddlers and their development, including their physical and cognitive development. One of the best things you can do for them is make toys or anything they climb as safe as necessary instead of risk free. 

Risky play helps children build confidence, physical abilities, decision making skills, and resilience. They thrive when they can push and challenge themselves without adults interfering too much. Read more about risky play and how you can best help your child here.

Check out the best sports toys

If you’re in the market for toys that help your child’s physical development and gross motor skills, check out our full list of the best indoor and outdoor sports toys here.  Sports toys are also great for balance, hand-eye coordination, and muscle strength. If you have small children who need to get a lot of energy out, try these sports toys along with the climbing toys to the maximum physical activity. 

Here’s all the best gifts for toddlers

If you came looking for the perfect gift for a toddler, all the climbing toys are great options, and (as long as you clear it with the parents) toddlers will love getting any of these toys. And then check out our entire list of the best toys for toddlers. There’s truly something for everyone, at every development level. 

40 must have gifts for 1-2 year olds

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