Are you looking for the best toys to help develop your toddler’s motor skills? You should consider some climbing toys. Multiple studies have shown that climbing is crucial in early childhood motor skills development.
Climbing toys can also help children develop mental and physical skills such as hand-eye coordination, hand-foot coordination, muscle strength, and balance. This buyer’s guide will review the best climbing toys on the market today, making it easy for you to choose the right set.
- How to Choose the Best Toddler Climbing Toys
- Top 10 Best Toddler Climbing Toys 2023
- 1. Step2 Play Ball Fun Climber with Slide
- 2. Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center
- 3. Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber
- 4. Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
- 5. SoftScape Toddler Playtime Corner Climber
- 6. SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set
- 7. HAN-MM Wooden Wobble Balance Board
- 8. Fat Brain Toys Teeter Popper
- 9. Little Baby Bum Wheels on the Bus Climber and Slide
- 10. Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set
- Now, It’s Climbing Time
How to Choose the Best Toddler Climbing Toys
There are so many options available for anyone shopping for toddler climbing toys, but not every climbing toy is the best option for every child. Climbing toys come in different shapes, sizes, and features. Several factors should determine your choice, including the three below:
Check the Age Ranges
It’s important to always choose toys that are suitable for your child’s age group. Age-appropriate toys can teach your child important skills that are on par with their developmental stage. We include a recommended age for every item in our toy reviews, as this will make it easy for shoppers to quickly identify toys that apply to a wider age group.
Look for Versatile Toys
How can you know if a toy is versatile? Consider if the toy has varied uses, can serve multiple purposes, have multiple functions, and is competent in many things. The Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set has multiple parts allowing kids to play with it in many different ways. This is a prime example of a versatile climbing toy.
Climbing toys can make a fantastic combo of play and learning. Would you be amazed to find that climbing toys can also provide children with STEM learning? The Little Baby Bum Wheels on the Bus Climber and Slide is an excellent example of toddler climbing toys that encourage academic learning. It comes with age-appropriate educational features such as nursery rhymes and lessons on the alphabet and animals. The best part is that educational toys make learning fun for children, allowing them to better absorb what they are taught.
We considered the three factors above while putting this buyer’s guide together. We aim to pick the best of the best and tell you why we think they are the best. This should make it even easier for shoppers to just point and click, so to speak. Below is our review of the best toddler climbing toys available today.
Top 10 Best Toddler Climbing Toys 2023
There are times when keeping a toddler calm to let you attend to other matters for just a few minutes seems to be the most difficult thing in the world. What you and the child need is a playset like the Step2 Play Ball Fun Climber with Slide.
This climbing set is one of the best multi-faceted and multi-purpose climbing toys for toddlers. It comes with features that help children sharpen their hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, and more. To top it off, the climber is offered at a comparatively lower price than similar playsets.
The Climber and Slide features a fun ball pit where kids will strengthen their pincers grip as they grip the spherical balls and make them roll down the maze and into the pit. They also train their eye coordination and visual clarity as they watch the balls complete their trip through the maze and into the pit.
The pit has got a drain plug on its bottom that completely prevents it from leaking, allowing it to be filled with water or sand for different activities.
As many as three children can have lots of room to play together with this climber. This is a good way to encourage interaction to help kids improve their social skills. You’d be right to say that Step2 thought of everything a toddler needs in a toy while designing this playset.
Unfortunately, the set comes with just ten balls included, but you can easily order extra balls online to expand the ball pit fun.
The next dominant feature of this climbing toy is the slide. This Step2 activity center features a slide with stairs that kids can climb and zip down the slide. Using this toy, children develop balance, coordination, and spatial reasoning.
The steps are the right size, width, and depth for toddlers to climb up. The simple act of waiting for their turns to use the slide further teaches children patience, sharing, and social skills. One child could zip down the slide while another is crawling through the tunnel beneath the slide. The tunnel is particularly good for hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo games.
All the corners have rounded edges to protect children from cuts and scratches during play. This set is suitable for kids as young as 18-month-old and up to four-years-old.
Weighing 25 pounds and with dimensions measuring 35.75 inches long, 53.25 inches wide, and 38.25 inches tall, the set can be used indoors and outdoors. It is painted with a mix of vibrant child-friendly colors that enhances the set’s suitability for churches, daycare centers, playrooms, etc. For the price, this is the best value for hours-long entertainment and stimulation.
The Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center is both a bestselling toddler climbing toy and one of the best dome-style climbing sets you can buy right now. It comes in six different colors for customers to choose from. You’re sure to find the best fit for your home interior from this many color options.
This play center comes with a competitive price tag, considering its quality and all the health and entertainment benefits it offers children. The set is made of lead-free, heavy-duty, powder-coated steel construction with HDPE climbing grips. The weather-resistant powder coating protects against rust and UV rays and also helps maintain the climber’s paint and structural integrity.
This Lifetime Dome Climber is sure to intrigue customers who prioritize versatility in children’s toys. That’s because this climber can also be used as a dome-style fort or play tent by draping it with the included canopy. The canopy is optional, though, so customers have a choice to request it if they want. With the canopy included, kids can drape it over the structure and it is automatically transformed into a large play tent. This can be both fun for kids and money-saving for parents, since there is no need to purchase play tents separately.
With a 10ft diameter and measuring 108 x 108 x 54 inches, the set is neither dangerously high nor boringly low. The included user manual recommends spreading wood chips on the floor of the set, especially if you set it up on the grass.
The Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber is incredibly stable and comes with a one-year warranty. That means you’re guaranteed to have no issues with the integrity of the structure for at least a year, although we can see this climbing set still in use for upward of five years.
It is unbelievably sturdy for a free-standing toddler climber that does not anchor to the ground, although it could still be anchored using carabiners and swing set anchors if you so choose. Kids are perfectly safe because the set will never lift or tip over during play. This climbing dome sports one of the most architecturally stable designs you can find today. You can be confident it will withstand extreme winds and even tornadoes as it has no trampoline or anything that could “catch” the wind.
Also, it is easy to deliberately move the climber as it isn’t attached to the ground. The climber weighs 95 lb. and can be moved by one adult with relative ease. For example, dad can walk the set to a different spot when mowing the lawn by climbing inside and pushing it up from the center
Up to six children can use the climber at the same time, allowing them to watch and learn from each other.
For a playset so sturdy, you might wonder how hard it would be to assemble it. We recommend two people, although it can also be assembled solo. Assembly takes an average of three hours, depending on the individual’s experience. It helps to tighten all the nuts and bolts after the structure is fully assembled. It does come with a user manual and a single hex wrench included. So all that you need is 1/2 wrench at the very least, and a long 1/2″ socket on a drill if available.
Little Tikes is an American-based toy manufacturer with headquarters in Hudson, Ohio. The company is known for making high-quality children’s toys, and has built several toddler climbers such as the Little Baby Bum Wheels on the Bus Climber and Slide (for babies 18 months to 4 years), Little Tikes Double Fun Slide ‘n Bounce Bouncer (for ages 3 to 8 years), and the Little Tikes Go Green! Indoor Jr. Play Slide (for babies 18 months to 4 years).
This Little Tikes climber pays homage to kids who enjoy playing hide and seek at home or outside. Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber is an indoor and outdoor toddler climbing set.
This Little Tikes’ climber comes with multiple features, including a rock wall, slope slide, crawl tunnel, and a clubhouse. Kids will have to climb the rock wall to reach the top of the climber before they can zip down the slide.
You may find the rocks on the rock wall are too small even for tiny feet, although the small size can help children develop dexterity, coordination, and gross motor skills faster. However, we strongly advise adult supervision, especially when toddlers are climbing the rock wall. The rock steps may be too small to allow your child to easily navigate up the wall, and the slippery plastic doesn’t help matters either.
We’d have liked it more if Little Tikes at least included some sort of ledge to make it easier for kids to brace or pull themselves up. The slippery rock wall could be frustrating for small children, but it is a joy to watch the little ones surmount the “rocky” challenge because they have to get to the platform and slide down the slope. Plus, the climb certainly gets easier with practice.
Given the option of a ladder or typical steps, we’d still choose the rock wall. It’s a better alternative to help kids build hand-foot coordination and fine and gross motor skills. Plus, the set is not too tall to risk serious injury in case children fall. The length of the slide is 28.25 inches, which provides exhilarating fun and a soft landing for toddlers.
The downside is that this Little Tikes climber is too small to allow more than two kids to conveniently play on it at the same time. It has a maximum load capacity of 45 lb. per child. It’s just 19.75 inches from the slide to the ground and 18 inches from the ground to the platform/clubhouse, while the rocky wall is 12.50 inches tall.
Kids will have just as much fun crawling through the tunnel on repeat and hiding out in it to play hide and seek games. The crawl tunnel can help kids improve their balance and coordination.
Both sides of the platform have built-in clubhouse windows, making it easy and fun for kids to play peek-a-boo. The set is easy to assemble, lightweight for adults to move and guaranteed to last for many years. Its beautiful clubhouse design and child-friendly colors make it nice to be set up in your home, daycare centers, etc.
The Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower is an open-ended playset guaranteed to provide kids with plenty of fun for years.
The architecture invites children as young as three to six-years-old to monkey around on it. The sturdy frame can support weights of up to 150 lb., that’s an average of five toddlers playing on the jungle gym at a time.
The lime green color feels right at home in your backyard or front lawn, although the set can also be safely used indoors without limiting the fun for kids. This playset is perfect for a basement or playroom where kids can use it to play all sorts of imaginative games such as ball pit games and hide and seek. It can even be draped with a blanket to transform it into a fort or play tent.
The lightweight plastic construction also means you don’t have to worry about the monkey bars damaging carpeted floors. With a weight of 25 pounds, the Climbing Tower can withstand strong winds when set up outdoors and it will not tip as kids play on it.
Since safety is the utmost concern for parents looking to get their children climbing toys, it’s worth mentioning that this jungle gym is deliberately designed, as a safety precaution, to discourage kids from attempting to disassemble the set by themselves. It’s neither safe nor easy for kids to assemble or disassemble this set as it requires a tricky process of interlocking plastic tubes with double self-locking springs.
The Climbing Tower takes about an hour to assemble and includes a well-detailed manual and clearly labelled pieces.
Monkey bars such as this one are the perfect fit for kids who are ready to explore different ways or inventive methods to surmount challenges. Don’t expect it to match the sturdiness of the Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center, but you could never use the Lifetime dome climber indoors.
The dimensions of this toddler climber are 70.1 inches in length, 46.65 inches in width, and 65.53 inches in height. Although it is made with plastic, the material is high quality and is treated with enhanced UV protection for the frame and paint against adverse weather conditions. This climbing toy is what you need to help kids develop critical thinking, balance, creativity and coordination.
The SoftScape Toddler Playtime Corner Climber is another toddler climbing toy on our list that ranks as Amazon’s Choice in its category. This foam climber is made by Factory Direct Partners (FDP), a company with a focus on the manufacture of playtime and educational children’s toys.
This is a three-level toddler climbing block that securely fits in the corner of a room where it is unobtrusive while engaging the little ones in active fun for hours.
While you may expect children to confine themselves to using this set for climbing purposes, prepare to be amazed as kids improvise by using the set for imaginative play too. The four-piece set can be rearranged and “transformed” into anything from a pirate ship to a spaceship or a castle, and so on.
The different possible configurations can stimulate imaginative playtime. The scale and architecture of this climbing toy encourage children to improvise in whatever way they imagine.
The set comes in five different color combinations for customers to choose from, including this contemporary and green, contemporary and earth-tone, navy and powder blue, red and blue, and purple and raspberry. Given that this toy is large enough to qualify as home furniture, we think it’s great that customers have the option of choosing from the array of contemporary and vibrant color combinations to fit the interior design of their homes.
The foam is covered in PU leather, or synthetic leather, which is an artificial leather material. It is environmentally friendly and easy to clean by wiping down with a cloth and a mild soap–and–water solution.
This SoftScape climber is CertiPUR and GREENGUARD-certified, which means it has been scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards, helping to reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure.
The base of the climber features a non-slip material to reduce slipping and sliding as kids play on them. It also has hook-and-loop fasteners to keep the pieces in place while kids play.
The downside to this climber is its large size that cannot be conveniently moved around. It comes in dimensions measuring 36 x 36 x 10 inches while weighing 11 lb. However, it’s a splendid choice if you’re looking for an indoor climbing set you can just set up in one place and leave kids to play on it at any time.
If you liked the SoftScape Toddler Playtime Corner Climber, then you might want to compare and contrast with the SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set. Both toddler climbers share similar design concepts, but they also have distinct features that set them apart.
The five SoftZone climbing pieces are made of high-quality dense foam that barely leaves an impression when kids step on them. The foam is soft and yet of wonderful quality. It regains its shape in a matter of seconds when stepped on.
This playset is made to be easy for kids to rearrange and configure to whatever form they imagine, which is why they come in a lightweight design. SoftZone recommends this set for ages nine months to three-years-old. Toddlers will develop fine and gross motor skills as they lift, stack, and carry the lightweight foam pieces around, whether they are playing at home or school.
The SoftZone gym set weighs just nine pounds. Each of the foam blocks is fitted with a non-slip bottom to keep them stable while kids play on them. However, we found that the gym blocks nonetheless slide a bit on carpets and hardwood floors.
Don’t let the sliding bottom discourage you, though. We are confident that the little ones will quickly figure out how to crawl on the blocks without moving them, which is actually helping them with their cognitive development and coordination.
The plush but sturdy foam shapes are covered in a soft leather polyurethane material, which is easy to clean and waterproof. They are easy to clean by simply wiping down with mild soap and water solution
All the foam blocks come in an assortment of vibrant colors and shapes, including a rectangle, square, cylinder, triangle, and a half-moon. This will stimulate sensory perception as they mix and match the colorful blocks in orderly form or randomly.
Kids will enjoy crawling up the ramp to reach the other blocks when placed side by side.
As with most toys for this age group, adult supervision is important, although we look forward to our kids amazing us with the most spectacular unexpected moves. Since this indoor playset is GREENGUARD [GOLD] and CertPUR-certified, you can be sure that your children are safe from toxic chemicals that might otherwise be harmful to their health. The set’s dimensions are 56 inches long, 32 inches wide, and 16 inches high.
Wobble balance boards are made of multiple layers of the best European beech wood expertly crafted into the unique curved design that the wobble boards are known for. The Wooden Wobble Balance Board comes with a play mat, and customers can choose from four different colors, including this natural wood, dark green, green, and yellow.
Each color choice features a unique texture, grain, and mineral patterns in the outer layer. These are variations that make each board one of a kind. They help children develop balance, strength, and mental agility as they have fun playing with them.
Experienced older users can use wobble boards to train specific muscle groups in the body. No one is too old to use this device, and toddlers are ready to try out the Wooden Wobble Balance Board once they can confidently walk unaided. Therapists sometimes recommend the wobble board for patients with musculoskeletal challenges.
There are countless ways to practice or just relax with the board, and kids can also convert it for use in a myriad of ways; a stool, table, tunnel, connecting step, ramp, slide, racetrack, and many more.
This is not the kind of toy that kids use and discard or quickly get bored with. It can even be hung in the room as an interior decoration. Its yoga-curve shape stimulates creativity in both kids and adults. This simple device can help children push their creative boundaries. It weighs 5.74 pounds and can support weights of up to 485 lbs.
The board’s dimensions are 32 inches long, 11.8 inches wide, and 7 inches tall. The board is child-friendly and safe. It is made of super-hard beech and birch wood stacked and pressed under high pressure to give it a strength that won’t split while kids play with it. The manufacturer advises against knocking the edge of the board on the ground or hard objects, otherwise, the edges may crack.
Whether indoors or outdoors, the board is always ready when you are. Still, adult supervision is recommended for toddlers using the toy. To promote its longevity, don’t leave the board outside because moisture can damage the integrity of the wood as well as ruin the paint and bottom felt.
The Wooden Wobble Board includes a playmat to help protect hardwood floors against scratches while kids play with the board. Just ensure that kids keep their fingers away from the edges to avoid pinching. The floor mat, in addition to the felt layer beneath the board, should keep your room floors and the balance board completely safe from scratches. The wooden board is easy to clean with a damp cloth and mild soap, as long as you wipe it with a dry cloth or rag after cleaning with a damp cloth.
The Wooden Wobble Balance Board is an excellent device that supports the muscles responsible for correct posture and great balance.
We consider this playset as a one-of-a-kind ride-on toy. Kids can rock, wobble, tilt, and even spin on the teeter popper. The board is made of super-strong plastic that gives it an extremely durable and sturdy quality. It will never break or crack, even with frequent use.
The rounded bottom allows the board to rock back and forth as well as side to side. The Fat Brains Teeter Popper is recommended for three to eight-year-old kids and can support weights of up to 110 pounds. The board’s bottom is overlaid with durable silicone suction cups that can stand up to hours and hours of play.
The suction cups make popping sounds like popping bubble wrap as kids hop along on it on hard surfaces. The downside for the Teeter Popper is that you can only use it on hard surfaces such as tile, hardwood, and linoleum floors.
You can tell that your kids will love the Teeter Popper if they already enjoy activities like climbing, swinging, jumping rope, etc. Using the teeter popper has many developmental benefits for children, such as improved balance, core strength, coordination, concentration, focus, and gross motor skills.
Kids can sit and wobble in the toy this moment, and the next moment they’re standing and using it like a single-person seesaw with a leg on either end of the board.
It is perfect for those days when bad weather keeps families indoors as long as the family is not easily irritated by the popping sounds from the suction cups. We found that the Teeter Popper may not move like a skateboard, but it can help kids develop the same muscles needed to ride skateboards.
Unlike skateboards, no special skills are required to use the Teeter Popper, which makes it an ideal device for kids to prepare for proper skateboards. The board weighs 1.25 pounds and is 28 inches long, 11.5 inches wide, and 7.5 inches above the ground. It can be cleaned by wiping down with a damp cloth and warm soapy water. This product won the 2014 ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids Award. You can get the popper in pink color with green suction cups, or this blue/green color.
The Little Bum Wheels on the Bus is a special kind of toddler climber in many ways, starting with its bus-like design.
The climber’s name sounds as fun as the YouTube animated kiddie channel that inspired it. Created by a mom and dad who christened the YouTube show after their daughter’s nickname, Little Baby Bum is a fun, educational children’s nursery rhyme channel watched globally by kids.
Little Baby Bum Wheels on the Bus Climber and Slide comes with interactive features to thrill and educate children, just like the Little Baby Bum videos taught kids about colors, shapes, numbers, the alphabet, and more. The set can be used indoors as well as outdoors. It is built with water-resistant materials to make it safe for outdoor use.
The bus’s design is particularly appealing for toddlers. The bus even has a name: Buster. Buster comes painted with vibrant child-friendly school bus yellow, red, and white colors. As you can expect, Buster comes equipped with a baby slide and climber for kids to explore. The slide has a gentle slope to provide little ones with a thrilling, soft landing. Little Tikes built this climber for children who are one to four years old.
A built-in step on both sides of Buster the bus makes it easy and safe for kids to climb onto the bus. The slide is 18 inches above the ground, which is a safe height to ensure the little one’s safety, and comes with a slight upward lip at the base that prevents the happy surfers from bonking their bottom on the ground.
Buster’s dashboard is packed with interactive features. The steering wheel plays age-appropriate sing-along musicals, including the classic Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Five Little Ducks, and more. The dashboard also features a working horn, ignition, and gear shifter. These fun features educate and spark children’s imagination.
Kids will develop fine and gross motor skills as they manipulate the interactive button, knob, and lever on the dashboard. There’s also a fold-out Bus Stop sign on the driver’s side of the bus for kids to fold in and fold out just like in a real school bus. Buster comes with a lot more educational features to teach kids about letters, numbers, animals, and more.
Strictly for the outdoors, the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set could be considered the ultimate outdoor swing set if you don’t mind the steep price tag and you have the yard space to install the complete set.
The Buckley Hill is a fantastic playset, but it makes sense to first determine if you have the necessary space and if the space is safe enough to install the set. Its dimensions are 123 inches long, 107 inches wide, and 92 inches tall. It is smaller than many brands in its category, but you should look no further than the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set if you’re looking for the best outdoor swing set for children with the most affordable price tag.
The small size of the Buckley Hill wooden swing set makes it lower and therefore sturdier, which also enhances its stability for the safety of the kids it is meant for. It is suitable for users as young as three years and up to ten years old. Safety is the most important concern for any caring parent, and Backyard Discovery built this set with child-safety in mind.
It features a swing, a climbing step, a slide, an enclosed fort/playhouse, and more. The fort has a mesh enclosure as a safety precaution. As a bonus, the mesh has a see-through quality that makes it easy for parents to keep tabs on the kids in there. Although the upper fort is not dangerously far above the ground, adult supervision is important to ensure the little ones don’t fall off the platform.
While the sides of the fort come with a mesh enclosure, the roof is also covered with a tough trampoline to protect kids from sunburns and bad weather. The roof is a nice feature that makes the upper deck comfortable and safe for kids to hang out, interact with each other, and play games.
There is even a chalkboard in the upper fort ready for kids to use to write, draw, paint, and make nice art. The chalkboard is 15 inches wide and 15 inches long. You might want to keep a pack of non-toxic dustless chalks handy.
The slide is 6 ft. tall and though excitingly speedy, a curved lip at the bottom paired with side rails, ensures children travel safely down. The structure also has two heavy-duty belt swings. With a weight of 27.4 pounds, there’s not a chance of the set tipping as kids play on it.
This playset is made with 100% cedar wood that has been pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-stained to make installation easier and faster. It comes with a one-year guarantee for its parts and a whooping five-year guarantee for wood rot and decay.
The Buckley Wooden Swing Set should take two people an average of four to eight hours to assemble, and it comes with 3D step-by-step assembly instructions through the Bilt app, where you can zoom, rotate 360⁰, and have voice narration as you complete the project.
This is the perfect swing set to keep your kids entertained in a large or small yard without taking up room for other outdoor activities.
Now, It’s Climbing Time
At this point, we’re confident you have found just the right climbing toy for your child and family. As you have seen, our list of the top-ten best toddler climbing toys is comprehensive, so there is something here for every family and budget. You can always use our buyer’s guide to shop with confidence. We work hard to put this list together to make it easy for you to get the best value for your money, no matter which item on this list you choose.