Pikler Climbing Triangle Safety
Is the Pikler Wooden Climbing Frame safe?
The Pikler triangle is designed to encourage and promote independent play. This is a very different concept to unsupervised play and we do not recommend that your child use a Climbing Frame unsupervised. Independent free play means letting your little ones explore and discover their own space, in their own time and in their own way. Unsupervised play is simply not being there and not watching. Unsupervised play with children poses a danger no matter the activity or toy. With adult supervision, it offers enormous benefits to a child of any age.
*Please read our comments below on the structural integrity of Piklers and what you should be looking for when purchasing one. The structural differences will be the underlying factor in whether a particular Pikler is ‘safe’ and at what age it can be safely used until. Please ensure you only purchase a Pikler Climbing Frame that has been independently and professionally weight load tested.
Why buy a Pikler?
Babies and toddlers have a habit of climbing on everything, regardless of its safety or stability. Introducing a Baby Pikler Climbing Frame at an early age will, contrary to popular belief, not encourage your toddler to ‘become a climber’, it will however allow your little ones a safe space to develop and practice his / her gross motor skills. This is not just for climbing, it is designed to support balance, creativity, co ordination and grip strength.
From what age is it appropriate?
Like most things baby and toddler related, this is a very subjective answer. The use it is not based on age, it is based on developmental stage, which we all know can vary enormously between one child and the next. If your little one is still unable to walk, the Pikler can be introduced as a tool to aid in the developmental stage of pulling up. If your toddler is ‘gliding’ it can be used as a safe space to encourage ‘hands-on’ walking.
As time goes on, your toddler will advance his/her skills. They will begin to use their imagination and use their Pikler in ways you hadn’t even considered. This is the simple beauty of open ended gross motor skill toys. There are no defined way to use them and therefore, the play options are limited only by an individual child’s imagination.
What guidelines should I follow when using my Climbing Frame?
We recommend this to be used on a soft but sturdy surface such as a rug, carpet or grass. Please do not use on a concrete surface.
It can be used indoors or out, but is designed to be used with supervision. Do not ever leave your child alone to play unsupervised. Please wipe your frame dry if it happens to get wet.
These products are designed to be used with minimal adult intervention. A child will only climb or explore as far as they feel confident. Helping your child to climb may seen like a fun option, but it puts your child in danger of reaching milestones they are not yet ready to achieve on their own. Every child will reach these milestones in their own time and these climbing frames are designed to assist your child no matter what their developmental skills are.
Please ensure you follow the weight limit guidelines. These guidelines need to be considered particularly when multiple children are playing together.
Will my child tumble?Possibly. The more important question is, would you like them to tumble in the safety and security of their own environment while rapidly developing their gross motor skills, or would you prefer them to tumble on the playground when you’re not around to comfort them? Tumbles and toddlers are inevitable, however, the use of a specifically designed toddler climbing frame can help to ensure your little ones are confident on their feet.
How are My Happy Helpers Pikler Triangles different to other popular brands?
The main factor that seems to have been overlooked by most retailers, is the importance of professional weight limit testing. What weight can it carry at any one time, and more importantly what weight can it carry over a sustained period of time?
Climbing Frames are designed to be used for years, yet most retailers don’t ever consider the structural integrity of the rungs over the long term. This is a significant factor in how safe your child will be and until what age your child can continue to utilise their Pikler safely. Unfortunately, until Australia introduces mandatory standards around these products, there will continue to be inferior versions flooding the market.
Weight bearing ability depends on many, many factors, including but not limited to the type and density of the timber used, the specific types of screws and even how these screws are used. Even the width of the frame can potentially pose a significant strength issue.
Through these basic examples, you can start to see that whilst many may ‘appear the same’, they are often fundamentally different.
Width and height are two other important considerations to account for. Ideally you will want to find a Pikler that is under 1 meter in height. This ensures that if your toddler does take a tumble, that he or she will not be hurt. Width wise, 75-85cm is the ideal size to ensure your child has enough space to safely climb up and over. Most of them are designed within these guidelines, but some are not.
The final difference is the way in which the product is finished. My Happy Helpers designs products to last and we recognise that play involving children or toddlers will often be messy. Therefore we also offer the option of a Varnished Pikler. This ensures your Climbing Frames remain easy to clean and will last the test of time.
(If you love the look of natural timber and are happy to maintain the rungs with a light manual sand every now and again, we do offer a raw timber version.)
We hope this guide helps you on your Pikler Journey, if you have any further questions you can discuss them with us at anytime. email@example.com
For all of the reasons above, we suggest you do some thorough research and only purchase from a reputable retailer who can clearly demonstrate that their products have been professionally safety and weight limit tested tested.