I must say I stumbled upon Pikler Triangle by accident, but I was hooked immediately. It’s a climbing frame for small children – kids love it!
If you ever joined any Facebook groups for parents of toddlers or especially about Montessori/Waldorf parenting you probably have seen many threads about it. It’s also one of the best gifts for baby’s first birthday for sure!
The truth is, even though it’s often associated with Montessori learning it has nothing to do with it. Many classify the pikler triangle as a Waldorf toy as it’s an eco-friendly, organic and open-ended toy, but it wasn’t invented by either Rudolf Steiner or Maria Montessori.
What Is a Pikler Triangle?
The Pikler Triangle was developed by Hungarian pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler over 100 years ago. She believed kids should explore the pikler triangle on their own terms. If they can climb it, they should be able to do so freely.
It can be used for children as young as 6 months to approx. 5 years old. The Pikler Triangle allows children to learn their own boundaries during their own time.
The point of the triangle is that it doesn’t need to be adjusted as your child grows because it works as the foundation on which they reach developmental milestones.
For example, babies can first play underneath it. Once their ready they can use it to pull themselves up, then proceed to climb the structure. They can use their imagination and learn new skills.
Is Pikler Triangle Safe?
Yes, it is. While Dr Pikler encouraged parents to let kids climb independently, it doesn’t mean without supervision. Don’t hover over your bub, but stay close.
That said, don’t ever put it in your child’s bedroom. It should stay in the common area where you can see your little one playing.
Were there any accidents associated with pikler triangles? Probably, but such as the case with anything else. My bub keeps falling off things constantly, including sofas or his own soft chair.
It doesn’t mean I’ll get rid of my sofa until he stops falling. Most kids will be careful.
If you think about it, playgrounds are much more dangerous as kids can fall from literally anything there and they’ve been around for years and decades.
Where to Buy Pikler Triangle?
Pikler triangle has been around for decades, but only recently they gained enormous online fame.
Everyone is confused about where to buy a pikler triangle and what kind of pikler triangle to buy. I totally get it, I was there too.
I’ve done extensive research on the best pikler triangles out there, only to discover that most of them are produced in Europe. There are a few American producers, but the prices they charge for it are absolutely ridiculous.
If you’re from Europe – that’s good news for you, but if you’re not you have three options: either import it from Europe, overpay for US-based companies, or build a pikler triangle yourself.
Believe me when I say that prices of US-based companies are incredibly high. Many would love to support a local business, but most simply cannot afford it.
I actually have my own Montessori/Waldorf kids store and I know exactly how much does it cost to make everything.
What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Pikler Triangle?
Even if you build it yourself (more on this below) the price of the dowels alone is quite high.
These days many triangles aren’t as simple as Dr Pikler designed them to be. You can get different heights, different structures, it can even be transformable. Every parent buys a ladder/slide ramp for it as well. You can even buy a pikler-inspired wooden gym!
There’s nothing wrong with that, all of these products are amazing and your kid will enjoy it. Just keep in mind that the original purpose of pikler triangle was to keep it simple.
Best Pikler Triangle Available to Buy:
Pikler triangle isn’t something you can buy anywhere or for cheap like at IKEA. While I love Ikea hacks (especially Duktig Kitchen, KURA Bed and LATT Table), pikler triangle isn’t sold at IKEA for a good reason. To make it safe, it cannot be made too cheaply.
That said, I yet to see one under $190. Especially knowing how much it costs to manufacture it well, it’s just not possible.
Pikler triangle is something that should last your child for many years – pay attention to the height of the triangle. If you’re dealing with a very active baby you might not want to buy a very tall triangle at first, but unless you have limited space and money for a new one when they grow up, don’t do it.
I would recommend getting a pikler triangle that’s at least 31 inches (80 cm) tall, but ideally taller.
Where to Buy Pikler Triangle?
- WoodenWorkshop – Well-priced triangle sets from Ukraine (incl. ramps or even balance board!) and fast FREE shipping to the US. Bonus: unlike most, it ships assembled!
- Home for Dreams – One of the highest pikler triangle on the market with free shipping. It could be rainbow-colored. US customers: it ships from the country of Georgia, not the state of Georgia, so it takes a few weeks. Many complain about the assembly difficulties.
- Wiwiurka – Probably the most trendy store with beautiful piklers and rockers, but it does take 4+ weeks to deliver and the price is higher.
- Simre Home Living – Piklers, ramps and set. Good quality and THE fastest shipping, even though it ships from Turkey. If you need a pikler triangle now, that’s who you should buy it from.
- Happy Moon – The most popular transformable triangle & priced well. The only “but” is that they have a current processing time of 2+ months.
- RADs Kids Furniture – American-made different sized piklers. Simple, natural, with no gimmicks but free shipping.
*** I’m not the biggest fan of Lily&River even though they’re extremely popular in the US. While the quality is great, their piklers are quite short and many parents regret not getting a higher one.
Also beware of EtteTette – while it’s convertible it’s actually tiny. Same goes for SproutKids – I LOVE their weaning table and leaning tower, but their piklers are teeny tiny.
How to Build a Pikler Triangle?
While everything can easily be bought, you could also build it yourself. Its construction is simple, so even with little woodworking experience it can be done.
Although it might take you a few tries and good couple of hours.
It will cost you about $100-120 for dowels, screws and wood, but unless you have woodworking tools, you would have to purchase them as well. This includes Forstner bit to do the holes (technically, you can do it without the holes to rest the dowels on, but it’s more stable with them), sander and long clamps.
How to Seal a Pikler Triangle?
If you’re building yourself, you may wonder how to seal a pikler triangle? Even if you buy it ready to go, many manufacturers sell it unfinished.
Do you need to seal the triangle? Simple answer: no, unless it will stay outdoors all the time. Many people prefer to have wooden toys unfinished, including myself.
But, if you’re worried about your triangle and insist on sealing it, there are a few options:
- eco-varnish like Polyclear
- beeswax (technically not a sealer, it’s a conditioner, but enough to make it work)
- 50:50 wax & coconut oil (again, technically just a conditioner)
If you’re looking for a way to stain the dowels, make sure the paint you use is non-toxic, because your kids might chew on it. I usually use watered-down acrylic FolkArt.
Another great option for a non-toxic paint is MilkPaint, but it will look less smooth than when you used a regular acrylic.
Pikler Triangle vs Rocker
Should I buy a pikler triangle or a rocker is one of the most common questions asked by parents (on top of the Nugget Couch, but they’re not easy to get!).
One can say you should get both and I agree with it, but not everyone can afford it (they’re not cheap items) or have space for both items.
I don’t think one is better than another per se – it all depends on your child and you, as a parent, know him or her best.
- Is your child a climber? If yes, they’ll love a pikler triangle.
- Do you have space for something as big as a rocker? Triangles can be folded when not in use, but the rocker cannot be and will take a significant portion of your living room.
- How old is your little one? Many parents report longer usage from a rocker if the triangle isn’t tall enough. That said, if you’re buying a rocker don’t buy anything smaller than XL.
Do you have any questions or doubts about a pikler triangle? If so, let me know in the comments below!