If you’re looking for a climbing toy to occupy your busy toddler, you probably already know that they come in a wide range of styles and price ranges.
But as we hunted for toddler climbing toys, we were surprised by how many recalled products we found (1). Some of these recalls were due to toxic chemicals in the paint, while others called out unsafe structures.
Our toddlers’ safety is our top priority, and we’re sure you feel the same way. That’s why we scoured multiple product websites, reading reviews, checking safety ratings, and double-checking recall lists. We made it our mission to ensure we found only the best climbing toys for toddlers that are highly entertaining while still being safe, durable, and suitable for a variety of play areas and budgets.
These climbers are the perfect outlet for your toddler’s nonstop energy, and you can trust them to hold up to their roughest play.
- Motor perceptual soft climber
- For 8 months to 3 years
- Bright, attractive colors
- High quality steel construction
- Rust- and UV-resistant steel
- Maximum capacity of 1,000 pounds
- Perfect for indoor use
- Secure self-locking springs
- Holds up to 150 pounds
- Lookout tree with steering wheel
- Has a climbing unit attached
- Encourages role play activity
- Minimal adult assembly required
- Will outlast toddler years
- Natural colors & realistic textures
- 600-pound carrying capacity
- Heavy-duty construction
- Rust- and weather-resistant steel
- Easy climbing rock wall
- Gentle slope slide
- Easy to assemble
- Wide, multi-level platforms
- Sturdy construction
- Provides smooth rides and soft landings
- Weather- and fade-resistant design
- Encourages motor development
- GreenGuard Gold Certified
- Space saver
- 60-pound weight limit
Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, our thorough analysis and hands-on experience with toddler climbing toys provide you with accurate and reliable information. We evaluate products from a user’s perspective, combining expert assessments and in-depth research to help you make informed decisions. Our criteria include safety, durability, design, and age-appropriateness, as well as quantitative measurements of performance and comparisons to competitors. We identify key decision-making factors and rate each product in those areas, which includes design choices and their effect on users. Trust our findings, reviews, and recommendations, as we provide first-hand evidence and expert knowledge on what sets the best toddler climbing toys apart.
The Best Toddler Climbing Toys of 2023
Best Indoor Climbing Toys
Children's Factory Soft Tunnel Climber
Best for Babies
This set from Children’s Factory is perfect for creative toddlers and younger babies from 8 months to 3 years old.
Your toddler will love pulling the Velcro blocks apart and arranging them as they please. The blocks are soft, colorful, and easy to wipe clean.
In this set, you’ll get a tunnel, a staircase, a slide, and a floor mat. Perfect for tumbling, crawling, and climbing.
Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Tower
Best for Older Toddlers
Thanks to Eezy Peezy, we can now have monkey bars indoors too, as long as we have an open space to set them up and break them down again.
This climbing toy is basically a dome full of bars. The construction is light and easy to assemble with secure self-locking springs. It can support up to 150 pounds.
The “wow” factor is the bright color. However, we recommend this climber for kids who already have some experience with climbing — up to 6 years of age.
Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber
Best for Imagination
Bring the outdoors inside with the Woodland climber. It features two climbing walls, steps, and an indoor slide.
There’s also a small deck with two steering wheels to navigate the forest. It’s suitable for children from 2 to 8 years of age. With a maximum weight capacity of 240 pounds, even mom can try it out.
Your child can also use this climber outdoors, though you might need someone to help carry it. It weighs just over 80 pounds. Once outdoors, you can transform the bottom portion into a sandbox. While indoors, that same section can be used for storage or as a hideout.
Little Tikes Climber
Best for First Adventures
This slide and climber from Little Tikes is a compact package and an excellent option for beginners.
Your toddler can navigate the 12.5-inch climbing wall leading up to the top of the slide. There’s even a hideout underneath for them to crawl through.
Because of its small size, it’s not too intimidating. However, it will only carry up to 45 pounds at a time. Suitable for toddlers from 12 months old.
ECR4Kids GUS Climb Caterpillar Tunnel
Best for Apartment Living
Toddlers love to climb and crawl. And with this colorful crawl tunnel, they can do both. The large caterpillar allows the toddler to climb from its mouth through to the other end.
What we love about this unit is that the pieces can be arranged and rearranged to keep your kids interested in building as well as having fun with patterns. Then, once your explorers feel ready, they can climb to the top and ride the caterpillar.
In apartments, we rarely have room to spare, but you can remove tunnel sections to save space. This toy is recommended for children from 3 to 8 years.
ECR4Kids SoftZone Corner Climber
Best for a Corner Space
I love toys that you can easily place in a corner — they take up less space that way. This soft foam building block set might be just what you’re looking for.
Your toddler can construct their own climbing fort. The pieces stick together with Velcro, and there’s a textured base underneath to keep them from sliding around.
The material is leather-like, non-toxic polyurethane, which is super easy to clean and soft enough for the smallest users.
Step2 Sports-Tastic Activity Climber
Best for a Rainy Day
Ball games are usually considered an outdoor activity. However, when there’s a target, they’re easier to contain. When the weather is bad, kids tend to get a little cooped up, so playing ball could help release some energy.
This activity center from Step2 is three activities in one. There’s room to climb to the top and slide down. Then on the ground, your toddler can play football, soccer, or basketball, and the balls are included.
Your child can even keep score with a scoreboard. And at 8 pounds, it shouldn’t be too heavy to shift to another location.
Factory Direct Partners SoftScape Toddler Corner Climber
Best for Storage
I love how this corner climber displays subtle colors made from polyurethane materials. It’s super appealing to my little ones, and it’s no wonder other moms love it too! The entire set is easy to assemble and take apart again; simply disassemble and store the set under the bed.
We especially love this set because it’s so simple yet full of potential. Your toddler can climb, crawl, and explore. And you can incorporate learning by teaching them different shapes using the components of this climber.
Choose from a variety of color combinations — or extend the usage by purchasing more than one set and combining them. You can also take it outside during the summer.
Suitable for babies 9 months to 3 years of age.
Kids Jungle Gym Climber
Best for Jungle Play
Now your toddler can live out the jungle dream and explore the wild with this uniquely designed outdoor gym climber.
This activity center is ideal for toddlers who love to climb. The monkey bars and climbing net with an additional slide, ring, and Swedish ladder make for the perfect outlet.
This play structure can accommodate up to 110 pounds of young climbers. We love the jungle theme, as do most toddlers. The colors are bright and painted using environment-friendly paint.
It doesn’t take up too much floor space, as it’s only 4.4 feet long by 2.8 feet wide.
Little Tikes Wheels on the Bus
Best for Unique Activity
It’s never fun playing alone, but with this climber from Little Tikes, your toddler won’t have to. While one child is climbing and sliding, the other can play with the wheels on the opposite side of the climber. Now your child’s favorite wheels-on-the-bus characters are ready to play.
This 30.8-pound climber is a lightweight option that’s recommended for children 1 to 4 years,
Best Outdoor Climbing Toys
Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber
Best Outdoor Dome Climber
When choosing a toy for the backyard, it must be durable. This dome climber from Easy Outdoor is both UV- and rust-resistant. It’s made from steel and can carry up to 1,000 pounds, so it can handle a bunch of wild toddlers at a time — or maybe even dad.
What’s great about a dome such as this one is that your child really has a chance to exercise. By climbing, hanging, and crawling through, they can also gain motor skills and confidence. Suitable for children up to 9 years of age, you’ll have this around for a while.
Little Tikes Tree House
Best Multi-Use Climber
If your toddler loves role playing with friends, then take a look at this adorable tree house. This climber and swing set from Little Tikes is everything a creative mind needs.
It can carry a little over 300 pounds (at 81 pounds per child, that’s a maximum of four children at a time). This toy is so inviting with its two swings, climbing wall, deck, and slide. The tree trunk also has a climbing unit attached.
The deck is like a little tree house with a steering wheel to navigate the perimeters. It’s perfect for children aged 3 to 10 years.
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber
Best Dome for Smaller Families
Children love jungle gyms, and this dome from Lifetime will not disappoint your toddler. This will carry up to 600 pounds and is great for children aged 3 to 6 years. This starter dome is an excellent option for smaller families or those with younger toddlers.
Lifetime constructed this from heavy-duty, rust-resistant, and weather-resistant steel. As your little one gets accustomed to the bars, they can work their way up to the top, little by little.
Little Tikes Castle Climber
Best Multi-Level Climber
Just because your toddler is still on the short side doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy reaching the top of the platform. Suitable for kids 2 years and older, the dual-level platform ensures that even the youngest users can have some fun.
This Little Tikes climber is perfect for your toddler’s playdates — there’s room for at least three children.
Step2 Game Time Climber
Best for Small Yards
If you’re working with less space in your backyard, it can be difficult to find a climbing toy. However, this multi-functional activity climber has a small footprint, weighs only 30 pounds, and is easy to assemble.
A climber leads up to a slide with a basketball hoop and scoreboard on the side. The holes on each side are ideal for goal-scoring practice, too. A soft ball is included for the sports activities. With a 60-pound weight limit, it’s suitable for most children aged 2 to 6 years.
Outing Play and Swing Sets
Best Wooden Playset
This is a bit different than the other climbing toys on this list, but it’s worth a mention. This is a complete playset with outdoor swings, a slide, a sandbox, trapeze bars, and a climbing wall. It’s large, so it needs a fair amount of space to keep it as a permanent feature in your backyard.
Your toddler can climb to the treetop house and use it as a secret hideout. When your little one doesn’t feel like climbing, they can take a turn on the swings. If you have the space and the budget, this is a great all-in-one product suitable for ages 3 to 11 years.
Step2 Panda Climber
Best for Safety
This climber can carry up to 60 pounds at a time and is great for children under five years. There’s a safety railing to ensure your toddler is safe once on the platform.
Your toddler can climb from either side, and once they reach the top, there’s a small deck where they can prepare to scooch down the slide.
The climber is not as tall as some of the others, so it won’t seem too intimidating, even for the smallest mountaineer.
Little Tikes Junior Play Slide
Best Simple Climber
This Little Tikes climbing set is a straightforward climbing playset for your little one. It’s suitable for toddlers and children from 18 months to 4 years.
I especially appreciated that it didn’t require any tools when I was setting it up. It was quick and easy, and my toddler didn’t have to wait impatiently before trying it out. This durable slide has lasted us several seasons outdoors in the summer heat and subzero winter temperatures without signs of wear and tear.
It’s super affordable, making it a very worthwhile purchase.
Little Tikes Climber and Swing
Best for the Little Ones
This combination climber and swing set from Little Tikes is excellent for little adventurers. The set is relatively small and easy to climb, even for toddlers with shorter legs.
It can hold three children at once, with a maximum weight limit of 45 pounds per child. The swing features a three-point seatbelt, meaning even a small toddler or older baby can swing safely.
We love the cute treehouse design, and our little ones enjoyed chasing each other through the climbing tunnel and up and down the stairs and slide for hours.
Little Tikes Climber and Slide
Best for Multiple Climbers
With this complex Little Tikes set, your toddler can climb on board while others scout the surroundings from down below. Two different climbing walls ensure there’s something for younger and older kids: one is an easier option, while the other is more challenging.
Then, if bad weather approaches, they can shelter underneath in their secret hideout. It’s an adventurous option, suitable for children from 2 to 6 years.
How to Choose Climbing Toys for Toddlers
Climbing toys come in all shapes and sizes — there are large options for outdoors and smaller compact ones for indoors. The features you’ll want will depend on your house, your toddler, and yourself.
- Multi-purpose: This is a feature we always look for in the best toddler climbing toys. The more activities a climber includes, the more fun your child will have. Some include a tunnel, slide, basketball hoop, or swings — different activities your toddler can explore.
- Timeless toy: Choose something that will grow with your child. A durable climbing toy that applies to a wider age group will always be a better purchase than something that won’t get any use after a year.
- Encourage learning: Consider a climbing toy that encourages your toddler to explore and learn letters or numbers. These extra features can go a long way in keeping them entertained while being educational.
Climbing toys are perfect for developing all sorts of new skills. Your child may even learn to climb before they walk!
Climbing Toy Safety Precautions
Safety is always our number one priority when selecting toys for toddlers — especially climbing toys. Here are some precautions to take and what to avoid (2).
- Avoid sharp edges: A poke in the eye, a scratch on the arm — either way, avoid anything that could potentially cause injury. Instead, look for products with rounded edges.
- Age-appropriate: If your toddler is small, avoid buying something designed for older children, which will only frustrate them and potentially be dangerous.
- No choking hazards: If there are ropes or hanging parts, make sure a toddler can’t get caught or wrap it around their neck.
- Durability: Look for material that can hold enough weight and won’t break down with repeated use.