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20 Best Toddler Climbing Toys of 2024

Updated
Climbers to help your toddler develop gross motor, language, and role-playing skills.

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.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Children's Factory
Best for Babies
Children's Factory
  • Motor perceptual soft climber
  • For 8 months to 3 years
  • Bright, attractive colors
Product Image of the Easy Outdoor Space
Best Outdoor Dome
Easy Outdoor Space
  • High quality steel construction
  • Rust- and UV-resistant steel
  • Maximum capacity of 1,000 pounds
Product Image of the Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars
Best for Older Toddlers
Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars
  • Perfect for indoor use
  • Secure self-locking springs
  • Holds up to 150 pounds
Product Image of the Little Tikes Tree House
Best Multi-Use Climber
Little Tikes Tree House
  • Lookout tree with steering wheel
  • Has a climbing unit attached
  • Encourages role play activity
Product Image of the Step2 Naturally Woodland
Best for Imagination
Step2 Naturally Woodland
  • Minimal adult assembly required
  • Will outlast toddler years
  • Natural colors & realistic textures
Product Image of the Lifetime Geometric Dome
Best for Smaller Families
Lifetime Geometric Dome
  • 600-pound carrying capacity
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Rust- and weather-resistant steel
Product Image of the Little Tikes Climber
Best for First Adventures
Little Tikes Climber
  • Easy climbing rock wall
  • Gentle slope slide
  • Easy to assemble
Product Image of the Little Tikes Castle Climber
Best Multi-Level Climber
Little Tikes Castle Climber
  • Wide, multi-level platforms
  • Sturdy construction
  • Provides smooth rides and soft landings
Product Image of the ECR4Kids GUS Caterpillar
Best for Apartments
ECR4Kids GUS Caterpillar
  • Weather- and fade-resistant design
  • Encourages motor development
  • GreenGuard Gold Certified
Product Image of the Step2 Game Time
Best for Small Yards
Step2 Game Time
  • Space saver
  • Multi-functional
  • 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 2024

Best Indoor Climbing Toys

Whether you have a large expansive living room or limited space, there’s something on this list for you.

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.

User Experience

This playset is definitely worth the investment, as the high-quality design ensures it will last for years. The velcro on the bottom keeps the pieces securely in place, making it perfect for my 8-month-old who loves crawling through the tunnel. Setup was a breeze and cleaning is hassle-free, which is a huge plus. Even our church nursery made a great purchase with this playset, keeping the little ones entertained and occupied.

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.

Personal Perspective

As a parent, I'm always on the lookout for engaging and physically active toys for my kids. This dome-shaped climber has been a fantastic addition to our play area. Assembly was straightforward, with well-labeled parts and clear instructions, although the connector buttons were a bit stiff and caused some pinched fingers during the process.

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.

Community Feedback

This play structure has been a fantastic addition to our home, providing endless fun for my three children. With its sturdy construction, it easily supports my 7-year-old, and the slide is long enough for enjoyable playtime. Assembly was a breeze, taking only about 20 minutes, with most pieces snapping together effortlessly. The only minor issue is the tight steering wheels, but overall, the Step2 Woodland Climber has been a great investment for our family's indoor play area.

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.

First-Hand Impression

I recently purchased this climber for my grandson, and it has been a fantastic addition to our playtime routine. The open slide design and rock wall-like steps offer a unique way for children to develop their gross motor skills and have fun at the same time. While assembling the climber was mostly straightforward, some parts seemed difficult to attach without the risk of breaking them. The steps can be a bit awkward for younger children, requiring some assistance in getting to the top.

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.

User Experience

If you're looking for an engaging and versatile toy for your little ones, this colorful crawl tunnel is perfect. I found that my toddler loved climbing and crawling through the large caterpillar, and the fact that the pieces can be rearranged kept them interested in building and playing with patterns. Additionally, it's great for those with limited space, as you can remove tunnel sections to save room, making it suitable for children aged 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.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this play mat has been positive, as it serves as a versatile and engaging activity space for my 11-month-old son and his older cousins aged 2 and 4. The quality is suitable for home use, providing a fun and secure area for the children to play. I appreciated the straps included on the underside of one piece, which effectively holds all four pieces together. This design feature ensures the play mat remains intact during playtime, promoting safety and stability.

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.

Community Feedback

This playground set is sturdy and well-made, perfect for young kids learning to walk as the stairs and handles provide security. However, the basketball hoop is a potential safety hazard, and the set is quite small, so it may not be suitable for older or larger children. Despite its size, it is easy to assemble and doesn't take up a lot of space, making it a great indoor play option.

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.

First-Hand Impression

I recently purchased this climber set for my son who has bilateral clubfoot, and it has been an incredible addition to his playtime. The soft, easy-to-clean surface and sturdy Velcro strips make it safe and durable for his climbing and cruising adventures. I was pleasantly surprised by the attractive blue/green colors and the lack of any unpleasant odors. Not only has this climber set helped my son improve his mobility, but it has also provided endless entertainment for our entire household, including our dog!

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.

User Experience

Great indoor jungle gym for energetic toddlers, but it could use some improvements. This climbing structure provides hours of entertainment for my little one, but I had to add some netting to the top bars for safety reasons, as my child could potentially slip through the gaps. Assembly was challenging due to low-quality hardware, so I suggest having a power drill and extra tools on hand to ensure a sturdy build.

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,

Personal Perspective

After assembling this playset, I found it quite challenging due to the lack of pre-drilled holes and some pieces needing adjustments. However, once it was put together, my 19-month-old loved it, especially the steering wheel, music, and horn. The slide is on the smaller side, but it's perfect for this age, and the playset itself is very sturdy and provides lots of fun for little ones.

Best Outdoor Climbing Toys

Being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and getting some sun — these are the perfect ingredients for any toddler. Here are our top 10 outdoor toddler climbing toys. From large, intricate options to smaller, simpler play areas, you’re certain to find the best fit for your space.

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.

Community Feedback

Great jungle gym for kids! I got this for my daughter's birthday, and both she and her brother (ages 4 and 6) love it. Assembly took two of us about 2 hours, but the directions were easy to follow and all the pieces were included. The heavy-duty materials make it very durable and sturdy, even holding up to 1,000 pounds. The kids have had tons of fun with it, and it's been great for their hand-eye coordination.

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.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this playset has been a mix of good and bad. On the positive side, it's quite sturdy and has provided hours of fun for my daughter, especially the swings and crawl space underneath the treehouse. However, assembly was quite a challenge, taking nearly 4 hours to complete with two people, and some parts were difficult to put together due to misaligned holes and incorrect instructions. Additionally, I feel there should be a safety bar for the slide and ladder to prevent accidents, but overall, it's a decent playset for younger kids to enjoy.

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.

User Experience

My experience with this playset has been quite positive overall. Assembly was easier than expected, taking my spouse only 2.5 hours to complete, even with our toddler present. The playset is lightweight and easy to move, which is great for finding the perfect spot in our yard. The material feels nice to touch and doesn't get too hot under the sun, making it a safe and enjoyable addition to our outdoor space.

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.

Personal Perspective

This climbing toy has been a hit with my toddler, providing various ways to climb and explore, although the slide does stop abruptly. Assembly was a bit challenging as a single person, and the instructions were not in English, but the end result was worth the effort. However, be cautious with the climbing ramp ropes and watch for any potential fall risks at the top for younger 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.

Community Feedback

My experience with this multi-functional activity climber has been quite positive, especially considering the limited space in my backyard. The lightweight and easy-to-assemble design made setting it up a breeze. I appreciate the various features it offers, such as a slide, basketball hoop, and scoreboard, allowing my child to practice goal-scoring while also having fun. The inclusion of a soft ball is a thoughtful touch.

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.

First-Hand Impression

Love the durability and strength of this playset; the cedar wood used is of high quality and can withstand the test of time. Despite some initial confusion with the instructions and a few missing pieces, the company was quick to respond and provide assistance. Assembly took around 6-7 hours for two people, but organizing the parts beforehand made the process smoother. The only downside is the canvas top, which tore easily during a windy day; the wooden roof option might be a better choice.

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.

User Experience

When I first brought this climber home for my energetic toddler, I was eager to offer them a safe and exciting play option. Despite a bit of a challenging assembly process, including some misaligned holes and lacking pre-drilled holes for screws, I managed to put it together and was pleased with the end result. This climber has been an excellent addition to our living room, perfect for my little one who loves to climb up the ladder and slide down all day long. Its compact size makes it ideal for small spaces and younger children, but keep in mind that it may not be suitable for kids over the age of 3.

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.

Personal Perspective

This Little Tikes climbing set has been perfect for my toddler and offers endless entertainment. Its durability has impressed me, as it has withstood extreme temperatures without any signs of wear and tear. Setting it up was a breeze, with no tools required, and my little one didn't have to wait long to start playing. The age range of 18 months to 4 years makes it a versatile addition to our backyard. Plus, its affordability makes it a fantastic value for the quality and enjoyment it provides.

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.

Community Feedback

In my experience, this swing and slide set has been a delightful addition to our play area. My 16-month-old daughter quickly learned how to climb the rock wall and slide down on her own, keeping her entertained for extended periods. The only downside was adjusting the swing straps, which took some effort, but it's manageable.

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.

First-Hand Impression

In my experience, this swing and slide set has been a delightful addition to our play area. My 16-month-old daughter quickly learned how to climb the rock wall and slide down on her own, keeping her entertained for extended periods. The only downside was adjusting the swing straps, which took some effort, but it's manageable.

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.

Toddler Climbing Toys FAQs

Are Climbing Toys Safe for Toddlers?

Climbing toys can be safe for toddlers when they are age-appropriate, made with sturdy materials, and used under adult supervision. Ensure the climbing toys are set up on a soft surface and check for any weight limits or safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

At What Age Should a Toddler Start Climbing?

Toddlers may start showing interest in climbing as early as 12 months old as they gain motor skills and confidence. By around 18-24 months, many toddlers are keen climbers. Introduce climbing toys that are suitable for their developmental stage and always supervise their play.

Is It Normal for My 2-Year-Old to Climb Everything?

Yes, it’s normal for 2-year-olds to climb everything as they explore their abilities and push their limits. Climbing helps develop motor skills, strength, and coordination. Ensure their environment is safe for exploration and provide appropriate outlets for their climbing urges.

Is Climbing a Developmental Milestone?

Climbing is indeed a developmental milestone that typically begins as toddlers grow more confident with standing and walking.

It helps improve gross motor skills, balance, and spatial awareness. Each child may reach this milestone at their own pace, typically around the toddler years.

Can a 2-Year-Old Climb a Ladder?

A 2-year-old might be able to climb a ladder, especially if it’s part of a child-appropriate playset with close rungs and low height.

Supervise closely and ensure the ladder is secure and the child is ready for such an activity. It’s important to balance encouraging development with ensuring safety.


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Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.