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Best Toddler Climbing Toys of 2021

Updated
Climbing toys are perfect for toddlers because they help develop gross motor, language, and roleplaying skills.

Is your toddler always on the move? Climbing on the furniture, crawling under the table, or trying to reach the top of “mount laundry” — or is that just mine?

Building an environment where your toddler has room to explore their abilities and try new things is vital, and the best toddler climbing toys can help with that.

Being a mom to an active toddler, finding a toy where they could burn some energy was a gift from above. Given that they also promote strength, hand-eye coordination, and more, we were intrigued by the idea of a climbing toy.

Don’t worry, you don’t need a big backyard to have one — many can easily fit indoors, depending on your space and setup. Let’s take a look at some of the features these toys offer, then go over our favorite picks.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Children’s Factory Soft Tunnel Climber, 69” by 70” by 17½” –...
Best for Babies
Children's Factory
  • Motor perceptual soft climber
  • For 8 months to 3 years old
  • Bright attractive colors
Product Image of the Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber – Rust and UV Resistant Steel – 1000 lb....
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 Climbing Tower - Active Outdoor Fun for Kids Ages 3 to 8...
Best for Older Toddlers
Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars
  • Perfect for indoor use
  • Secure self-locking springs
  • Carry up to 150 pounds
Product Image of the Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set
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 Playful Woodland Climber - Kids Durable Plastic Slides and...
Best for Imagination
Step2 Naturally Woodland
  • Minimal adult assembly required
  • Will outlast toddler years
  • Natural colors & realistic textures
Product Image of the Lifetime 90939 Geometric Dome Climber Jungle Gym, 4.5' High x 9' Wide, Blue &...
Best for Smaller Families
Lifetime Geometric Dome
  • 600 pounds carrying capacity
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Rust and weather-resistant steel
Product Image of the Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber Red/Cream/Green, 1 - 4 years
Best for First Adventures
Little Tikes Climber
  • Easy climbing rock wall
  • Gentle slope slide
  • Easy to assemble
Product Image of the Little Tikes Hide and Slide Climber (Blue/Red)
Best Multi-Level Climber
Little Tikes Hide and Slide
  • Wide, multi-level platforms
  • Sturdy construction
  • Provides smooth rides and soft landings
Product Image of the ECR4Kids - ELR-12520 Gus Climb-N-Crawl Caterpillar, 4 Sections, Vibrant
Best for Apartments
ECR4Kids GUS Caterpillar
  • Weather- and fade-resistant design
  • Encourages motor development
  • GreenGuard Gold Certified
Product Image of the Step2 85314 Game Time Sports Climber and Slide
Best for Small Yards
Step2 Game Time
  • Space saver
  • Multi-functional
  • 60-pound weight limit

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. Which features you opt for depends on your house, your toddler, and yourself.

  • Multi-purpose: This is a feature I always look for. Perhaps find a climbing toy with a tunnel, a slide, or a basketball hoop — different activities that your toddler can explore. If they show interest in swinging, for example, maybe that’s a feature you’d like to include.
  • Timeless toy: Choose something that will grow with your child. A climbing toy that applies to a wider age group that will last a while is always 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, 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. Some may even learn to climb before they walk!


The Best Toddler Climbing Toys of 2021

Best Indoor Climbing Toys

Now that you know the main things to consider when looking for a climbing toy, let’s get down to business with our top choices. Whether you have a large expansive living room or are limited for space, there’s something on the list for you.

1. Children's Factory Soft Tunnel Climber

Best for Babies

This set from Children’s Factory is perfect for creative toddlers and younger babies from ages eight months to three years.

What your toddler will love the most is that they can pull the Velcro blocks apart and arrange 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.


2. Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Tower

Best for Older Toddlers

Thanks to Eezy Peezy, we can now have monkey bars indoors too, so long as we have an open space to set it up and break it down again.

This climbing toy is basically a dome full of bars. The construction is light, easy to assemble, with secure self-locking springs, and can carry up to 150 pounds.

The “wow” factor of it all is the bright color. However, it’s fair to mention that this is for those who already have some experience with climbing. Suitable for children up to six years of age.


3. Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber

Best for Imagination

Bring the outdoors inside with the Woodland climber, which 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 two to eight years. With a maximum weight capacity of 240 pounds, mom can have a go as well.

This toy can also be used outdoors, though you might need someone to help carry it, at 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.


4. Little Tikes Climber

Best for First Adventures

This slide and climber from Little Tykes is a compact package and a great option for beginners.

Your toddler can navigate the 12.5-inch climbing wall, which leads up to the top of the slide, plus there’s 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.


5. 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. This climbing toy is a large caterpillar where your toddler can crawl through its mouth into the tunnel.

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. It’s recommended for children from 3 to 8 years.


6. 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 for the smallest of users.


7. Step2 Sports-Tastic Activity Climber

Best for a Rainy Day

Ball games are usually considered an outdoor activity. However, when there’s a target it’s easier to contain. Not to mention when the weather is bad, kids tend to get a little cooped up so playing ball could help release some energy.

This climb and slide 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 either play football, soccer, or basketball, balls included.

Your little one can even keep score with a scoreboard. At 8 pounds, it shouldn’t be too heavy to shift to another location.


8. Lil' Monkey Fuji Climber With Tunnel

Best for Storage

If you thought monkey bars were for outdoors only, think again! Lil’ Monkey’s Fuji Climber is perfect for indoors. The entire set is easy to assemble and take apart again; it simply folds up and slides under the bed.

We especially love this because it’s so simple, yet full of potential. Your toddler can climb, duck, and crawl thru the tunnel.

You can also take it outside during the summer. Suitable for younger and older toddlers alike.


9. 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.

It’s ideal for toddlers who love to climb the monkey bars and climbing net with an additional slide, ring, and sweddish ladder. It can accommodate up to 110 pounds of young climbers. Besides the jungle theme, the colors are bright and toddler-friendly and are painted using environment-friendly paint.

It doesn’t take up too much floor space, at only 4.4 feet long by 2.8 feet wide. Furthermore, it’s certified for safe product usage for kids.


10. Little Tikes Wheels on the Bus

Best for Unique Activity

It’s never fun playing alone, but with this climber from Little Tikes, your little one won’t have to. While one child is climbing and sliding, the other can play with the wheels located on the opposite side of the climber. Now your child’s favorite wheels on the bus character are ready to play with your little tots.

Needless to say, there’s plenty of fun here. Suitable for children 1 to 4 years, this 30.8-pound climber is a lightweight option.


Best Outdoor Climbing Toys

Being outdoors, breathing in fresh air, 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.

11. 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 hey, 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 up to nine years of age, you’ll have this around for a while.


12. Little Tikes Tree House

Best Multi-Use Climber

If your toddler loves role playing with friends, then take a look here. 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, where there’s a steering wheel to navigate the perimeters. Perfect for children aged 3 to 10 years.


13. 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 three to six. For smaller families or those with younger toddlers, this starter dome may be a good option.

Lifetime constructed this from heavy-duty, rust 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.


14. Little Tikes Hide and Slide

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 starting at two years, the dual-level platform ensures that even the youngest of users can have some fun.

This Little Tikes climber is perfect for your toddler’s playdates — there’s room for at least three children.


15. 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.

There’s a climber leading 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 children aged two to six years.


16. Outing Play and Swing Sets

Best Wooden Playset

This is a bit different than all the other climbing toys on today’s list, but it’s worth a mention. This is a complete playset with outdoor swings, a slide, sandbox, trapeze bars, and the climbing walls. It’s large and needs a fair amount of space to be kept 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.


17. 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 at 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.


18. Little Tikes Junior Play Slide

Best Simple Climber

Toddlers love keeping order — when they’re not causing the trouble of course. This climbing set is a straightforward climbing playset for your little one. It’s suitable for toddlers and children from 18 months to four years.

What makes it a great set is that it requires no tools during assembly.


19. Little Tikes Climber and Swing

Best for the Little Ones

This climber and swing set from Little Tikes is excellent for little adventurers. The set is relatively small in size and easy to climb, even with shorter legs.

It can carry three children with a maximum weight limit of 45 pounds per child. The swing features a three-point seatbelt, meaning a small toddler can swing in safety.


20. Little Tikes Climber and Slide

Best for Multiple Climbers

Here, 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 the perimeter, they can shelter underneath in their secret hideout. It’s an adventurous option, suitable for children from two to six years.


 

Climbing Toy Safety Precautions

When it comes to toys, safety is a top priority. Here are some precautions to take and what to avoid (1).

  • Avoid sharp edges: A poke in the eye, a scratch on the arm — either way, avoid anything that could potentially cause injury, and 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

Reach the Top

With the best toddler climbing toy, your miniature mountaineer can practice motor skills, balance, and most of all, confidence.

Now that you have some idea of what to look for, we hope you’re feeling confident yourself in deciding which climbing toy is best for your child.

Our favorite is the Children’s Factory soft tunnel climber. This is a great place to start and soon your child will only climb higher. A bonus is that it’s suitable for younger toddlers as well.

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.

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