Best Toddler Climbing Toys of 2020 – For Play & Development

Best Toddler Climbing Toys

Toddler climbing toys are a great way to encourage kids to get active through play as they are inherently fun. When you have a young child it’s only natural for them to be buzzing around full of energy, so a climbing set is a great way to put some of that energy to good use.

Not only that, but at the toddler age, it’s so critical for us parents to ensure our kids have plenty of opportunities to get active in order to help them build their motor skills, improve coordination, and strengthen their muscles.

There is a great variety of toddler climbing sets available today, there are some that are more appropriate for indoor play, while some are built to withstand harsh weather conditions outdoors. With that said, we will review some of the most popular sets and consider important factors including materials, hygiene, durability, group play and more.

Best Toddler Climbing Toys Reviews

For simplicity, the reviews are divided into two main categories, the first being for indoor toddler climbing toys and then those suited more for outdoors. This way you’ll find it a bit easier to navigate and compare.

Indoor Toddler Climbing Toys 

ECR4Kids SoftZone Slide and Crawl Set

ECR4Kids SoftZone Slide and Crawl Set
  • Soft Play Structure — little ones love climbing, crawling and sliding on this beginner climber complete...
  • Commercial or Home Use — create a fun play area for children ages 9 months to 3 years in bedrooms,...
  • Play and Grow — as they move and tumble across the play area, little ones develop coordination...

This funk looking climbing toy set is a modular design, making this set particularly convenient when it comes to space saving and assembly. Great for those who have small living rooms, you’ll be able to select the right pieces to fit into your available play space, making it ideal for parents with limited space.

The blocks and shapes that make up this set are all very soft and have no sharp edges at all, there are no detachable small parts either and so no choking hazards. The plastic material also makes this set super easy to wipe clean and the durability makes it very resistant to damage.

There is a mirror attached to one of the blocks, which is sure to provide extra entertainment – oh and you don’t have to worry about it being a hazard, it’s shatter-proof.

This set is sure to provide a lot of great fun for young children, allowing them to crawl and climb about whilst supporting their skeletal and muscle development. Its really safe to use, simple to put together and actually to be honest; quite comfortable to sit on too!

The only downside, when compared to the bigger outdoor climbing toys, is that, since there is no way to attach the blocks together, they can come apart from each other as the child uses it so it is a good job to keep an eye on it to reduce any risk of falls.

Constructive Playthings Lightweight Play Forms

Constructive Playthings 5 Piece Lightweight Vinyl Soft Play Forms for Toddlers, Toddler Climbing, Crawling, Sliding Toys
  • SOFT PLAY FORMS FOR TODDLERS AND BABIES: A perfect indoor activity to get the “wiggles out,” these...
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Each piece is made from wipe-clean vinyl and features playful colors to provide...
  • 5 PIECE INTERACTIVE SET: This set includes a ramp, which measures 24” x 16” x 8” down to 1”, as...

This is yet another modular climbing set made from soft squishy (foam) blocks, it really does make for a great playtime! This one is very similar to the previous climbing set above but it does have its own advantages and disadvantages.

The primary thing to mention is: this climbing toy is smaller than the SoftZone Slide and Crawl Set and there are fewer components and so this is an advantage to those of you who are interested in space conservation and storage. Being smaller also has an added benefit of being safer since the falling height is a lot less than other climbing sets.

What makes the modular blocks so good is that they are so versatile, providing hours of play. You and your tot can fit it together in many different creative combinations, and so you can create a fun obstacle course for your toddler, giving them an exciting challenge or even have them build the blocks themselves and learn about shapes and colors.

SoftZone Tiny Twisting Corner Foam Climber Playset

ECR4Kids SoftZone Tiny Twisting Foam Corner Climber - Indoor Active Play Structure for Toddlers and Kids - Soft Foam Play Set, Primary
  • FUN FOAM ACTIVITY PLAY SET: The ECR4Kids SoftZone Tiny Twisting Foam Corner Climber is designed to let...
  • CORNER CLIMBER: The soft foam climber for should be placed in the corner of a room to provide additional...
  • ACTIVE PLAY SET: Designed to be safe, flexible, and fun; the dense foam structure keeps kids safe and...

This climbing toy by Soft Zone is more simplistic and minimalistic than the previous two indoor toddler climbing sets. It seems to be a more suitable design design for yound toddlers and for this reason perhaps my favorite so far.

Not only is it a safer modular climbing set, but the colorful design made from different shapes will allow your toddler to begin learning as they play. It will also greatly help them develop their motor skills, coordination and build confidence in themselves.

This set is made form a very soft and durable polyurethane which is easy to wipe clean and gentle on the skin. It’s also a really great way to give young kids a boost in experience in climbing stairs before they do start to make that dangerous climb for the first time, which is a worry for every parent for the first few times.

There are several color varieties available which suit personal preference. I myself prefer the color I have posted in the picture as it’s not such as garish as some of the other options and it will look better in a playroom with a more subtle color scheme.

Outdoor Toddler Climbing Toys

Buccaneer Boat Structure for Kids

ECR4Kids Indoor/Outdoor Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag Play Structure for Kids
  • Brightly colored boat suitable for indoor and outdoor play for preschools, child care centers or at home
  • Features moveable wheel allows the captain to steer the ship from the helm, molded details like pirate's...
  • GREENGUARD [GOLD] Certified for reducing chemical pollutants and improving air quality

Now I have to say before starting off; the outdoor playsets are a lot more fun than the indoor ones by far! They are also a lot bulkier, resemble kids playhouses in many ways and are sturdier so it really does depend on your space availability and also, of course, it also depends on the weather!

This climbing toy can be used indoors if you have space as it says in the product name, but I would expect you would need a fairly large playroom to comfortably fit this one in.

However, with bulkiness aside, this is a great climbing toy, its shaped like a pirate ship which you can also get inside, which is amazing fun for kids and great for imaginative play.

I think the coloration is a little bit disappointing, authentic colors would have created a more authentic feel, yet the benefit of having a multicolored design is that its a useful learning tool.

The assembly is not as simplified as the indoor climbing toys but still relatively easy to put together as the plastic pieces fit together like a jigsaw and the instructions are laid out simplistically in a step by step fashion.

The plastic material is tough and durable, although it’s not as soft and comfortable as indoor sets, its more hardy, durable and weather resistant and so can be left assembled outside ready for the next sunny day.

Little Tikes Rock Climber & Slide

Little Tikes Rock Climber & Slide
  • Large adventurous toddler climber with 24" tall platform and adjustable slide
  • High safety rail on platform for safety
  • Easy-climb for younger kids or challenging climb for older kids

The Little Tikes Rock Climber & Slide is the largest toddler climbing set I have listed so far and is really for those with enough space to house it. Its designed to be in the shape of a castle, making it perfect for young curious minds who love imaginative play.

It also has a built-in scope and a wheel allowing kids to play lookout and adapt their play from guarding the castle to sailing the seven seas. With their imagination, they can make the climbing toy whatever building or vehicle they want it to be!

The coloration is less garish than most climbing toys you will find and it features a slide as well as a couple of crawling tunnels, which is a great bonus bound to enhance their play times.

Its made from a very similar plastic-type material as the ECR4Kids Indoor/Outdoor Buccaneer Boat which is very durable, stable and weather resistant, and it also assembles in pretty much the same way which is fantastic; the easier the better!

Another great bonus with this one is that it has an assortment of grooves and foot holes for the children to climb around the outside of the toy. All of these different modes of play make this set great for group play and for siblings to join in together.

The toy isn’t very high so there isn’t too much risk of a dangerous fall, but risks are always present, so make sure an adult is always supervising when the children play on this climbing toy.

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber and Swing

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber and Swing
  • Includes a 3-point safety belt
  • Easy climbing rock wall for beginners
  • Gentle slope slide for soft landings

For those who are looking for an outdoor toddler climbing set that is aimed at much younger toddlers or is a bit smaller scale, the Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber Swing is perfect.

The kids will love being pushed on the small swing it features as well as adventuring between the crawl spaces and zipping down the slide. This design also makes it more suitable for families who want to keep kids of various ages entertained.

Its designed in the theme of a cute clubhouse with a tree, between which the swing is attached. The clubhouse has little windows the child can see out of when they have climbed the ladder on the back of the slide so that they can play lookout into the garden.

Again this toy is a similar plastic material to the others and similar jigsaw piece style assembly. It’s really low to the ground and has very few parts, the swing is attached to two metal bars and so can’t go so high as to pose a serious danger.

As much as I love this option for space conservation and being a great option for younger kids, this product seemed slightly flimsy and I would personally make adult supervision much more vigilant with this climbing toy.

SoftZone Slide and Crawl SetSoft Play Design
Greenguard Certified
Easy Clean Faux Leather
Check on Amazon
SoftZone Climber PlaysetFor Infants from 6 Months - 2 Years
Soft Play Design
Greengurd Certified
Check on Amazon
Buccaneer Boat Structure for KidsSturdy Plastic Design
Suitable for Indoor & Outdoor Play
For Kids Aged 2 to 6
Check on Amazon
Little Tikes Rock Climber & SlideIncludes Slide, Climber & Tunnels
Features Climbing Wall
Ideal for Outdoor Fun
Check on Amazon
Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber and SwingIdeal for Mixed Age Groups
Includes Slide & Swing
Safety Belt Built In
Check on Amazon

Toddler Climbing Toys: Things to Consider 

When looking for a toddler climbing toy for your child, the bottom line is to select a toy that you know will provide them with a fun and safe play time. The next priority is your own personal circumstances and questions like how much space do you have? and do you have an outdoor space? become the important deciding factors.

With that said, here we will run through some of the most important questions to answer and factors to consider prior to making a decision.

Climbing Toy Materials

The material of the toddler climbing toy is a very important factor since it will determine the toys durability, comfort and ability to house it indoors and outdoors.

  • Foam climbing blocks – These are foam blocks typically coated in an extremely durable material such as plastic. The major benefit of foam climbing blocks is that they extremely comfortable, squishy and usually have no sharp edges making these a great option for very young toddlers.The thing to remember is that foam blocks are not very durable and will not be able to withstand harsh weather conditions. For this reason, they are most suitable for indoor play, unless of course it a sunny day, in which case you could store them away afterward.
  • Plastic playsets for indoors and out – These are the more complex playsets made from hard plastics and sometimes even wood. The best sets, such as the Step 2 Climbers feature crawl tunnels, climbing walls, lookout towers, and slides.They are much more fun to play with and compared to foam climbing blocks will provide your child with years of fun. What you have to bear in mind, is that these more hardy designs are usually more appropriate for older children and since they are larger and made from tougher materials, adult supervision is essential.

Climbing Toy Safety 

  • Adult Supervision – Its absolutely critical to find a climbing set which you trust is secure, stable and does not pose any choking hazard. It’ also key for you to remember that when it comes to young children and toddlers, adult supervision is highly encouraged when a child uses these toys.
  • Size of the Toy – When it comes to safety, the size of the toy is a concern, this is why all toys have age recommendations.  However, if you would prefer to have a climbing toy inside, it can pose a tripping hazard and hence it’s good to make sure you have the space for required the one you want to buy.
  • Latest Designs – Climbing toys can also come with toys and attachments, most of which are designed for use by young children. You are more likely to find that the latest 2018 climbing sets are much less likely to pose health and safety risks due to them being designed in accordance with the latest health and safety regulations.

Climbing Toy Assembly

Toddler climbing toys can vary on how straightforward they are to assemble and the majority of climbing toys that you can buy will have some degree of hands-on activity when putting the toy together. Here is a brief overview of the major categories:

  • Foam Climbing Blocks – These are by far the easiest to set up as there is virtually no assembly required. Sometimes you may need to insert the foam blocks into their plastic coverings, but usually not.
  • Jigsaw Assembly – These designs are made to be slotted together like pieces of jigsaw and usually require no hardware or tools. These are probably the second easiest type of climbing toy assembly method.
  • Nuts & Bolts Assembly – This is the most complex type of assembly, often requiring several nuts and bolts and tools to put the set together. This method of assembly is common for the larger types of climbing toys that require a more sturdy foundation.

Final Points

To wrap up this guide I do think it’s worth highlighting the importance of the safety aspects of the products. To ensure maximum safety, always ensure you read the manufacturers guidelines and age restrictions in the product description.

The amount of space you have indoors or out will greatly affect your decision, and so I would recommend going through all of the options, shop around and you’ll find a toddler climbing set that is perfect for you, your children and your home.

I do hope this guide helped to point you in the right direction, as keeping our children content, allowing them to have amazing early life experiences and supporting their development are so important for their success.