We built a Pikler Triangle many years ago, but now our kids are getting older, the indoor toy market has changed, and there’s great alternatives to the Pikler Triangle that absolutely fantastic for families. Some of these I have in my own home, and some my friends have.
Some of these I totally would have bought instead of a Pikler Triangle if they were available in 2016.
- Indoor Play Gym (Wall & Free Standing)
- Foam Mats
- Rocker Boards
- Wood Rocking Rainbow
- Indoor River Stones
Indoor Play Gyms
You could go classic plastic, little Tykes, but it’s 2020 now and there are some incredible indoor play gym options. Personally, we have the Brain Rich Kids Play Gym installed in our living room.
It attaches to the wall (so it takes up less space) and offers a wide array of climbing, swinging, and jumping. Toddlers love it and big kids love it even more. You really can’t go wrong with an indoor climbing gym. If your kids love to climb it’s worth it and we’ve even moved houses with our Brain Rich Kids play gym.
Foam Mats – like the Nugget
When I say foam mats, you’re probably thinking about the Nugget. And, yes, you should get a Nugget. I don’t know a single person who regrets their Nugget purchase. But these days, ordering a Nugget isn’t so easy. If you’re lucky to score a pre-order or a slot for a Nugget, then you are winning.
There’s lots of other alternatives to Foam mat play. Most of the ones on Amazon are bulky and kinda aesthetically not-please. Do consider these alternatives to Nugget as foam couch play becomes increasingly popular.
A Rocker board is not as fun as climbing structure, but it’s a great middle ground for some indoor play that involves motion and takes up significantly less room.
We have the rocker board from Kimboo.ca. This was gifted to us and has been a fan favourite. Rocker boards are readily available at retailers including Lagoon Baby (Canada) and other baby boutiques across the country. If you’re Canadian, I would also check out Modern Rascals for when she restocks her incredible board – these felt boards gets unbeatable reviews.
Rocker boards are great because they don’t just encourage movement, but they are easy to store and really versatile. They can be used to create slides from the couch, to create jumping platforms from, to create bridges with toys, and really be incorporated into open toy design.
Wood Rocking Rainbow
I still wish we built a rocking rainbow. A rocking rainbow would have been something fun for my son to climb and something for my daughter to imagine. Rocking rainbows are beautiful and they look like they incorporate so many different variations of play. Love these tips for building one.
You could build your own rocking rainbow, or you could purchase one. I often see them available on Etsy, and here’s a few cute shops to check out.
Indoor Stepping Stones
Indoor stepping stones might not be the big climbing structure your climbing kids dream of owning, but if you have a small space, they can be a fun activity that employs motor movement.
We have a set and it’s a fan favourite for playing games such lava monster and for any jumping and dancing games. The kids use them in their forts, to create mountains with their toys, and when they want to dream inside. It’s a great activity in March when you haven’t been outside in a few months and you’re dreaming of better weather.
I really love how well the river stones, or indoor stepping stones, have held up over time. Even with the occasional adult weight (wouldn’t recommend) they haven’t collapsed or broken. This makes me really happy.
I dream of buying the hilltops, and maybe that will be on my Christmas list. I bought my Gonge Riverstones from this Canadian retailer many years ago. They’re are many different options now including sets on Amazon, and baby boutiques.
What’s your favourite indoor play structure for toddlers and kids?
Indoor play gyms was such an invaluable resource for me during the wildfire season, and winter. I had a foot surgery one year and it just helped immensely that my kids had an indoor place to burn off energy when I couldn’t take them outside myself.