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The climbing arch

Oh, the wiggles! This piece is special because it is meant for babies, with which they can safely begin their voyage into physical play.

The Pikler climbing arch is a piece with which babies can begin their climbing explorations. At the same time, they’ll start developing their gross motor skills and their sense of agency. It is a variation on the climbing triangle that Dr. Emmi Pikler designed to give an outlet to children’s need for free movement and the development of their limb coordination and strength.

Babies begin to get “the wiggles” around their 6th to 9th month.

Basically, they begin to grab onto almost anything to pull their body towards it, they try to do this over and over until one day they manage and begin to climb whatever they grabbed! Yes, when your child reaches this stage, you might find him or her trying to climb the sofa or the bed – or the kitchen drawers, a bookshelf, or even the toilet. Often this begins to happen even before the child starts to crawl. This marks that phase where your child begins to be more mobile and seems to want to move around the house all the time. This all begins with babies practicing how to pull their torso with their arms.

The climbing arch is one of the two pieces we’ve created as a starter option for the youngest babies, the other piece is the small climbing (Pikler) triangle.

Why we love this climbing toy

This Pikler-inspired piece can be a baby’s companion from his or her first weeks onwards, as it can be used as a baby-gym or a baby sensory activity space. Babies will become familiar with the piece by having it around and they will begin to use it in basic ways: as their initial gross motor development advances, they’ll start to practice lifting their core and exercise their limbs, and as they keep on growing during those adorable first months and gain more and more basic mobility, babies will begin to show the signs that tell that they have reached the crawling stage.

Specs

For the arch’s climbing purposes, the age recommendation begins when the baby reaches the crawling stage, that’s more or less around the baby’s 8th or 9th month, and it can be used for climbing up to the age of 36 months if the baby is within the range of average weight and height.

  • Maximum weight of 30kg / 66lbs.
  • Its dimensions are 42cm x 45cm x 52cm (16.5 x 17.7 x 20.4 in).

The arch sides are made of top quality certified European birch plywood while the rods and the ramp are made of sturdy local pine wood.

pikler climber
The arch piece works great on its own, but it’s particularly enhanced with either of our ramps.

Not only will the child have tons of fun from sliding on the smooth side of the ramp once she or he climbs to the top (they do giggle a lot when they first manage to do this!); but also it is an extra climbing option when flipped to its other side and is especially good during the earlier stages, when the baby pulls her or his torso with arms and legs towards something. The ramp can be placed on the arch at a milder slope, so often toddlers practice crawling on it, besides climbing the arch in the usual manner. Some kiddos even prefer to start there.

What can you do once your toddler is over 36 months old and ready for greater playing challenges?

You can always upgrade! 

By upgrading I mean that you can expand your play set by adding a medium or large climbing triangle, or one of our rockers. If you have the ramp, you can easily connect the two pieces making a bridge to cross when all those crocodiles and hot lava appear out of nowhere!

climber for children

If you’re expecting another child, complementing your arch with a large climbing triangle or an XXL rocker is a great idea. You’ll have a climbing space suitable for both your children to play and develop together.

As with the rest of our climbers, for the climbing arch we have 23 color options plus our natural wood finish!

We use non-toxic acrylic paints. Custom colors can be prepared, but you should request them before placing your order and expect a longer production time. Let me show you some more photos of other palettes so you can get a better idea of the color options we already offer. However, you can also check out the entire range of color palettes where we show our color options with natural-lighted photos.

And as a final note, a little piece of advice: Once your child is near the age of 3 years old and he or she turns the arch upside down and starts rocking on it, please be advised that the arch is not designed for that.

Even though kids are skillful and can get away with it (we’ve seen them do it), the rods are too separated from each other for rocking as they are designed for baby climbing purposes. The gap between the rods can easily fit a little foot in, a little foot that can get squished easily when rocking. The arch is not designed to be used as a rocker. If your child wants to use it as such, it might well be time to upgrade to one of our rockers.

Thanks for reading! We hope this post has answered any questions you had about the Pikler climbing arch.

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