We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy.
After over a year of cancelled gymnastics classes, limited access to parks, and homeschooling, it can feel like your child is literally climbing the walls some days. As much as this may drive you crazy, it's actually a natural part of your child's development to show interest in climbing and taking risks.
Dr. Maria Montessori wrote about "sensitive periods" in children's development, a window of time for a child where experiences are especially effective on brain development. Many of these sensitive periods include testing their limits physically. You see this happening in early toddlerhood when all they want to do is climb up and down the stairs, as well as in adolescence when the monkey bars are all the rage.
In following suit with other parts of the Montessori philosophy, providing your child the proper space and materials during these periods will aid in their development—and take some of the work off of your hands. Although Dr. Montessori herself didn't design or endorse any specific materials for climbing, many have come on the market over the years. Having toys that are designed specifically for climbing in your home or yard will allow your child to safely develop these important skills, and hopefully take some of the wear and tear off your furniture.
Here are five Montessori climbing toys to make your child's interest in climbing safe and enjoyable for all!
A version of this story was published April 22, 2021. It has been updated.