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Why The Pikler Triangle Is A Great Toy For Your Baby Starting At 6 Months
PHOTO BY Mari Franz del Rosario
  • If you’re in any mommy Facebook group (the photos you see here came from one of the members of Smart Parenting Village), you must have seen at least one or two posts of children in a wooden contraption that made you wonder, “What is that?”

    Well, it’s called a Pikler Triangle, and parents from all over the globe are saying it’s one of their top gifts picks for kids.

    What is a Pikler Triangle?

    The Pikler Triangle is described as an all-in-one sensory-motor development toy. It’s an indoor climbing frame made from natural wood that looks like a triangle ladder. It has slats for children to climb and a ramp that can also be used for climbing or sliding depending on which side is facing up.

    The Pikler was invented by a Hungarian pediatrician and infant educator named Dr. Emmi Pikler about 100 years ago. He believed in the importance of independent play and naturally paced motor development.

    In a traditional playground, there is equipment that kids may not yet be ready to use and will need maximum assistance from parents. The Pikler Triangle is for those young children.

    The Pikler can be explored by children on their own to allow them to figure out what they are capable of and what their limits are. So parents won’t have to lift, push, hold, move or do most of the child’s work.

    The Pikler Triangle gained its popularity when Magda Gerber studied Pikler’s work and brought her teachings to the United States. Gerber is known for RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers), which believes adults caring for young children should trust that they are natural explorers, inventors, and self-learners.


    What is the purpose of a Pikler Triangle?

    In this time of COVID, when children are stuck at home, the Pikler is great for their gross motor development that they may be missing from not being able to play outdoors. Children will learn how to balance, support themselves, and concentrate.

    Apart from fostering curiosity, independence, and confidence, a Pikler helps develop grip skills since a toddler has to learn how to hold tightly, suitable for writing and self-feeding skills.

    A Pikler triangle is versatile, too. Children as young as 6 months can begin exploring — babies who are starting to stand to use it for pulling themselves up. At about 12 months, they can begin to climb and slide. Some attachments can be added for more fun, like an arch and ramp.

    A mom from the Smart Parenting Village shared her daughter's Pikler Triangle was built by her brother.
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    And a Pikler can come in different heights. Older children up to 5 or 6 years love using the triangle as a fort or castle to dress up with blankets or scarves for their imaginative play.

    Safety reminders about the Pikler Triangle

    Pikler Triangles can be found in many online stores, and some people are even sharing DIY tips. Be cautious. You want something well-made from high-quality wood and non-toxic paint, with safety features (like a safety lock), the correct height for your child’s age, and one that can be collapsed and stored when not in use.

    The triangle should be kept indoors in a common room and not placed in the bedroom. The logic here is an adult should be around to supervise as the child plays. Some users recommend placing the triangle over a rubber mat, carpet, or fixed rug.

    Parents who have kids that already climb shelves or sofas worry about encouraging more risky behavior. Pikler Triangle parents say that giving your child a developmentally appropriate place to climb will feed the climbing need and lessen the urge to climb other furniture.

    It’s important to highlight that while Pikler and Gerber encouraged parents to let their children climb or test their skills independently, being nearby and helping your child explore safely is a given. This means not constantly hovering, putting them on the top of the ramp, or holding them up as they climb, but being close enough when your child needs help.

    Independent play does not mean unsupervised. It means allowing the child to lead in their play and giving them some space to discover what they can and cannot do, but providing support, encouragement, and comfort when needed.


    Barbara Server-Veloso is known as Teacher Thumby in her preschool, Toddlers Unlimited, and Ms. Thumby in her grade school, Thinkers Unlimited, Alabang. She is also a partner in Spark Discovery Center in Jupiter Street, Makati, where she teaches the Baby and Me Class. Teacher Thumby has a Master’s degree from the University of the Philippines in Family Life and Child Development. She has been teaching since 1993. She is also the mother of Lucas and Verena.

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