HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD ON THE PIKLER TRIANGLE?
The Pikler Triangle. The popular tool is designed to support child-led independent play. So, you made the plunge and bought a Pikler Triangle and set it up in your home. Yay! Your child has started to explore it and has even started climbing! As excited as you feel, you may be wondering… How do I support my child while they climb? What does child-led independent play actually mean?
As your child begins to explore the Pikler Triangle it is important that they feel comfortable and safe as they begin climbing. To ensure they feel safe and familiar with their Pikler, give them the time and space they need to become comfortable with it. Never place your child on the triangle or push them to use it before they are ready. Instead, place the triangle in their play space and allow your child to explore it on their own terms. They may climb on it immediately, or they may take time to feel it out and get used to it before testing out their new climbing frame. It is important to let your child lead the way.
When your child is ready, they will begin to use the Pikler Triangle and climb. As the caregiver, remain calm as your child is climbing. You do not want to create a sense of fear for your child around the Pikler Triangle, so even if you do feel a bit nervous watching your child climb, try to remain calm and trust your child. If your child is young and new to the triangle, you may want to be close to them as they climb for safety. Try not to touch your child’s body as they climb, even if they slip, give them the opportunity to figure out how to catch themselves. Of course, use your own judgment to decide when it is necessary to catch a fall, but make sure to give your child the space they need to explore and learn. Allow your child to focus and use the tool as intended: for child-led independent play.
So what is child-led independent play?
This means as caregivers we let the child decide when and how to use the Pikler Triangle. It is important to remember that children do not have the same goals as we have for them. When an adult sees the Pikler Triangle, they may see the ultimate goal for their little one is to climb up the rungs, over the top, and back down again. For a child, however, they most likely have a different idea of what they want to accomplish. It may be learning to balance standing up on a rung without hands, it may be learning to climb down the rungs- on the same side they climbed up, the point is we must let the child lead the way showing us what is important to them, what they want to work on and accomplish. Let your child set their own goals, work on those goals, and achieve those goals, with as little interruption and assistance from the adult as possible.
As your child explores their Pikler Triangle and amazes you with their new skills it is important to remember, the more time your child spends on their triangle directing their own play, the safer their climbing will be. Through child-led play, children learn about their own abilities and limits as they build self-awareness. By testing out new skills, your child will learn to adapt and try again to solve problems developing their self-confidence which makes climbing safer both on and off the Pikler triangle. By letting your child lead the way on the triangle you are setting them up for safe and successful development, not just while playing on their triangle, but for life.
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✋ Have a look at our Pikler Triangle!
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