HOW TO USE THE PIKLER TRIANGLE AT DIFFERENT AGES/DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES
You’ve likely seen it being recommended on various Montessori groups online - the Pikler Triangle. It looks attractive and clearly, children enjoy these, but at what age? You may be wondering, is your child the right age for this tool? The Pikler Triangle is, simply put, a climbing frame. Yet, surprisingly it can be used from a much earlier age and in many other ways than only for climbing. Let’s take a look at how this triangle can be used at different ages and/or developmental stages. The following age brackets are simply a guide; more importantly, find where your child is at developmentally and follow their lead.
0 - 6 Months: Baby Gym.
If you live in a smaller flat in the city, space is like gold! To reduce the number of things you have to buy for your baby or simply to save on space, the Pikler Triangle can actually be used right from the get-go. In place of a baby gym, you can use the rungs of the triangle to hang high-contrast toys, ribbons, feathers, or other objects that you would like your little one to explore while on their back or as they begin to roll and push up.
From 6 Months: Pulling Up.
As your baby begins to show an interest in sitting up and pulling their bodies up, the lower rungs of the Triangle can act as a pull-up bar for your little one. It is important to remember that your child will do these things as they are developmentally ready. If your child begins to use the lower rungs of the triangle to pull up, it is because their muscles are developed enough and in the right places to allow for this movement. The Triangle gives your child the opportunity and tool to practice this movement on their own timeline.
From 8 Months: Cruising (holding onto the furniture as a guide while taking steps)
Once in a standing position, perhaps you begin to see your little one showing an interest in moving, the Pikler is a great tool for cruising. As babies become more aware of their surroundings and begin to develop a sense of self they want to figure out how they fit into their environment. Cruising is one way that your baby will do this and the Pikler Triangle can aid in this development. Your little one can hold onto the rungs and slowly move around the triangle or use it to get to a nearby piece of furniture to continue their exploration.
From 12 Months: Climbing
As your little one continues to develop their sense of self and begins to understand their own abilities and limitations, the Pikler Triangle is the perfect tool. It is important to never place your child on the triangle - they will get there when they are developmentally ready. By exploring on their own, your little one will gain an understanding of their own abilities and through this independence also develop their sense of confidence. Watch as your child learns how to climb each rung to get higher on the triangle or discovers other ways to interact with the rungs, such as sitting on them. When your child is figuring out how to make their way over the top of the Triangle it may be tempting to lend a helping hand, but resist! As Maria Montessori would have said, tie your hands behind your back if you have to! (Not really though-we want you to be able to support your child and prevent a dangerous situation if necessary!) As they climb, give your children the space they need to learn their own limits, make their own accomplishments, and overcome challenges at their own pace.
Up to 5 Years: Climbing to Building and Beyond
Once children have mastered climbing the triangle, the fun and exploration don’t need to stop there. The triangle is so versatile. Throw a heavy blanket over it and voila- you have a snug reading tent or a tunnel to crawl through! Connecting the triangle to a second triangle with a ramp adds even more dimensions of exploration as the ramp can easily become a bridge for children to develop balancing skills. The ways to use the triangle truly are as limitless as your child’s imagination!
(NOTE: Be sure to check out our other blog articles on how to use the triangle beyond just for climbing!) We hope you found this article useful.
A friendly reminder that the ages listed in each section are a general guide, more importantly, follow your child’s developmental stages and personal interests when thinking about how your child may use the triangle. Remember that your child will use the triangle in a way that suits their own personal needs. And most importantly, never place your child on the triangle especially in a position that they could not get into by themselves. Thank you for reading this article by Goc Montessori and happy climbing!
>> Products mentioned in this article: Pikler Triangles