“Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of his mind comes through his movements.” M. Montessori
The Pikler Triangle was developed over 100 years ago Dr Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian paediatrician. Over the years it hasn’t changed that much but new extensions have been added, such as the climbing wall.
The Pikler triangle is not actually a piece of Montessori Material. It goes along with the RIE philosophy (Resources for Infant Educators) which was developed by Magda Gerber based on the scientific methods and observations of Dr Emmi Pikler (That’s another blog for another day!).
The original Pikler Triangle was designed for children aged about 10months but now it is advertised as suitable from 6 months. When you consider most climbing frames are developed with older children in mind, it is easy to understand why the Pikler is so popular. Dr Emmi Pikler believed that children should be free to climb independently when they were ready which is why the Pikler Triangle was designed low enough to ensure safety. It is important to mention here that the focus is on the child independently exploring the frame as they grow and develop and it is not the adults role to place them at the top of the frame.
I have seen an increase in interest over the past few years and now it is becoming a firm favourite in Montessori settings and homes. We had one in our Toddler classroom at my school, and it was well used and loved. Montessori philosophy is based on children learning at their own pace and the Pikler Triangle purpose fits in with this, if it is used in that way.
The Pikler Triangle promotes the development of a child’s gross motor skills, balance, confidence and encourages critical thinking, decision making, risky play and independence, all of which align with Montessori. As there is no such thing as a “Montessori toy”, we should look at the purpose of the toy or activity and how it meets the child’s needs at that time and that way we will know if it aligns with Montessori Philosophy or not.
Montessori believed that children go through sensitive periods and during that time we should offer more opportunities for that need rather than restrict. The sensitive period for movement begins at birth until about age 4.5years. The Piklar Triangle is a perfect investment piece as your child will still benefit from it until they are 4 – 5 years of age.
You can now purchase the frame with a climbing wall, ladder, slide, and ramp. They also come in an array of beautiful colours. When purchasing, it is wise to shop around and explore the different height options and the space you have available in your home. It is easily folded away if space is an issue.
With the endless possibilities of the play, exploration, and growth with the Pikler, I believe it aligns very well with Montessori philosophy.