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DIY Pikler Climbing Arch – with printable PDF plans!

We built this DIY Pikler Climbing Arch and Rocker for our 18 month old and it has been a huge hit! Here is a tutorial for how we built it AND printable PDF woodworking plans so you can build your own.

The Pikler Triangle was invented by a pediatrician in the early 20th century as a means to help children learn how to move their bodies on their own.

The concept is simple- create a ladder that is adjustable that your young child can climb on and gradually become more comfortable with the way their body moves. Check out this article about the benefits of a pikler triangle!

Here are all of my favorite indoor toddler climber toys!

We built a Pikler Triangle for our son for his first birthday. He is now 18 months old and we decided to expand his Pikler collection to include a Pikler Climbing Arch Rocker!

How to make a DIY climbing arch - Charleston Crafted

What is the difference between a Pikler Triangle and a Climbing Arch?

The Climbing Arch is different from the Pikler Triangle in design but not in purpose. They both have been widely accepted by lovers of Montessori style wooden toys because they lend themselves to a lot of open ended play.

Most obviously, the climbing arch is arched like a rainbow, while the Pikler Triangle is triangular.

The arch is also reversible, so you can flip it upside down and use it like a rocker. Our son loves the rocking!

This climbing arch does not fold, so it takes up a lot more floor space compared to a folding Pikler triangle when not in use. Just something to keep in mind!

You can make either one with slats or round dowels as climbing rods. We used dowels on our Pikler triangle and used slats on this one. The slats are cheaper to buy, and feel more sturdy than the dowels so I would definitely recommend taking this route!

Uses for a Climbing Arch

There are 3 main uses for a Pikler climbing arch:

  1. Climbing like a ladder
  2. Rocking when upside down (U shape)
  3. Cover with a blanket and use as a cave to play in!

The cave is a surprisingly big hit, considering our son is not really into forts/having a blanket over him. He loves sticking little toys between the slats of the climbing arch and the blanket!

The climbing arch also pairs really well with a DIY climbing ramp!

Climbing on Pikler climbing arch

Click here to get the PDF printable woodworking plans on how to build a Pikler Climbing Arch + Rocker!

Click here to buy a bundle of plans to build a Pikler Triangle AND a Pikler Climbing Arch/Rocker!

Sitting in rocking arch


You need a few supplies to build a pikler climbing arch rocker. Get the full cut list in our printable PDF plans!


You don’t need many tools to build this Pikler climbing arch! You need:

How to build a Pikler Climbing Arch Rocker

Here’s a really quick overview on how to build the climbing arch, but the full details with dimensions can be found in our downloadable PDF woodworking plans here.

Step one: cut out arch

The arch is fairly simple to build. The general idea is that you cut out two curved arches with handles from two pieces of plywood.

The arches are cut from plywood by drawing two exactly-matching curves and handles. You’ll use a pencil and a string attached to a nail to get the curve perfect and to match.

Drawing arch for Pikler climbing arch

Step two: add slats

Once you have the arches, you cut the slats to go across the middle to connect them together. These slats are all the same length, so they are easily replicable.

The slats connect with wood glue and pocket holes for a double sturdy effect. The slats can be stained all one color or as a rainbow.

We opted for an hombre of blue stains. Check out our post about the best blue wood stains!

Connecting sides of Pikler climbing arch

Another great project for kids is our tutorial on how to build a balance beam for kids!

PDF Printable Woodworking Plans

To make it simple for you, we’ve done all the leg work. We created printable PDF plans for you that give you the full materials list, cut list and step-by-step instructions for how to build your own Pikler climbing arch and rocker.

These plans are easy to follow. We also have the option for you to pick up both plans for the Pikler Triangle and the climbing arch to make a full Pikler playground in your house!

Check out our tutorial + woodworking plans for how to build a kids learning tower!

Montessori Kid’s woodworking plans bundle

Love building for your kids? Click here to get our bundle of Montessori inspired woodworking plans for:

Get the bundle (valued at $55 individually) for only $44.99 together! That’s a FREE plan!

Mother and son in Pikler climbing arch

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Sunday 24th of January 2021

Beautiful arch!! How did you paint your arch? I'm looking for baby-safe paints/stains.


Sunday 24th of January 2021

We used some blue stains for the boards and left the arch pieces natural.


Wednesday 14th of October 2020

hi, Q. the boards for the climbing arc. made of plywood or a wood ? I just bought the plan. Thank you Meir


Wednesday 14th of October 2020

The arches are made out of plywood. The slats between the arches are made from wood boards.

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