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DIY Foldable Pikler Triangle – with Printable PDF Plans!

We built this DIY Pikler Triangle for our son for his first birthday. The process is fairly simple to build and will help with his physical development. Here’s how to build a DIY Pikler Triangle!

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 and climbing wall that are 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!

We wanted a Pikler Triangle for our son for his first birthday, as he was really starting to move.

They cost hundreds of $$$ online, so we decided to build a DIY Pikler Triangle ourselves!

Check out our tutorial on how to build a balance beam for kids!

toddler climbing a homemade pikler triangle

Click here to purchase our printable PDF plans to build a foldable pikler triangle!

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

DIY Pikler Triangle - Charleston Crafted
CLICK HERE to purchase the Printable PDF Woodworking Plans

Supplies

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

Tools

You don’t need many tools to build this pikler triangle! You need:


How to Build a Pikler Triangle

A Pikler Triangle comes down to two main pieces- a triangular ladder and a climbing wall.

We’ll put the full step by step instructions and cuts in the how-to card at the bottom of this post that you can print out and use to build your own!

We also like the version done by Wicked Maker and used inspiration from that, but tweaked it to our own specs and preferences.

Here’s the overview.

luke on pikler

Building the Triangle

In order to build the climbing triangle, you essentially build two ladders, one a little longer than the other.

We made ours 36″ long with six rungs and 32″ long with five rungs.

Each ladder was 31.5″ wide using two pieces of 3/4″ thick poplar and 30.5″ long 1″ dowels.

For each ladder, we evenly spaced the rungs at 2″, 9″, 16″, 23″, and 30″, with an additional rung at 34″ on the longer ladder.

We rounded the ends of each board and then used a 1″ Forstner bit to drill the holes at the marks we made.

Ladder rung holes on Pikler Triangle

We stained each rung specific colors so we could make an hombre look to the ladder.

You could leave them natural, stain them all one color or do any mix you’d like.

Inserting rungs of Pikler triangle ladder

We created each ladder by using wood glue and tapping each rung into a hole on one board, then tapping the corresponding board to the other end of the rungs.

We used these 36″ long bar clamps to tighten it up for drying.

(side note, those Bessey clamps are really good quality and an incredible deal on Amazon compared to options in home improvement stores)

Final ladder of Pikler Triangle

We next cut out two pieces of 1/2″ plywood to hold the tops of the two ladders together. We drilled holes to hold the ladders to the plywood.

On the shorter ladder, we used a wing nut and knob screw on the two lower holes.

This way, we can remove this and fold the ladder up for better storage.

Connecting piece for Pikler Triangle

Finally, we rounded off the corners of the plywood with a router to give it a smoother finish.

That’s all it takes to make the DIY simple pikler triangle.

Inside of Pikler triangle

Building the Climbing Wall

The climbing wall is much more simple than the triangle.

Check out my guide to Pikler climbing ramps!

For this, we started by rounding the corners of a 24″x48″ piece of 3/4″ thick plywood with a router and then sanding ultra smooth.

Back of Pikler Triangle climbing wall

Next, we took a scrap cut off of one of the dowels and two scrap pieces of wood and attached the boards to the back of the wall about three inches down, using the dowel as a spacer between the boards.

This will be where the climbing wall hooks into the rungs of the triangle.

Next, we took 1/2″ plywood and used a jigsaw to cut random shapes out to use as hand holds.

For each of these, we counter-sunk two holes for screws and then sanded them all down ultra fine.

DIY climbing wall hand holds

We stained the hand holds with the same colors we stained the triangle ladder, then attached them to the board to create the climbing wall.

Final shot of Pikler triangle climbing wall

Here is our tutorial for building a DIY Pikler Climbing Arch Rocker!

How to Use the Pikler Triangle

This DIY Pikler Triangle is great for multiple uses.

The climbing wall can be angled against any of the rungs, creating a unique angled climb on each side.

Kid playing on Pikler triangle

The ladder can also be used by itself to promote learning how to climb.

Our son loved it for his birthday and we can’t wait to watch him grow and continue to learn how to use it even better.

This article really summarizes some great benefits of a pikler triangle!

Here are all of my favorite climbing toys for toddlers!

Kid climbing Pikler Triangle
Final DIY Pikler Triangle

Click here to purchase our printable PDF plans to build a foldable pikler triangle!

PDF Printable Plans

We have created Pikler Triangle DIY plans for a climbing triangle as well as a climbing arch and a DIY climbing ramp.

CLICK HERE to purchase the Printable PDF Woodworking Plans

What are Pikler Triangle dimensions?

This Pikler triangle’s final dimensions are approximately 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet x 3 feet!

What does it cost to build this Pikler Triangle?

It cost us about $100 in supplies to build the Pikler triangle and the ramp. The main expense is the dowels! Prices will vary depending on your location. We bought all of our supplies at the Home Depot.

The pikler triangle DIY cost will vary depending on the cost of lumber where you live. There have been a lot of increases in lumber costs lately due to supply issues so be sure to price it out first if that is a budget concern for you.

What type of wood should you use to build a pikler triangle?

They type of wood that you use for your climbing triangle is a matter of personal preference. I suggest a hardwood since softer woods (like pine) will get dinged and dented up more easily.

However, hardwoods are usually significantly more expensive than soft woods. We used poplar for our triangle, which is one of the cheapest hardwoods. Oak is a beautiful option if budget is not a concern.

What is a pikler triangle?

A Pikler Triangle is a climbing structure designed by Hungarian pediatrician Dr Emmi Pikler. It is a climbing structure for toddlers and babies to help them develop gross motor skills and create curiosity and a sense of adventure in a safe controlled place.

Read my guide to the benefits of a Pikler triangle here.

Final DIY Pikler Triangle
Yield: 1

How to Build a DIY Pikler Triangle

Prep Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $50-100

Here's how to build a DIY Pikler Triangle for your kid. They are great for teaching children how to climb and balance and are a wonderful toy. These plans are simple to follow and allow you to make a fun play set for your kids.

Materials

  • (1) 2'x4' 3/4" plywood
  • (11) 4' long, 1" thick dowels
  • (1) 2'x4' 1/2" plywood
  • (2) 6'x4"x3/4" poplar boards

Tools

  • Jigsaw
  • Palm router
  • Miter saw

Instructions

  1. Start by building the ladders. Cut dowels and legs first, then drill holes 1/4" in at appropriate points. Glue the dowels into the holes of each ladder. Final ladder of Pikler Triangle
  2. Cut 1/2" plywood into two triangles to attach your ladders to. Attach the long ladder with two stationary bolts. For the short ladder, do two stationary bolts, or one removable wing nut bolt if you want it to fold up. Inside of Pikler triangle
  3. Next, build the climbing wall. Use a palm router to round off the edges of the 3/4" plywood board and then sand extremely smooth. Back of Pikler Triangle climbing wall
  4. Use a jigsaw to cut random shapes out of 1/2" plywood to create handholds, then stain or paint to match ladder rungs and attach to board. DIY climbing wall hand holds
  5. For full cut list, measurements and detailed step-by-step instructions, our PDF plans are available for purchase. Kid playing on Pikler triangle

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

 
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