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January 27, 2023

Pikler Platform and Ramp

I think by now the entire parenting world knows what a Pikler triangle is. Over the last several years, this natural gross motor development has become mainstream! However, in my RIE training, we learned about another important piece of gross motor equipment that often is introduced before the triangle - the ramp and platform. I was struck by how much sense it made to have this material available before trying to climb something larger.

I’ve discussed before how much my babies have been interested in climbing over obstacles, and the platform and ramp was really a natural extension of that. I knew that I wanted to add the platform for Penelope if possible. 

Natural Gross Motor Play - Pikler Platform and Ramp

We got this ramp and platform from RAD Children's Furniture when Penelope was around 10-months-old, and I am so thrilled with it. It was the perfect compliment to our Montessori home and challenged her in so many great ways. 

It became the perfect place for her to practice so many different skills including: 

  • playing on her knees (not in w-sit) 
  • climbing up a single step 
  • climbing down a step hands first 
  • climbing down a step feet first
  • sliding backward (on the ramp, and I 100% attribute this to her quick learning of going backwards down stairs)
  • bear crawling (up the ramp) 
  • cruising on her feet (first place she did that was around the platform) 
  • standing unassisted from seated position (her newest adventure with the platform!)

Even months later, the platform and ramp has become a hub in our living room for Penelope, but also for our older kids. Every single one of my kids has been found on top of the platform - whether as a stage, sliding down the ramp in their socks, jumping off of it, or using it as part of their pretend play. I honestly wasn't expecting that at all, and it's been a really pleasant surprise. 

I foresee the platform and ramp being something that we use for a long time here. I can imagine Penelope already practicing her first jumps off the side and learning to step up on to it. And, eventually joining her siblings in their sock slides down the ramp. It's unusual to find something that kids spanning nearly 11 years apart in age can use together, and I'm grateful to have found something. 

If you don't have access to a pikler platform and ramp, look for alternative ways to provide a low play surface including: 
  • nugget play couch or similar foam structures 
  • low ottoman 
  • table with legs cut very short 
  • large couch cushions
  • crib mattress 

Have you noticed that your baby loves a low playing surface to practice gross motor skills?

Before trying a Pikler triangle, try a platform and ramp. This gross motor toy is perfect for Montessori babies to learn a variety of movement skills

This post is week 44 of my Montessori baby series with Penelope. 

*In full disclosure RAD Children's gifted us this platform, however this post was not required. The opinions and skills presented here are my own.*


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Anonymous said…
Our nugget and a tumbling mat served the same purpose!