Which indoor playset for toddlers is best?

Many toddlers love playing outdoors on backyard playsets, but sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t want to cooperate. On those cold, rainy or snowy days, you need another option to keep your children occupied. Rather than plopping them in front of the TV or a tablet, consider providing them with an indoor play set to expel that endless energy they are so full of.

Indoor playsets often feature several of the most beloved activities of outdoor ones but are smaller and more manageable. For example, the Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set has a climbing wall, slide and even a small basketball hoop, yet it only measures 66 by 59 by 47 inches, so it should fit in most bedrooms and living rooms.

What to know before you buy an indoor playset for toddlers

Skills

There are many kinds of play sets for toddlers, and not all help develop the same skills. Some are similar to outdoor swing sets and feature high-energy activities. These are good for developing strength, balance and speed. Others have activities that focus more on imaginative play, developing hand-eye coordination and even musical abilities.

Consider both what skills your child needs to work and what kinds of activities they find most enjoyable. 

Space

When deciding how much room in your home you want to dedicate to the set, don’t forget to account for additional space around it for your child to play in. Sets that include intense activities — such as jumping, sliding and tumbling — require more space around them than those that focus on educational or imaginative play.

Placement

Indoor play sets should only be used under adult supervision. They should be set up where you can always keep an eye on your child. This area should be clear of objects that could cause harm, including sharp furniture and decorations, and of delicate items that are easily damaged if a child accidentally bumps into them. 

If you’ll be setting up the play set on hard flooring such as tile or wood, consider purchasing a large foam play mat or thick rug to place underneath it. These reduce the chance of injury if your child falls off. 

What to look for in a quality indoor playset for toddlers

Activities

The most basic playsets only have two or three activities. Others can have 10 or more. The more activities a playset has and the greater their variety, the longer it can keep a toddler entertained. Common activities include ball pits, slides, swings, basketball, climbing walls, jungle gyms, target tosses and spinning gears. Some also feature numbers and letters to help teach counting and reading.

Sounds

Though less common, you can find models that play music and sounds when buttons are pressed or that feature simple tap instruments such as pianos and xylophones.  

Bright colors

Colors affect people’s moods, and that’s true of children as well as adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, children have positive reactions to bright colors and negative emotions attached to dark colors. It is also easier for kids to recognize bright colors, which makes them more likely to capture kids’ attention. So your child is likely to be drawn to a brightly colored set and spend more time playing with it than with one in muted colors.

Reconfigurable

No matter how brightly colored a play set is or how many activities it has, toddlers will eventually tire of them. Purchasing one that is reconfigurable helps mitigate this. These modular sets can be constructed in different ways after a child gets bored with a particular setup.

Multi-child play

If you have two young children in your home, or want your toddler to be able to use their playset with a friend, look for one that allows multi-child play. These have a higher weight capacity and at least two separate play stations.

How much you can expect to spend on an indoor playset for toddlers

Most indoor playsets for toddlers cost $50-$400.

Indoor playset for toddlers FAQ

Are indoor playsets difficult to assemble?

A. It varies by the model, but most are designed to be easy for one person to assemble on their own. Many don’t require any tools and simply snap together.

Can I use an indoor playset outdoors?

A. Some indoor playsets are also suitable for use outdoors. If so, this should be specified somewhere in the product details.

What’s the best indoor playset to buy for toddlers?

Top indoor playset for toddlers

Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set

Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set

What you need to know: This 4-in-1 model replicates all the fun of an outdoor play set and offers plenty of activities to keep tots occupied.

What you’ll love: It’s made of a sturdy, high-density polyethylene material that can last through several children and also be used outside. Plus, it does a great job of tiring kids out so you’ll get a little peace and quiet afterward.

What you should consider: It’s a bit short and isn’t ideal for older or taller toddlers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top indoor playset for toddlers for the money

Little Tikes Activity Garden Playhouse

Little Tikes Activity Garden Playhouse

What you need to know: This budget-priced option helps foster a child’s imagination, yet hardly requires any floor space. 

What you’ll love: It expands to grow with a baby or be used by two kids simultaneously. There is a shape sorter and tap-a-tune piano for mental development.

What you should consider: It’s best for toddlers under age 2.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Reliancer Six-Piece Climb and Crawl Foam Activity Play Set

Reliancer Six-Piece Climb and Crawl Foam Activity Play Set

What you need to know: Made entirely of soft, CertiPUR-US-certified foam and covered in faux leather that’s free of potentially harmful phthalates, this set is a smart and safe choice for toddlers of any size and age.

What you’ll love: It can be configured in a nearly limitless number of ways to keep kids from getting bored. Toddlers can use it to learn color recognition and matching, too.  

What you should consider: Because it is made from multiple components that will be spread out across the floor, it can make rooms look a bit messy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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