5 Best Indoor Gross Motor Toys For Toddlers (Space Saving)
Nothing beats the great outdoors and the park when needing your child to burn off some energy and to encourage gross motor play.
It was only a few months ago that my toddler was able to play at the park and see other kids her size. She was absolutely loving it and was a natural the first time we even let her play at a playground.
It was a bummer to find that we weren’t able to do that with her anymore because Covid was getting worse where we live.
When we had to take that away from her, cold turkey, we definitely were seeing the effects at home.
She really needed to be active to burn off energy.
How can I get my toddler to burn energy indoors?
Going to the park is not an option for most, especially because of the global pandemic and even during the snowy/rainy seasons for some.
Being indoors wasn’t cutting it for my growing toddler, especially because we live in an apartment. There wasn’t much room or space for her to go and being active was the best way for her to burn off energy.
My toddler was very much into climbing onto everything, but furniture just wasn’t enough.
Actually, you really don’t even have to purchase anything and build your own indoor playground with sofa cushions, etc. This was what my childhood consisted of anyway.
If you are finding that sofa cushions aren’t enough, then definitely keep reading because you may find some inspiration within this post.
Although bouncing on sofa cushions and climbing onto certain furniture may be the more affordable route, it may not always be the safest or even just enough.
Besides, we live in an era where we actually have tons of options now to encourage gross-motor play and are not left with needing to use what we have around the house.
Fortunately, we were able to make use of our daughter’s bigger toy items that encourage gross motor play and was a good way for her to exercise and burn off a lot of energy indoors.
How do I keep my toddler busy indoors?
There are tons of options for indoor playgrounds and play gyms. It’s really dependent on what you’re looking for.
Are you looking for a climbing apparatus, a swing, a slide, or even a product that offers all of these features in one?
Another factor to add is your style on whether you are looking for something made out of wood or plastic. Keep in mind that if it is plastic, the item may not be space-saving.
Even the textures or colors of the playground/gym may be considered an option for some who have a specific style to their playroom/area.
Let’s not also forget about the pricing. Some products may be pricey so I tend to look for products that are buildable, can grow with my child, and are space-saving to make up for that.
It’s important to note the space these products will occupy, especially if you are limited. I had to work with a small space so I definitely considered that when I purchased my daughter’s gross motor toys. 4/5 of these products are truly space-saving. I will explain later in this post.
However route you choose to go, I have learned that products that are space-saving are more practical for small places.
Also, have fun when creating your indoor playground for your child. Your toddler will surely make use of it.
Here are my toddler’s most favorite and most used indoor gross motor toys that keep her entertained and most definitely burn off a lot of her energy.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission if a qualifying purchase is made from those links at no extra cost to you.
5 Best Indoor Gross Motor Toys For Toddlers
Best Indoor Climbing and Sliding Toys For Toddlers
1. Nugget Comfort Couch
The Nugget Comfort couch was first invented for college kids to be comfortable in their dorms at an affordable price.
However, the company quickly learned that parents were benefiting from the Nugget Comfort couch because they were able to manipulate the couch into all sorts of fun gross motor activities.
The Nugget Comfort couch encourages imaginary and gross motor play.
Building forts with the Nugget Comfort couch encourages imaginary play, while climbing, sliding, building, and jumping encourages gross-motor play.
There are so many things you can do with the Nugget it’s surprisingly amazing!
I have seen parents/kids make a Christmas tree, an obstacle course, a maze, a fort, a tent, a trampoline, separate rooms, a single chair, a reclining chair, and a sofa (obviously).
I haven’t seen anyone do an easel. This actually happened by accident when I found that it can be used as one as shown in the picture above.
It looks like a sofa, acts like a sofa, heck; it is a sofa!
It’s actually pretty comfortable when used as a couch. You can even manipulate it into a reclining chair or have it where your feet are elevated.
It’s foldable and buildable.
Comes in many colors to fit your living room or child’s playroom.
Entertains for a long time and burns off a lot of energy.
The fabric is washable. You can even spot clean the fabric too.
Grows with your child up to 8 years old.
Bigger kids, teens, and adults can use this product too.
Space saving if you display as a sofa in your playroom.
May require supervision at first.
It is often sold out because of its popularity (Foamnasium Blocksy sells a similar product.)
It’s buildable; however, you would have to purchase another Nugget Comfort Couch or extra pillows to do so, which becomes pricey.
2. Pikler Triangle
The Pikler Triangle encourages imaginary and gross motor play. This is actually a buildable set as you can see in the picture.
My toddler just has the Pikler triangle and ladder with a slide. The ramp is a ladder on one side and a slide on the other side.
This company also sells the arch so that you can connect it to the triangle with the ramp in the middle. This is if your child wanted to use it as a bridge. Good for balancing.
You are able to make it into a tent or fort which encourages imaginary play. Below I have an example of how we used our Pikler Triangle as a tent.
This product also encourages gross motor play by climbing, balancing, and sliding.
Your child will also learn how to coordinate his/her body when trying to climb from one side of the Pikler to the other side, and then onto the slide.
This video is an example of my toddler using the Pikler triangle and coordinating her body to climb over the Pikler triangle and onto the slide.
Made out of natural wood.
Looks good in playroom.
Foldable so easy to put away when not in use.
Can make into a small fort/tent.
Easy to put together.
Grows with child up to 8 years old.
Burns off a lot of energy.
May require supervision at first until comfortable your child is able to use product independently
Comes in multiple pieces
It’s buildable but have to purchase other pieces which can be pricey
Can take up a lot of room if using the Pikler Triangle with it’s other pieces and if not folded away after use.
Best Indoor Swinging and Climbing Toys For Toddlers
3. Gorilla Gym
The Gorilla Gym was my son’s favorite when he was 5-8 years old. Best for older toddlers and children.
My toddler is currently loving this product because of the rings set. It’s really an indoor playground.
My husband has been trying to encourage her to use the trapeze bar because she is able to reach it easier than the rings. It enourages gross motor skills in hanging, independently swinging, climbing, and pulling up.
Can use as early as 2 years of age; however, the site suggests 3 years of age. This is really dependent on your child’s gross motor skills.
Buildable and comes with the doorway unit, swing, rope, trapeze, ladder, and rings when purchased.
Can purchase separate toddler swing which you will be able to connect to the doorway unit as long as it’s a duel connector piece versus a single connector piece.
Easy to assemble, adjustable doorway unit, and can hang in any doorway.
Can use for up to 300lbs.
Good for families with multiple kids of all ages as long as they are within weight limit.
Adults can use for exercising upper body as long as within weight limit.
Easy to take apart and hide in closet when not in use.
Burns off a lot of energy if not used as a toddler swing.
If used as a toddler swing, can settle your child and even put them to sleep.
Your toddler would have to wait until they are about 3 years old to start using this product unless you purchase a toddler swing to use with it then they can use it sooner.
May need supervision depending on the child’s gross motor skills.
Children may fight over using the product.
It’s an indoor playgound; however, you would have to switch out each item when using them rather then all of them being displayed at once.
4. Hanging Swing Seat
The hanging swing seat encourages swinging. Best for toddlers. My toddler is currently loving her swing and if she can, would even fall asleep in it.
This video shows my toddler using the swing with the Gorilla doorway unit explained in number 3 up above. The Gorilla doorway unit is adjustable. This was used on our bedroom doorway.
Can Use with the Gorilla Doorway Unit
Made out of natural wood and canvas
Comes in cute colors and styles
Able to hang teething items on swing
Able to adjust height
Can use as early as 6 months old depending on height and weight
Just like the Gorilla Gym, this is easy to fold and store away when not in use.
Seat is made out of canvas so may stain if child eats or drinks in swing
Only grows with child up to 3 years old depending on height and weight.
You would need to purchase a separate piece for swing to connect to. We are currently using my sons old Gorilla doorway unit to hang onto our bedroom doorway for swing to attach to.
I could not find the weight limit for this product, but again it’s for children 6 months to 3 years old.
Does not burn off energy if your child solely relies on the pusher to do all the work; however, can settle your child and even put them to sleep as it does mine.
Best Indoor Gross Motor Building and Stacking Toys For Toddlers
5. Foam Blocks
Foam Blocks encourage imaginary play by building things from it, and gross motor play by stacking and bouncing. It’s especially great for toddlers who just love to stack and build things overall.
My toddler loves to stack them and sit on them. When I first purchased this product, I honestly did not factor in the space it would take up. I later learned that I can use this product in other ways.
I use a few foam blocks to display some of her toys to add dimension and color.
It also went well with my daughter’s play area decor. It’s my form of hiding some of the blocks without really hiding them to take up less storage space when I store the rest.
You can even add them as chairs to your toddler’s activity table as shown below in the first picture. My toddler has fun bouncing on the foam blocks while sitting on them.
I also use this product to introduce primary colors.
Easy to clean.
Comes with multiple blocks for child to stack.
Comes in primary or natural colors.
Great way to introduce primary colors if you do purchase the primary colors version.
Young children able to use as a chair.
Can be used as a small table to display a toy.
Old children able to use as balancing stepping blocks (this is what my son loves to do when he plays with my daughter.)
Can be space saving depending on how it is used.
The blocks itself is pricey.
Buildable but you would have to purchase separate items which becomes expensive.
Takes up storage space if you do not use them as I exampled up above.
May not work well with most playrooms that have specific colors because of the color range this product comes in.
Being active is the best way for your toddler to burn off energy. However, due to the global pandemic and weather conditions, some people may not have the option to bring their children to the park to do so.
Fortunately, we live in an era where we have tons of options to build our own indoor playground. The ones I have listed are 5 of my toddler’s best and most played indoor gross motor toys that are also space-saving and perfect for small places. I hope you were able to find some inspiration within this post to keep your child active indoors.