When we talk about slides we often associate it with equipment or fixtures that we find at the children’s playground. However, there are also those that can be found inside children’s activity centers. While our homes may not be spacious enough to accommodate a full sized slide, you will be amazed to find out that the 5 top indoor slides for toddlers in 2017 that we have meticulously researched will not really take too much of a space in your property. Check these out.
5 Best Indoor Slides for Toddlers
1First Slide by Little Tikes
One of the most trusted names when it comes to children’s playground fixtures, equipment, or furniture is Little Tikes. All of their products are made of superior grade acrylic that helps guarantee durability through many generations. Their design is also characteristically simple with many often saying it is devoid of the pomp and flair that is so characteristic of other products of the same line. In fact, you’ll never mistake a Little Tikes product when you see one. Although it would seem very unpretentious, it is the company’s penchant for durability, strength and sturdiness that has made them simply the preferred choice in many kiddie gadgets and fixtures. Take for example the company’s First Slide. Who would ever think that this blue and purple contraption is actually a bestseller among the different play tents and outdoor toys classification in a variety of online commerce sites? Yet, it really is astounding to learn that such a simple design can command admiration even from harsh critics.
With a floor area signature of just under 3 feet or less than a meter, this foldable toddler indoor playground fixture is the perfect solution to providing your tot and a bunch of his or her friends all the joys and thrills of sliding climbing and sliding on the platform. The gently arching three-step ladder, complete with extra-wide steps for superior stability while climbing, guarantees a safer platform upon which young kids can further develop their visual motor skills in relation to the movement of their lower limbs. At the top of the platform are sturdy handrails that can be easily locked into place just by listening to a clicking sound which signals the handrails having snapped right into place. The slide itself is angled at a safe 45 degree slope which also gently tapers at the bottom, providing a stable platform. And when tots are done sliding and playing with the First Slide, mom or dad can easily fold the entire contraption and store it neatly behind the door or even inside your kid’s closet. The design is also excellent for traveling as the folding feature allows for ease of transport.
What We Like about It – The Little Tikes First Slide is just perfect for beginning sliders. The size is just right for toddlers while its lightweight and foldable design ensure optimum indoor use.
2All Star Sports Climber for Toddlers by Step2
Aside from a great number of fixtures with which kids can play with, the outdoor play area also have additional features that may not be found inside the home. For instance, there will be plenty of grassy areas to run around, play catch, or even play tag. The point is that there’s simply no comparing playing outdoors. However, this did not stop Step2 from designing the All Star Sports Climber for Toddlers. The All Star Sports Climber is a multi-functional play fixture with the slide as its main feature. The ladder on the All Star Sports Climber is not your usual step-type. Instead, Step2 decided to put molded-in holes which are large enough to fit the shoes of average-sized toddlers and preschoolers. The intention is to simulate rock climbing experience where climbers have to nudge their feet into tiny crevices just so they can achieve optimum foothold. The gentle arching design of the rock wall type of ladder ensures safety for kids while they are climbing. The slide is rather short, angled at 45 degrees, and gently curving outward at the bottom. There is one major concern, though. The slide platform of the All Star Sports Climber can only accommodate a child who weighs no heavier than 60 pounds.
As for the other features, they don’t call this the all-star if it cannot provide other sporting activities. On one side of the All Star Sports Climber is a basketball hoops so kids can practice their shooting skills using an inflatable basketball that already comes fully included with the kit. On the other side of the Sports Climber are ports or holes for playing American football and soccer. A circular hole is built into the upper deck of the Sports Climber to be used as a target goal for passing an inflatable football. The lower deck forms the goal for soccer. Both the football and soccer inclusions have their corresponding scorers so kids can also keep track of their progress in the game. The good thing with the All Star Sports Climber is that you can have at least 4 small kids playing on it at the same time. Three will be playing with balls while one will be climbing and sliding. Here’s the issue. You will definitely need a substantially larger floor space to accommodate the All Star Sports Climber.
What We Like about It – The All Star Sports Climber has a very unique and sporty design that’s primarily intended for the young sports superstar in your family. Just be prepared with a bigger space if you plan to put it inside your home.
3Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide by Step2
Although it only has less than 400 customer reviews, the Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide is nonetheless, a great product as confirmed by its 4.8 star consumer satisfaction average. Looking at the Naturally Playful we cannot help but compare it to the Little Tikes First Slide. Both are easily foldable making them super convenient to bring along and even more convenient to store. Perhaps what really separates the Naturally Playful is the design of its slide surface. Instead of a linear design, it follows a gentle S-curve design; almost flat at the top before curving on a steep slope, and finally resting gently on a slow slant. It should remind you of the slides that you often see in theme parks. Additionally, the bottom is elevated, giving your kid to land with both of his or her feet on the floor. The ladder is ingeniously designed as well, complete with extra-wide steps helping ensure stability during climbs. The base is fully supported further adding to the stability of the platform. Side rails are designed to be exceptionally high to keep your tot in place while sliding. The handrails are also designed of sure grip materials. The Naturally Playful is constructed of double wall resin, substantially improving its overall durability. It is no wonder the Naturally Playful gained such amazing feedback from hundreds of very happy customers.
What We Like about It – The Naturally Playful is an amazing product that boasts of a variety of safety features, excellent stability, and superb durability.
4Play Up Double Slide Climber by Step2
If you’ve got plenty of space to spare at home, then the Play Up Double Side Climber is a great choice. Just look at it as a miniature tree house which your young tots will have plenty of fun playing in. designed like a wooden home, the Play Up features a step-up ladder on one side, two slides on opposing sides, and a rock wall climbing panel on the fourth side. The deck comes with an elevated section where a ship’s helm or steering wheel is beautifully integrated. This gives your kids the opportunity to play make believe pirates or captain of a ship since the design of the Play Up can also be taken for that of a schooner or even a 15thcentury galleon. The two slides are designed in the same way as the Naturally Playful, following a gently curving “S” shape with the bottom end fully elevated several inches off the floor’s surface. When your tot slides down the Play Up, he or she will be gently landing on his or her feet. The rock climbing panel of the Play Up is spectacular since the large holes are quite amazing in allowing young kids to experience the thrill of climbing a rock wall face. All of these features help kids develop their muscles while allowing them to enhance their sense of balance and motor coordination. It is even entirely possible that the Play Up can be used for other play activities or games. The space underneath the deck can serve as a temporary storage space for some of your kid’s personal items and playthings. Since the Play Up consists of several components, it will require some form of assembly. Disassembling it might prove tedious especially if you’re going to reassemble it after only a short time. If you have substantial space at home, this is a great buy. Otherwise, we’d suggest getting a smaller version.
What We Like about It – The Play Up is a very fun and interesting way of encouraging toddlers to use their imagination or make-believe abilities. The sturdiness of the platform is also commendable.
5Play and Fold Jr. Slide by Step2
Let’s consider the Play and Fold Jr. Slide as the small brother of the Naturally Playful, although its design makes it more like the little cousin of Little Tikes’ First Slide. From the side, the Play and Fold resembles a lady’s high heels although the heels are slightly slanted outwards. Nevertheless, the design allows for optimum stability. The steps on the ladder are extra wide as well while the slide doesn’t take the characteristic S-shape of many Step2 products. Nonetheless, the bottom section doesn’t abruptly stop as Step2 managed to build it with a section of continuity allowing kids to gently control their stopping. The handrails are fully integrated with the slide design; there’s no need for snapping them into place unlike the First Slide of Little Tikes. The Play and Fold, as the name implies, is fully foldable, too. This allows for super convenient storage as well as transportation in instances when you and your child will be going to visit grandma for the weekend. The Play and Fold is also surprisingly wide, further adding to its already superb stability. If your toddler is only beginning to gain mastery of his or her climbing skills, then this is clearly the one to get.
What We Like about It – The Play and Fold is clearly Step2’s answer to Little Tikes’ First Slide. The wider profile and gently sloping bottom section of the slide both make it a great option. Unfortunately, it costs almost as twice as the Little Tikes.
How We Chose the Best Indoor Slides for Toddlers in Our List
Coming up with a very comprehensive listing of the best and most amazing slides specifically designed and built for children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old was never easy. We knew it was imperative for us to understand the unique physical developmental milestones of this particular age group of children to help ensure the products we choose are commensurate to the developmental level of such kids. You see, the developmental appropriateness of a kiddie product is especially crucial in the first 5 years of life as this is that period in a child’s life where he or she is developing physically, mentally, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. It is for this reason that the slides we include in the list are really appropriate for such kids.
Once we have determined the developmental appropriateness of these products relative to the growth and developmental milestones of 1.5 to 3 year old kids, we knew it was time to get right down to the nitty gritty stuff. Our first concern was the size of the product. Since it will be used indoors, we had to make sure that it will not take up the entirety of your child’s playroom. We did include two that will require substantial floor space designed especially for larger homes that may want to create a mini indoor playground for all of their kids and their kids’ friends.
Secondly, we took note of the sturdiness and stability of the slide. This is imperative as the muscle strength and sense of coordination and balance of this particular age group of children are still relatively in their developmental stage. Needless to say, safety is a paramount concern so we took note of the overall safety features that are embedded or are integrated into the design of such products.
Thirdly, the built-in features of the products were also evaluated carefully. Since were taking about a gadget that works on certain physical principles like gravity and motion, it was clear that the slickness of the slide surface is a definite must. If the surface is not smooth enough, kids’ clothing or apparel can get snagged in these surfaces and may lead to accidents. If the surface is overly slippery, on the other hand, then there is also a likelihood that kids might lose control and balance, also leading to possible accidents. Related to the slickness of the slide surface is the degree of incline. It should not be so steep that kids risk falling straight from the top.
Why Slides are Great for Toddlers
For many parents playing on slides is just that – a simple play. However, research shows that such activities can bring a lot of developmental benefits especially to toddlers and preschoolers. Here are some of the reasons why slides are great for toddlers’ development.
- Strengthens muscles of the extremities – Sliding is an excellent muscle strengthening activity for kids, especially toddlers. Climbing a playground slide requires strength both in the arms and in the legs. Toddlers are just beginning to make full use of their limbs as they were greatly dependent when they were still babies. Now, they have the opportunity to use these muscles to the fullest by grabbing onto handlebars and stepping onto the ladder’s steps and pushing themselves up.
- Enhances spatial awareness – Stepping up onto the next rung of steps require toddlers to have a fair sense of space. They are now learning to understand the relationship between the positioning of their feet and the immediate surroundings.
- Boosts visual motor coordination – Akin to the enhancement of spatial awareness is the continuing development of the toddler’s visual and motor coordination. What they see should be processed and integrated by their brain. This is then transmitted to the different muscles that initiate the movement. That’s why there must be coordination between visual input and the motor output.
- Introduces simple concepts of causal relationships – Toddlers don’t know it yet but sliding essentially lays the foundation for learning some concepts related to causality or cause and effect.
The Bottom Line
As much as possible we strongly recommend letting our kids play outdoors as there are simply more fun activities to be had. However, we also recognize the fact that our kids cannot go outdoors whenever they want to. As such, bringing their playground right inside the home can be the next best thing. One of our 5 top indoor slides for toddlers should be considered if you’re indeed planning on getting the playground inside your home.