My Ottoman Is My Best Friend

toddler climbing on a chair

Before you know it, your sweet, squirming little baby will develop enough muscle strength (and initiative) to start climbing on everything they can reach, like a monkey! Around the age of 15-18 months, toddlers starts reaching and pulling and pushing themselves all over your home and furniture, possibly even managing to escape from their cribs!


Giving your toddler safe climbing outlets will help keep them engaged, help them grow, and help you stay sane all at once. There are many ways to provide safe climbing surfaces for your kids, from buying a baby jungle gym with a little swing and slide, to spending lots of time at the playground and/or covering an area of your home or garden in rubber mats and adding foam blocks.

Because of where we live, and because the weather was really cold a lot when my daughter was this age, I searched for furniture that could fit into our small apartment but still be fun to climb on. I found two very useful and fun items: One was a large, low, round leather ottoman from eBay. We stuffed it with newspaper and she went up and across and down this ottoman over, and over, and over again. She also liked to just lay on it and jump on it.  That ottoman was her best friend for a while, I am pretty sure!

The other item was a small indoor slide with a 2-step ladder on the side and a space underneath she liked to hide in. The slide took up almost half of our living room at the time, but I really feel it was worth it because an active toddler is a happy toddler, and this certainly kept her occupied! Even if you don't have any furniture or want to buy any new items for your little one to climb on, you can build a fun little obstacle course by stacking large couch pillows and other soft items from your home and encouraging them to play with them.

What were your toddler's favorite toys?

About CityGardenMom: I'm a writer, blogger, family chef and mother of one feisty five year old girl, and one bouncy, crazy Springer puppy. Healthy nutrition is an important part of our lives, as is jumping around (or springing), laughing very hard, hula-hooping, and trying to behave. You can follow my humorous adventures in parenting, as well as my successes and failures in the kitchen, and download some of my daughter's favorite recipes (and mine) on my new blog at Thanks for reading!

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