Riley is such an outdoor girl! She absolutely loves going to the park for two reasons...getting to climb all over the huge playset there and sliding as fast as she can down the three slides available. We take Riley to the park almost everyday, but sometimes, it's just not feasible.
That's why I was happy to learn of the Panda Climber from Step2. This outdoor playset offers plenty of opportunities for youngsters to climb, slide and hide right in their own backyard. Would the Panda Climber provide a good playground alternative for Riley? Keep reading to find out!
The Step2 Panda Climber is an all-in-one activity gym designed for children ages 1.5 to 5 years old. This outdoor playset features climbing, crawling, hiding, and sliding for plenty of backyard fun. Of course, because it's made by Step2, you can rest assured that this item is made in the United States. Just look at the many features of the Step2 Panda Climber:
- Features crawl-through tunnel, archway, fun slide, and wide protruding stairs that lead up to a large platform
- Large platform level designed with a safe rail enclosing the climber for added safety during playtime
- All activity elements are appropriately sized for toddlers
- Durable poly construction wipes clean easily and lasts for years
- Maximum weight: 100 lbs.
- Minimal adult assembly required
I couldn't get over how easy this playset was to assemble. As a matter of fact, it was by far the easiest assembly job of any Step2 product I've reviewed to date, since this toy is comprised of such large parts that simply snap together. Screw in a few well-placed fasteners and voila! Riley and I were ready to try it out in the backyard.
The Panda Climber offers many different activities to entertain your little one in a relatively small amount of space. If you live in an apartment or other area without a readily available backyard, you could move this toy indoors so that little ones could still get their exercise. This would also be a great thing to do on a cold or rainy day to quiet those moments of childhood "cabin fever".
I was hoping that my daughter was going to really enjoy the Step2 Panda Climber, for she loves to crawl around, both under and over anything she can. The slide is also her absolute favorite piece of playground equipment to play on when we visit the park, so I was excited to finally have one just for her in our own backyard this summer.
Unfortunately, my review of the Step2 Panda Climber is definitely a mixed one. I don't understand why they would recommend this outdoor playset for children ages 3 to 5 years old, since it is obviously too small for them. My daughter has reached the 3.5 year old mark and she didn't care for this toy at all. She was completely unable to crawl and hide underneath this playset and she was big enough to crawl on top of it without even using the included steps on the side. Also, her feet dangled very close to the ground when she sat at the top of the slide.
At 3.5 years old, my daughter said that this toy was too small for her and I wholeheartedly agreed. We've had this toy assembled and available for her to play with since Easter and in that span of time, she's used it for approximately 30 minutes total.
If you are the parent or grandparent of a child under 3 years old, then I most certainly recommend the Step2 Panda Climber. It should provide hours upon hours of climbing, hiding and sliding fun and will be a great addition to your backyard play equipment this summer. But if your child falls in the 3-5 year old range, like my daughter, then I'm afraid I would recommend you purchase another more age-appropriate outdoor playset from Step2 and avoid the Panda Climber.
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Disclosure: I received the Panda Climber from Step2 in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!