In this part of the blog series, we will address selection criteria related to safety, quality and age issues.

General product description and age groups

With its wide range of sizes and shapes, the climbing triangle is suitable for children from 8-10 months to 6-7 years. The height of the triangle varies from 45 cm to 120 cm and the width of the steps, which makes the triangle a very stable construction, ranges from 40 cm to 80 cm. Different sized triangles are meant for different age groups.

Parents should determine in advance how high it should be:
The lower the product, the safer it is for a toddler, although it becomes less interesting with age. However, a triangle that is too large can increase the risk of injury.
As for the width of the steps, the narrower they are, the greater the risk that the triangle will tip over with a large one-sided load. While wide steps increase stability, the load that the steps can withstand in the middle decreases. Also, keep in mind that the wider the triangle, the more space it will take up, which is often impractical in a small apartment.
There are two variants, a folding triangle and one that is always in the open position, this is especially relevant in small apartments and should be taken into account when making a purchase decision.
The length of the board (slide/climbing wall) varies from 70 to 120 cm and the width from 30 to 45 cm. Remember that a board less than 35 cm wide is too narrow for a child of any age to climb and slide on.


Safety, quality and selection criteria

If you are interested in the general safety issues of children's furniture, read our article on safety and quality of children's furniture. Here we share general and specific tips from our experience.


General information

Ask the manufacturer for the clearance certificate for the raw materials used (solid wood, plywood, varnish, oil, paint, etc.). In the case of wood and plywood, these are the certificates of the allowed emission level of the glue: American CARBII or European E1/E0, and the lacquer/oil/paint must have the EN71-3 or FDA certificates indicated on the label, the confirms that the raw materials have been tested by the manufacturer in accordance with the regulations for children's toys.
Note that solid wood/plywood used in furniture construction should not be less than 15 mm.

A common problem with glued plywood is damage to the glued areas. Request a guarantee from the manufacturer that the product can be replaced/returned in the event of damage to the bonded areas.
Another common problem with glued plywood is cracking, which is the result of improper drying/storage conditions of the raw material. In Georgia, wood is usually not dried under specially regulated conditions, but under natural conditions. Most of the time the material used is not really dry. Therefore, they do not have a phytosanitary certificate. Perhaps such a crack does not affect the stability and safety of the product, but indicates poor quality. Ask the manufacturer for a guarantee that the product can be replaced/returned in the event of a crack in the wood.
When using oil/varnish/paint with a safety certificate, the quality of the end product is determined by compliance with production standards. Before using the oil/varnish/paint, the surface must be clean and free of fine dust particles so that the paint can be perfectly absorbed. Lacquer and paint should not peel off the product under normal use unless extreme pressure is applied. However, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer's recommendations in the process of use and maintenance, and if necessary, to re-treat the furniture.


To select a moveable triangle

In general, the folding triangle is one of the most complex products in children's furniture. While the design of a children's chair or table can easily be copied from the Internet, the construction of a folding triangle requires thorough study and many years of testing. When choosing the size of the triangle, you should carefully read the instructions and take into account the recommendations of manufacturers.


Also note the following

basic construction:

The construction of the triangle must be stable and withstand a load of at least 50 kg. When setting up on a level surface, all four feet must be firmly on the ground. All edges and corners must be rounded.

Screw heads must be flush with the wood surface to avoid risk of injury. Make sure that all parts are assembled correctly to ensure the safety of your child to ensure.

Stages:

Usually a different wood is used for the steps of the climbing triangle than for the side parts, it can be coniferous (pine, spruce, etc.) or hardwood (beech, birch, maple, etc.). Note that softwoods are less dense than hardwoods and therefore less stable. In the case of 60 cm wide pine or fir steps, the diameter of the steps must not be less than 28 mm. In the case of hardwood, steps with a diameter of 25 mm are permitted. If the width exceeds 60 cm, it is necessary to use steps made of coniferous wood with a diameter of 30 mm or more. For hardwoods dried to European standards, 80cm wide steps can be 25mm in diameter.

In Georgian reality, wide and thin steps are very risky, since the material is often not properly dried or not stored in the right conditions. Choosing the stages, especially those that were produced in Georgia, is quite difficult. Two methods were tested to ensure roundness. Firstly by hand with milling or grinding machines and secondly with special machines that automatically cut the material to the exact size.
The first option is inexpensive, making it more accessible to most Georgian producers. With this method, however, it is very difficult to produce dimensionally stable, round and identical steps. It is therefore advisable to check the quality of the wooden steps before buying and to form your own opinion. We recommend paying attention to the distance between the steps, which should be between 9-10 cm. In addition, the surface should be smooth and free of cracks. The steps are attached to the side panels with special screws and inserted into curves cut out on the side panels. It is important that the diameter of the steps match the diameter on the side pieces so that the steps are secure and cannot come loose during use.

Finally, before purchasing a climbing triangle, you should familiarize yourself with the product, its features and benefits, and consider how important it is for your child's development. What are your priorities?
For example, if the Montessori cube chair or the learning tower is used daily in the everyday life of a child up to three years old, the folding triangle may appear as a luxury object, but it can still create an ideal environment for the child's physical activity at home.

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