Stepping stones are the ultimate “Active Toddler Starter Pack”. Set up all kinds of indoor obstacle courses. Beat those bad weather blues. Save money too!
For parents who aren’t ready to fork out $100-$500 on a standard indoor balance toy — like the Pikler triangle, balance board, or balance beam — wooden stepping stones are the perfect low-cost alternative to take the first step — literally.
At $25-$100 — wooden stepping stones are your “Budget-Friendly & Eco-Friendly Active Toddler Starter Pack”. (Approximate prices at time of writing.)
Stepping stones are age-appropriate from 18 months up to 8 years.
For the youngest ones, start simple with a straight line with the stepping stones close together. Before you know it — they’ll be lining up crazy obstacle courses — boldly leaping from pad to pad.
Through smiles and giggles — your little one will improve all kinds of motor skills — like full-body balance, head-to-toe coordination, spatial awareness, and depth perception.
All that builds your toddler’s confidence, which I love most. Because it’s 2021, and children’s holistic health matters.
Affiliate Link Disclosure – If you see a product you like and click through to buy it, I would genuinely appreciate it. I may earn a small commission — at no extra cost to you. It would mean a lot, thanks!
It all starts with the first step!
In a hurry? For busy families here’s your fast-track to finding the best stepping stones for the toddler in your life.
- (01) Lily & River “Little Steps” Hardwood Step Stones are “The Original” and America’s favorite.
- (02) Piccalio Mini Balance Kids Stepping Stones is basically a replica of Lily & River stepping stones.
- (03) Woodland Toy Company Montessori Stepping Stone Toy is another replica of the Lily & River stepping stones.
- (04) Wooden Balance Educational Stepping Stones have letters, numbers, shapes, and beautiful color choices.
- (05) JumpOff Stepped-Pyramid Stepping Stones is made of plastic — but great for all ages (even adults).
Toddler Stepping Stones – What to look for?
When shopping for a toddler-perfect set of wooden balance stepping stones — here are the most important features and highlights to look for.
- Age. By 18 months, your baby might be ready — buy before your toddler turns 4 years old.
- Diameter. Most stepping stones are perfect circles at 6” to 12” inches in diameter.
- Thickness. Standard toddler stepping stones are 0.5” to 1.5” inches thick.
- Lovely Colors. Find a color scheme that makes you feel good — or matches your other playroom decor.
- Non-Slip Grip. Pick a stepping stones play set with pads underneath to prevent slips and floor scratches.
- Child-Safe Materials. Look for wood finished with non-toxic paint, dyes, and oils.
- Easy Cleaning. Most stepping stones just need to be wiped down with a damp cloth once in a while.
Wooden Stepping Stones vs Wooden Balancing Stones – What’s the difference?
Today we’re talking about “wooden stepping stones”, or some people call them balancing stepping stones for toddlers. Particularly stepping stones made from wood.
When people say “wooden balancing stones” — they’re usually looking for tumi ishi blocks — the odd-shaped wooden stacking and balancing blocks for mindful tabletop play using your hands to carefully position the blocks.
We wrote a full review of the best tumi ishi balancing stones for your mindful consideration.
(01) Lily & River “Little Steps” Inside Fun Hardwood Step Stones
“The Original” and America’s favorite wooden step stones — for babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages.
To beat those bad weather blues — or an entire winter season if you live in the north — Lily & River’s natural wood stepping stones offer awesome inside fun.
Buying from Lilly & River — you’re in good hands. They’re trendsetters in the indoor play space.
“Little Steps” debuted just about 2 years ago, and since then lots of other companies have come out with their own copycat version. You can thank Lily & River for starting the stepping stone trend.
The set includes 6 hardwood stepping stones appropriate for 18 months to 8 years old.
Each is 8” inches in diameter and 1” inch thick. (Standard size for toddlers.)
Crafted from birch hardwood — and made in the USA at Lily & River’s family-operated workshop. Lily & River sources quality materials and in-house manufacturing expertise.
Lily & River was also the first to orchestrate the “soft pastel rainbow” color palette you’ll see on several other models — red, blue, green, orange, yellow, and pink.
What else is awesome? Lily & River plants a tree for every purchase — a little nugget of positivity that gives you sweet dreams at night.
(02) Piccalio Mini Balance Kids Stepping Stones
(Stepping stones with natural wood and six soft colors. (And a replica of the Lily & River stepping stones.)
The logo says Picallio. It comes with a natural canvas bag with the Picallio logo.
Most other things are exactly the same as Lilly & River brand’s “Little Steps” — birch hardwood, 6 colors, 8” inch diameter, 1” inch thickness.
Picallio is another company with a full line of indoor wooden play gear for toddlers and young children. I’d say they saw a great idea from Lily & River — then made their own.
(03) Woodland Toy Company Montessori Stepping Stone Toy
A standard quality set of 6 wooden stepping stones from a company that cares. (And another replica of the Lily & River.)
Woodland Toy Company is a local family woodshop hailing from Oklahoma, USA. Specializing in Montessori and Waldorf toys, the company as a whole aims to inspire children’s imaginations through open-ended play experiences.
Their stepping stone set comes with 6 individual stepping stones — each 7.5” inches in diameter and 1” inch thick. (That’s a standard size for wooden toddler stepping stones.)
Each with one of 6 unique earth tone colors — blue, yellow, green, pink, orange, and lavender.
Frankly, I suspect that Lilly & River, Picallio, and Woodland Toy Company all use the exact same design for their stepping stones. If that’s true — you as the consumer would be best off buying the least expensive model.
So far, that’s Woodland Toy Company (at the time of writing).
(04) Wooden Balance Stepping Stones With Alphabet, Numbers & Shapes
The most educational stepping stones play set — combining balance play with literacy, math, and geometry.
I got that wonderful tingly feeling when I first saw what the Wooden Balance brand has to offer. Where most other stepping stones offer similar colors — the Wooden Balance brand took a more creative approach.
By adding unique colorful designs to the surface of each stepping stone — your toddler has access to all kinds of new learning opportunities! Wooden Balance offers 4 unique sets of toddler stepping stones.
- Letters set (all 26 capital letters) to teach your child the letters of the alphabet or how to spell.
- Numbers set (all 10 single-digit numbers) to learn number recognition or how to count.
- Shapes set (6 common shapes) with squares, circles, triangles, and other common symbols.
- Rainbow set (6 colors) just like the 6-color sets we’ve seen elsewhere.
And you can even pick out your favorite color scheme — Classic rainbow, pastel rainbow, boho (white & light grey), or simple natural wood.
(05) JumpOff Stepped-Pyramid Stepping Stones For Kids & Adults
Like little raised pyramids both adults and kids can step on — it’s a plastic stepping stone set for both kids and adults.
A set of 6 triangle-shaped stepping stones, 3 different sizes, and 2 colors. The individual steps are hollow and lightweight, but sturdy enough to support up to 200 pounds.
Unlike the wooden stepping stones we reviewed already — this one’s raised like a tiny stepped pyramid. The entire bottom rim is non-slip rubber-coated to grip the floor without causing scratches.
Pick from their iceberg blue, desert rose, pastel, or primary colors. I like the primary colors for a preschool or childcare setting — and the softer colors for my own home.
I prefer wooden toys — but the JumpOff brand offers plastic stepping stones that look the part!