How to Build a Kids' Climbing Wall
A kids' climbing wall is a great way to get the kids playing outdoors and away from video games for a while. A climbing wall is a fun way for them to get some exercise and build confidence as well. Building your own kids' climbing wall is surprisingly less complicated than it first sounds, as long as you gather the right construction materials and carefully follow all instructions. If you prefer, look for climbing wall DIY plans, as these will help give you a better idea of the end result.
Step 1: Plan the Dimensions and Location
Keep in mind your kids' ages, heights, and climbing skills. It's best to start with building an easier level wall and add a more advanced addition to it later as their ability grows. Leave some room to build this expansion to your climbing wall. The easiest and most popular location for this is against one of the outdoor sides of your garage wall. This way, you have a vertical structure already in place that is not being used otherwise. This method will also save you space in the backyard.
Step 2: Attach Wood Structure
Make a box structure by placing four of the 2x4 boards together corner-to-corner. Secure them with your decking screws. Brace the inside of the box structure with the remaining 2x4's, attaching one every 2 feet with more decking screws. It is a good idea to design your climbing so that it can be fairly easily detached and moved later if any repairs are needed.
Step 3: Attach Wall to Garage
Secure your climbing wall frame to the side of the garage, and then cover with the two pieces of plywood. At this point, you have the option of having your kids paint designs on their climbing wall. This is a perfect way to get them involved and let them be creative. Be sure to select a paint type that is easy to clean up. Let your newly-painted climbing wall dry for at least 1 to 2 days.
Step 4: Attach Handholds
After the climbing wall is dry, attach the set of handholds at regular climbing intervals, according to their instructions. Most of them are installed simply with standard nuts and bolts. It is recommended to get a set of starter climbing holds, as these have been found to be easier for smaller hands to grasp. Keep in mind your kids' heights and be careful not to space the handholds too far apart for them to reach.
There are also novelty handholds available in different shapes that can add some variety to the climbing wall. A lot of them are available in bright colors so that your kids can easily see the next hold while climbing. This can help build their coordination and reduce the chances of falls. Lastly, a rope is needed for safety and for when the handholds seem more difficult at first. Cut a length of cotton rope at least the same height as the wall and secure it near the top with a sturdy eye screw.