Our kids love to climb on almost anything, does yours? And about 4 years ago we had the brilliant idea of building our own climbing wall (we were going to be buying a house soon). So we went to a local climbing gym and asked if they sold any old climbing holds. As luck would have it, they did and they just replaced a bunch of old ones, meaning they had some! We purchased 14 from them in hopes to build our wall soon. But life happens and we find ourselves 4 years later with no climbing wall. So here is how to build a kids climbing wall.
First, you will need some supplies and I have provided a list for you. And just so you know we did purchase 5 holds new! Some links in this post are affiliate link for your convenience, click here to read our full affiliate policy.
THINGS TO NOTE: You will want to make sure the plywood and holds are secure so NO ONE falls. You may want to purchase some crash pads to protect your kids. This wall is NOT for adults and I am not responsible for any accident that happens because you built this climbing wall. Sorry for all the scary…
- climbing holds (we have a total of 19)
- 1 – 4’x8’x3/4” sanded plywood
- Screws w/nuts for climbing holds (if purchased without!)
- 5” wood screws
- #220 grit sandpaper (optional)
- stud finder (if needed)
Before buying the plywood, we measured the height of our ceiling. We decided to have ours cut at the hardware store to 7ft because of the supporting beam on the wall. Side Note: You will want sanded plywood so kids will not get slivers but you can also paint the plywood to help with that.
BUILD A KIDS CLIMBING WALL
Our wall was easy to install the plywood because the wall is open to the studs. So I will be giving these instructions as if your wall is open also but I will give you side notes and tips for those of you with a finished wall.
The first thing you need to do is find the studs and center the plywood over them.
SIDE NOTE: If your wall is not open you will need to find the studs with a stud finder. Then trace the sides of the plywood on the wall. Also, mark where the studs will be on the plywood.
If your wall is open already (both sides), using the 2.5” screws attach the plywood to the studs (it’s always a good idea to pre-drill a hole first). Make sure the plywood is secured to the wall before moving on, you don’t want it to fall when someone is climbing.
SIDE NOTE: If your wall is finished you may want to remove the drywall in that area (the area you traced) because the bots will go into the wall. Plus DON’T secure the plywood just yet.
PLACING THE HOLDS
TIP: Because we were using some old holds, we sanded all the edges with sandpaper because some were jiggered.
Now for the fun part, placing the holds. To do this we took one hold and traced it on the plywood. Making sure that the hole for the bolt is an inch away from any studs (remember you marked where they are). Trace the hold and label it. Then move onto the next one until all the holds are marked on the plywood. Move them around if you’re not happy with the placement (you can use sandpaper to remove trace marks).
SIDE NOTE: If you have not attached the plywood yet, you can lay the plywood on the floor and move the holds around before tracing.
Once all the holds are where you want them take your drill with a drill bit big enough for your bolt to fit through the hole it makes. Place the hold back into its place and carefully start drilling a hole where the bolt will be placed. Just drill enough to make a slight hole in the plywood then move the hold and finish drilling all the way through the wood.
TIP: If your plywood is on the floor place 2×4’s under it to make sure you DO NOT drill into your flooring.
Do this for all your holds.
ATTACHING THE HOLDS
Take a hold plus bolt and nut, place the hold where it should go on the plywood. Insert the bolt through the hold and through the hole you just drilled. Attach the nut onto the back of the plywood and tighten the bolt and nut into place.
TIP: You will not want the plywood on the floor for this part, have someone hold it or it laying against something sturdy.
Attach all the other holds the same way.
TIP: INSTALLING THE PLYWOOD if wall was finished
Once all the holds are tightened, place the plywood on the wall. Attach the plywood to the marked studs using 2.5” screws (it’s always a good idea to pre-drill a hole first). Make sure the plywood is secured to the wall before letting anyone climb the wall, so use enough screws!
TIP: If your wall was finished before you could add trim around the plywood to give it a finished look!
Sand any of the wood if needed and your wall is complete. Well, you will probably want to hang a bell from the ceiling first!
What do you think of our climbing wall? Do you want to make your own wall? Our kids have been loving having something to do during the winter months.
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