Make the Little One in Your Life A Climbing Wall for Less Than $50!!

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Our grandson LOVES to climb on everything! Commercial climbing walls were pricey (about $80 on the low side) given that we didn't know if he would like it or not, how long he would enjoy it, or how stable those plastic walls were. Here is our cheap solution - it can be yours too!
Time: 2 HoursCost: $45Difficulty: Easy
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Start our with some very cheap Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sheathing used for subflooring and one of those blue tarps - we found one on the side of the road during big trash day so ours was free - if you find one that is partially ripped, that's okay, you won't need all of it. Our wood was used in a Wizard of Oz display for Halloween. Staple the tarp tightly around the back side of the boards. Then trim the tarp.
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Our Son-in-law helping my husband. When you buy a bag of foot holds, you get long screws with washers and nuts for each one. Mark our your pattern based on child size, drill holes then place foot holds putting screw through wall - secure with washer and nut. Notice the "V" at the top of the climbing wall: That is the size of the pecan tree trunk we are stablizing the wall with - you'll see!
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
This is a close-up of putting the footholds on the front side.
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Close - up of the backside showing how they secured the foot holds!
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Three Simple 2x4s cut to give the grade you want on the climbing wall with cross-bars set at different levels - you can't see the one closest to the camera. See how the middle one is set flat and the side ones are set the other way? Depending on your child's wants, you can make this wall steep grade or low grade. And it can be changed as the child grows.
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
See how it fits against the tree? - there's a picnic table under it now, protected from the weather and brought out for lunches and snacks.
  • make the little one in your life a climbing wall for less than 50, diy, how to, outdoor living, woodworking projects
He's learning how to climb the wall - a little at a time and with PaPa's help! Blue Tarp $9, Oriented Strand Board $9, Bag of 30 Footholds with screws, nuts, and washers $25.

Suggested materials for this project:

    Kitchen Kelli

    Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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      • Angel w/ Attitude
        Angel w/ Attitude Orlando, FL
        on May 12, 2014

        Please put a helmet on the little guy. I've met numerous adults who were dropped on their heads as toddlers, by accident and they are not quite right in the head, if you get what I mean, safety 1st. Grandpa is not as quick as he used to be.

          • Linda Boros
            Linda Boros Saint John, IN
            on Mar 25, 2015

            @Angel w/ Attitude I think half of America got dropped on their heads as toddlers, no one is quite right. They are ready to vote Hillary in, and you think they are right in the head?

          • Tegma
            Tegma Lake City, PA
            on May 12, 2014

            Thanks for the great idea. I'm a 72 yr. old gr-grandma and want to build a pirate ship with a "climbing wall" ramp, but with just Soc. Sec. for an income, it's getting sooo expensive. This will help cut the expense of ext. plywood, and I'm making my own "climbers" from 2 x 4's as seen on another post. I have a few old tarps, and didn't think of covering sheathing with them.... Does that make it slippery tho'? My 5 yr. old gr-grandson is a climber, too.... likes nothing better than climbing trees and such. This will work so well for me in a couple of ways! Thanks!

              • Kitchen Kelli
                Kitchen Kelli Norman, OK
                on May 12, 2014

                @tegma No Ma'am - it is not slippery at all! It is hot if the sun is directly on it but that old pecan tree shades it or gives it dappled shade all day long. We too are going to build him a pirate ship! Such a coincidence, isn't it? I hope you take pictures and post them here when you are finished!