This is the inside of a children’s play area in our basement (full post on The Castle coming soon). It is a two-story castle with a trap door on the second floor. There is one small problem though, how do the kids get up to the second story with out climbing on the trim?
We considered building a ladder but that seemed like a lot of work and could take up a lot of space in this small area. I even bought an old aluminum pool ladder from ReStore for $2 but it stuck out quite far and ended up re-donating it. That is when I came up with the rock wall ladder. I had my own vision for the space and thankfully my husband went along with my crazy idea once again. We started at Home Depot (we like their lumber better) and went to their “project” lumber section. We found a piece of laminated pine that would need to be trimmed slightly. It was under $24 and I planned on painting it to match the inside of the castle. We measured, cut it down to size and routed the edges (not a necessary step, but it gives a nice finished look).
We did a dry fit in the space and it fit perfect. I also decided that I liked the look of the natural wood and decided not to paint it.
I sanded down the entire piece of wood in preparation to lay several coats of water based urethane.
Then we laid out the rock wall grips that I ordered HERE from Amazon (I searched a ton of different holds. I wanted some that were like the ones on our outdoor play-set nice and large for little fingers and toes to grab. There were others that design wise were better looking but it turns out they were tiny and for expert climbers). Once we knew where we wanted them, we marked them on the wood with a pencil. Then I set the wood up on mugs and Justin pre-drilled two holes for each hold.
Then with a wrench, Justin tightened the bolts into place. NOTE: the bolts that came with these holds were meant to be screwed into nuts, so we replaced them with some we purchased at Lowe’s that could just be screwed in. Then we lifted it and took it downstairs.
Using a stud finder Justin located the best palaces to secure the wood rock wall.
Four screws were drilled into the wood, some even fit under the grips (we just unscrewed the necessary grips, secured the wood to the wall and re-installed the grips.
Then for the ultimate challenge, my 3-year-old. Could he climb it?
YES HE CAN! I love that this rock wall takes up virtually NO space in our play castle, and it was WAY easy to build! The kids love climbing “inside” and I’m glad that I didn’t paint the wood, it gives it a fun modern look.
Do your kids like to climb? Where would you put a rock wall?
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