A kid’s rock climbing wall is an ideal investment when your kiddo starts to climb up anything and everything in your house. It seems like once their 2nd birthday rolls around, all your free time is spent stopping them from falling off chairs and coffee tables. Or maybe they’ve graduated from a playpen or play yard and are in need of something else to keep their wild imagination stimulated. Toddler-sized jungle gyms and climber slides are great to have for both indoors or outdoors. But if a playset with a simple ladder and slide just doesn’t do it for them anymore, it’s time to introduce them to rock climbing.
Rock climbing is an excellent way for young ones to build up those fine motor skills. There are really only two routes you can take when it comes to at-home rock climbing walls for kids: You can go the DIY route and customize your climbing wall or you can get a pre-built one. REI has a great post on everything you need to go about building your own wall at home, and if you go the pre-built route, oftentimes you’ll find the rock climbing walls as an attachment to a larger swing set (which provides even more ways to have fun).
We’ve found a mixture of rock walls and climbing hold sets for both toddlers and older kids to enjoy. Some that only require a good, sturdy tree and others on toddler jungle gyms. FYI: The pre-built climbers can be an investment, which means you may be looking at spending on average $500+ for one that’ll last you a while. But the bonus is you’ll be able to get years of use out of these playsets with rock climbing walls, since a lot of the products we listed below work for both toddlers and older children.
Best DIY Rock Climbing Wall Kits
The days of climbing trees just got a lot easier. A cool gimmick with this “rock climbing wall” is that it can easily travel with you anywhere. The “wall” in this case refers to any large, solid tree you may come across. This climbing set from TOPNEW comes with six 10 ft ratchet straps and 12 colorful, resin hand holds that can support up to 230 lbs.
Set up is easy, all you need to do is thread the ratchet strap through each eye of the hand holds and secure around the tree trunk. “We were looking for a rock climbing wall and found this. We have a large pine tree with no low branches so this works perfectly. It gets used by 3 kids and even myself all the time and has held up well in the 3 weeks we’ve had it. Even my 210 lb. husband tried them out without issue!” one Amazon customer said.
If you’re going the DIY route, this 25-piece rock climbing wall hold kit is great for your next build. The kit includes 25 colorful, plastic handholds, an 8 ft knotted rope, and all necessary hardware. It’s recommended that the holds be mounted to a 3/4″ plywood or similar type of 3/4″ wood wall. Due to the bolt length, it is not recommended to secure the holds on 5/4″ decking wall.
This kit has received over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average 4.8-star rating. According to this customer, installation was a breeze. “Very sturdy material and not difficult to install … Installation goes MUCH quicker if you use a driver instead of the included allen wrench. Use a 1/4″ bit to drill holes for the bolts, and they’ll fit through nice and snug. As others have noted, these holds are relatively small and are intended for kids’ feet.”
Best Toddler Rock Climbing Walls
For an indoor climbing option, this wooden toddler jungle gym features a rock climbing wall, swing, rope ladder, climbing net, slide, and cushioned mat as the base. This indoor playground is ideal for adventurous kiddos between the ages of 2-6. The dimensions of this playset are 58″ L x 47″ W x 56″ H and is constructed out of varnished wood for a clean, minimalist look.
What’s a little fun in the sun without an inflatable rock climbing water slide? This giant inflatable bouncer from Little Tikes features dual water slides, a rock climbing wall in the center, and a splash pool. All of the neighbor kids will have a blast splashing around on this bouncer. There’s also a surprise dump bucket at the top that’ll pour water on kiddos who are climbing up the rock wall. It measures in at 161″ L x 169″ W x 103″ H and can hold a maximum of 350 lbs and four kids at a time.
This inflatable rock climbing wall has earned over 1,100 reviews on Amazon with an average 4.5-star rating. This Houston-based customer left a review saying “We are on our second summer of using this inflatable water slide. Since we live in Houston, last year we used it for a season of about 6 months. My elementary-aged son and toddler son have gotten hours of enjoyment from this purchase. Totally worth the investment.”
Active kiddos will love this three-piece climber. This minimalist wood-style design will look nice in any playroom. It features a laddered arch and triangle, which can be connected by a plank that doubles as a rock climbing wall and slide. On one side of the plank, there are 8 wooden hand and foot holds for your little one to climb across, while the other side is a smooth slide. Because of the rungs on the triangle, you can adjust the steepness of the rock climbing wall. You can have it lie flat or set it at a 45-degree angle.
If you’ve got kids who are older and are already acclimated with playing on larger swing sets and jungle gyms, this Adventures Panther Peak from Little Tikes would be a great addition to any backyard. The playset includes an 8 ft slide, ladder, climbing net, two swings, and a rock climbing wall with two knotted ropes. The platform is protected by a canopy awning so your kids can camp out up there for hours without getting sunburned. It’s large enough for 6 kids to play on it at once and can hold a maximum of 110 lbs per child. Once assembled, it measures out to 6′ 13/32″ H x 6′ 8 19/32″ W x 17′ 2″ D.
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