Explore our article library of tips and how-tos.

Looking for your next DIY project? Perhaps you need some inspiration on how to make your house a home? Our growing library of how-to's, DIY tutorials, and home improvement articles are here to guide you through your DIY adventures.

Ready to get started? Browse our online catalog of over a thousand products for your next home renovation or visit us in store.

DIY Projects

DIY Backyard Rock Climbing Wall for Kids

DIY Backyard Rock Climbing Wall for Kids

An outdoor rock climbing wall is the perfect way for your kids to have fun while getting fresh air and exercise. Spring is on the way, at Knowles Building Centre, we believe it is the perfect time to start planning your outdoor rock climbing wall.

This DIY project can be completed in a weekend so your kids can get off their phones and video games and get outside for climbing adventures. The walls are constructed with wood, so no need for stone-carving skills. We’ve sourced a few creative ways to build a rock wall that is safe for kids of all ages. You’ll save money by doing it yourself, and get the satisfaction of seeing your kids enjoying the rock wall you’ve built.

The design you choose will depend on where you want to locate your climbing rock wall, the abilities and ages of your children, and your budget.

What type of wood is best for a rock climbing wall?

You can choose the wood that is best for your budget, but always make sure it’s not warped or damaged in any way. Look for straight wood panels and boards with smooth edges for the best results.

Good wood choices for a lighter-weight structure are pine, cedar, or a sheet of plywood. If you decide to use heavier pressure-treated wood, it’s a good idea to have a helper when it’s time to lift and move it.

How big should my rock wall be?

Determine the best size for your rock wall by considering the space you have, how heavy it will be if you need to move it and how many children will want to use it at one time. This project is based on an approximate size of 7’ high by 4’ wide.

Guidelines for all types of rock walls

  • Always wear protective equipment to prevent injury.
  • Sand the wood to prevent splinters, and adjust any protruding screw heads.
  • Place your climbing structure in a level spot of your backyard, preferably in a shaded area.
  • Keep your climbing rock wall firmly on the ground by installing anchor stakes, especially if you opt for lighter-weight lumber or wood.

An easy-to-build A-frame rock climbing wall can have climbing holds on both sides or one side only, with a rope ladder on the other. The two sides hinge together at the top making it easy to fold up and move around or store during the winter months.

Rock climbing wall/step ladder attached to play structure

If you want to add a rock wall and ladder combo to your children’s play structure, this is a great way to do it. Peter has some excellent tips to help you build the rock climbing wall and ladder that’s right for your family.

You can buy rock climbing holds for different weight limits. So, if you want to get in on the climbing with your kids, the 220 lb. weight limit is a safer choice!

Determine how steep you want your climbing wall to be based on your kids’ ages and abilities. Obviously, the steeper the rock wall, the more challenging it will be for your child. Above all, you want a safe and enjoyable climbing experience for your children.


  • Circular saw
  • Impact driver
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Level (48”)


  • Lumber
  • Sandpaper
  • Deck screws
  • Rock climbing holds (purchased, or save money using leftover wood)
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Rope (optional)

If you’ve already built a tree fort for your kids, then it’s only natural to give them a fun way to climb up to it! Why not add a rock wall? The great thing about adding a rock wall to your tree house is you won’t need to build a base for it as your tree house will provide the support it needs.


  • The first step is to construct the legs for your climbing rock wall frames. Next, you will need to cut 2x4s to make the cross braces, then fasten each to the legs.
  • Make holes along the sides of one frame to tie on the cargo rope for the ladder.
  • Fasten the hinges to attach the two frames.
  • Screw the decking boards onto the frame, making sure they are square and close together. Work from top to bottom.
  • Sand the wood to prevent splinters and adjust any protruding screw heads.
  • Now is the fun part of choosing where you want to position the climbing holds. Arrange them in a challenging random pattern and drill holes for each hold.
  • Keep your climbing rock wall firmly on the ground by installing anchor stakes, especially if you opt for lighter-weight lumber or wood.
  • Place your structure in a level spot of your backyard, preferably in a shaded area, and finally, hammer in the anchor stakes.

Let the climbing begin!

If you have any questions or need more information, visit Knowles Building Centre. Our team is always available to help in any way we can.

Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.