Install a Rock Climbing Wall in Your Kid’s Playroom


Hi All! Happy Spring! It’s April and we are finally beginning to see the signs of spring in NY and CT. Spring is always a great time to redesign and reorganize your home. This month, we are sharing everything you need to know about rockwall installations. Kids naturally love to climb and your playroom can actually encourage your kids to embrace challenges and try new things, when you think carefully about the age-appropriate elements in your playroom.

An indoor rock climbing wall for your kids space is the new SMART design trend for playroom perfection!

Creating indoor physical play spaces for your children has a wide array of benefits. When children exercise (even walking to school) before they sit down to study, or pay attention, research has shown they can focus for longer periods of time. In addition, many elementary schools have reduced or eliminated outdoor recess time during the school day, so this means children need more time after school to exercise. Lastly, anybody who hosts playdates and neighborhood children at their home (that’s all of us mommas, right?) knows that the more options we provide for children means they are more independent and will play for longer periods of time (and that means more peace for mom and dad) and more productive play for the kids!!! Rock climbing walls give families with all levels and abilities a hands on sensory experience that truly benefits everyone in the family.

What are the developmental benefits of rock climbing?
Rock climbing requires much more than upper body strength. In addition to building up muscle and helping kids get cardio, climbing involves problem-solving skills. The mental side of climbing is often overlooked, but it does take lots of focus, and also improves memory, and boosts creativity. It develops character, confidence, and provides an outlet for energy bursts during those cold months and rainy days.

How to choose the perfect wall space:
The key thing you must first do is choose a playroom wall that has free open floor space. This is mainly due to safety precautions because you’ll want to add floor padding in the area. The wall area can be vertical or angled outward. Next, you must determine who the climbers will be: Will they be younger or older children? Will they require supervision? How challenging do you want the climb to be? You also do not want to be stuck with something you’ll never use. Make sure the space is easily accessible and hassle free.

What’s your child’s style…free climb or structured circuit?
You’ll want to choose a style that suits your little one’s needs. We offer our clients two rockwall installation options. Free climb walls allow your child to independently climb on their own. They are easy to navigate and will attract kiddos of all age groups to have a guaranteed blast. Our signature design projects have a combination of rockwall and monkey bar installations. This circuit design adds just the right amount of challenge for kids while allowing them to go from one place to another. It looks gorgeous and functions perfectly!

What are your options?
As you move into the more complex and custom design projects, the prices go up naturally.

Two basic climbing wall options: Plywood walls vs. Modular walls

  1. Plywood/ Woodies – Plywood climbing walls, or woodies, are often the least expensive option. A licensed contractor can purchase and sand any shape or size of plywood. He (or she) will have to frame the area and build supports so the plywood can attach securely to the framing. Once framing is complete, the plywood is attached to the wall, and then the holds will be attached to the plywood with self-drilling deck screws. It’s important to note that due to their construction, these walls are reversible, making it easy to turn a home climbing wall into a standard interior wall later, just by taking out the holds and filling and sanding any existing screw holes.

  2. Modular walls – Modular climbing panels are often seen in our playroom designs. These panels are more realistic looking (can look like rocks!) and are a bit more expensive, as the panels cost more than just a sheet of plywood. The framing might take less time since the framing will be just for either a 4 feet by 4 feet panel or an 8 feet by 4 feet panel. The panels are user-friendly and come in a variety of available textures and awesome colors. We purchase the holds from a variety of companies which all offer several shapes and sizes.

What do you think? Is it a look you are loving as much as we do?

Karri Bowen-Poole