If you are a DIY fan, then you’ll love this one! With the right materials and a well-thought-out plan, you can make your own climbing frame, either indoors or outdoors. Here are two simple DIY climbing frame ideas to get those DIY juices flowing.
*The steps included in this article are simply to give you an idea of what kind of construction you’ll need to prepare for. Follow complete assembly directions to ensure the safety of your design.
Before you start, you’ll need some basic materials:
- Timber (birch, oak, and maple are good choices)
- Hardware (screws, nails, etc.)
- Drill and/or hammer
Materials will vary based on your design and location. Feel free to experiment with logs for a rustic effect or refined cuts of timber for a more modern look.
Outdoor Climbing Frame
Playing outdoors can enhance a child’s critical thinking, listening skills, and concentration. With an outdoor climbing frame, you can provide this benefit to your toddler’s development and help them explore their independence. An outdoor climbing frame also boosts their climbing confidence, which is a major milestone.
Here is how you can start building your own outdoor climbing frame.
- Set up your area for the climbing frame and take exact measurements based on your frame’s design. After that, you can start drawing the structure.
- Pick timber of your choice. However, choosing a higher quality and strong wood means your climbing frame will last longer.
- According to your design, dig poles into the ground to support the entire frame. Preferably, cover the rest of the rod, which goes below the ground, with linseed oil to prevent the wood from rotting. It is crucial to ensure that the support is straight to avoid an awkward shape of the climbing frame.
- Assemble the climbing frame using the appropriate materials, then use a ruler or a spirit level to level the surface for a good finish.
- Once you have finished installing the climbing frame, polish it to protect and enhance the appearance of the entire structure. Ensure that the whole frame is firmly secured to avoid accidents.
Adding features to an outdoor climbing frame is more fun than a chore. It also gives your child more variety in terms of what they can climb. Consider adding the following:
- Slides (see these climbing frames with slides)
- Rope ladder
- Rope bridge with guides
- Monkey bars
- Balance beam
What’s so great about an outdoor climbing frame is its versatility. You can make it standalone or turn it into a full-blown jungle gym!
A Triangle Climbing Frame (Pikler Triangle)
A Pikler Triangle is a great resource for toddlers as young as 12 months to children as old as six years old. It is simple enough to safely fit indoors, sturdy enough for outside, and effective enough to help teach children how to climb, adjust to heights, and move freely. Here is how you can build one.
- Cut your timber so you have enough to create two A-shape frames. Cut thick dowels for the ladder steps, ensuring that they are the same length.
- Make holes in the frame and insert the dowels accordingly using wood glue and screws. These will be your ladders.
- Attach the two ladders. Sand the structure and coat it with a non-toxic finish.
- You can also add a plywood climbing platform to lean against your Pikler Triangle.
Though a Pikler Triangle is a basic design, you can add a lot of life to the design. Take advantage of different colours for your climbing platform. Alternately, you can create an A-frame climbing wall instead of using the traditional ladder design.
You can do anything you want with your climbing frame, so long as it’s safe. Start with these basic DIY ideas, and then let your inner child decide the rest!