Fun fact about me: I am a rock climber. See a couple shots of me climbing at the Obed. I even won a climbing competition back in my day. I also met my husband through rock climbing. So long story short, rock climbing is dear to my heart.
Fun fact about toddlers: They love to climb. And one of my favorite toys to encourage climbing and freedom of movement is a Pikler Triangle. We were so lucky that the girl's uncle (my brother) is a super handy with woodworking and design and made one for the girls for Christmas. They love it! And I finally convinced him to write up a tutorial on how he made it! You can find it here. If you don't have a woodworker in your family, here is one you can purchase from Lily & River that I have seen several other moms purchase and rave about.
So I was thinking, how can I take this up a notch and marry my love of rock climbing with the already awesome base of the Pikler Triangle?
The answer is a rock wall add-on, and it's super easy to make!
- A piece of plywood
- A set of hooks for hanging things in the garage
- Rock Wall Holds < This is the set we bought off Amazon with installation hardware and drill bit included!
- Stain (optional)
- A drill
- A sander
- A hammer
- A pencil
The first thing we did was measure the size that we needed for the piece of plywood. The goal is to have it fit perfectly on one side of the triangle. We measured the distance between the insides of the sides and from the top rail to the ground leaving an inch off the bottom. When we picked up the piece of plywood at Lowes, we had them cut it to size.
At home I laid out all of the rock holds and arranged them how I wanted them on the piece of plywood. The package suggested 12" - 18" apart height-wise. Given that our girls are in the 5th and 10th percentile for height, I decided to shrink the spacing a little to help them out. Once I decided on the layout, I marked the drill holes with a pencil. I also took a picture of the holds, so we could reference later for reattaching.
Brad drilled the holes for me (with a little help). The holds include anchors that are hammered into the opposing side to secure them to the board. Then he drilled holes for the garage hooks on the top of the backside.
You could stop your project here. Just screw the holds and hooks on and you're good to go.
We chose to give it a more finished look to match the triangle. To do so. we first ran a sander over the entire face of the board. We also ran the sander along the edges, and I even had Brad sand the edges to be a little rounded. Finally, I used leftover espresso wood stain from the triangle and some old t-shirt rags to stain the entire board to match the triangle. After the stain dried, we screwed on the holds and hooks.
And now the girl's have an awesome rock wall to climb on. I am so happy with how it turned out! They can use the Pikler triangle as is or hook on the rock wall to one side. And because my brother made the triangle adjustable to different heights, it can grow in difficulty with their abilities. Maybe one day soon, they'll join me on some real rock.
Check out the end result.
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