Building the Solar Dinosaur Climbing Wall

Here are some details on building the climbing wall and the access ladder.

The climbing wall is simply a piece of 3/4 exterior plywood with a 2X4 frame on the back.


Joan found the climbing holds online from a climbing gear place and we bought a set.  There are very nicely made, and (I think) nicer/better than the  sets made for play structures.  The larger climbing holds bolt to the climbing wall and the smaller holds screw to the wall.  All the attachment hardware was provided with the kit.  The kit included a number of small, more challenging holds, so as you get better, these can be substituted for the big easy ones.



We found that a bit of slope on the wall makes it a lot easier for small kids to climb the wall -- vertical is pretty challenging.  But, if your kids are older, you might be able to mount the climbing holds right to the side of the dino.


Two concrete patio blocks were used to rest the bottom legs of the climbing wall on, and the top of the legs were secured tot he dino body with deck screws.


Showing the back side
of the climbing wall.

Climbing wall being
positioned against
the dino.


Installed climbing wall.


Ladder with rungs

Close up of rung to
side rail joint.

Installed ladder with
access hole.


 The access ladder for the "driving platform" is made from 2X4 side rails and 1.25 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe.   Holes are drilled in the side rails to accept the ends of the PVC pipes.  The closest drill bit I had to the OD of the pipe was just a touch small, and I had to sand the end of each pipe end down just a bit.  The pipes are held in with glue only. 

An about 20 inch diameter hole was cut in the side wall of the dino to allow easy access for small people from the ladder to the "driving platform".

The 18 month old climbs up and down this ladder at a scary fast pace!

Gary September 5, 2009