Add an Element of Fun to Your Basement: DIY Climbing Wall

When my husband and I finished our basement last year, we decided we wanted to make it really kid-friendly. We have a son with ADHD who has TONS of energy, and a daughter who loves doing acrobatics on the bars at recess. Winters can get cold here in Colorado, so it makes sense for the kids to have a place to burn off steam in our house. A climbing wall was the first piece of this puzzle for us, and now we will gradually add on other toys/tools for the kids to use, and swap them out as they loose their appeal. This winter we added a climbing rope and a hammock swing, and they have been LOVING them! I have many clients who have kids, who are looking at basement finishing options, so I thought I'd share some of the resources we used with you. 

First, we primarily followed the instructions at http://www.rockandice.com/Article-Images/Metolius-How-to-Build-a-Home-Wall/How-to-Build-a-Home-Climbing-Wall.pdf and used the grid pattern here for putting in the T-nuts: https://www.elementclimbing.com/v/vspfiles/files/pdf/TNutPattern.pdf. We mixed paint (found "oops" paint at Home Depot to save some money since we weren't particular about the color) and sand (it was the same sand you can buy for playground sandboxes) to give the surface a bit of grit so the holds don't spin.

I followed these instructions for our hammock swing: http://asensorylife.com/homemade-cuddle-swing.html and bought Lycra fabric (what swimsuits are made of) at JoAnns in Boulder (http://www.joann.com). The hardware (chain, eye screw, anti-rotation clip, and carabiner) all come from Jax in Lafayette, but you can find them at your local hardware store. I also got the climbing rope and all of its hardware from Jax.

We also bought 2 crash pads from Mad Rock (http://www.backcountry.com/mad-rock-mad-pad-crash-pad?cmp_id=EM_bcs_DDM64_M1). Yeah, kind of spendy, but MAN have they come in handy! The kids move them all around, stack them to jump off of, use them as bumpers for sharp edges on the wet bar so they don't swing into it. Really really worth it. Plus they can convert into seats, so boom, they're practically furniture.