Updated on October 14, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Is your little one finding every surface to climb, jump, flip, and swing on? Are they showing off their new skills from gym or acrobatics class, or taking some lessons from American Ninja Warrior episodes to develop their obstacle course skills? If so, it may be time to help them practice in a safer context other than the bathroom doorway. Here are our seven favorite toddler rock climbing walls, so you can save your house from some serious damage:
The Best Toddler Rock Climbing Walls
(Best budget option — $)
The TOPNEW Ninja Tree Climber contains six easy-to-set-up ratchet straps that click right onto your favorite tree. They’re pretty strong, too, as many parents attest to climbing on these without fail. They attach using a ratchet tie-down strap and are easily adjustable for a multitude of climbing adventures. This is a super out-of-the-box and space-saving way of adding fun climbing activities to your backyard without taking up your entire backyard.
Keep in mind: As with any ratchet, make sure you don’t over-torque it.
Good for: Nature-loving tree-climbers!
(Most exciting — $$$)
This 80-inch tall climbing wall is not to disappoint, bringing your kids up and down mountains without needing to leave your backyard. This insanely exciting climber is great for your older kiddos who love to discover different ways to climb. There are climbing surfaces on both the outside and on the inside of the “summit,” complete with a cargo net to hoist your kid up at the start of their climbing journey. When your kids are ready to take it to the next level, capture the flag and other racing adventures are just around the corner for an exciting day of competitive climbing escapades!
Keep in mind: There is an assembly process, and it is a bit heavy. You may need a couple of tools and some additional hands to get this going.
Good for: Kids ages four to eight who are well-seasoned in climbing.
(Great for the acrobatically-inclined — $$)
Why it’s great: It’s insanely customizable to fit what your kiddo can do. Whether they’re just learning skills, or already have a list of skills they want to practice, it’s great for any point in their acrobatic journey.
The 50-Foot Ninja Slackline is perfect for your future American Ninja Warrior. Whether they’re in gymnastics, karate, boxing, or rock-climbing class, these fun hanging obstacles are sure to bring loads of athletic adventure to your backyard. The package includes a 50-foot slackline, two gymnastics rings, two monkey bars, three monkey fists, a ladder, a mesh bag, and even tree protectors. The set has a super simple setup and can easily rearrange if your kid wants to change the order of the obstacles. It’s a great start for your kids’ outdoor gymnastics paradise!
Keep in mind: You’ll need to ensure you have trees that are far enough away to support a 50-foot rope and with a strong enough trunk to be able to hold a significant amount of body weight. Be sure to have a set plan of where you’ll put it before purchasing it.
Good for: Kids six and above who want to practice skills from class or teach themselves!
(Best for creative DIYers — $)
This 25-piece set can be tailored specifically to your little one and is easily installable with all of the necessary tools to put on a separately-purchased surface. The set comes with an assortment of five different colors for fun color and pattern challenges, and each grip is crafted with two steel bolts to ensure extra sturdiness and stability. It even comes with two climbing handles and a rope to accompany your little climber if they’re new to climbing and need an additional level of support.
Keep in mind: These are crafted to be attached to boards with up to a one-inch thickness in depth. Anything else may not support them as much as they should be.
Good for: A variety of ages ranges, as you can determine the set-up based on your child’s ability!
(Best for inventive minds — $$$)
This tower is great for both indoor and outdoor climbing. If you choose outdoor, it withstands weathering, and if you choose indoor, it’s small enough to be set up in a large basement or playroom. Adding an element to it makes it even more exciting, like adding it to your pool, placing a ball pit in the center for fun falls, and even draping a blanket over it for crafty (and cozy) climbing!
Keep in mind: Assembly is performed by connecting interlocking plastic tubes, which are a bit tricky not to pinch your fingers with. Keep your directions– as assembly could take up to two hours– and be careful.
Good for: Toddlers ages three to eight.
(Best multi-purpose climber — $$$)
Why it’s great: This climber is great for multiple purposes. The little ones could be playing pretend underneath the action, while the bigger ones are practicing their climbing skills (and sliding) above.
The Step2 Woodland Climber is great for your multi-faceted two to six-year-old climber! Not only does it have small rock climbing sections on either side, but it also includes a ladder, a slide, and a little hideaway underneath all the action. It’s short enough to be safe for your little ones but tall enough to make for a fun slide ride down! It’s also nice to be able to watch your kids all in one place, while they’re all pursuing different projects and activities.
Keep in mind: It’s common for this to ship in three separate boxes. Make sure you keep your tracking number, and don’t get concerned if you receive a box without all of the pieces; there should be two more on the way.
Good for: Siblings or friends to play in the same space, without necessarily doing the same activity.
(Best quality — $)
These, also a 25-piece set, are great for DIY projects as well… especially ones using a tree! With a hardware set that goes through 2-inches deep, these climbing holds are great for sticking into your treehouse tree for additional means of travel. Unlike the other climbing holds set, which was great for little climbers, these are fit to hold weights up to 230 pounds, so you can take a crack at your kid’s climbing challenges, too! Each hold comes with two Allen head bolts, two flat washers, two weld nuts, and an Allen wrench so you don’t have to scramble around in your toolbox to assemble it.
Keep in mind: Unlike the other set, these have a 2-inch hardware set, meaning it won’t work well on thin walls or surfaces.
Good for: Youth and teen climbers who love to challenge themselves!
FAQs about toddler rock climbing wall
1. What can I get for added safety?
With items that don’t include safety measures like a climbing rope, there are a ton of creative options you can utilize to give you more peace of mind with these rock climbing walls. An old mattress, a ball pit, or a couple of gymnastics mats make for a sturdy and safe landing. You can also place your climbing wall on a rugged carpet or a soft patch of grass outside for a naturally padded landing.
2. How do I know if my kid is ready to start climbing?
You know your kid the best, but if you start noticing them wanting to practice skills they’ve learned in class or notice them trying to teach themselves skills they haven’t yet learned, it might be an idea to start providing them with some solutions so they don’t dent the house too badly!
3. How do I make sure the set-up is sturdy enough?
Make sure you’re following along with the directions, as many of the rock walls come with all of the materials required that you won’t want to skip. It’s always good to take a couple of test runs with some lightweight on it first. You can either test it with the weight of your foot or place your child on it while spotting them (placing your arms around their waist and hip area) and pay close attention to see if anything is wobbling, shaking, or bending.
4. Are these safe for several kids at a time?
Depending on the structure, there are options for multiple kids to be using it all at once. For certain ones like the Ninja Slackline where you may have set up an obstacle course, make sure your kids and their siblings or friends have a clear understanding of how many are allowed on at once. Perhaps come up with some rules together that you both agree on so you have the reassurance that your child understands the necessity of them.
There you have it: our seven favorite toddler rock climbing walls, fit for your kids whether they’re two or twelve years old! Rock climbing walls are an exciting addition to any backyard playground oasis, and surely a hit for your kid’s friends, as well! It’s great to witness your child’s growing interests while they learn different and fun means of physical fitness. Let us know what your kid’s favorite skills are and how they’ve improved with their new climbing equipment. Happy climbing!
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