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Building a jungle gym for your kids

by emily

in Variety

Children enjoy spending time outside and need to be in nature. They will benefit greatly from feeling the sun on their skin and the wind in their hair. And if you want to encourage them to be more active, you can build a jungle gym with a tyre swing by following some simple jungle gym plans. Be sure to include some fun additions such as monkey bars and a swing set.

You might be wondering how jungle gyms can be built easily and without too much hassle. When building a wooden jungle gym, you can invest in plans from your local timber yard and follow them in order to build the perfect jungle gym for your kids to play on. There are some simple tips and tricks you can follow to build the perfect jungle gym for your kids.

Measure the area

You will need to start out by measuring the area in which you will be building the jungle gym. This will show you how big of a jungle gym you are able to have for your garden. You should measure the length and height of the space, especially if you will be including aspects that are tall, such as monkey bars.

You will need to write down these measurements and take them with you when you go to the timber yard to pick out poles and planks. You will need to know exactly how much surface area you have to work with for your jungle gym. Factor in at least a metre on each side around the jungle gym for children to play in. Building up rather than across can save a significant amount of space in a small yard.

Think of the design

Once you know exactly how much space you have to work with, you can move on to the design of your jungle gym. It is helpful to speak to your children about this and ask them what components they would enjoy. This way you can create one that is perfectly tailored to your children and their needs.

Be sure to include a sheltered aspect so that they are able to keep out of the sun while playing, as their skin is delicate and needs protection. You could provide a fun tent made from canvas underneath the main structure or invest in a crow’s-nest type structure at the top of the jungle gym. This idea is ideal if your children enjoy pirate stories or climbing high to gaze over the world beneath them.

Choose the materials

Design in mind and measurements at the ready, it is now time to choose the perfect materials for your jungle gym. Wood is arguably the best option and the easiest to work with as you can cut and shape the poles and planks to your exact specifications. And you can paint and varnish it in colours to match the theme of the structure.

You will need to invest in the proper tools and accessories, such as metal brackets, screws and more. You will also need a stain or varnish to seal and treat the wood to ensure that it can handle the natural elements and will not be damaged by the weather. You should be sure to use at least two coats of the sealant and varnish to keep the wood protected for as long as possible. If you are going to be using wood, you will need to be sure that you sand it to remove all splinters for the safety of your kids.

Think of the maintenance

The final step in building the perfect jungle gym for your kids is to consider the maintenance of the structure. This should be carried out every three to six months if the structure is not directly in the sun, and every two months if it is not shaded by trees. This is to maintain the seal and varnish so the wood does not rot and to keep the colours bright and cheerful.

Maintaining your jungle gym could be difficult if it is in a tricky place in your yard, such as a corner or at an awkward angle. Make sure that you are able to easily reach areas of the play structure that might be affected by moisture in order to repair any issues, and ensure that you sand down any sharp or splintery edges.

Remember to have fun

Building a jungle gym for your children should be a fun and exciting experience for everyone involved. Remember to include your children in the process, in a safe manner, such as allowing them to choose the colour of the wood or the design elements of the structure itself. Once you have measured the area, thought of the design, and chosen the right materials, it is as simple as following the plan… and your imagination!

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