Backyard Monkey Bars: A Nice Backyard Playset

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Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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Being outside is beneficial to children for various reasons. It’s a good way for them to get fresh air and exercise. Some ways of keeping them involved in outdoor activities are by installing backyard monkey bars, swing sets, or a clean kiddie pool.

Running around and playing games is a great way for them to burn off energy. Being outside can also help improve a child’s mood and concentration.

Studies have shown the benefits of spending time in nature include reducing stress and anxiety. Even just building your dream backyard and spending time in it can provide these benefits to you and your kids.

So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your child’s mood or focus, spending more time outdoors is a great option.

What are Monkey Bars?

Monkey bars, also known as jungle gyms or climbing bars, are horizontal ladders elevated off the ground. Both kids and adults can swing on monkey bars, but they are usually found in playgrounds.

what are monkey bars?

Image credits: gorillaplaysets.com

Kids play on monkey bars by jumping and climbing up and down as monkeys do, hence the name. Monkey bars come in different shapes and sizes, meaning you can get one according to your liking.

Types of Monkey Bars

Monkey bars come in different types, and some of the most common include the following;

a) Straight Monkey Bars

Straight monkey bars are the most traditional type. They feature a straight line of bars that kids grip onto. Straight monkey bars are the best for starters, as they are easy to grip.

straight monkey bars

Image source: mensjournal.com

b) Domed Monkey Bars

Domed monkey bars are the best for those who want to unlock different possibilities. The dome shape allows for a 3D play area. This means that you or your kids are not limited in terms of space.

dome-shaped monkey bars

Image source: jedifix.com

c) Monkey Bars with Side Ladder

Just from the name, these climbing bars come with a side ladder. They are the best for kids who are just getting started it gives them a way of getting onto the bars. Monkey bars with side ladders add fun to the game, as kids can also climb up the ladder and then slide down the bars.

monkey bars with side ladders

Image source: dunsterhouse.com

d) Wavy Monkey Bars

Wavy monkey bars have a curved design. It is great for children who like challenging games as it is more challenging to grip onto the bars.

wavy bars are suitable for kids who love challenge

Image source: landscapestructure.com

Importance Of Unstructured Play

Recently, there has been a growing movement to bring unstructured play back into children’s lives. This is in response to the observation that children are increasingly being scheduled and don’t have time to just be kids.

There are many benefits of unstructured play. It allows children to use their imaginations, be creative, and explore their surroundings. It also helps them develop physically, emotionally, and socially.

Research has shown that unstructured play is essential for children’s development. It allows them to learn how to solve problems, cope with frustration, and think creatively.

So why not give your child the gift of unstructured play? Create a space in your backyard where they can explore, imagine, and just be kids!

Why Monkey Bars Are Great

Monkey bars are a great addition to any backyard playground. They provide an opportunity for kids to explore their physical abilities and challenge themselves in a fun way. Monkey bars can also be used as a tool for developing coordination and strength. 

monkey bars enable kids to challenge themselves and their abilities

Image source: foter.com

Here are some reasons why monkey bars are great:

a) Encourages active play.

Kids need to move around and use their energy, and monkey bars are the perfect way to do this. They provide an outlet for all that excess energy and help keep kids fit and healthy.

b) Promotes Problem-Solving Skills.

To get from one bar to the next, kids need to figure out how to best use their bodies and what movements will work best. This helps them develop important problem-solving skills that they can use in other areas of their life.

c) Helps Build Confidence.

This is because monkey bars tend to encourage kids to do things that they might not initially be comfortable with. They tend to be quite high and require some tenacity to complete – and so kids need to conquer their fears

d) Relieves Stress

Children, just like adults, experience stress that can be from schoolwork, relationships, problems at home, or health problems. Playing on monkey bars is fun and physically challenging, hence a great way of relieving stress.

Playing and having fun involves a lot of laughing, which relieves mental stress. In addition, laughter creates a sense of relaxation, relaxing muscles, and improving mood.

d) Improves Posture

Playing on this playground equipment will improve your child’s posture as it strengthens and stretches out the spine. Good posture is essential for physical health and confidence.

Good posture also;

  • Decreases risk of joint degeneration
  • Improves core strength
  • Relieves muscle strain

e) Improves Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Kids improve their fine and gross motor skills when they play and use their muscles. This is another reason why monkey bars are important.

As the kids’ hands grip and hold onto the rungs, they are honing their arm’s fine muscles and improving their grip, while swinging their bodies helps to improve their body coordination and gross motor skills. Playing on the swing also increases upper body strength.

f) Provides full body workout

Monkey bars are a strenuous piece of equipment. To hang off the rung or swing from one bar to the next requires a lot of effort. Your child is using a lot of energy while engaging in all of these activities and having fun.

Frequent hanging and moving on the swing set helps to tone the child’s back, leg, chest, arms, and abdomen muscles. It can be a little challenging for your child to learn how to swing on the monkey bars, but practice does help

Vuly Play

Vuly Play is an Australian company that produces high-quality outdoor play equipment. Their products are made from durable materials and are made to withstand the harsh Australian climate. Vuly Play has a wide range of products, from trampolines to monkey bars, and swing sets, that keep your kids entertained for hours.

kids having fun

Image source: vulyplay.com

If you’re looking for a means of getting your kids active and outdoors, then Vuly Play is the perfect solution. Their products are not only fun but also safe, with powder coated bars for improved grip so you can rest assured that your children are playing in a safe environment. 

Vuly products tend to also be better priced than their competitors. For example, the Vuly monkey bars are significantly cheaper than the Funky Monkey Bars equivalent.   

What to Consider When Buying Backyard Monkey Bars

Before buying monkey bars for your backyard, you need to consider the following;

a) Sizes

The size of your monkey bars depends on how much space you have available in your backyard. If you have enough space, you can check out different models, even the longer ones. However, the right height is also an important feature to consider. This ensures that even if the kids fall, they do not get hurt.

Moreover, if you have preschool kids, you shouldn’t buy anything above five feet high. But for kids between six and twelve years old, going up to seven feet is considered okay. This height allows them to swing freely without hitting the ground with their feet.

b) Type

The type of monkey bars matters as you may be forced to get those that your kids can climb with ease. You may also want to maintain consistency in your garden hence opting for wooden options, which provide a more natural look.

c) Ease of Installation

You wouldn’t like to get monkey bars that would give you a headache to install. Whenever possible, avoid playground equipment that requires you to get professional help for installation. Read customer reviews before buying to know what to expect.

d) Material and Durability

Material affects the durability of monkey bars. It can last longer or not, depending on the material used and whether or not they are exposed to weather elements.

The best materials for monkey bars are wood and galvanized steel. Wood offers high levels of UV resistance, making it ideal in hot weather, but this also means that you must be ready for frequent maintenance to improve its durability.

If you are on a budget, rope alternatives are the best. Although, they are not as durable and only last longer if kept in a sheltered area or patio to protect them from weather elements. You can also use them if you are comfortable replacing them after a few years.

e) Check the Safety

Playtime doesn’t mean your children should be exposed to harm. As already mentioned earlier, the height of the monkey bars should correspond to your child’s age/height. Young kids need bars with a height of between nine inches and one foot. This prevents scary head entrapments.

You can as well cover the end bolts with softer rubber pieces if they are too exposed. This offers more protection to your kids during play. Monkey bars with grips help prevent slipping and falling.

Another way to add safety to the playground is t ensure that there is safety on the ground. This reduces injuries caused by falls, as such is inevitable. You can have an impact-absorbing surface below the bars.

f) Supervision

Supervision is among the ways to make sure your kids are safe even as they enjoy themselves. Watch how they play and what they do to prevent them from falling anyhow.

Safety Guidelines When Using Backyard Monkey Bars

Kids can be clumsy or careless and they tend to get into accidents easily. Therefore, there are safety guidelines for kids that help keep them safe as they have fun.

a) Check Before Use

Check the condition of the bars before letting your kids play. This ensures that you notice any loose bolts or damaged or weak parts. Also, let the kids only play on monkey bars designed for kids, as the ones for adults are high and could be too dangerous for kids.

b) Don’t Play on Wet Bars

Wet bars can be very slippery, making them risky for kids to play on. A wet slippery surface can make kids fall off easily, increasing their chances of getting hurt.

c) Don’t Play on Broken Equipment

This is one of the most important guidelines. Kids should not play on broken playground equipment. Broken items can easily cause injuries to users, especially kids who are rarely keen.

Monkey Bar Exercises for Adults to Try Out

As we already discussed, monkey bars come with lots of benefits for kids and adults alike. So, we shall look at a few monkey bar exercises that you would like to try.

a) Pull-Up

Pull-ups are great for exercising the upper body, especially the back and arms. To do this exercise, hold the bars with an overhand grip and hang. Then, pull yourself upwards till your chin goes over the bar. Lower yourself and repeat the process.

pull ups is one of the exercises for building the upper body

Image credits: musleandfitness.com

b) Side Swing

Side swing is a range of motion exercise that helps increase your flexibility. It is done by grabbing the bars and holding them with an overhand grip. Hang and raise yourself till your chin is above the bar. Then, swing to one side slowly and back to the other.

Do You Remember Doing These Exercises as a Kid?

c) Weaving

Weaving requires a lot of grip strength, so be ready as it is also more challenging than the others. However, it is the best for developing grip strength. Start weaving by holding the bars with an overhand grip. Hang with your chin over the bar and move to one side then slowly move to the other side.

monkey bar weaving

Image credits: youtube.com

d) Typewriter

The typewriter is a type of monkey bar exercise that strengthen your grip power and works your body from a different angle. Do it by grabbing the bars with an overhead grip, raising your chin above the bar, moving from side to side, repeating the reps, and switching sides.

e) The Dip

This is the exercise to go for if you want to work on your triceps. Grab the bars with an overhand grip and hang. Then, lower yourself till the elbows get to a 90-degree angle. Push yourself upwards and keep repeating.

Image credits: aaastateofplay.com

Frequently Asked Questions on Backyard Monkey Bars

1. What are the risks of monkey bars?

Monkey bars pose a high risk for falls from high-level areas and a mechanism that predisposes kids to fractures.

2. How much weight can monkey bars support?

This playground equipment can support a maximum of 165 pounds.

3. How can I make monkey bars less slippery?

Once you’ve built monkey bars, you may want to make them less slippery to accommodate your kids with ease. To do so, you can use chalk, which is the most common choice to use for a better grip. You can apply the chalk directly to the bar or on your hands.

4. What skills does one need to do monkey bars?

For anyone to do monkey bars, hand and arm strength is mandatory. Other skills required include hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination, and sequencing and timing.

5. How much does it cost to build monkey bars?

If you have around $100, you can build backyard monkey bars for your kids or even yourself.

6. Is hanging on monkey bars good for you?

Yes, hanging on monkey bars is a great way of exercising and relieving stress. It helps after sitting at the desk all day or even after comprehensive exercises like deadlifts or squats.

7. What are the benefits of monkey bars for adults?

Monkey bars have numerous benefits for adults. Some of them include the following;

  • It strengthens muscles
  • Improves posture
  • It is great for those who want to lose weight
  • It is a great way of working out and getting fit
  • Increases mental health benefits by reducing stress and improving mood

8. What is the proper height for monkey bars?

Monkey bars should be 6-7 feet high and should be standalone. If you consider getting a swing set with a fort, ensure there is a way for kids to easily access the fort. You can use a sloped ramp, angled ladder, or steps.

Conclusion

Monkey bars are a classic backyard staple that has been around for generations. But what many people don’t know is that monkey bars have come a long way since they were first invented.

Today, there are all sorts of different types of monkey bars that can be installed in your backyard, from traditional metal bars to wooden ones. No matter what type of monkey bars you choose, they’re sure to provide hours of fun for the whole family. Kids will love swinging and climbing around, while parents can enjoy watching them, and who knows, maybe they can even join in the fun! 

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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