How to build a DIY jungle gym for your child’s physical health

DIY jungle gymDIY jungle gym
DIY jungle gymDIY jungle gym


How to build a DIY jungle gym for your child’s physical health

Every child needs a jungle gym in their backyard. More than that, they need a jungle gym that will force them to exercise without them even knowing it. There are a variety of jungle gym add-ons that parents can choose from and, essentially, DIY their kids’ jungle gym by customising the different parts.

We’ll be going through the different implements you can include in your jungle gym design and explain how they encourage exercise and good physical health and development for children.


A swing set

Swings, believe it or not, are good for exercise for both adults and children. It mostly helps with abdominals and core strength. Having a strong core is important because it’s what your body relies on to support itself when you walk, balance, run and play sport. It’s the simple motion of making yourself move forwards and backwards on the swing that encourages this strength building.

Another thing that swings help children develop is their coordination. Being able to coordinate the movement of your legs with the direction the swing is, well, swinging in. If you think about it, swinging can be a full body workout when you push off with your legs and use your arms to stabilise. And the reason why it’s a good form of exercise is that kids can swing for long periods of time before they tire or get bored.


A climbing wall

This is an obvious one. Adults go climb mountains all the time and there are even indoor rock climbing gyms out there. Including a climbing wall into your DIY jungle gym is another coordination builder as well as full-body workout.

When you climb, you have to use your arms to pull you up, shoulders to keep you up, legs to push you up and abs to stabilise. And the best part about a “short” climbing wall is that it will encourage kids to climb up and down it over and over again for fun. When, in actual fact, they’re constantly working out. If your children are a bit older and you opt for a high climbing wall, you’ll also be helping them to confront and conquer any fears before they even have a chance to develop.


A fireman’s pole

Let’s be honest, no jungle gym is complete without a fireman’s pole. And while there might not be much exercise involved in sliding down, it takes a whole lot of strength to climb back up. And every child undertakes the challenge of climbing up the fireman’s pole.

Then again, if children were to see who could slide down the fireman’s pole the slowest, they’d also be working their arms, shoulders and core muscles. Parents, be sure to set challenges for your children when they’re playing on their new jungle gym.


Monkey bars

Monkey bars are another classic jungle gym essential that the kids always look out for. This is one of the best exercise apparatus that you could incorporate into your jungle gym design as it really works the core and the arms. It’s also good for toughening up the hands and hanging upside down which is really fun.

Kids can do a lot on the monkey bars other than move from one bar to the next. They can hook their legs over the top and under a bar to do sit-ups (preferably older children or with adult supervision), they can hang and lift their feet to their hands (working their core) and they can also do pull-ups.

Versatile apparatus is the best to invest in as they offer the most for your child in terms of outdoor exercise and fun.


A rope ladder

If you want your child to improve their balance (and core at the same time), you should add a rope ladder to your jungle gym. The rope section makes it unstable (unstable in this situation doesn’t mean unsafe), which means children will have to use more of their core muscles to stabilise themselves and maintain their balance until they get to the top.  

If you want to give them even more of a muscles-and-balance challenge, you could choose to add a rope cargo net to the jungle gym.


A slide

Okay, so a slide is purely there for fun. But it’s an important piece of jungle gym equipment because it’s the pinnacle of the jungle gym obstacle course. The whole point of climbing up the rope ladder, scaling the climbing wall and crossing the monkey bars is to get to the slide and enjoy the journey down.

It’s amazing how many times children will run up, down and around a jungle gym to get to the slide for that one moment of relaxation as they slide to the bottom. Only to run all the way up again as soon as their feet touch the ground. This makes jungle gyms a great form of cardio as well so that your children can grow up playing outside, building their strength and cardio fitness.

DIY jungle gym