Monkey Bars – A Necessary Addition For Your Swing Set

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Consider this an absolute love letter to one of the most well thought of, yet amazing addition to swing sets, the monkey bar! Monkey bars are amazing and have a very nice piece of history of how this amazing addition of any playground has helped children worldwide.

Monkey bars are one part of a jungle gym or playgrounds where the person using it are hanging in the air, swinging between evenly spaced out horizontal bars going from one starting point to end point. These amazing additions have offered strength, coordination, and improved focused for children and adults. With an ambitious challenge, everyone has used this addition for ages since it’s creation in the 1920s.

Having this amazing addition added to your playset offers much more value for your children and even yourself if you would like to give it a try.

swing set monkey bars

Why Monkey Bars Are Amazing

Monkey bars are simply amazing. Plain and simple. Your child is going to have the ultimate fun while they exercise and build core strength and learn how to climb. The excitement of this portion of any play structure offers a challenge, and the outcome can be different everytime until you have perfected with great practice to be able to go from beginning to end. Only then, you can make amazing challenges afterward.

Did you know that in some areas of the world, like Australia, use the term we are talking about here as indeed the entire jungle gym? Well that is very true! The first jungle gym was invented in the 20s in Chicago, Illinois by a lawyer known as Sebastian Hinton. The term monkey bars appears at least from the 30s, if you are looking to go back in time.

Hinton’s original 1920 patent on this matter actual appeals to the “monkey instinct” of humans in claiming the benefits of climbing around as a great addition of exercise and play. The improvements later in the years were simply astonishing where games were invented like monkey tag creating a massive introduction of challenge in the child’s day.

A little bit before, Hinton’s father who was a famed Mathematician, Charles Hinton built a similar structure from bamboo with the goal of enabling children to gain the understanding of a three dimensional space where particular axes were called out and each child tried to to be the first grasp of the indicated correct answer. This influenced Hinton years later on to create a prototype and concept of this structure and it is here as we know it.

With a rich history and absolute evidence of fun and challenge, the monkey bars are always proven to be the IT factor addition of any swing set.

swing set with monkey bars

Exercise Benefits

There are various exercise benefits of having monkey bars installed on playgrounds or outdoor playsets. For everyone, it takes an immense amount of core strength to be able to climb the monkey bars on a normal basis. No matter the size you are, it is always a challenge depending on your core inner strength. Depending on the size and location, even adults can use them.

CrossFit Training uses monkey bars and climbing as a portion of the intense HIIT training that is in the nature of CrossFit. If the monkey bars on your children’s playset and is sturdy enough, you could technically use this addition to your advantage and help you get fit as well. It has been proven time and time again that climbing is actually a very much beneficial exercise for those of all ages. The world’s most fit individuals can explain how it can benefit you and your children as they start to grow up.

The beautiful portion of this, is simply that having this added to your playset, it can be used to all advantages for physical exercise. When children have this access, you are investing into a bright and healthy future for your child. So when looking for a outdoor playset for sale, consider having monkey bars being a necessity, because the benefits just speak volumes for many children and adults.

We also want to mention again, this can also be used for adults depending on the playset size, introducing bonding and life long memories to gain with you and your child. You can teach them, and them learning from you creates an outstanding relationship. Your children will trust you more, and be able to bond with you more, and that is what we hope to provide with our playsets.

backyard swing set playground

Monkey Bars Are Normally Added On Outdoor Playsets

Nowadays, most swing set, outdoor playset, and commercial playground manufacturers (especially commercial playgrounds) have been adding monkey bars as a must have added component to playsets. This is because children love them, and it has been proven for almost 90 years now that children continue to use them.

Most premade poly wood swing sets that are ready to go, come with monkey bars. Sometimes below the main portion of the upper side of the structure, or outside just by the swing set itself. Today’s modern swing set doesn’t miss this amazing addition and the reasons are absolutely clear. You will see our friends at Backyard Adventures have these additions to their playsets, because we both know, the kids love it, and we are happy to provide.

commercial swing set wood

Monkey Bars on a Swing Set

Monkey bars can go on a residential swing set as an attachment. Depending on the size of your backyard playset, monkey bars can go under if they are big enough, or outside by the swing set if the height is not big enough. If they are prefabricated, then they will always be attached where they were on the blueprint of the swing set.

One thing to understand with monkey bars on a residential swing set is you mainly see straight metal bars rather than wavy or curvy or being domed of course. Some swing set structures do have rope or handle bar monkey bars added too. It just entirely depends on the durability and size of your swing set in total.

commercial playground

Monkey Bars On A Playground

Monkey bars on a playground commercially speaking are typically different. Like residential playsets, you can see monkey bars attached on the play structure. Most of the time, you might see these detached, and on their own. Since typically straight monkey bars are on residential playsets, we did not entirely talk about the different types of monkey bars.

Since you typically see a massive difference on commercial playgrounds, lets discuss these different types of monkey bars.

Domed Monkey Bars are typically separate from the main play structures and is in fact a main structure itself. It is a structure where the player can come right on in and climb around. It is an internal scope of fun wrapped in a spherical fashion.

Wavy Monkey Bars are a nice modern touch for some commercial playgrounds. This creates more of a challenge for children and can be more fun with that simple fact in itself. You can see this attached or detached to commercial playgrounds.

Straight Monkey Bars are typically used on residential playsets and can be used for main commercial playground structures. They can be attached or detached, but you mainly see them attached to the main play structure.

Monkey Bar With Side Ladder usually on detached but can be found attached to the main play structure, has a side ladder where you can begin the climb and excitement.

There are many different types you are going to definitely see on the playground rather than your home, unless you are looking for a huge play structure with multiple tube slides and other huge amenities. Playgrounds commercially speaking have so much room for amenities due to high traffic and attention they receive from children and their parents.

That, however, does not rule out that you can’t have some of these different attached or detached structures for your home, we may just not recommend it right away unless we hear what you would like at the end of the day.

swing set with monkey bars

Material For Monkey Bars

Most of the time with residential swing sets, you are going to see metal, and even on commercial playgrounds as well. There are a few different types of material you can have as an alternative, but we always recommend galvanized steel right from the getgo because it offers more long term benefit and safety.

You can have the absolute best playset or playground, but if you are not using the recommended material, some components may fail. Some components to swing sets just have best recommended material for use, and for the monkey bars’ sake, galvanized metal is a proven solution. Here are some types of material used for monkey bars.

Galvanized Steel. Galvanised steel material offers high levels of UV resistance in comparison to the two options below. Best for a hotter climates. You mainly need to ensure the steel bars do not rust, so you just need to maintain them like any other swing set!

Wood. Another option, great, but not recommended. It is natural, and can even withstand weather conditions. Just depending on the wood you use like hardwood. You might want to sue redwood or cedar for durability and getting rid of risk of rotting out over time.

Rope. Rope is the cheapest, but most definitely not the most durable. You will have to replace them time and time again. If you are trying to go on this route when shopping for monkey bars on a swing set, we may recommend the playset is underneath a sheltered area to protect from mother nature.

playground showroom

Protection For Monkey Bars

Protection and safety intact for falling hazards from monkey bars is important. Reducing the risk of injury from falls from monkey bars is quite simple. You just need to ensure you have either rubber mulch, sand or other materials that are impact absorbing covering the ground below. That way, when anyone has an accidents, because accidents do happen, they will land safely, and they can get up and try again.

When you fall, you always get back up, and having the right safety surfacing in place for any playset with monkey bars is highly recommended. In fact, the National Safety Council recommends that you have at least 12 inches (30 cm) of the safety surfacing material and since 2011 has banned the use of woodchips.

So, before looking into woodchips, we will always recommend rubber mulch as it is a proven and safe way of protecting your children from falls.

Wrapping Up

Monkey bars are an outstanding and highly beneficial addition to any swing set. We always recommend and aim to have most of our swing sets, outdoor playsets and commercial playgrounds to have this amazing feature. It provides a challenge for everyone of all ages, and can be fun for all as well. If it is handled correctly, the right material and safety measures are placed, you are in for an amazing amount of fun.

We hope that this “love letter” to the monkey bars additive to swing sets has informed you of the history, key features, and benefits to your round of shopping for a playset. If you are in need of anything, let us know! We are always glad to help. If not, share it to family and friends!