Keeping kids entertained is no easy feat. For the majority of the day kids are busy at school, but during holidays this responsibility shifts to someone else – generally a parent.
While there are many ways to keep kids entertained, the best way to do this is to let them entertain themselves. Today, hours of fun can come from a gaming console but in the long term this is not healthy – at all. Physical exercise and interaction with other kids is vital.
Enter the jungle gym.
A jungle gym is an excellent way to keep kids entertained while allowing them to get some physical exercise too. The beauty of a jungle gym is its ability to allow kids to play together while climbing, hanging upside down and swinging to their hearts’ content. Once word gets out about a new jungle gym in the neighbourhood, parents are sure to be inundated with play date requests.
So, how exactly do you go about getting a jungle gym into your back yard? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when thinking of adding a jungle gym to your home:
Depending on the type of jungle gym, the materials used and the amount of accessories it will house, the cost of jungle gyms can range anything between R3 000 and R20 000. By defining your budget, you have a better idea of what your scope would be. This avoids racking up unnecessary costs that could leave the project unfinished and result in grumpy kids.
Blindly purchasing a jungle gym could be a costly mistake. It is advisable to survey your back yard and pick a designated area where it can be erected. Pay particular attention to any structures nearby as you would want to have the area free from any harmful materials. A two-metre space around each side is best. And then the “keep it simple” maxim applies: kids grow up very quickly.
Some companies offer DIY jungle gym kits, which take the effort out of planning and leave you with just the assembly to do. With these kits you would typically get a building plan, pre-cut wood and accessories such as slides, swings, ladders, fireman’s poles, walls and cargo nets.
Building a structure alone isn’t easy and getting some help from a friend may be a good idea, particularly with the moving around of gum poles and large items. Another good idea is to involve your kids in the building process. Not only will it get them excited for their new plaything, they will be able to learn about how to build structures.
Endless hours of fun await kids on a jungle gym and it makes sense to add this feature to your home. But hours of headaches needn’t be the case when building it yourself. Here’s a more detailed tutorial on how to build a jungle gym.