There are many pieces of equipment that make up a playground, and the monkey bars are one of them. It’s a challenging set of equipment that requires a great deal of effort and coordination to traverse for kids and adults alike, and that’s why you’ll see them on obstacle courses and adult fitness courses as often as you’ll see them on the playground.
What are monkey bars? Otherwise known as climbing frames, they consist of evenly placed steel rungs and bars that you can swing from. Sometimes called a jungle gym, monkey bars can play a key role in a child’s physical development, and are perfect for both fun and fitness.
Here are some of the things that make monkey bars a must-have addition to any playground setting:
They provide a full-body workout
As mentioned above, monkey bars are high effort equipment. As kids swing from one rung to the other or hang off of it, they’re using up a great deal of energy. It also helps to tone and develop a wide range of muscles, including the muscles in the arms, chest, legs, back and abdomen! This can make them more difficult to master, but repeated use will increase your child’s fitness levels and aid in their development.
The high level of exertion is also a great way to expel energy, making their play sessions more tiring. This allows them to concentrate better in the classroom environment, and to rest easier when the day is done.
They improve both fine and gross motor skills
While kids play and use their muscles, they’re also increasing their fine and gross motor skills as they do so. Monkey bars assist with both; as their hands’ grip and hold onto the rungs they’re honing the fine muscles in their hands and improving their grip.
Moving their whole bodies along the equipment improves their gross motor skills, and ultimately their coordination as well. Anyone who’s used monkey bars knows it takes a fair amount of coordination to hold onto the bar with one hand and reach out with the other.
They improve upper body strength and posture
Such an intensive workout is bound to build core and upper body strength, which is great for fitness and many sports activities they’ll take part in now and into the future. But a great benefit of increased upper body strength is that it improves your posture and the overall alignment of your back.
With how much time we spend sitting in front of the tv, computers and devices, helping develop good posture now in their early years will only be doing them favours for when they’re older.
They offer versatile play
Like most playground equipment, climbing frames lend to a child’s imagination, helping them make up stories and games. The more types of equipment kids can find on a playground, the more inventive their stories can be, meaning all the more fun to be had. As mentioned above, monkey bars can also be climbed on using their hands and knees if they’re not being swung from. Kids can also hang upside down from them when they hook their legs on them, though it’s best to keep a keen eye on them when they do so.
They can encourage teamwork
Monkey bars take some practice and effort, and for kids who initially struggle with holding up their own body weight, it can be frustrating or even a little scary. This is where parents and other children can come in to assist, helping to support their body weight from the ground by holding them up.
With enough practice, they can learn to do it on their own, and they can learn the value of support from the help of others.
At Kidbuddie we offer an extensive range of playground equipment that includes monkey bars, as stand-alone and as attachments to larger equipment. Take a look at our collection of expertly crafted, childsafe playground sets to find the perfect fit for your child and your space.