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Its Not Your Fathers Climbing Frame!

By: Ian Wide
Climbing frames come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, and most are customizable with add-ons and accessories. You can start with a simple ladder type climbing frame and add accessories like platforms, ladders, rope climbers, tents, rope bridges and more. One easy way to classify climbing frames is by materials used.

are generally more expensive than either plastic or metal framed climbers. Made of pressure-treated lumber, they use galvanized screws for fastening and often include enclosures, platforms and rope climbing ladders. Wooden climbing frames can last a lifetime if properly cared for, and be used by generation after generation of children. Popular additions to wooden climbing frames are canopies, swings, rope climbers and platforms.

Perhaps you recall the swing sets of your childhood - tubular metal in bright colors with swings and a slide, and perhaps a glider. Todays are the next generation. The product of increased safety awareness and health studies, they're designed with fun AND safety in mind. They often include horizontal ladders for climbing and swinging, slides, and bars for more intricate feats of balance and swinging. They're the closest to the old monkey bars and jungle gyms that we all grew up with.

Made popular by such manufacturers as Playskool and Little Tikes, are made of high impact, sturdy plastic that can withstand weather and rugged use. Bright colors, rounded corners and clever designs make plastic climbing frames the perfect choice for toddlers and small children. Generally closer to the ground, it often features holes and tunnels for crawling and climbing, broad-based support for safety and slides with rounded rails to prevent tumbles.

Finally, there are hybrids - metal frames with wooden structures or plastic components like crawling tunnels and climbing walls. These are most often found in public playgrounds, but there are some available to build in your backyard. They may be based on a metal frame with a wooden structure or canvas tent, or have a plastic crawling/climbing tube up to a wooden platform.

Considerations when buying a climbing frame for your back yard or garden include the age of the children, the amount of use it will get, aesthetic considerations and safety features. A well-constructed climbing frame, whatever the material, is one of the best investments you can make for your family's recreation needs.

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About The Author, Ian Wide

Ian Wide writes for several sport and leisure sites including
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