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JUNGLE GYMS


Ask any young child what they think about jungle gyms and they will tell you that they are loads of fun. They know little of the early childhood development benefits that a jungle gym provides for children, to a child a jungle gym is simply lots of fun for kids.

WHAT IS A JUNGLE GYM?
A jungle gym comprises a climbing frame for children to climb on. Jungle gyms come in a range of designs and can be manufactured from steel as steel jungle gyms or wood as timber jungle gyms or adventure playgrounds as they are also known. to as adventure playgrounds. 

 

Images showing some Steel Combination Jungle Gyms courtesy of Safeplay.co.za  Click images to enlarge.

Maxi-Combo Jungle Gym - Safeplay steel playground equipment. Click To Enlarge. Maxi-Slider Jungle Gym - Safeplay steel playground equipment. Click To Enlarge. Maxi-Swinger Jungle Gym - Safeplay steel playground equipment. Click To Enlarge. Maxi-Combo Swing & Slide Jungle Gym - Safeplay steel playground equipment. Click To Enlarge.

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STEEL JUNGLE GYMS
Steel jungle gyms should be constructed from galvanised high quality steel tube and the steel should be protected from rust by rust proofing the steel with undercoat that provides rust protection especially in coastal areas like Durban, situated as it is, on South Africa's east coast. Steel jungle gyms are usually finished in the brightly coloured paint finish synonymous with children's playgrounds.

A quality well constructed and manufactured steel jungle gym can like all quality steel playground equipment, last for decades with minimal maintenance. The most popular steel jungle gyms are combination jungle gyms that comprise the tubular steel climbing frame but also provide steel drum crawling tunnels or barrels, platforms, commando nets, trapeze bars or rings. Jungle gyms are also well suited to having a children's garden slide and swing attachments fitted to them making the jungle gym a highly versatile playground equipment apparatus.

As is the case with all playground equipment great care needs to be taken to ensure that all welds are ground clean while still retaining the strength of the weld. Jungle gyms must also be free from sharp edges and pipe ends should not be left open as a child could get their fingers caught. Steel jungle gyms generally provide more options for young children in terms of the climbing and hanging activities they are able to perform as the tubular steel used in their construction is much smaller in diameter than the timber logs or poles that are used in the construction of timber jungle gyms making it easier for the child to grip around the steel tube than the timber poles.

In terms of cost it is a case of you get what you pay for, you can buy cheap and nasty and risk the chance of injury to your children or you can purchase a quality product from a company that has expertise, and a good track record, in the manufacture of steel playground equipment. One of the benefits of steel jungle gyms over wooden jungle gyms is that a steel jungle gym can easily be relocated making them ideal for families with young children that are renting their house. Most landlords will have no objection to the installation of a steel jungle gym as the installation involves the digging of a small hole for the thin tubular steel legs to be buried in the ground. When the family decides to move they simply take their steel jungle gym with them to their new house.          

 

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WOODEN JUNGLE GYMS
Timber jungle gyms are usually assembled on site and are required by the nature of their construction to be permanently fixed in place. A wooden jungle gym is constructed from wooden poles that should be carefully selected to ensure that they are free from knots and defects. The timber also needs to be treated to prevent infestation by ants and woodborer and free from any splinters. It is important that the timber treatment be child safe and non toxic.

Typically each wooden jungle gym manufacturer has their own designs, ranging in complexity from simple timber platform structures to large interlinked timber structures covering a large area of space. Timber jungle gyms or timber playsets as they are sometimes known also come with rope ladders and commando nets. There is also a range of steel add on attachment items designed specifically for timber jungle gyms. These include steel crawling tunnels or barrels, fireman's poles, trapeze bars, gymnastics rings, and swings. Fibre glass or stainless steel slides are also available as add on fixtures for timber jungle gyms. As is the case with steel jungle gyms, you get what you pay for and it is important that you have a timber jungle gym built by a company with expertise and a good track record.  and not a timber ripper. Timber Poles in Durban are available as Durban Poles and can be used as fencing and timber jungle gyms.

 

 

PLASTIC JUNGLE GYMS
A recent addition to the South African playground equipment market is the plastic jungle gym. Similar in design and construction to timber jungle gyms plastic jungle gyms are manufactured from recycled plastic which is extruded as both recycled plastic poles or recycled plastic planks complete with timber type colouring and grain. The recycled plastic is produced to be UV resistant and retain colour without fading. Plastic jungle gyms can also be fitted with crawling tunnels, commando nets, fireman's poles,  trapeze bars and gymnastic rings as well as fibreglass or stainless steel slides.

 

      

 

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