DIY: Monkey Rings and Bars

Monkey rings and bars provide an important form of exercise for young children.  They are an important addition to any outdoor playground.

There is an elaborate wooden playground set in a community park in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  It has a wooden-framed monkey ring set.

Monkey Ring Apparatus in Pleasant Grove UT Park

Monkey Ring Apparatus in Pleasant Grove UT Park

The Rings Are Attached to the Horizontal Beam with a Chain

The Rings Are Attached to the Horizontal Beam with a Chain

We constructed something similar near Bluff, Utah, using circular fence posts.   They are attached to horizontal 2″x 8″ boards using chain-link fence connectors.   The horizontal 4″x 4″ is attached to the 2x8s using hangers.  The rings are attached to the 4×4 using eye bolts and spring clips.  The fence posts are concreted in the ground.

Monkey Ring Apparatus Constructed with Fence Poles

Monkey Ring Apparatus Constructed with Fence Poles

The Monkey Rings Are Attached to the 4x4 Using Eye Bolts and Spring Clips

The Monkey Rings Are Attached to the 4×4 Using Eye Bolts and Spring Clips

This same design can be used to construct monkey bars.  An apparatus using this design was constructed near Bluff, Utah, at St. Christopher’s Mission.

Monkey Bar Apparatus at St. Christopher's Mission near Bluff UT

Monkey Bar Apparatus at St. Christopher’s Mission near Bluff UT

An almost totally wooden version of monkey bars is located in a small wooded park in Maryland (near Washington DC).  The base is designed so it doesn’t need to be concreted in the ground.

Wooden Monkey Ring Apparatus near Washington DC

Wooden Monkey Bar Apparatus Located near Washington DC

A simpler version can be welded together using either pipe or conduit.   We saw an example of this at a school playground in Lira, Uganda.  On this particular model, the vertical ladders have two too many rungs.

Welded Metal Monkey Bar Apparatus

Welded Metal Monkey Bar Apparatus

Another permutation for monkey rings is to extend a 4″x 4″ board between 2 climbing towers.  This configuration was installed at a school near Lira, Uganda.

Monkey Rings Suspended between Two Climbing Towers

Monkey Rings Suspended between Two Climbing Towers

Using Monkey Rings at an Installation near Lira Uganda

Using Monkey Rings at an Installation near Lira Uganda

A totally metal version of a monkey ring structure was installed near Masaka, Uganda, at an orphanage/primary school.  The vertical supports are 3″x 3″ square steel tubes.  The principal horizontal member is a 1.5″x 3″ tube.  Significant welding is required.

All Metal Monkey Ring Structure Installed near Masaka, Uganda

All Metal Monkey Ring Structure Installed near Masaka, Uganda

A commercial version of a monkey ring apparatus can be seen at Windsor Park in Orem, Utah.  It is 8-1/2′ above ground and 8-1/2′ in length.  It has 7 rings which are attached to a steel pipe with welded-on loops and S connectors.

Commercial Monkey Ring Apparatus in Orem, UT

Commercial Monkey Ring Apparatus in Orem, UT

Monkey Rings as Attached to the Steel Horizontal Pipe

Monkey Rings as Attached to the Steel Horizontal Pipe

One way to make additions to a monkey bar unit is exemplified in a large jungle gym unit in American Fork, Utah.  This unit includes monkey bars, chinning bars, fire poles, and ladders.  It can be assembled on site, thus making transportation easier.

Large Jungle Gym Unit at a Primary School in American Fork, Utah

Large Jungle Gym Unit at a Primary School in American Fork, Utah

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