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climbing-frame

The UK's bestClimbing Frames2022 Review

What To Look For in a Climbing Frames

One of the first things to look out for is the frame’s capacity. Whilst some climbing frames are designed for just one child, others can accommodate multiple kids at once. The best climbing frames have a high weight capacity – over 250 kg – and will allow you to join your children on the frame to support them.  Nevertheless, a lower weight capacity of 100 kg should still accommodate up to 2 – 3 young children at once.

Be aware that different components of the frame, such as the swing seats and slide, may have a lower capacity than other parts of the frame.

The construction material is also important, and this will impact the safety of the climbing frame. For a long-lasting frame, choose solid wood. Wooden frames are extremely sturdy although they will need treating every few years. Plastic frames are better for younger children and toddlers. 

Once you’re going to the effort of buying a climbing frame, you’ll want to be sure it keeps the kids entertained, so keep an eye out for extra features that will specifically interest your children. For example: a climbing wall, rope ladder, sandpit and swings. Most of the options on this page contain a variety of these features.

Finally, you’ll need to consider your garden size. Most permanent wooden frames will measure at least 4 x 2 x 3 m, so you’ll need a medium/large garden. For safety, climbing frames generally require a 2 m ‘safety clearance zone’ around all sides, away from obstacles, as well. 

After researching a lot of different climbing frames, I’ve chosen the FATMOOSE Fruity Forest Fun XXL Wooden Climbing Frame as my top pick. It’s made from pressure-treated solid wood and is suitable for children aged 3 – 6. Complete with a mini climbing wall, sandpit, swings and a slide, this frame offers a variety of activities.

For more information about this climbing frame, as well as other great options, take a look at the reviews below.

What Are The UK's Best Climbing Frames?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-climbing-frames Lifetime Dome Climbing Frame
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Exciting and challenging den
  • Easy to move
best-climbing-frames FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame FruityForest
  • Range of sections for playing
  • Pressure treated wooden construction
  • 6 hour assembly time
best-climbing-frames WICKEY Climbing Frame MultiFlyer
  • Lots of fun for kids
  • Pre-treated so low maintenance
  • Water attachment on slide
best-climbing-frames MultiFlyer Outdoor Climbing Frame
  • Includes swing, slide, den and ladder
  • Perfect for fuelling kids' imagination
  • Fun climbing frame and den
best-climbing-frames FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame CleverClimber
  • Develops coordination
  • Pressure treated solid wood construction
  • Unusual activities
best-climbing-frames WICKEY Wooden Climbing Frame FreeFlyer
  • Good for small/medium gardens
  • Three colours available
  • Multiple configurations possible
best-climbing-frames TP Toys TP852 TP Explorer Metal Climbing Frame
  • Best for small gardens
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Compatible with add-on activities

Read Our Climbing Frame Reviews

B004K0Q8LG
6818237128282,0841101003312
Heavy-duty steel frame, Exciting and challenging den, Easy to move,

Lifetime Dome Climbing Frame

best-climbing-frames Lifetime Dome Climbing Frame
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • Exciting and challenging den
  • Easy to move
BUY Save 39% on Amazon PRICE

Lifetime Dome Climbing Frame Review

If you’ve got a troop of little monkeys who are often off creating mischief climbing trees, this Lifetime Dome Climbing Frame offers a fun challenge for kids to scale whilst keeping them safely within your sights.

It’s not dissimilar to equipment that you find at public parks, with a decent height of 1.57 meters, offering enough excitement for children aged 3 – 10. It’s made from powder-coated steel, with polyethylene climbing grips, making for a high-quality piece of apparatus.

The frame doesn’t require any ground anchors, and weighs 47 kg. Therefore, it’s sturdy but can also be moved around (with the help of two or three people) when necessary, meaning it’s still possible to mow the grass underneath/give the area a rest when needed.

When it comes to assembly, it takes a couple of people around three hours to put together, so it’s one of the quickest climbing frames to assemble out of the options featured on this page. Of course, this is because it doesn’t have such variation of play features, but it’s probably one of the best climbing frames for kids who simply love climbing and gymnastics, as it offers more scope for them than other models.

It still requires a relatively large garden, measuring 3.5 m in diameter, with the manufacturers recommending a further 2 m safety zone between the equipment and any obstacles. Seeing as it doesn’t need to be secured down, it can be placed on either grass or a rubber safety surface, without the need to concrete it into place.

All in all, it’s a great frame, you just need to make sure that your kids will be kept sufficiently entertained by it to make the purchase worthwhile. There’s always the option of using it imaginatively as well, and it can double up as a den if some tarpaulin is thrown over the top.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to assemble in around 2 - 3 hours
  • Sturdy and stable even in strong winds
  • High 272 kg weight capacity so can be used by multiple kids (or adults!) at once
  • Children are unlikely to grow out of it quickly due to its 1.57 m height and it appeals to a wide age range

Cons

  • Weighs almost 50 kg so requires 2-3 people to move it
  • You'll need extra tools for assembly to make the process easier like a wrench and an adjustable wrench
  • Assembly is best done with the help of two people
B07CB4DFHP
4250533906393,4251511808548
Range of sections for playing, Pressure treated wooden construction, 6 hour assembly time,

FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame FruityForest

best-climbing-frames FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame FruityForest
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Range of sections for playing
  • Pressure treated wooden construction
  • 6 hour assembly time
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame FruityForest Review

For children aged 3 – 6, the FATMOOSE Fruity Forest Fun XXL Wooden Climbing Frame is a great option to consider. It’s packed with numerous activity options with a mini climbing wall, sandpit, swings and a slide.

There’s also a stable viewing platform and a short wooden ladder to make it easily accessible. It can be used by multiple children at once, and there won’t be as many fights between siblings about who gets to use the swings – there are two available.

It measures 2.86 x 5.16 x 2.45 m, so it’s one of the largest frames on this page – you’ll need a relatively big garden, with enough of a flat area, to fit it in. However, one benefit of this wooden frame is that it can be arranged in multiple configurations – this could be just the ticket for any awkwardly-shaped gardens.

Made from pressure treated solid wood, this frame is designed for use year after year. It’s been both quality and safety tested, and weighs a fairly substantial 180 kg. This gives it stability both under the weight of multiple children, and in strong winds.

It does take a long time to assemble – around six hours, with an extra pair of hands almost certainly required. Extra tools are needed, including a drill. Whilst some holes are pre drilled, many are not, which does lengthen the assembly time considerably.

This is the main downside of this frame, as the instructions aren’t the most helpful either. Just make sure that someone involved in the assembly process is reasonably DIY minded. Also, you may find that some of the wood requires sanding down before you put it together, in order to avoid splinters.

Overall, considering the quality of the structure and the number of play elements involved, this is one of the best climbing frames for 3 – 6 year olds. From the covered sandpit to the swings, there’s a lot to keep them entertained.

Pros

  • Multiple configurations possible to suit the layout of your garden
  • Wood construction is sturdy and holds weight well
  • Natural wood finish looks more understated in the garden than brighter metal/plastic frames
  • Includes a number of entertaining elements to provide hours of fun including a sand pit, ladder and two swings
  • Good quality wooden construction - pressure treated so no need to treat it for several years

Cons

  • Assembly is a long process - takes around 6 hours and a number of tools: drill, ratchet, spanner
  • Some areas may need to be sanded down before assembly
B01MV6E7F4
4250533907321,4250533907888
Lots of fun for kids, Pre-treated so low maintenance, Water attachment on slide,

WICKEY Climbing Frame MultiFlyer

best-climbing-frames WICKEY Climbing Frame MultiFlyer
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Lots of fun for kids
  • Pre-treated so low maintenance
  • Water attachment on slide
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

WICKEY Climbing Frame MultiFlyer Review

The WICKEY MultiFlyer Wooden Climbing Frame is another climbing frame designed to get kids outside, having fun and exercising. This frame can accommodate growing children, suitable for kids approximately aged 3 – 10.

Like all the frames I’ve recommended, this climbing frame comes with a number of elements that will entertain kids for hours. There’s a bright blue slide, a climbing wall, two swings, and a sandpit at the bottom. The slide has a water connection, so it can be used as a water slide in the warmer months.

Made from pressure treated solid wood, this climbing frame is built to be long lasting and low maintenance. It shouldn’t require additional treatment for several years and it weighs 155 kg gives a good indication of its sturdiness – even on windy days.

For your reference, the swing beam has a weight capacity of 100 kg, and each swing seat can support 50 kg. The slide has a weight capacity of 70 kg.

As with most wooden frames, this model takes up a fair amount of space. Measuring 288 x 429 x 264 cm, it’s best suited to larger gardens.

In terms of assembly, you’re looking at the best part of a day to put this together. There are no pre-drilled holes, so they’ll have to be made wherever necessary, and some parts may require sanding down if they are a little rough on arrival. The instructions, at least, contain a good amount of detail.

Overall, this climbing frame is a fantastic option for adventurous kids and owners of larger gardens. It’s one of the best climbing frames for offering a variety of fun activities – particularly because of the water attachment option on the slide.

Pros

  • Slide has a water connection to turn it into a water slide
  • Pressure treated solid wood won’t need to be treated for several years
  • Lots of different activities for children including slide, swings, climbing stones and sand pit
  • Very stable thanks to the solid construction - safe in strong winds
  • More screws are supplied than needed so it doesn't matter if you lose some

Cons

  • Holes are not pre-drilled for assembly which means it takes longer
  • Some rough areas of wood may require sanding
B00C1A1TWU
4250533903729
Includes swing, slide, den and ladder, Perfect for fuelling kids' imagination, Fun climbing frame and den,

MultiFlyer Outdoor Climbing Frame

best-climbing-frames MultiFlyer Outdoor Climbing Frame
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Includes swing, slide, den and ladder
  • Perfect for fuelling kids' imagination
  • Fun climbing frame and den
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

MultiFlyer Outdoor Climbing Frame Review

If you’re after a climbing frame with as much variation possible to keep active kids entertained, this MultiFlyer Outdoor Climbing Frame doesn’t just have your basic features – there’s a lot going on to keep children busy.

Starting with the standard options, there’s a swing, slide, climbing wall and tower. But, additionally, there’s a rope ladder, steering wheel, telescope and sand pit making it a pretty comprehensive activity zone.

The tower’s roof is made from all-weather tarpaulin which should stop the wood from getting too slippery, and the sandpit is reasonably protected by the tower above; however, there is no cover included for the sandpit.

Unlike the other climbing frames featured here, there are also handrails dotted around to help give kids a bit more stability whilst clambering about – they’re painted red, so are nice and visible if needed. The manufacturer states it’s suitable for children 3+, and because of its size it will likely be suitable for children up to 10 years old.

It’s the widest climbing frame on this list, measuring 4.8 meters across, but it doesn’t have the largest footprint, measuring 2.6 m tall and 2.6 meters deep. Therefore, depending on its orientation, this frame may fit in gardens that would be too small for the larger units featured here.

Assembly is fairly straight forwards, and will likely take 4 – 6 hours with a methodical approach. The timber is pressure treated so there’s no need to spend extra time treating the wood before setting up the frame.

Overall, it’s one of the best climbing frames in terms of variation and offering different activities, and it might just fit better into some gardens than some of the larger options.

Pros

  • Good quality wooden construction, pressure treated for low maintenance
  • Can be assembled in multiple configurations to suit the layout of your garden
  • Straight forward assembly that will take around 4-6 hours

Cons

  • Ground anchors and sandpit tarp not included so a separate purchase is needed
  • The assembly instructions are mixed in with instructions for different models so it takes a while to work out which ones are relevant
B01EANZZFW
4250533948904,4251511808647
Develops coordination, Pressure treated solid wood construction, Unusual activities,

FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame CleverClimber

best-climbing-frames FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame CleverClimber
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Develops coordination
  • Pressure treated solid wood construction
  • Unusual activities
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame CleverClimber Review

For something a little bit different, the FATMOOSE Wooden Climbing Frame CleverClimber offers a different variety of activities compared to most climbing frames featured here.

It features a climbing rope, rope ladder, climbing wall, and gym bar. There are also monkey bars and ‘goal’ targets for footballs. It’s both a lot of fun, and also fantastic exercise for kids aged between 3 and 10. There are additional components that can be bought separately, including a basketball hoop and additional climbing holds (five come included).

Because of the variety of activities, this is one of the best climbing frames for anyone looking for something a bit different. It could be a great additional frame if you already have a slide or swings, but it’s also a great frame on its own, offering kids some alternative ways to play compared with traditional frames.

Like most of the climbing frames I’ve recommended, this frame does take a whilst to set up. The instructions aren’t the clearest, and the pressure-treated wood doesn’t come pre drilled. This means you’ll need your own drill, and some reasonable DIY knowledge.

Once assembled however, this climbing frame should last a very long time, with sturdy support beams to keep your children safe.

Overall, this is a great option if you’re looking for something other than slides and swings. It has some interesting activities that will help children gain strength and improve accuracy and could also make a good ‘auxiliary’ frame if you already own some play equipment.

Pros

  • Different activities offered compared to standard frames
  • Could make an interesting, auxiliary climbing frame if kids already have a slide or swings
  • Good for developing strength and accuracy
  • Wooden construction is more understated in the garden than bright plastic finishes
  • Wood is pressure treated so very easy to maintain

Cons

  • Wood doesn’t come pre drilled for assembly
  • Instructions aren’t particularly clear
  • Basketball hoop not included, and only five climbing holds included (more can be bought separately)
  • Wood may need sanding in parts to reduce roughness
  • Some of the plastic components can feel lower quality than the rest of the frame
B06XGWG5HC
4250533907413
Good for small/medium gardens, Three colours available, Multiple configurations possible,

WICKEY Wooden Climbing Frame FreeFlyer

best-climbing-frames WICKEY Wooden Climbing Frame FreeFlyer
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Good for small/medium gardens
  • Three colours available
  • Multiple configurations possible
BUY Check Price on Amazon PRICE

WICKEY Wooden Climbing Frame FreeFlyer Review

The WICKEY Freeflyer Wooden Climbing Frame has a lot going for it, offering children a range of activities. Instead of the standard two swings, it is fitted with one swing and a rope ladder to offer more of a variety.

This climbing frame is suitable for kids aged between 3 and 10, and the solid wood construction suggests that it will be a long lasting addition to your garden. The wood has also been pressure treated, meaning it won’t need any additional maintenance for several years.

Slightly more compact than others I’ve recommended, this is one of the best climbing frames for smaller areas and should fit into most medium gardens. It measures 2.95 x 3.63 x 2.6 m. Despite the smaller size, it still offers  a range of sections that kids will love.

This frame has a swing, a slide, a climbing wall and sand pit. As mentioned, there’s also a ladder swing for added fun. The sandpit area is covered by the roof, so kids can play in the shade on hot days, and the sand should be kept reasonably sheltered from rain.

As with all wooden climbing frames, assembly takes a long time. There are no pre-drilled pilot holes so this is another factor that extends assembly time. Nevertheless, one positive is that it can be assembled in multiple configurations to suit the layout of your garden.

This climbing frame is a great option if you’ve got a little less space to work with, but you’re still searching for a climbing frame with multiple features to keep kids entertained. It’s also available in three different colours – green, blue and red – so you and your kids get a bit of additional choice when it comes to customisation.

Pros

  • A lot of fun for kids - comes with swing, slide, climbing wall and sandpit included
  • Wood is pressure treated so won’t need treating for a few years
  • Multiple configurations possible to suit your size of garden
  • Comes in three different colours to suit any colour preferences!

Cons

  • Slide area needs to be secured to the ground for extra stability
  • Takes a long time to assemble as holes are not pre drilled
B08XPP5V9G
5021854108525
Best for small gardens, Quick and easy to assemble, Compatible with add-on activities,

TP Toys TP852 TP Explorer Metal Climbing Frame

best-climbing-frames TP Toys TP852 TP Explorer Metal Climbing Frame
Design
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
FEATURES WHERE TO BUY PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best for small gardens
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Compatible with add-on activities
BUY On sale at Amazon PRICE

TP Toys TP852 TP Explorer Metal Climbing Frame Review

Offering a kids a combination of climbing frame/den, the TP Toys TP852 TP Explorer Metal Climbing Frame is something a little different. Designed to look like the Explorer space pod, this metal frame is intended for kids aged between 18 months and 12 years. It can be built at a lower height for younger children, and then extended as they grow. It has an overall weight capacity of 100 kg.

At its ‘low height’ this frame measures 1.36 x 1.69 x 1.69 m. At its full height, it measures 2.08 x 2.08 x 2.01 m. Therefore, this is one of the best climbing frames for smaller gardens. It’s also reasonably easy to move around, weighing 24 kg. This means it doesn’t have to be fixed in one permanent spot like wooden frames – perfect if you want to give the grass a bit of a break.

Building this frame is far easier than wooden frames as well. It takes roughly three hours to put together, meaning it’s also a good choice for those short on time (or patience, or DIY skills). There are ground pegs supplied that hook through the legs of the frame in order to secure it into the ground.

Now, onto the features that make this a den as well as a climbing frame. There is an optional ‘den’ tent cover that can be placed over the top of the climbing frame. It has viewing windows and two roll-up doors. Plus, there’s a platform that children can sit on.

Made from durable steel, this frame can be left out in all weathers – just make sure it is secured down well to avoid problems with the wind.

Another interesting point about this frame is that it can be added to at a later date if you want; it’s compatible with a range of additional components including a slide, monkey bars and a swing. As it stands, this frame is a great option for smaller gardens or tighter budgets. Plus, it’s something a bit different for kids, offering a type of den/clubhouse as well as a climbing frame.

Pros

  • Quick and relatively easy to assemble in 2 - 3 hours
  • At 24 kg, this can be moved to another spot in the garden when you want to cut the grass
  • Den area has roll up doors and viewing windows
  • Suitable for younger children and can be built at a range of heights to accommodate children as they grow
  • Maximum weight of 100 kg so can support multiple children at once

Cons

  • Needs to be securely pegged down

How to Choose The Best Climbing Frame

Getting your kids outside and enjoying the fresh air can feel like a full-time job in the age of smartphones and video games.

Having a climbing frame in the back garden can offer all the fun of going to the park, with the convenience of staying at home.

You’ll find your kids are outside way more often with a climbing frame in such easy reach. 

Naturally, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best climbing frame, and there are quire a lot to choose from, so the following information should help you make an informed decision:

Not only are climbing frames a lot of fun, they are great for positively enhancing children’s physical and mental health. This is as a result of children being outside, gaining confidence in their abilities, and the endorphins that are released through physical activity.

Climbing frames help children develop spatial and directional awareness, as well as help your child to build muscles in their legs and arms.

They can also help children hones skills such as balance, coordination and agility. Not only are all of these useful benefits for life in general, they’re all skills and developments that can help children grow in confidence as they become more aware of their own independence and capabilities.

Of course, these benefits can all be obtained using climbing frames in local parks; however, public playgrounds can be very busy. This can often result in one of two scenarios: your children have to spend a lot of time waiting for a turn, or smaller children are more reluctant to try things as they lose their confidence in front of older kids.

For this reason, it can really help to have a climbing frame at home. It will also encourage children to spend a lot more time outside in the garden. When you go to the park, there will naturally be a limit on how much time you can stay there, but kids can be out in the garden all day.

Home climbing frames can be enjoyed by siblings, and you can keep an eye on your children from the comfort of the kitchen.

Naturally, climbing frames vary dramatically in their design. Capacity, apparatus, construction and size will all play a part in how suitable a particular climbing frame will be for your kids and your garden.

Climbing Frame Capacity

Whilst some climbing frames are suitable for just one child, others can be used by multiple kids at the same time.

Most climbing frames indicate how many children can use the equipment at one time, and the age range that the equipment is suitable for. Age range is not only relevant for the size and height of the equipment, but also is based on the average weight of children at certain ages.

Climbing frames also state how much weight different parts of the frame can hold. For example, a swing might have a weight capacity of 50 kg, whilst a raised platform may have a capacity of 100 kg,

As a general rule, wooden and steel climbing frames have a higher weight capacity than plastic frames and/or plastic frames tend to be suitable for a smaller age range.

Available Apparatus and Features

Apparatus varies a lot between climbing frames.

Having a good rang of apparatus is ideal. To find a climbing frame that will keep kids entertained for a good while, you’ll at least want the basics of a slide, swings, and maybe a little playhouse as a starter for ten.

If you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive, that will stay relevant as children grow up, a frame with the above features plus monkey bars would be a great choice. Monkey bars tend to be a bit too challenging for younger kids, but from the age of 5 they may start using them (with plenty of supervision!).

Other common features of climbing frames include a climbing wall, rope ladder, sandpit and fireman’s pole.

A good bit of advice is to take note of what your child is most interested in playing on at the playground in the park, and try to find a climbing frame at home with these features. Fortunately, a lot of children are often most interested in the swings, which are easy to deliver on.

If you have several children, or your kids often have friends round, it goes without saying that the best climbing frames for several children will feature many different play areas and activities. This way the kids won’t all be clamouring into the same space at once (especially useful to avoid bickering amongst siblings!).

With all the above in mind, there’s still no need to completely discount the simpler climbing frames. Even those that only consist of a metal frame can help develop skills, strength and confidence. It will just depend on the personality of your child and whether a simpler model will feed their interest.

When choosing the best climbing frame for yours kids, you should of course be guided by what your children love to do. It’s also a good idea to buy a frame with some features that will  encourage them to expand their horizons and take on new challenges.

Construction Materials

The most hardwearing materials when it comes to climbing frames are either pressure-treated wood or steel.

These are both low-maintenance, long-lasting materials. Steel will fare well for several years when left outside, and pressure-treated wood won’t rot or be invaded by insects. You’ll need to treat pressure-treated wood after a few years, just to make sure it stays weather tight and protected.

Pressure-treated wood can still benefit from a water-repellent sealer because the way the wood has been treated does not stop moisture entering the wood. If water seeps in, it can cause the wood to swell, and then it shrinks as it dries. Over time this can be damaging for the wood.

Some climbing frames are made from plastic which has its advantages and disadvantages. Plastic climbing frames shouldn’t suffer any ill effects from being left out in the rain, and most of them will be made from UV-resistant plastic which won’t fade in the sun.

The disadvantages of a plastic frame are how they look in the garden – the bright colours can be a little loud against the otherwise natural tones – and their durability. Most plastic frames won’t have swings attached as they can’t bear the weight, and they don’t tend to withstand use for as many years as wooden or steel frames.

Climbing frames can take up a lot of space, so measuring out the room you have available in your garden is a priority.

The area will need to be flat, as climbing frames should not be placed on a slope.

It can help to physically mark out the suitable available space in your garden before making a purchase. This way you can visualise exactly where the frame will go.

Some frames (although not all) can be constructed differently depending on what layout would best suit your garden. This is occasionally the case with wooden climbing frames – they can be assembled in a ‘mirror image’, changing the position of certain features, which is worth bearing in mind if this is something that could work better with your garden.

As well as having enough space for the frame itself, you’ll also need to leave a ‘clearance’ area of at least a 2 metres on all sides on the climbing frame. This area should be free of obstacles and will help protect your children if they were to fall from the frame.

Given that each climbing frame is different, with varying maximum height, weight and age limitations, you should check the specification for each individual frame. This will let you know if it’s the right size for the number of children you want to be able to use it, or the age group that you need it to be suitable for.

There are several things to consider to make sure that children are kept as safe as possible when using the climbing frame. General safety considerations include:

  • Supervising children at all times whilst they are using the frame.
  • Not exceeding the advised total number of children on the frame, or the advised total weight capacity.
  • Ensuring that children are dressed appropriately with no loose garments or clothing that could get caught or trapped on any parts of the frame.
  • Placing the climbing frame at least 2 m away from any obstacles on all sides.
  • Telling children not to twist any of the chains or ropes, or loop them over the bar (particularly relevant with swings) as this can cause damage to the chain or rope.
  • Using ground stakes to secure the frame into the ground.
  • Using impact surfacing where required, as outlined below.

Using Impact Surfacing

Manufacturers will likely recommend the use of some kind of impact surfacing under their climbing frames. Check with the specific manufacturer’s instructions of your climbing frame and be advised that the following is only general information.

Natural Grass

Many people choose to rest their climbing frame on natural grass. The ground needs to be flat and not on a slope. If there is a slope, it’s not an appropriate place for a climbing frame.

Bark

Bark blends in with the natural colours of the garden. It is generally considered appropriate to use if the potential maximum fall height from the climbing apparatus does not exceed 244 cm. In this case, a bed of bark 23 cm deep might be appropriate. However, you should go by the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific climbing frame.

Sand

Some people may choose to use fine sand as impact surfacing. This should only be considered if the maximum fall height from the apparatus is under 122 cm and therefore is unlikely to be appropriate for the majority of climbing frames.

Shredded Rubber

Shredded rubber absorbs impact well and does not compress in the same way as the other loose-fill materials mentioned here. It is considered one most impact-absorbent materials. Using a bed of 15 cm deep shredded rubber may be appropriate for most climbing frames with a maximum potential fall height of 305 cm. However, as always, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Climbing Frame FAQs

Climbing frames can be safely positioned on a lawn. Alternatively, they can be placed on an area with play bark or shredded rubber. Always check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend for their specific climbing frame.

Regardless of the material you choose, it needs to be positioned a level surface, not a slope.

For safety reasons, a climbing frame should always be positioned on a reasonably level surface. This doesn’t mean it has to be a perfect bowling green – a few lumps and bumps are fine; however, a steep slope will not be suitable.

If you have a large slope in your garden, you may have to consider a smaller climbing frame (that will fit onto any level areas you may have) or a different piece of apparatus. For example, you can get slides that can be built into the slope of a garden.

Climbing frames offer a range of benefits for kids, both physical and mental.

They can help children to:

  • Develop physical strength, coordination, and spatial awareness.
  • Improve balance.
  • Develop problem-solving skills.
  • Boost their confidence and independence.
  • Improve their social skills, especially if your child has friends or siblings to play with!

There are several steps you can take to make having a climbing frame in your garden safer. Always check with the manufacturer’s guidance for your specific frame.

  • Supervise children at all times whilst they are using the frame.
  • Position the climbing frame on level ground.
  • Don’t exceed the advised total number of children on the frame, or the advised total weight capacity.
  • Ensure that children are dressed appropriately with no loose garments or clothing that could get caught or trapped on any parts of the frame.
  • Place the climbing frame at least 2 m away from any obstacles on all sides.
  • Tell children not to twist any of the chains or ropes, or loop them over the bar (particularly relevant with swings) as this can cause damage to the chain or rope.
  • Use ground stakes to secure the frame into the ground.
  • Use impact surfacing where required.

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