Are you thinking of getting a climbing frame for your child?
It’s the perfect bit of play equipment to improve a child’s ABC – agility, balance, and coordination.
Plus, it gets them off their phones and tablets!
But how do you keep it secure?
Does it need to be concreted in?
Let’s find out!
Climbing frames are meant to be standalone structures. They are stable enough when you set them up using all the parts in a set, which usually comes with ground anchors. But most parents don’t want to take a chance on their children’s safety, so it’s perfectly acceptable to apply concrete on the base of the climbing frames for added stability and security.
What You Need To Know About Climbing Frames
A climbing frame is a piece of play equipment consisting usually of bars and poles which children can climb on and swing from.
It can be made of the following:
Climbing frames come in different shapes and sizes.
Many are no longer just climbing frames as ropes, swings, a slide, and a playhouse are all integrated into one piece of play equipment.
They are great for growing children as they offer physical and cognitive benefits.
Physical Benefits of Climbing Frames
It is impossible for a child to have fun on a climbing frame and not get sweaty.
Climbing uses arm and leg muscles, which would improve a child’s strength.
It also encourages balance in children.
Then, there is the matter of hand and foot coordination, which is also necessary when using the climbing frame.
As children become more active while playing on the climbing frame, they also become more fit.
Childhood obesity is a huge problem.
Around 39 million children are obese worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It’s particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once considered adult problems — diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.Mayo Clinic
Cognitive Benefits of Climbing Frames
Climbing frames are also good for your child’s mental health.
The equipment forces them to think about their next move as a climbing frame usually has a lot of components.
Children don’t just go up, they can go sideways too.
They become problem-solvers in the process.
Imagination is also a big part of the fun when playing on a climbing frame.
Safety Tips for Your Climbing Frames
Understandably, many parents would be concerned about the safety of climbing frames.
We can’t guarantee that your child won’t fall.
Falling is part of every child’s growth anyway.
But what you can do is limit the falls and other accidents that may occur within the climbing frame area.
Here are some safety tips:
1. Set Up the Climbing Frame Away From Other Structures
You want to make sure that in case your child falls, they won’t hit any other structures.
Install your climbing frame at least two meters away from any other tall structures, such as houses, fences, walls, or even trees.
2. Make Sure Climbers Are Below Weight Capacity
Manufacturers are obliged to include the weight capacity of the climbing frame on the label.
If the weight capacity is 750 pounds, make sure you don’t have too many children playing.
Eight to 10 children weighing a maximum of 70 pounds (the average weight of 10-year-olds) each will do.
But even then, they should not all stay on top at the same time.
3. Put a Ground Cover in the Play Area
Set up a play area or safe zone.
The area must be a few feet larger on all sides than what the climbing frame covers.
That safe zone must be covered with surface material to cushion children’s falls.
You can use any of the following materials:
- Engineered wood fiber
- Pea gravel
- Rubber mulch
- Wood chips/mulch
4. Secure the Base of the Climbing Frame
Most climbing frames come with ground safety anchors.
Those are usually good enough.
But some may want to be extra secure and there is nothing wrong with that.
In that case, you can cement the base of the climbing frame to ensure stability.
How To Concrete the Base of a Climbing Frame to the Ground
What do you need to cement the climbing frame to the ground?
- Concrete mix
- Anchor kit (this should come with your climbing frame)
Here are the simple steps in concreting your climbing frame into the ground:
1. Identify the Specific Place Where You Will Set Up the Climbing Frame
Concrete is permanent.
Make sure the place where you want the climbing frame erected is final.
For the safety of the children, the area must be at least two meters away from any other structure.
2. Mark the Spots Where the Climbing Frame Legs Go
After determining where the equipment goes, mark the place where the legs are supposed to be situated.
You can put an X mark on it using the tip of your shovel.
3. Dig Holes
Dig holes at the marked spots.
Ideally, the holes should be around a foot deep and about eight inches in diameter.
4. Set Up Your Anchors
Climbing frames should come with anchors.
Install the anchors.
There may be some drilling involved here.
5. Pour Your Cement Mix Into the Holes
Prepare your cement mix by following the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.
You know it’s ready when the mixture is thick and consistent.
Pour the cement into the holes.
6. Put the Anchors and Legs Into the Holes
You will need some help here.
Slowly push the anchored legs into their respective holes.
The bottom half of the anchor must be below the concrete.
7. Let the Concrete Dry
Leave the concrete for at least 24 hours so it will dry out and harden.
When it’s dry, don’t forget to cover the entire safe zone with your chosen material that can absorb impact.
There is no such thing as being too safe.
A climbing frame made by reputable manufacturers is already safe enough.
They come with ground anchors that will secure the play equipment.
But for some, it may not be enough.
Concreting the climbing frame into the ground makes the equipment absolutely stable and secure.
Just make sure to cover the concrete area with soft surface material for added safety.
Then your children can start climbing to their heart’s content.