Best indoor jungle gym for home use

Thinking about getting an indoor jungle gym for home use for your kids? Then read on…

Magic family moments. We all strive for them. School holidays, birthday parties, festive family time…those memorable moments in any family life that make it all worthwhile. 

But if your family is anything like mine that “quality family time” that we cherish so much, more often than not, turns out to be less Little House on the Prairie and more National Lampoons.

Bored kids, a complete lack of organizational skills (I take full responsibility for that), stressed out parents on high levels of caffeine and usually, where I come from, weather that’s wetter, grayer and more miserable than a bathtub full of Siamese cats!

So what to do?

Preview
Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
Best Buy
Kids Deluxe with Indoor Swing, Plastic Rings, Trapeze Bar, Climbing Ladder, and Swinging Rope
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center, Earthtone
Step2 Skyward Summit
Tite
Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
Kids Deluxe with Indoor Swing, Plastic Rings, Trapeze Bar, Climbing Ladder, and Swinging Rope
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center, Earthtone
Step2 Skyward Summit
Price
$131.00
$416.99
from $183.00
$469.99
Preview
Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
Tite
Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
Price
$131.00
Details
Best Buy
Preview
Kids Deluxe with Indoor Swing, Plastic Rings, Trapeze Bar, Climbing Ladder, and Swinging Rope
Tite
Kids Deluxe with Indoor Swing, Plastic Rings, Trapeze Bar, Climbing Ladder, and Swinging Rope
Price
$416.99
Details
Preview
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center, Earthtone
Tite
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center, Earthtone
Price
from $183.00
Details
Preview
Step2 Skyward Summit
Tite
Step2 Skyward Summit
Price
$469.99
Details

There are a couple of solutions available

Solution A: Sell the children, cancel all further family events from your schedule and return to life as you once knew it as a money and time wealthy single human being with zest for life and the knowledge that tonight, like most nights, you’ll be getting a minimum of 8 hours uninterrupted sleep.

  • Pros: Cleaner furniture, quieter house, no random yogurt stains on clothing, sleeping without fear of a 3-foot tall insomniac sticking their fingers up your nose in the middle of the night.
  • Cons: Well, you’d have to sell the children and let’s face it, we kind of like having them around really, random yogurt stains and historical hidden poops aside

An Indoor jungle gym for home use

Solution B: Best solution by far (even for those of us born with the organizational capability of a dead badger) Get yourself an Indoor Jungle Gym for home use of course! “A what?!” I hear you say. Well, basically, throw out all the other toys you’ve managed to accumulate over the years.

You know, that toy car that’s been sitting in the corner blocking access to the heating switch for 2 years, the jig-saw with 16 pieces missing, those colored in coloring books.

Yes, even the oversized purple plastic easel chalkboard that hasn’t been touched in years and has, in fact, been sitting in the back garden quietly growing its own new breed of biohazard under the sponge. Throw them all out and get your kids an indoor jungle gym for home use.

Well, basically, throw out all the other toys you’ve managed to accumulate over the years. You know, that toy car that’s been sitting in the corner blocking access to the heating switch for 2 years, the jig-saw with 16 pieces missing, those colored in coloring books.

 

Pros:

  • Let’s face it…climbing kids are happy kids. They climb on the couch, they climb on the stair banister, they hang from the door handles (or what’s left of the door handles!). They even climb when there’s nothing to climb on and launch themselves through the air randomly from some place of great height (like how do they know how to get up there but can’t manage to carry a pair of socks to the laundry hamper!). So offer them a controlled and safe climbing environment and relax in the knowledge that they’re burning off all that energy in a space with less potential for injury than a full on sky launch from your antique living room curtain pole. Think hamster cage for your kids!
  • Active kids are hungry kids and hungry kids are more likely to eat better and sleep better, hence removing a whopping 70% of the torcher of parenting. It’s a big claim I know but wow, imagine the only problems you had to deal with in parenting happened between the hours of 8am and 8pm and none of them had to do with food!

 

Cons:

  • Assembly required…arg! Not my strong point but it’s not rocket science. Just breath, have (another) cup of coffee and think of it like a giant 3D jigsaw.
  • These take-up space. Like, lots of space! So you’ll more than likely need a spare room or dedicated toy room, unless you don’t mind craning your neck passed the jungle gym (possibly with child still attached) to watch your nightly injection of reality TV. Some models can be taken apart relatively easy, allowing them to be kept in storage…big plus! Although then you’d have nowhere to hang the wet laundry when the kids are in bed.
  • Safety issues…apart from the safety of the equipment itself (which we will review in a few individual models shortly), the area it is set up in needs to be relatively hazard free with soft flooring. This can be easily remedied with low-cost soft play padded mats widely available on Amazon.

 

So Let’s Have a Look at some specific Models out there…

Toymonster Monkey Bars Tower

Sale
Monkey Bars Climbing Tower
  • ENDLESS PLAY: Children will enjoy endless fun and active playtime with the Toy Monster Monkey Bars...
  • DURABLE: Featuring interlocking plastic tubes and connectors with double self: locking springs make...
  • QUALITY: Made of high quality plastic enhanced with UV protection. UV protection offers long lasting...
  • PORTABLE: Ideal size for indoor and outdoor use. Lightweight and easy assembly makes it convenient...
  • INCLUDES: 1 Monster Monkey Bars Climbing Tower. Dimensions: (assembled) 70.07 x 65.53 x 46.65...

Colours Available: Green and Blue

Age Range: 8 and under

Item Weight 25lbs

Dimensions 18.11 x 22.44 x 13.19 inches

Is Assembly Required: Very definitely yes

Maximum weight: 150 lbs

 

About the Toymonster Monkey Bars Tower:

Toy Monster Monkey Bar Tower is a great little indoor jungle gym for home use. With bright colours and strong, flexible materials this product is both eye catching to kids and reassuring to parents that their little monkeys will be safe from falls and injuries.

Standing at about 6 foot in diameter at the base and about 4 foot at its tallest points it works well as a less than subtle but not too imposing kids activity centre that will help your kids develop imagination, flexibility, strength and balance. Not to mention burn of some of that endless energy.

Standing at about 6 foot in diameter at the base and about 4 foot at its tallest points it works well as a less than subtle but not too imposing kids activity centre that will help your kids develop imagination, flexibility, strength and balance. Not to mention burn of some of that endless energy.

It is constructed of durable interlocking plastic tubes with double self-locking springs that make it “both portable yet easy to assemble”…hmmm, more on that later but my thumbs tell a different tale.

The Good Bits:
  • Although there was a bit of “give and wobble” when three kids played on this, the product maintained integrity and stability throughout and I felt comfortable allowing three kids on it at once. These were ages 4, 5 and 6, all of average size.
  • Not too imposing in a spare room. Like all kids toys it does take up space. However, it’s quite interesting to look at and, if your housekeeping is like mine, it’s great to throw all the other toy mess into it at the end of the day (and possibly the kids if it’s going that way), throw a blanket over it and ignore it for the rest of the evening! Joking aside, I didn’t feel that much shorter on space once I had it assembled. Definitely worth the sacrifice in lounge room real estate.
  • Easy assembly. Now when I say easy I mean easier than assembling flat pack furniture but definitely more difficult than frying an egg. Patience is required and, in hindsight, some sort of industrial protective wear for your thumbs, but I’ll get to that in the “Cons” section. Once you start in a patient and calm frame of mind, read the instructions and assemble everything in the right order it will take somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes. Handy to have another adult present, if only just to shout at. Tip: Send the kids to Grandma’s while you assemble this or they’ll drive you crazy!
  • Product appeals to kids ranging in age from 2 to 8 years old. Obviously, parental supervision is recommended depending on the age of the kid. However, all in all…that’s good value for money if you get a few years out of it.

 

The Not-So-Good Bits:
  • Difficult to disassemble. It’s just as well if you get several years out of this particular indoor jungle gym for home use as once it’s up, it’s staying up! Disassembly is nothing short of a torturous activity designed to make your fingers bleed. Well, maybe it’s not quite that bad but it’s definitely a challenging experience. You will need a second (and possibly third) adult present to help depress the clips and it will hurt…oh yes, it will hurt. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my experience as several of the reviews mention bleeding fingers, bruised thumbs and grimacing faces on disassembly. So if you’re thinking you can just pop it down and bring it on the family camping holiday, think again.
  • Not recommended for bored parents when the kids have gone to bed due to height and weight restrictions 😉 Trust me, you’ll be tempted!

 

What the reviews say:

  • Reviews are majority 5 and 4 star, describing the product as strong, flexible and durable with relatively easy assembly and well identified, good quality parts. However, a little tip from more than one reviewer suggests caution during assembly as pieces can be tight to snap together…watch out for pinched fingers!
  • Any bad reviews were centred mainly on assembly and, more specifically, disassembly issues. Several reviews (many of which I agree with) have described the process of disassembly as incredibly difficult, poorly instructed and badly equipped for. Be prepared to take your time with this process…you’ll get there in the end but you wouldn’t plan on doing it on a regular basis.
  • Some reviews have stated that 6 to 7 year olds are too tall or 2 year olds may be too short or that their 5 year old shows little or no interest in it. This, however, is definitely down to the individual child and not a fault of the product.
  • Bit of confusion as to whether this was an indoor or outdoor product or both. I use it indoors on a carpeted area and it works great. I’ve had no problems with it so far. Alternatively, some reviewers have said they use it outdoors and it works fine too. The material is UV resistant and weather proof for the outdoors. However, it does state that it can’t be used on grass without a covering over the grass.

 

What we say:

In short, it’s a bit of an arse to put together but very safe, strong and effective as an indoor jungle gym for home use. Any bad reviews were about the assembly or disassembly of the product and not the quality, safety or effectiveness of the product when in use.

In fact, some of the worst reviews finished by saying that the product, once put together, was amazing and their kids loved it. In general, it seems to be very popular among kids with hours of fun spent climbing to new heights. The low overall height and hollow, lightweight plastic mean there’s less concern for falls and injuries for the younger kids but it’s tall enough to allow older kids a bit of fun on it too.  

I’d definitely recommend this one…my little monkeys love it. My only down point is they insist on squabbling about who gets to climb up to the “watch tower” on top first! Either way they’re safe, active and entertained and I’m happy (drinking coffee…of course!)

Buy on Amazon

4 Stars from me!

Gorilla Gym

Age Range: 3 to 12 years

Item Weight 18.9 lbs

Dimensions  26 x 39 x 14 inches (fits most standards doorways 25 to 36 inches)

Is Assembly Required: Minimal

Maximum weight: 300 lbs

 

About the Gorilla Gym:

For any budding gymnasts out there this is an awesome addition to the family home. The Gorilla gym includes a Swing, Plastic Ring, Trapeze Bar, Climbing ladder and Swinging Rope to make your indoor jungle gym for home use a versatile and exciting way of bringing the outdoors indoors and encouraging your little monkeys to be active and healthy. The best part is the Gorilla Gym takes up little or no additional space, if you don’t mind sacrificing a doorway.

The Gorilla Gym attaches to your doorway using its patented Vice Grips and a clever cantilevered design means even distribution of weight and force around the walls of your doorway. What does this mean? This means no drilling, hammering, bolts, wall markings or DIY of any kind…now this I can get on board with! Just install it in minutes (and remove it in minutes if you need your doorway back) and it’s playtime instantly!

The various attachments are easily removable and can be replaced in an instant with the other attachments…meaning lots of diversity and quick activity changes for kids (who, let’s face it, generally have the attention span of a goldfish)!

Rigourously tested to ASTM International Safety Standards, this product can support up to 300 pounds, allowing fun and safe activity for even your bigger kids.

 

The Good Bits:
  • Easy to install: I had it installed in about 15 minutes and the separate attachments are very easy to change around.
  • Easy to take down: Perhaps a bit fiddly but 10 minutes should do it. We leave ours up most of the time as it’s in the toy room doorway and we never need to close that door. It comes with a handy mesh bag to keep everything together in storage.
  • Lightweight but very sturdy: My kids had a great time on this and at no point did I feel concerned that it would break or collapse. I do recommend a soft play mat for underneath it as there will inevitably be the odd fall here and there.
  • Silent: Yeeeessss…we like silent toys in our house! Now, that’s not to say the kids didn’t sound like a pack of wild monkeys when they were playing on it but the product itself was silent…no squeaking or annoying sounds like that.

 

The Not-So-Good Bits:
  • Fiddly to take down. Not as easy as implied in product advertising. However, definitely doable and not an impossible task. If you fit it in your child’s bedroom doorway however, take it down before bedtime as you won’t be able to close the door with it still installed and there’ll probably be a few noisy grumbles from you while you’re taking it down which may disturb your sleeping Prince or Princess.
  • Can’t shut door with it installed. Best to use a door that you don’t need to close much and just leave it up for a few days at a time.
  • Age range states its good up to 12 years old. However, my niece who’s 10 was unable to get much fun out of it due to her height. Probably best for between 4 and 7 years of age.

 

What the Reviews Say:

The majority of reviews are excellent on this product, focusing mainly on the ease of installation and sturdiness of the product. However, there are some negative reviews that seem to be mainly based around parts missing on delivery and poor assembly instructions.

This is in about 10% of reviews, so definitely in the minority. However, most of these negative reviews state that, on complaining directly to the manufacturer, they found them difficult to deal with and not very helpful.

Another thing that keeps getting mentioned in the reviews is that it very definitely only fits in standard doorways. Anything wider and for any older houses you will need to purchase clamp extensions directly from the company. This is a simple fix but best to be prepared for this in advance so you’re not left with a disappointed kid.

 

What We Say:

I love it! My kids love it! It takes up minimal space and, because of changeable attachments, it will keep them busy and out from under your feet for hours. I found it pretty easy to install and, while fiddly to remove, nothing that a cup of coffee couldn’t fix ☺ As we are in a rented house I love that there is no marks left on the wall (except maybe feet marks from climbing monkeys!) and it’s very portable if you’re going visiting.

The only annoying bit is that it’s right in the doorway but hey, toys have to go somewhere and, except for confusing the dog, it’s not that much of an inconvenience.

Buy on Amazon

5 Stars from me!

Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber

Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center, Earthtone
  • Heavy-duty construction; weather- and rust-resistant powder-coated steel
  • Strong, interactive Design; high-density polyethylene (HDPE) climbing grips
  • Suitable for children ages 3-10; 600-pound total weight capacity. No Lead-Based Material
  • Assembled Dimensions: 10-foot diameter, 5-foot height
  • 1-year warranty

Available Colours: Earthtones and Primary Colours

Age Range: 3 to 10 years

Item Weight: 104 lbs

Dimensions: 10 foot diameter, 5 foot height (pretty big then!)

Is Assembly Required: Minimal

Maximum weight: 600 lbs

 

About The Lifetime Goemetric Dome Climber:

Lifetime Dome Climber Play Center is big! Huge! Gigantic! Big!. 10 foot in diameter in fact. Technically this article is meant to be about indoor jungle gyms for home use. I’m going to go all out here and say that no, unless you live in a Kardashian style mansion, this is not going to fit in your house comfortably, or at all in fact! That said, it’s a really cool climbing frame so I’ll do a quick review on it anyway.

As I said (several times) this is a big toy so many kids can enjoy it at the same time. Suitable for 3 to 10 years olds this climbing frame is great for promoting kids to be active and healthy, building strength and muscle coordination and getting them away from the telly. 

It’s built in a fun, geometric design that fits nicely into any backyard area with stylish earthy tones or bright primary colors. It includes real rock climbing hand grips to improve grip enhance the climbing experience.

Properly weatherproofed and constructed from powder-coated steel to prevent rusting, this structure should provide years of fun for yours and the neighbours kids!

 

The Good Bits:
  • Brilliant design: The dome shape is awesome! I spent hours climbing on similar structures as a kid and it never gets boring.
  • Good size: Plenty of room and suitable for multiple children to use at once
  • Rock Climbing Grips make a real difference to climbing experience and improve climbing skills.
  • Good for (small) grown ups too as a home work out!
  • Heavy structure is suitable even during strong winds as it will not blow or rock .

 

The Not-So-Good Bits:
  • Need more than one adult to assemble and assembly can be quite difficult and time consuming.
  • Not an indoor toy. Too large and definitely made for the great outdoors!
  • Can’t go directly on grass as it will rock. A bit of groundwork preparation is needed before assembly such as laying down mulch or wet sand for a suitable base.
  • Rusting: Several of the reviews state that they experienced problems with rusting after approximately 3 years. As product description indicates a longer lifespan, many people found this disappointing.
  • Steps on frame may be a little big large for a 3 or 4 year old. That said, its great for building confidence and climbing skills in younger children under proper supervision and adult guidance.
  • All metal material so a bit chilly on the hands in colder weather. Nothing that can’t be sorted with a pair of climbing gloves.

 

What The Reviews Say:

With mainly 80% Five Star reviews this seems like a fairly popular product. However, there does seem to be some mixed reviews regarding shipment of products, ie. Parts missing, wrong color delivered, faulty bolts and a couple of issues with bars bending after only a few days. As well as this a few reviews state they had problems with rusting after only a couple of years. 

This product is designed to last many years more than that. However, these reviews seem to be in the minority and in contrast with the bulk of the reviews. However, one common complaint in the reviews was how difficult it seemed to be to get in touch with the manufacturer. Or to have missing parts replaced via either Amazon or the Manufacturer

The majority of reviews state that, while this product is a bit of a mammoth task to assemble. Once it’s up it is strong, sturdy and a great addition to the back garden.

 

What We Say:

Well, we don’t have one of these. Our backyard just isn’t big enough. However, I have had a go on one (yes I am a pint-sized adult). Courtesy of a neighborhood friend and I think it’s a great product. That said, I wasn’t there for the assembly (which does seem to be the tough bit!)

The frame is strong and sturdy and at no point did I feel like it was insecure in any way. My only complaint is that it’s cold on my delicate little hands, ha. But that’s just being a grown up and having poor circulation to my fingers. I’m sure this isn’t a problem for the average 5 year old. They can’t seem to keep a jacket on in Arctic conditions.

Buy on Amazon

I’ll give this one 4 stars because of my cold hands. Also because it doesn’t fit in the living room (as is the purpose of this review article). Brilliant for kids and will probably take you well into the teenage years too.

Step2 Skyward Summit

Step2 Skyward Summit
  • Designed with four unique climbing surfaces to give children a variety of challenges
  • Features 2 climbing cargo nets, 1 floor net and 9 grips
  • Your child can peak out a hole at the peak of the summit
  • Limit 4 children (maximum weight 320 lbs.); Limit 1 child on platform (maximum weight 80 lbs.)
  • Adult Supervision Recommended

Age Range: 4 to 8 years

Item Weight: 143 lbs

Dimensions: 52 x 80 x 80 inches

Is Assembly Required: Yes

 

About the Step2 Skyward Summit:

A climbing frame with a difference, the realistic looking Skyward Summit offers a more authentic climbing experience for their little imaginations. Including 2 cargo nets, a floor net and 12 climbing grips. This climber will definitely keep them entertained. At over 80 inches tall will definitely challenge them to reach new heights!

 

 

The Good Bits:
  • Sturdy: Whether it’s for indoor or outdoor use, this is a sturdy product and well able to support the mischief of multiple kids at a time.
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors, although if it’s being used outdoors a bit of ground preparation is needed.
  • It’s a bit different from your average climbing frame and kids love that it’s like a fort and a jungle gym combined.

 

The Not-So-Good Bits:
  • Quite large indoors and will take up a lot of your toy room (if you have a toy room to spare)
  • Not portable: Once the item is assembled its best to leave it that way, so if it’s going up, it’s staying up for a while.
  • Tricky Assembly: You may want to put aside up to 4 hours to assemble this. Maybe have a couple of extra adults on hand to help you out.
  • Age range is narrower than other similar products. In that it would be too small for an 8 or 9 year old to play on. Great for younger kids though and even the very little littlies can play at ground level inside it.

 

What the Reviews Say:

The majority of reviews for this item are 4 and 5 star. Saying that the kids love it and, once assembled, it is well worth the hassle. Like previous items, there are a few negative reviews regarding missing pieces on delivery. Poor assembly instruction and some hardware bits (nuts, bolts and screws) missing or poorly marked.

Buy on Amazon

All in all the reviews are positive if you have the space to keep it as a permanent feature in your home.

Sarahs top pick & recommendation

Having had my kids road test all 4 models, my top pick for best indoor jungle gym for home use would be the Gorilla Gym. Possibly because my kids are into gymnastics. But I just love the different attachments, ease of use and portability of this product. In a house where space is always an issue, this definitely fits in the best. It also gives the most value for money when it comes to entertaining the little monkeys.