What is a Jungle Gym

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What is a Jungle Gym?

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What is a Jungle Gym? Outdoor Jungle Gym Adults
What is a Jungle Gym? Outdoor Jungle Gym Adults 

What is a Jungle Gym?

A jungle gym is a piece of playground equipment that is comprised of several pieces of material, such as metal pipes or ropes, on which users can climb, hang, sit, and—in certain configurations—slide. In British English, the term “jungle gym” refers to a climbing frame.

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Outdoors Jungle Gym
Outdoors Jungle Gym

A person swings across equally spaced horizontal bars while dangling in the air on monkey bars in a jungle gym. Occasionally, the complete jungle gym is referred to as the “monkey bars” in Australian English.

Playground Jungle Gym

First Jungle Gym

Lawyer Sebastian Hinton of Chicago created and patented the first jungle gym in 1920. It was offered for sale under the brand name JunglegymTM. The Crow Island School in Winnetka, Illinois, still has Hinton’s second prototype “jungle gym” in place.

Although Hinton’s initial 1920 patent invokes the “monkey instinct” by touting the advantages of climbing as exercise and play for kids, and his improvement patents later that year make reference to monkeys shaking a cage’s bars, kids swinging on a “monkey runway,” and the game “monkey tag,” the term “monkey bars” doesn’t appear until at least the 1930s.

Old Picture of Outdoors Jungle Gym
Old Picture of Outdoors Jungle Gym

When Sebastian Hinton was a young boy, his father, the mathematician Charles Hinton, had constructed a bamboo structure akin to this one with the intention of helping kids develop a natural understanding of three-dimensional space through a game in which the numbers for the x, y, and z axes were called out, and each kid tried to be the first to grasp the indicated junction.

Jungle Gum Kids

As a result, it was possible to understand the abstraction of Cartesian coordinates as the name of a real place in space.


Kids Playground

Jungle gym facilities frequently feature a thick coating of woodchips, sand, or other impact-absorbing material covering the ground to lessen the chance of injuries from falls. Since 2011, the American National Safety Council has prohibited the use of woodchips and recommends that playgrounds have at least 12 inches (30 cm) of such material.

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