How to Build Monkey Bars

Justin Obrien

Playing inside on the computer and with toys is fine for kids, but getting outside to play is important. Running free and playing games outdoors is fun, but having a jungle gym, slide and monkey bars gives your kids a focus for their activities.

Build Monkey Bars

Playground equipment is expensive, but you can make your own monkey bars easily with a few supplies.


Wear protective eyewear and gloves while cutting and building.

  1. Cut two 12-1/2-foot 4- by 4-inch boards. Using a 1-inch hole drill bit, drill 2-inch-deep holes into the side of the 4-by-4. Drill the first hole 3 inches in from the end of the 4-by-4. Drill a hole like this every 1 foot until you reach the other end; you will be 3 inches from that end of the 4-by-4. Do this to both 4-by-4s.

  2. Cut 13 28-inch pieces of 1-inch aluminum pipe. Apply steel/wood epoxy glue (such as all-purpose Gorilla glue) into all the holes on one of the 4-by-4s. Force a pipe completely 2 inches into every hole. Put glue in every hole on the other 4-by-4 and insert every pipe into the other 4-by-4, creating the ladder. Use a hammer to tap along the outside of both 4-by-4s. Allow the ladder to dry for 12 hours.

  3. Cut out a half-circle piece 4 inches deep from the top of each post.

  4. Dig two 1-foot-deep postholes 32 inches apart from the centers of the post holes. Measure 12 1/2 feet from the outside edge of the postholes to where you want the other end of the monkey bars to be. This measurement will be the outside edge of the postholes you dig on that end in the same way you did on the first end.

  5. Put the posts in the ground with the half-circle cuts all facing inward. Pack dirt back in the holes around the posts with a broom handle.

  6. Set the ladder on top of the posts in the pre-cut half-circle inlets. Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the post and the 4-by-4. Push an 8 1/2- by 1/2-inch bolt through each hole, and securely screw the nut on.