The type of material you choose for your climbing frame will depend on a variety of factors, including your budget and your children’s individual requirements. To help you out, however, here is a guide to some of the options available.
Wooden Climbing Frames
Wooden climbing frames are an extremely popular choice. They are often stronger than those made from metal or plastic and can last for years with the right treatment.
There is likely to be less bending or breaking if you choose to invest in a wood climbing frame, and they can maintain the natural look of an outside space.
Timber is, by its very nature, a very tactile material. This can make it appealing to children – and to parents as well. It can also be more visually attractive and less obtrusive than bright plastics or industrial-style metals.
It may not be as easy to clean as plastic and some metals, however, and you will often have to pay more for wood than other alternatives.
Metal Climbing Frames
Metal climbing frames are normally created using galvanised steel tubes. These should be resistant to rust, which means that the tubes stay smooth and safe. More information on climbing frame safety can be found on the Safe Kids website at http://www.safekids.co.uk/climbingframesafety.html.
Metal options are usually modular climbing frames, with the advantage of being able to add extras like cargo nets and swings. Features can be limited, however, and they can look like garden scaffolding, especially when compared to wooden alternatives from companies such as http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames.
Plastic Climbing Frames
These are usually designed for use by younger children. They are often perfect as toddler climbing frames but do not generally offer the sort of whole-family experience that can be enjoyed with a strong timber climbing frame.
They are, however, light and simple to assemble, and there are sizes available to fit almost any garden. One problem is that because they are normally smaller in proportions they can be outgrown very quickly, making them less of a long-term investment.
Plastic options are normally weatherproof, meaning that they can be kept out in your garden all through the year and require the minimum amount of maintenance.
Cleaning is usually very easy, making them an ideal choice in a muddy garden or when you don’t want to risk staining the materials.