On this page you can see how to make a horizontal ladder climber, popularly called ‘monkey bars’.

Monkey bars represent one of the most common elements of equipment you can find on children's playgrounds. Although there are countless variants, almost all of them are reminiscent of horizontally positioned ladders that are supported at the ends by vertical posts (usually also ladder-shaped). Due to their simplicity on the one hand, and the influence on a large number of body muscles on the other, the monkey bars are popular with both children and adults. They can be found not only on children’s playgrounds, but also along trim tracks in parks, as a piece of outdoor fitness equipment, etc.


Horizontal ladder climber
Project type
Project difficulty
Skill level
for DIY enthusiasts
for intermediate experienced metalworker
Level of workshop equipment
Hobby - Hand tools and power tools
Welding machine

Overall dimensions are: length - 4551mm (179,2''), width - 501mm (19.72''), height (above ground level) - 1825,5mm (71,9'')


The monkey bars that can be made according to this plan are 1,800 mm high, which means they are intended for children. However, if you want them to be used by adults, you will have to adjust their dimensions. As you can see in the plan, our horizontal ladder climber consists of 4 posts with 3 steps in between. The steps are there to make it easier for children to reach the bars which allow them to swing. The monkey bars are supported by posts 4.5m long (14 bars altogether).



Hanging on monkey bars or grabbing one bar after another keeps the child’s whole body in the air with their hand. The main goal is that the child moves from one end to the other by grabbing one bar after another. In this way, the monkey bars on the one hand help to develop a number of the child’s skills and, on the other, they strengthen a large number of muscles in their body. Monkey bars is/are perfect for developing upper body strength, hand grip strength, hand-eye coordination, personal confidence and encourages physical play.


Exploded view and parts list
Horizontal ladder climber - Parts list
Assembly drawing
Horizontal ladder climber - Assembly drawing

The Horizontal ladder climber is easy to construct and can be made by the home craftsman at very low cost. This playground equipment is simply ideal for amateur craftsmanship because the parts are simple, made of standard tubes and welded together and, apart from digging a pit and some concrete, there is no need for anything else in order to install it. It is highly recommended to avoid concrete or any other similar hard surface below the monkey bars, so that children do not accidentally get injured when they jump or fall on it.

Mounting: In-ground mount in concrete (Embedded column)

All joints are welded. Finish: undercoat paint (protection against rust and corrosion) and two coats of enamel gloss paint.

Do not paint the monkey bars in dark colors as in summer the tubes will be hot and children won’t be able to play. During hot summer days, even brightly colored monkey bars will be hot so the best thing is to install monkey bars in the shade where you can color them as you please.This plan contains all the drawings and dimensions you need to create a horizontal ladder climber, and the information given will be also reliable in case you want to customize it to adults and thus make another variant of the ladder climber. The monkey bars for adults should be about 2.3m (90.5'') high. This height ensures that adults can easily use them, including slightly older children.


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Submitted by Ceh Jan