Top positive review
GREAT in our basement for our autistic 4 year old!! READ THIS BEFORE ASSEMBLY!!
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2017
I bought this as a birthday gift for my autistic 4 year old son and so far it's a hit! This is a very sturdy and well made jungle gym that can hold up to 150 pounds. I climb on it with my son because he wants me to (I'm 5'7" 130lb) and it seems to support me just fine. We have it set up in a basement playroom but it's labeled as being an outdoor jungle gym so I think it would do well in the backyard also. We just live in a very cold and snowy climate so I wanted to put it inside so my energetic kiddo could get some energy out during the long winters indoors. Besides being sturdy and well made, it offers a lot of variety for play. Besides just climbing on it and dropping down through the middle, he loves to throw a couple big blankets over the top and turn the whole thing in to a fort. We call it his igloo. It's big and sturdy enough that multiple kids could play on it at a time.
All that being said, setting up is a bit of a pain (literally just as much as figuratively). I do not swear and I cursed multiple times while setting this up by myself. Here's what you need to know:
- DO NOT JUST USE YOUR FINGERS!! Setting this up will kill your hands even if you use tools to help like I did so do yourself a favor and START with them. I found a flat head screwdriver to be the most helpful in pushing the little knobs in. Some of the connectors are harder than others so some of them you can just use your fingers but some of them are just too stiff. Just count on getting pinched a few times, even if you're using tools to help. I was very careful and it still got me a handful of times and it HURTS! Prepare yourself mentally, haha.
- FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY!! The set up instructions for this are great. There are pictures diagrams and detailed written instructions and all the parts are labeled very well so you can keep track of what is what. My best suggestion is to BE SURE you're reading ALL the instructions before you snap stuff into place because it's really annoying to have to undo your work and start over. After the first 45 minutes or so I thought I was smart and knew what to do and ended up having to go back multiple times and undo a lot of work and finger pinching because I didn't read the instructions. This is especially true when it comes to laying out the bottom octagon correctly and then attaching the sides with THIS ANGLE UP point up. I missed that direction and had to re-do a lot. Don't be like me. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!
- The metal pieces inside the connects that you snap into place pop out all the time during set up. This is very annoying. The first time it happens you'll think, "Oh crap, how the heck am I supposed to get that back in?!" but don't worry, it isn't hard. After a few times you'll be a pro at it and will be able to get it back into place quickly and easily with a flat head screwdriver. That being said, it's REALLY ANNOYING that they pop out at all. Design flaw.
- This thing is pretty big so if you're going to set it up inside, definitely measure first! I also recommend putting this in a room with at least 8 foot ceilings.
- I set this up alone, but I highly recommend doing it with at least 1 other person. It would go a LOT faster and some of the attachments would be much easier to make with two people.
All said and done it took me about an hour and 45 minutes to set up by myself. Had I not messed up twice and had to undo and redo my work, it probably would've only taken me an hour. If I'd had help it probably would've only taken 30-45 minutes. Now that it's set up I'm really pleased with it! The only reason I took off a star is because I think they could've made this a little less painful to put together by designing and including a special tool to help with assembly and also because those little metal pieces pop out all the time during set up and have to be put back into place. Other than that, once it's set up it's great!
I highly recommend this for autistic kids! Between this, a mini trampoline and a slide and ceiling mounted swing in our playroom downstairs, our son really has fun and can get a lot of his energy out and meet his intense sensory needs. For the record I did NOT get this for free or at a discount. Hope this helps!