How to Make Rope Mesh Ladders for Playgrounds

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Simple knots can help make a mesh work ladder.
Simple knots can help make a mesh work ladder. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

The playground is full of the usual toys for kids to enjoy such as slides and teeter totters, both of which allow kids to have fun and get a little exercise. Rope nets can also be found in some playgrounds or parks and are a fun and challenging source of exercise as the kids learn how to climb them. These nets can be made simply using strong rope, simple knots and a few basic tools. Nets can be fully vertical, set at an angle or even propped up as something to crawl under.

Things You'll Need

  • Polyester climbing rope
  • Knife
  • Tape measure
  • Lighter
  • Heavy duty electrical tape

Cut the rope into 12 even lengths, measured out with the tape measure and cut as cleanly as possible with a sharp knife. To get rid of frays at the ends of each rope section, burn the tips slightly using the lighter; this will bond them together.

Lay six of the rope lengths on the ground next to each other about 12 inches apart and make sure they are laid out straight. Starting at one end of each rope, measure 12 inches along and tie a simple secure double overhand knot. Repeat this at 12-inch increments all along the ropes.

Place the other six rope lengths across the already knotted ropes, creating a lattice work appearance. The unknotted ropes should be laid so they are sitting snug to the knotted areas in the first six ropes.

Tie knots n the unknotted ropes that loop around the first ropes just above the already tied knots. Make sure each length of rope is tied to the other six strands, which should be laid out at right angles. Once the two layers of rope are tied together there should be a secure rope lattice work created.

Hang the rope from your selected frame work, tying off the ends of each rope securely to the frame. The knots in the diagonal ropes should sit on top of those of the vertical ropes to secure them and stop them slipping down the vertical ropes.

Wrap heavy duty electrical tape around all the knots within the rope grid to further secure them together and produce a tighter, safer netting.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make larger or finer grids, change the distances between the knots, but keep them the same for both vertical and diagonal ropes. This will ensure an even square box lattice shape to the netting.
  • A little slack can be left between the diagonal ropes to create a looser mesh for a more challenging climb.

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