If you’ve spent a lot of time here, you already know that we never hesitate to feature amazing creations whenever we see one. When we stumbled upon this gigantic Dinosaur Jungle Gym, we knew we just had to share it with the world. This unique piece of playground equipment features a life-size Apatosaurus, a long-necked herbivorous dinosaur known for its long neck, massive pillar-like legs and long whip-like tail. But this epic construction is more than just a stunning Jurassic-inspired replica. It’s a playground as well.
This dinosaur jungle gym is an all-in-one playground complete with monkey bars, swings, climbing ropes, rock climbing handles, crow’s nest and a slide. To ensure safety, it has safety ropes all around and the surrounding area has rubber chips for fall protection. This wonderful playground construction was designed and created by Matthew Cosman for his kids. And we say, just give him the Dad of the Year award now.
Backyard DIY Dinosaur Jungle Gym
You might think this remarkable playground could really come in handy especially during the lockdown period. And we couldn’t agree more. Since most public playgrounds are closed, our kids have no choice but to play by themselves in our homes. A playground in the shape of a dinosaur in the backyard will bring endless fun and entertainment in quarantine. Furthermore, playtime gives them the physical exercise they need to stay fit.
As intricate as it looks, the dinosaur jungle gym isn’t something you can simply build within a couple of weeks or even months. Cosman actually took years before he could complete a construction as complex as this. He explained that the idea of a dinosaur-themed playground started when he was just a teenager. Watching how kids love dinosaur-themed parks, he knew back then that he would make a dinosaur playground for his future kids.
“If someone was motivated, you could do it like I did, but you’d have to be very patient in the waiting and seeking out the right deals.”, Cosman said. “This took years for me. $10,000 is the low end on this, but before anyone thinks that’s extreme, I know many folks whose car, boat or motorcycle habits are way more expensive. This is my hobby as it were.”
The first hurdle he needed to surpass was to identify and select necessary materials to build his ambitious project. In order to construct the life-size dino, he would need structural steel, wood, concrete, aluminum, foam, chicken wire, fiberglass, epoxy, kevlar and ceramic fillers. In addition to these, it would require many other components to make it look as realistic as possible.
Let’s Take A Look At How It Was Created
“It starts with a lot of structural steel with wood that is just for shape”
“Fat [guy] for scale. This wound up at 48’ long”
“Foam and chicken wire, just for shape”
“My bro, he was the largest chunk of help getting this done”
“Now the structural stuff. Lots of carbon integrated into the fiberglass/epoxy construction.”
“This is where it becomes structural. Lots of Kevlar integrated into the tail as well. Setting it up so the tail is string enough for swings”
“Final color and texture is also a home made clay in epoxy and ceramic fillers for longevity.”
“Ready for the final finishes”
He Even Took Pictures Throughout The Whole Process
Cosman documented the entire designing and building process of the dinosaur jungle gym on his Imgur account. With the help of his brother, they were able to construct a 48-foot 3,500 pound Apatosaurus statue that also serves as the playground. After which, they had to use a crane to transport the dino from his shop to his backyard. But their work isn’t done yet. In fact, the hard work has only just began.
“I did have to hire a crane to get it into place from my shop”
There Also Light Up Features To
They have to use 24,000 pounds of concrete for the footing to keep the dino playground securely in place. Then they began adding functional elements to turn the statue into an all-in-one playground. Swings hanging from its long tail, crow’s nest on the neck, monkey bars on one side, rock climbing handles on the other side and a slide near its head. They also added glow-in-the-dark rope clamps for night visibility. That’s not all. They also added LED lights on the statue itself and colorful light effects to the slide for extra fun at night.
“24k lbs of footing. Don’t want it wandering of.”
“Beginning the upper structure. These tubes go through the body in tubing incorporated into the structure.”
“Had to throw up the swings do the kids could start playing.”
“Rubber chips for extra fall protection.”
“This is the crows nest the upper structure is all stainless.”
“Fat [guy] for standard strength test.”
“Learned lots of food weaving for this.”
“Cardboard mold for the slide.”
“Gotta have a slide. Fat [guy] for standard scale.”
“Once all the fiberglass is on, the cardboard is discarded.”
“Gotta add lights to the slide. Extra fun at night.”
“Final paint finish on the slide.”
“3D printed and filled rope clamps for glow in the dark effects.”
“Climbing web on the back. Center is a stainless rod grounding the upper structure.”
“Glow clamps for night visibility.”
“Upper structure is trex and roped off for safety.”
“Kids do love the swings.”
“More rope and monkey bar handles from the neck.”
“Add rock climbing handles. Kids love to climb. These are attached with stainless screws and epoxy.”
“This has been fun and popular in our neighborhood.”
“Added led lights for night time play.”
“Added glow to the ground perimeter as well.”
“I really did this and shared it for fun. I fabricate for a living because it’s my passion—I make fun things for me because no one will pay me to build these crazy things.” Cosman explained.
Watch the progression time-lapse and the final outcome on the video below