Imaginative Play: Tree Rope Ladder for Toys

fun for kids -- twig rope ladder

She was making some sort of fairy land with a plush toadstool cushion (like this one).

“If only they had a ladder to climb up,” Miss 7 said wistfully as she showed me the set up.

And so we made a small ladder of twigs and string.  That was a few months ago now…but the idea sparked my imagination and I held it in the back of my mind.

I thought it would be a fun thing to add to our backyard tree, the one my children play at so often.  It’s school holidays and the seed in the back of my mind came to be.

Here’s what we did.

Twig Tree Rope Ladder

twig rope ladder


Twigs of similar size and length

Twine or string (I used divine twine)


Two nails or screws


It’s possible to just tie the twigs on the rope, but it’s quicker and easier to do a simple slip knot.  Here’s how I did it.

1. Lay two even lengths of string on a flat surface.  Using one string, make a loop in the general area the first twig will be (so near the top of the string).

2. Thread the working rope back through the loop.

3. It should look like this.

4. Place one side of the twig in the loop.

5. Tighten by pulling either side of the string.

6.  Do the same with the other piece of string, fastening the other side of twig 1.  Adjust each slip knot as you tighten it, to ensure each twig is approximately level. Continue down the ladder, with even spacing between twigs, until the ladder is the desired length.

rope ladder twig instructions


To show how easy this is, I did a quick video.

On the tree

rope ladder for kids slip knot

Two screws flush with the trunk of the tree did the trick. My kids are older now, and so I’m not too worried about this being a choking hazard but it’s good to be wary and so I did put some ground rules in place.


It reminded me of the tree house in the well known story Robinson Crusoe with pirates and ladies in pretty dresses.

rope ladder for kids slip knot

rope ladder for kids slip knot

rope ladder for kids slip knot

I don’t know how long it will last, but it doesn’t really matter.  Just a simple fun thing to add to play time.


I drove in the driveway this morning and took a moment to enjoy this little tree the kids play in.  I thought the twig ladder might last a couple of weeks, a month at best…and yet 10 months since I wrote this post and here it is, still holding strong and being as imaginatively gorgeous as ever.

Imaginative Play - twig ladder in the backyard tree (for toys)

More Posts About This Tree

Decorated With Gems

Fairy Door


Tree art (this tree drew a picture for us — true story!),

Milk Bottle Lid Mini Cubby homes

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I love this post Kelly

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      April 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Gary. I really enjoyed doing it…and putting it together.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Cool idea and so simple to make– the ideas using material, everybody is likely to have at home or find outside are the best. I’ll remember that for Minka… Also, I just adore the Fairy doors, but they are so expensive, so I figured I’ll make one with Fimo. Do you know Fimo? It’s like Playdo, only that you can put in the oven to make it last.

    BTW: What time is it in Australia?

    So long,

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      April 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Corinna

      No, haven’t heard of Fimo. I’ll look it up! Sounds fabulous.

      9 pm where I live at the moment. What about over there in Germany? Warming up at all yet?

  • Reply
    Bek @ Just For Daisy
    April 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    This is just beautiful! 🙂 Love adding to the magic of the outdoors, what a wonderful addition to your tree!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      April 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks Bek. It really is so fun to add to the fun the kids already have out there in the tree. Love doing that sort of stuff. Makes it so much more meaningful.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 11:26 am


    This is why I love your blog! Such a great idea, thanks for the tutorial!

  • Reply
    Kate - An Everyday Story
    April 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Gosh that is so wonderfully whimsical. I saw that Kelly (Happy Whimsical Hearts) had made some amazing fairy doors from timber. They are so beautiful and something Miss 7 would love to make I’m sure 🙂

    I really love this little ladder. So simple. So beautiful.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      April 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Oh, I’ll have to check out Kelly’s post. Sounds wonderful! Thanks Kate.

  • Reply
    Renèe adventuresathomewithmum
    April 12, 2013 at 7:49 am

    This is so cute, I could see one if these hanging in dimples gnome garden. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    April 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    How magical. We’d love something like this. Love the picture of your son peering over the tree at the pirate. So sweet! x

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      April 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      I get the best pics of my kids when I just watch whta they do. Love that pic too.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Oh how whimsical and special! Lovely to get the imaginations running wild 🙂 Pinning!

  • Reply
    Jackie@My Little Bookcase
    April 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    So very cute.
    My daughter is spending lots of time in her fairy gardens at the moment. I’ll have to show this to her, I’m sure she’ll love it.

  • Reply
    Pebble Fairy House
    April 21, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    […] surprisingly sturdy.  We decided to put it at the base of our backyard tree, next to the twig rope ladder.  It would be a fun craft for older kids to make and use as decoration on a dresser in their room […]

  • Reply
    May 28, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Fantastic idea Kelly, thanks for the great tutorial on how to make those groovy knots. I think kids that take part in creating a toy like this love to play with the toy for longer than with a toy that is simply given to them. Magic.

  • Reply
    Paddle Pop Doors
    August 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    […] made a Twig Ladder for the tree over four months ago, and I’m surprised to say but here it still is going […]

  • Reply
    September 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Love your blog and fabulous creations.

    I’m making these with my soon to be 5 year old boy. Where did you get the figurines from?

Leave a Reply