Summer has arrived. You've been looking forward to spending time with the kids, but the days seem to be getting longer and longer. What now?
It's time to get creative!
You probably have a number of things lying around that can make a fun, safe swing. First off, look to make sure you have somewhere from which to hang a swing. A nice, big limb from the old oak or mesquite will work just fine. If you don't have a large tree in your backyard, you can make a frame from landscape timbers.
From tire swings to board swings, the country lifestyle offers has a myriad of possibilities for every young child. These low-budget, eco-friendly toys have been around for years, but your child will never get tired of playing with them.
1. Skateboard Swing
You know that skateboard that broke years ago and hasn't found its way to the trash yet? Don't worry; we can put that to good use. Remove the wheels so little fingers don't get hurt. Drill two holes in each end and thread new, strong rope through the holes on each end. You can tie knots on the top side of the skateboard so the rope doesn't shift. Dowel rods can be placed as an arm support, but aren't necessary if you are just looking for a basic swing.
2. Board Swing
Already threw out that broken skateboard? Don't worry; we know you have some scrap 2"x 6" boards lying around somewhere from your last project. If you don't, you can go to your nearest hardware store and they will cut you a piece. You need at least 12"-18".
You can make a board swing using rope or small chain. When using rope, the concept is the same as the skateboard swing. Drill two holes in each end and thread your rope through so that it is long enough to hang from your desired location. If you are using chain, you can use two large U-bolts to attach the chain. Drill the holes to match the pattern on the U-bolt. Place the bolts through the wood and secure with the nuts. Attach your chain to the U-bolt using large interlocking spring snaps.
3. Tire Swing
Let's face it, most of us have a spare tire lying around somewhere that we didn't want to throw out. Now you have the perfect reason not to throw it away. You can tie a rope around the tire and swing all day long.
If you want a more complex project that will provide more seat space, turn the tire on its side and drill holes in three locations around the tire - evenly spaced of course. If you don't, you might end upside down! Using U-bolts or nuts and bolts, you can attach the chain or rope to the tire. Remember to match your drilled holes to your hardware and secure.
4. Pallet Swing
If the smaller swings aren't what you are looking for, you can easily make a swing out of recycled pallets. Most stores are looking for ways to get rid of old pallets, especially furniture or feed stores. The concept of making a pallet swing is the same as a board swing. You will want to drill holes in all four corners of the pallet.
Once you have your holes drilled, thread your rope through the pallet and secure with knots. It is best to draw the rope together about 3 feet above the pallet so that you a stronger single rope leading up to your tree. Since the pallet swing is much heavier, you will want to ensure that you have a tree or frame that can hold the weight.
Now it's time to make some great memories and make your child happy with just a few tools and some old items you have lying around the house.