In the olden times, people lived in isolation. There were no playgrounds or community play areas. As such, to provide entertainment to young children, houses usually had simple rope swings suspended from a tree in the backyard. This also doubled as family bonding activity and physical exercise.
However, with the advent of plastic play sets such as Little Tykes as well as communal playgrounds in parks, wooden swings have become obsolete. If you wish to relieve the nostalgia that the wooden swing brings, just procure a scrap lumber, heavy duty rope and drill ladder. Then, follow these simple steps:
- Tree. Pick a tree with a sturdy-looking horizontal branch. For young children, apple trees are preferred because these are usually low and leafy. Thus, these trees are protective from untoward incidents and even afford protection from sunlight. As for older children, taller trees are preferred because these allow for higher swinging arc, which provides both excitement and thrill to the rider.
- Rope. Get a heavy duty rope from a nearby home supply/improvement store. This ensures the safety of whoever is riding the swing regardless of age and weight. Also a heavy-duty rope is more durable, thus lengthening the lifespan of your swing. Cut 2 pieces of rope of the same length depending on your desired swing height. Add an allowance of 12-14 inches per rope. This will be sufficient for the knots at the tree branch as well as the attachment to the seat.
- Wooden seat. Measure 2-3 inches from both ends of the wood then mark the spot. This is where you will drill holes and tie the rope. Make sure the 2 holes at either side of the seat are aligned. Depending on the thickness of your rope, drill the appropriate size of hole. Ideally, the hole should be a bit larger than the rope. Put the rope into the hole and tie the knot securely at the bottom of the seat.
- Swing away. Get a sturdy ladder and tie both ends of the rope to the horizontal tree branch. Make sure the distance of the knots is the same as the width of the wooden seat. Vary the height of the swing depending on who will use it the most. Keep it shorter if you have a taller, older rider, and longer if you have a younger, shorter rider. Ideally, the knot should not be adjusted too often to preserve the integrity of the rope. Remember that the ideal height is one that the swing rider can completely rest both feet on the ground while the swing is not in motion. Conversely, if the swing is in motion, the rider should be able to tuck both feet under the seat without hitting the ground anytime during the swinging arc.
There you have it! Re-live your younger years and ride your afternoons away with your very own, personal wooden swing. Before riding the swing, remember to always check the integrity of the horizontal branch where it is attached, as well as the rope that holds the swing.