Building a swing set for your kids is a rite of passage for many parents. Creating something for your children to enjoy as they grow up can provide a unique sense of accomplishment, and offers a nice diversion from many of the more stressful realities of our daily routines.
While embarking on a project like this is something many parents find rewarding, it’s important to do your research first to ensure that when you’re done, your work will provide a safe and fun play environment that stands the test of time. To accomplish this, there are a few important things to educate yourself about before you get started.
Play equipment like a swing set needs to be designed and built with safety in mind. While a swing might sound simple enough, there are a lot of potential hazards that need to be addressed. Children won’t just sit on a swing and use it as intended. Instead, they’ll clamber around on the swing’s frame or the tree that it’s mounted on, climb up the swing’s ropes, or try to jump from the swing while it’s in motion.
While supervising parents can usually curb dangerous misbehavior, a well-designed swing set should minimize any risk of injury as well. Your swing should be surrounded by a wide clear space, and mounted over a loose fill material such as shredded rubber or bark chips to soften any impacts.
Keeping your swing low maintenance
However much enthusiasm we bring to bear initially, most of us don’t like to, and won’t, perform very regular maintenance on backyard play equipment. Repainting wood or metal, replacing fill material, and checking ropes and screws for damage is something most of us will realistically do twice per year. Because of this, it’s important to build equipment with this in mind.
Wooden frames should be stained and sealed to prevent deterioration, and metal needs to be properly painted to prevent rusting and to keep loose paint chips out of your kids’ play area. Furthermore, your swing should be mounted on ropes made of long-lasting material such as nylon to minimize rapid wear, ensuring that you’ll be able to see and deal with any damage before it becomes a serious issue.
Types of Swings
Your kids don’t have to make do with the simple swing you find in every playground. Web swings and fabric swings open up a wide range of new possibilities. They can be mounted to swing in any direction, or in just one. They allow several kids to swing at the same time, and make it possible to sit or lay and hold on in a variety of different ways while swinging. By learning about all the possibilities that are available, you can ensure that your kids have play opportunities that their parents could only dream of.