Portable swing for a kid
May 5, 2015 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Things are returning to normal in the Panda household, and it's time to get out and play! Specifically I'd like a swing that can be installed temporarily on a nearby tree and removed when it's time to go home. Advice from all directions is welcome: swing seats, rope, hardware, knots, or anything else tangentially related. This will primarily be used by a 4 year old, but ideas that would work for an 18 month old are good too.

There's an empty lot nearby where a lot of neighbor kids play. There's a tiny little cluster of trees, and various people have nailed boards to trees for climbing purposes, installed a shoddy homemade zipline, etc. There's a tree branch that looks like it would be good for a swing. I don't necessarily want to put one up that will stay up all the time, but it would probably be ok to have some kind of permanent mount. I don't want a setup that's likely to injure the tree, because it's not mine. Also, the branch I have in mind is not way out of reach but it'd be hard for me to get to face level with it. I envision something hanging down from the branch, and we'd bring a swing seat attached to a carabiner, attach it, play, and take it home. As a bonus, then we might be able to have a couple of different kinds of swing seats. I have a disc swing in mind because it's easy, but am open to other suggestions.

Or if you have personal experience with a standalone swing frame that's SUPER EASY to put up and take down, I'd like to hear about it. Or ideas for making a swing fully portable - that'd be cool too. Or how to make a swing with an adjustable-length rope (so you could, e.g. stand on the disc or sit on it) Assume I know little of ropes, knots, carabiners, et cetera - walk me through this like I'm simple.
posted by telepanda to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
Would you be allowed to leave well-secured rope or chain around the branch when you're not there?

If so, you might be able to design the top of the swing similar to this but with a strong carabiner connecting it.

I don't have specific ideas for seats, but googling "camping swing" or "hammock chair" could give you ideas about how to affix it at the top, at least.
posted by whoiam at 12:09 PM on May 5, 2015

I searched "swing for tree" in Amazon and a lot of options that seem useful in terms of gear came up. I personally have bought the Step2 and Little Tikes infant-to-toddler swings and they are both really light so if you want to carry those around.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 3:19 PM on May 5, 2015

A simple disc swing is what we use, and our two kids love it. They actually prefer it to a normal swing because they can face the trunk and push off with their feet to keep it going.

The Hearthsong Catalog has some intriguing-looking bungee swings.
posted by Ostara at 7:42 PM on May 5, 2015

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