Build a rope swing
Building a rope swing is remarkably simple and REALLY good fun. No kit needed other than a sturdy rope!
It’s probably best to go on a recce walk to identify branches that would lend themselves to being a good swing-spot. You can also search for the piece of wood that will make your swing seat while you’re there. You’re looking for a stick that’s around 10cm diameter and about 50-75cm long.
Things to look for in your search for the perfect swing-spot:
- A tree that is ALIVE
- The branch (that is also still alive) that sticks out horizontally from the tree
- A good clear, wide swinging space (beech woods are probably the best hunting ground for big sturdy trees with clear spaces between them).
- Make sure the swing trajectory doesn’t fly across a public footpath, or anything dangerous in case of a fall
How to make the rope swing:
- Tie a short but weighty stick to the rope.
- Throw it over the chosen branch.
- Align the two ends of the rope and throw over the branch again (getting the second loop as close to the first as possible).
- Now get the stick you’ve chosen as your swing seat. Let the rope hang down and tie the log with knots at the right height. Any extra rope can be wrapped around the log to make the seat more comfy.
- Test with adult weight so it is essential that grown-ups get to go on the swing first and give it a good test run.
Only then can the children be let loose on it!.
Once finished, simply untie one side of the seat. Throw the seat over the bow and pull the rest of the rope down and take the rope home to use next time.
If you want to take rope swinging to the ‘next level’, there’s a brilliant video here by Base Magazine.
Check out our full series of family outdoor mini adventures to help you plan after school and weekend activities