Most parents don’t know how to make a tire swing. Yet they continue to complain that they cannot drag their kids away from devices. They don’t realize that having a tire swing in their backyard would keep their kid away from her gadgets by convincing the little one to spend more time outdoors.
Shielding the kids’ eyes from screens isn’t the only benefit tire swing offers. Experts tell us that swinging also improves one’s balance, coordination, and motor planning. It also increases the kids’ body awareness, has a positive impact on their focus and attention spans, and gives their mood a shot in the arm.
With these benefits in mind, let’s look at how to make a tire swing:
Before you make a tire swing
Here’s what you need to do:
Find a large used tire
There are many places where you can find a large used tire. The most obvious is your home and within it your garage. You may have thrown a spent tire there, or, if you live in the same house as your parents, you can find in it one of the tires used by your parents in their time.
If you can’t find a used tire in your home, visit your local tire store. Ask its owner whether they have any tire which they don’t have any use of. Most of the time they’d be able to offer you something in return for a small payment. The amount will be a pittance so you shouldn’t have any qualms paying it.
Clean the tire
Years of staying put might have exposed the tire to layers of dirt and debris. It may also have the grease that you lubricated it with back in the day. All these irritants need to be washed away as your kids are going to sit in and hold onto the tire.
Use a mixture of soap and water to wash and clean the inside and outside of the tire. To get rid of residual grease use WD40. It will cut through the layers of the sticky substance and make it easier for you to rub away the grease with a ragged cloth piece.
Find a suitable branch
The branch should be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of your children and that of the tire swing. It should also be flexible. The back and forth movement of the swing will otherwise break an inflexible branch from its twig.
Yet another thing you need to closely monitor is the height of the branch. It should stand at least ten feet above the ground. This will make sure that your kids could easily enjoy the back-and-forth ride without their feet touching the ground.
Purchase the rope or chain
You can use multiple ropes to hand your tire swing to a tree branch before suspending it in air. The ones used by most people include heavy-duty climbing ropes or utility ropes. Both are made of quality materials that keep them from breaking or fraying when weight is applied to them.
You can also use a chain if you aren’t a huge fan of ropes. Galvanized chain works best with tire swings as apart from the qualities mentioned above, it can also resist rust and corrosion. But we still recommend using a rope because it will be easy to hold on to for the kids and won’t do any damage to the branch.
Pro Tip: You can prevent your rope by fraying by lubricating its length with a tube. Especially coat those areas of the rope with a tube where it will come into contact with the hands, the tire, and the tree.
How to make a tire swing
Follow these instructions to make a tire swing:
What you’ll need?
- Used tire
- High-quality rope
- Power drill
- Anti-fray tubing
- Bowline or fisherman’s bend
Step-by-Step Guide on tire swing DIY
Step 1: Drill holes into the tire
Since you’re going to leave it out in the open, rainwater will accumulate in the tire. Drilling holes is therefore necessary to prevent the accumulation of water. Make sure that you’re drilling the holes in what is going to become the tire’s base. As it will make it easy for the water to dissipate.
Step 2: Position the ladder against the tree
Experts tell us that ladder should always be placed at a 75-degree angle from the ground. Its feet should be placed such that the horizontal distance between the top of the ladder and its feet is one-quarter of the ladder’s working length.
Step 3: Place rope over the branch
After making sure that the leader is steady, use it to get to the top of the branch. Position the rope on that area of the branch that doesn’t have any imperfections or knots. Apply anti-fray tubing at all those areas of the rope that are going to come into contact with the branch.
Step 4: Tie the upper end of the rope to the branch using a fisherman’s bend or a bowline
Never use a square know to secure the rope to the tree branch. These knots are extremely unstable and will fall apart if you pull backward on their loose end. Also, if you have never made a knot before in life, take the help of someone who has.
Step 5: Tie the lower end of the rope to the top part of the tire
Position the tire in such a way that its drainage holes are at the bottom. Decide how far above the ground you want the tire to be. It should be high enough to prevent the legs of your child from dragging on the ground. Then use a square knot to tie the lower end of the rope to the top part of the tire.
Follow it up by trimming off any excess rope. This will prevent it from accidentally coming in the way and getting undone.
Final Step: Test the swing
Apply little weight to the swing to check if it’s holding weight well. If it is, let your kids start swinging.
There are multiple ways you can tone down the screen time of your kids. None is as cost-effective and as foolproof as having a tire swing in your backyard. It will continue to come handy throughout the year and allow your kids to experience some outdoors’ time in front of your eyes. What more do you want!