Your children may only have been out of school for a couple of weeks but you are already struggling to find things to keep them occupied. Summertime offers the chance for kids to learn, explore, and have fun outdoors. Build them an outdoor play area that includes a tire swing on a large tree and they will spend all day in the yard.
You will need:
Step 1: Find a hardwood tree in your yard with a branch that is a minimum of nine feet high and has a diameter of eight inches or more. An ash, oak, or sugar maple tree should work. The branch should create an L after leaving the tree trunk and there should be six or more feet of open area within all directions of it.
Step 2: A light truck tire that is not steel-belted will work best. Visit an auto shop and ask for a reject tire. Drill a ½-inch wide hole into the bottom of the tire at 4-inch intervals to prevent water from pooling in the tire.
Step 3: The nylon rope must be a sufficient length to reach the tree branch plus offer 10 additional feet. The length of the eyebolt should extend through the branch and out a bit.
Step 4: Add a 6-inch layer of wood chips or bark mulch under the selected tree branch. Spread it in all directions to a distance that is twice the swing height. This will cushion any falls.
Step 3: The tree-friendly method of attaching the swing is to screw the eyebolt through the tree branch. If you wrap a rope over the branch, nutrients will not reach the tree. Use the drill to make a 3/8-inch diameter hole in the tree branch. Use the locknut and washer to attach the eyebolt.
Step 4: Loop the nylon rope around the tire and tie the rope in a knot. Make a three-stranded eye splice knot. Start by tightly wrapping the twine around one end of the rope at a distance of 1 foot from the rope end. Unravel the strands of the rope up to the twine location. Create tips by taping ends of strands.
Step 5: Keep the unwound strands to your left and use the intact section of rope to create a loop. Grab the right-hand portion of this loop and slightly untwist the rope below this loop, creating space between the threads.
Step 6: Weave the interior strand from the back to the front, working it under the left-most standing thread and over the thread located just to the right of it, then under the next rope thread. Weave the middle position end strand under the thread in the standing section that the innermost strand just traveled over and pull the knot tight.
Step 5: Loop the other end of the nylon rope around a quick link. Adjust the length so the tire hangs high enough to prevent swinging feet from dragging but low enough so children can stop themselves from swinging.
Step 6: Cut off the excess rope and knot the end. Fasten the rope to the eyebolt.