By: Tikatia Morris
Swinging is an activity enjoyed by neurologically diverse and neurotypicals alike. Many parents will whose children participate in occupational therapy services may have seen their children using a platform swing. These swings are helpful for building trunk support, learning balance and provide an excellent source of vestibular input.
If you were to purchase a similar product
to install within your home, you would probably spend several hundred dollars. Making a platform swing can save you money, as well as become an inclusive activity for the whole family in building the swing together.Materials
Large wooden board. We got ours from Home Depot for about $13, but check their scrap pile, sometimes you can find them there for even less money.
Quick Links. These were 97 cents each and will hold up to 1540 lbs. This swing was made for an adolescent boy who currently weighs about 100 lbs and the goal was to have the swing last him into adulthood and therefore hold a decent amount of weight.
eye loop screws. These are 3/8" by 4 1/2" and cost 97 cents each at Home Depot. The weight limit to these is 230 lbs each.
strong rope. This nylon rope was 49 cents per foot and holds up to 250 lbs. For our swing, we purchased 22 ft. more or less will need to be purchased depending on the height of your ceiling and how low you want your swing from the ground.
You will also need:
hand drill with bit large enough to make a hole to fit the rope
carpet - we used a bath mat from Wal-Mart, but you can buy scrap carpet or measure to fit your board exactly
staple gun and staples
a sturdy area either in your home or outside to place swing with lots of room for movement.
First, measure your board so that your holes are even on both sides and ends of your platform.
Once measured, position your drill straight above your marked spots and drill 4 holes into each corner. We measured about 2 inches away from each side for support reasons as well as to keep the wood from splinting.
Once you have your four holes drilled, staple your carpet square to the top of your swing. Since our builders used a bathmat, the carpet piece did not fit entirely around the piece of board. If you want to cover the board entirely, you will need to cut circles out over where your holes are and staple the carpet underneath.
Cut the rope into two pieces (ours were 11 feet each) and loop through the holes on each end lengthwise. Use a lighter or matches to seal the ends of the rope after knotting tightly. We doubled our knots for extra stability and thickness.
Install the eye screws first to a secure beam. This swing was installed in a basement and the eye screws were screwed into the support beams on the ceiling.
The quick links are then attached to the eye screws and the rope is looped through the links. Now that your swing is put together make sure that a responsible adult tests the swing for strength and durability.
Once you determine that your swing has been installed successfully, and you've tested it for strength, enjoy!