Swinging is fun. Bring your child to the playground and the first thing that he or she will run to is the swing. Even adults love sitting on a swing to while their time, read a book, or even play their favorite musical instrument. Swings have also born witness to the love and passion professed by lovers to one another. It’s simple and so easy to install. But choosing the right rope for a tree swing might be challenge since there are a lot of choices in the market. You don’t have to worry though as we did our research to give you the 5 best ropes for tree swings. This way, you can start on your next great DIY project for you and your kids.
Things to Look for in a Rope for Your Tree Swing
Installing a tree swing can be a very easy endeavor. However, there are certain things that you have to consider especially when choosing the rope that essentially forms the bridge between the tree branch and the platform upon which your kid will be sitting on. Here are some of the things that you may need to look for when choosing the best rope for your tree swing.
It is important to take note that there are a variety of roping materials for swings. This often have implications in their durability or the length of time it will need before the materials used in its construction start to wear away. Know, too, that the more durable the material is the more expensive it usually is.
Metal chains are highly durable, especially those with excellent corrosion resistance while polypropylene is usually indicated for indoor use or those where it’s not exposed to the elements as it is not really that durable. There are also natural fiber ropes such as Manila, sisal, hemp, and cotton which can have highly variable durability. As a rule, if you do choose a natural fiber, you may have to replace them every year or two. Polyester and nylon are exceptionally durable, although the latter is more susceptible to stretching and has the tendency to be quite slippery.
Akin to a rope’s durability is its strength. However, it is crucial to understand that there strength pertains more to the ability of the rope to hold as much weight as possible without breaking or losing its integrity. Obviously, metal chains provide you with the greatest strength while polyesters are also exceptional when it comes to synthetics. If you’re choosing natural fibers, Manila rope seems to be an excellent choice, although it is quite pricey. Nylon is super strong but, again has the tendency to be quite slippery and as such is not really ideal for swings that are primarily intended for young kids. Polypropylene ropes can be strong, too, provided you don’t unnecessarily expose them to the elements.
Perhaps your choice of rope is best defined by who will be riding on the swing. If it is primarily children and that ample signage be posted to prevent adults from using the swing, then any of these choices should be great. But, if you’re making a swing that’s intended to hold even adults, then it’s crucial to choose a really strong rope. Additionally, while metal chains are strong, these are not really ideal for tree swings and should only be mounted on eye bolts.
The length of the rope is dependent on the height of the tree branch or the structure that you’re going to anchor it with, forming its fulcrum. Just make sure that there’s enough length left to allow for any adjustments to be made.
- UV Resistance
This pertains to the rope’s ability to resist the harmful rays of the sun and can be a major factor in determining its durability. As we have already mentioned, polypropylene may not be the best when it comes to handling UV exposure.
- Lack of Stretch
You don’t want your kid to be swinging lower and lower every time he or she takes a seat. That’s why it’s important to choose one that has little or no stretch. Nylon has the tendency to stretch while polyester gives you very little stretch. Of course, you have metal chains having no stretch at all.
Benefits of Swinging for Kids
Many of us don’t know that swinging helps kids calm down and that this activity can actually help children who may have sensory problems. In fact, there are several studies that suggest swinging can actually be beneficial to kids with autism. There are many benefits of swinging for kids. Here are a few of them.
- Helps with sensory integration – Swinging helps the brain process a variety of information all at the same time. Visual, kinesthetic, auditory, olfactory, body awareness, and movement inputs together with the pull of gravity are all integrated into the brain allowing for faster integration and processing, leading to better learning and the molding of behavior in the future.
- Aids in the enhancement of balance – Children have to work against gravity to maintain a more stable balance of the body. Rocking their bodies to and fro leads to the strengthening of the core muscles which helps in the more efficient development of balance.
- May provide for calm and relaxation – Experts believe that this has something to do with our instincts. The gentle rocking motion of the swing brings us back in time when we were calmly soothed by the fluids in our mother’s womb. Exactly how it works still remains to be adequately explained, however.
Swinging is definitely not only for kids. It’s great for adults, too. Choosing the right rope for your tree swing means choosing one that is durable, strong, has exceptional UV resistance, has no or minimal stretch, and easy to install, too. With the 5 best ropes for tree swings, you can easily make one for you and your kids right in your backyard.