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DIY: Kids Outdoor Swing

Kids outdoor swing

In the swing of things
Singer / songwriter Nianell has her hands full with her triplets, so Aidan and Top Billing decided to give the kids some outdoor entertainment to last them for many a year.

production and words lee stopforth photographs gunther gräter

With a handful of humble gum poles one is able to build a variety of jungle gyms and play structures for your kids to enjoy. It’s possible to create elaborate and exciting creations that would make Frank Lloyd Wright stare in amazement, yet often the simple construction is the most effective. The same type of poles can work equally well for both the swing structure as well as the ground barrier.

difficulty rating

Shopping List:
5 x 3 000mm gum poles
8 x 2 400mm gum poles
12mm drill bit
Double netting
M 10 threaded rod
M 10 Nylock nuts and washers
Playpen sand
Mixing stones
Cement mix
Concrete mix
2kg hammer
Mixing bucket

Power drill
Tape measure
19mm spanner
Staple gun
DIY Kids outdoor swing step 2

Step 1
Measure and mark out the area where you would like to build your swing and then visit your local branch of Builders Warehouse – they stock gum poles in a range of lengths.

Find the size that will best suit your garden and the space you have allocated for your children’s play area.

Step 2
Measure 300mm from the ends of the poles that will be used as the sandpit barrier wall. Drill a 12mm hole though all eight poles as this will allow you to lay the poles in place before securing them with the dropper rods. This will create a sturdy wall to contain the sand. Lay the double netting down and secure it with the staple gun. Pour in a layer of mixing stone to aid in drainage – this will also keep out unwanted weeds and prevent the sand from washing away in the rain.

Step 3
To create the foundation for the pole that will support the swing, dig four holes deep and wide enough to accommodate the pole as well as a good amount of supporting concrete. Mix the concrete and pour some into each of the holes in order to create a solid base before inserting the poles into each hole.

Step 4
Lay two of your 3 000mm poles across each other at a point 300mm from the end, and then drill through both poles. Secure them together with the threaded rod, nuts and washers. Use the file to break the edge of the
threaded rod, as this will allow you to thread the nut on easier, helping to prevent the nagging problem of having a cross thread. It also is a good thing for safety in prevention of cuts. Once this is secure, lift this triangle into
place. Now pour more concrete around the pole to add to its stability and rigidity. Repeat this step for the other side.

Step 5
Take the last 3 000mm pole and measure out where your swing needs to be secured (see diagram below). Span this pole across from one side support to the other. Drill a through bolt at the point where these
poles cross.

Step 6
With the structure now built and done you can pour the sand into the play pen, to about 50mm from the top as this will keep the sand inside. The building department at Builders Warehouse will calculate the required
amount of sand for the space you want to fill. All they will need are the dimensions of your sand pit. If you are not able to find the tyre swing of your choice, one can simply have Builders Warehouse cut a board 200mm x 600mm – you can drill holes in this board so that it can be secured with a chain or rope for a traditional style of swing. Now the kids and you can really get into the swing of things.

Top Tip
Carefully cut out and remove the grass to create the space for your swing area, as you will need to later patch up the holes to create a neat and beautiful installation.

DIY Kids outdoor swing step 3

DIY Kids outdoor swing step 4

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