How to Hang a Toddler Swing on a Tree

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Hanging a tree swing for a toddler requires a sturdy branch and the correct knots.
Hanging a tree swing for a toddler requires a sturdy branch and the correct knots. (Image: Ryan McVay/Valueline/Getty Images)

Toddler tree swings differ from the tree swings of older children. Safety is of primary importance for a toddler swing. The most noticeable difference between a toddler swing and others is the use of a safety seat. Toddler seats are designed to hold a child in place, unlike a board swing, which is without a back support and retaining straps or the tetherless design of a tire swing. Hanging a toddler tree swing requires testing branches and tying secure knots.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • A frame latter
  • Chalk
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch bit
  • 2 2-foot long 1/2-inch diameter eye bolts
  • 2 1/2-inch washers
  • 2 carabiners with threaded gates
  • 2 6-foot nylon or grass ropes
  • Swing seat

Select a living tree branch that reaches out over the ground horizontally, no more than 8 feet up the trunk. Select one with a diameter of 1 1/2 feet at a distance of 6 feet or greater from the trunk of the tree. Throw one end of a rope over the branch 6 feet out from the trunk of the tree.

Hang from the branch by holding both ends of the rope. Lift your feet off the ground. Watch the branch above for any sagging. Listen for cracking or snapping noises. If sagging, snapping or cracking occurs, do not use the branch for the toddler swing; select another.

Measure the width of the swing seat. Place an A frame latter under the branch. Measure a distance of 6 feet from the trunk and mark the bottom of the branch with a piece of chalk. Make another mark on the far side of the branch in relation to the tree trunk, equal in distance to the width of the swing seat, from the first.

Drill a hole from the bottom of the branch, bisecting the diameter, through the top at both your first and second marks. Slide a washer onto two eye bolts and slide the eye bolts through the two holes, the eyes at the bottom of the branch. Place another washer on each eye bolt followed by a nut. Tighten the nuts with crescent wrenches while holding the bolts in place by sliding a screw driver through the eyes and holding them in place while you wrench the nuts.

Tie a rope to each eyelet with a bowline knot. Slide the ropes through the eyelets on the safety seat. Adjust the height of the seat until it is between 9 inches to 1 foot off the ground and secure the ropes to the eyelets with a bowline.

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