What is a platform swing?

A platform swing is cool, comfortable and fun, especially for the kids. I first saw a platform swing at a friend’s backyard and I thought that it was a nifty idea to add one to my own backyard, and I wasn’t wrong.

My kids have enjoyed our platform swing ever since we put it up and you’re probably here because you’re planning to get one for your house too. But what exactly is a platform swing anyway?

A platform swing is simply a type of swing with a square wooden platform hanging using 4 ropes. Unlike a regular swing, a platform swing has a wider base making it more stable and offering the right tilting movements as it swings.

Aside from being a fun addition to the backyard, a platform swing is also used by occupational therapies for children with different types of abilities because it helps with strengthening the core, working on balance, correcting postural problems, and promoting better body awareness.

With a platform swing, the child has the option to sit, stand, kneel or even lay down while enjoying the swing. Two children can also enjoy a platform swing at the same time, as long as it is secured properly.

How to make a platform swing

You can easily buy a pre-made platform swing, or you can make this into a DIY project with just a few easy steps.

What you need:

  • Any kind of sturdy wood that is cut into the shape and size that you want.
  • Soft material that will be used as cover for the wood, such as vinyl or leather.
  • 2 D- rings large enough to hold the weight of big kids
  • Sturdy braided rope, the length of which will depend on how low you want your swing to be from the ground. Make sure to choose a strong and durable rope to avoid any accidents later on
  • Electrical or other industrial tape
  • Shears or clippers

What to do:

  • Detach the legs if you prefer to use a mini trampoline. If you opted to use plywood, you can either have it upholstered or just use any type of material to cover it.
  • Decide on the length of the rope by taking into account the height of which you’ll be hanging it from.
  • If you want to hang the platform swing with two ropes instead of the usual four, ensure that the rope is two times longer from the measured length of the previous step above.
  • Drill a hole through each corner of the wood if you’re using you are making your platform swing out of wood. But if you’re using a mini trampoline that already has holes, you can thread the rope directly through each hole knotting it at each corner and crossing over at the bottom. If you plan to use only two ropes for your platform swing, you can loop the rope around the wood and tie it at the top to form a triangle.
  • You can use a non-slip knot to secure the ropes after tying them up to D-rings or hooks. If you have a longer rope, you have the option to loop the rope onto the hooks to make it more secure. You can then wrap any ends of the rope that got frayed after cutting.
  • You can then test out the swing before letting others, especially kids, use them.

Types of platform swings

Now, if you prefer to buy a ready-made platform swing, you can choose from several options that are available on the market:

Platform swing with frame

This type of platform swing already comes with its own frame so you just need to find a nice place for it in your backyard, set it up, and you’re good to go. Most metal frames can support up to 400 lbs., so you don’t need to worry about safety.

Platform swing with stand

This is the same type of platform swing as one with a frame. Stand is just another name for frame.

Large platform swing

This type of platform swing has a square or rectangle platform that’s large enough to hold more than one kid.

Round platform swing

This platform swing usually comes with a round platform like a mini trampoline where kids can stand, jump or sit.

Platform tree swing

This is a type of platform swing that doesn’t have a frame, but you can attach it to a tree in your backyard where it can swing freely. Just make sure that you have a strong and sturdy tree to attach it from.

Safety tips before using a platform swing

Since your kids will be using your platform swing, it’s very important to follow a few safety precautions before allowing them to use your swing. I followed the same steps with my own platform swing and it gave me more peace of mind knowing that the swing is safe and enjoyable for the kids:

  • If you’re making the swing yourself, double check on all the ropes and knots after the project is done. Always test the swing before letting your kids ride them.
  • Make sure that you’re putting the platform swing in a clear, unobstructed area. If you’re using a tree swing, make sure that it won’t collide with the trunk when in use. Proper measurements are essential to ensure this.
  • Put the swing away when not in use and never allow your children to ride it without any adult supervision. No matter how safe your swing is, you always need to watch your kids when playing with the swing to avoid any accidents.
  • If you see any wear and tear on your swing, have it repaired or replaced right away. You can’t afford any mishaps caused by weak ropes or damaged platforms.

Having a platform swing is not only a great addition to your backyard for its unique style, but it’s also a way for your kids to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you hang it from a tree or buy one with a stand, your kids will love the hours of fun they have on their platform swing.