Swings are probably one of the most entertaining things out there for your toddler, even if you make funny faces that could be more entertaining for them. Nevertheless, swings offer enough to put a smile on their faces and get the wind in their hair. We all know how toddlers like to be thrown into the air. The same goes for swinging.
But, since we are speaking about toddlers you need to be even more cautious when it comes to letting them swing. What this means is that toddlers are much more sensitive to high speeds and since they are so little, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that the swing set you place in your backyard is safe and that it won’t hurt your toddler in any way. Having that in mind, in this article we’ll cover some of the most important points you need to take care of when it comes to establishing your swing set for your toddler. Keep in mind that the person swinging can create a lot of speed and it really doesn’t matter if they are toddlers or not. Even your toddler can generate enough speed to swing very fast and you can learn more about it in a separate article.
In the end, swinging should be fun for your kid and if their safety is jeopardized, then you are doing something wrong.
Anchoring With Concrete
Now, in this article, we’ll speak about swing sets. We all know how they look since they are common in most playgrounds. It’s a metal set that has two V-shaped legs and one or more swings that hang from it. Pretty simple stuff. But, if you want to make sure that the swing set is going to be safe when used by your toddler, you need to follow a few steps that will ensure you are doing everything correctly.
- Good positioning
First of all, you need to pick a good place where you will locate your swing set. Be aware that it will be there permanently so you can’t really make a mistake when it comes to this. You should pick a place that doesn’t have any obstacles within a range of 5 meters in diameter. Keep in mind that swings are used for swinging and if your toddler hits an obstacle when it goes up and down that won’t be a good thing. Also, you should pick a solid ground where you will dig holes for the pillars (we will talk more about this later). If the soil you pick isn’t stable your swing may wobble and it won’t be immune to the rain and all the moving from swinging.
- Dig holes
The next step is to dig holes where you will put the legs of your swing construction. The holes need to be deep enough for the soil to get a good grip of the construction. Keep in mind that you will fill these holes with concrete and if they are shallow that won’t be enough to keep the swing stable.
If you want precise numbers, each hole should be deep for a minimum of 0.5 meters. Anything less than that and you are risking that your construction won’t have the grip needed.
- Pour the concrete
The next thing is to pour concrete into the holes. Of course you need to place the legs of the construction into the holes first and then fill the holes with concrete. To do this you need to know how to make a mixture of good concrete which we won’t cover here. You have a lot of articles about it on the Internet and we assure you that the process isn’t complex at all. You can even consult Youtube to see how professionals do it and mimic the mixture they make.
When you pour your concrete to the anchor points, try not to overdo it. Everything needs to be perfect and just pour enough of it to fill the hole itself. Don’t let it spill around and damage the surroundings. A good way to do this is to place wood panels around the hole just to make sure you will fill the space properly and that it will look neat when you finish.
- Let the concrete dry
Concrete needs time to dry, and depending on the way you made it, it could take more than 24 hours for it to happen. But usually, one day will be just enough. After the concrete hardens, pack some previously removed soil to the top of the holes just to hide the concrete. It will look better and it will give even more grip to the pillars of the construction. For maximum safety and final check, give a harsh shake to the whole construction. If it doesn’t move, that means you did a good job.
Anchoring With Ground Anchors
If applying concrete in order to make your swing stable is too complicated for you, don’t worry. There is another way to make the swing set stable just with a pair of stakes. The way they work is by twisting them next to the legs of the swing. First thing you’ll need to do is create a hole with the help of a hammer and a metal or wooden stick. The idea is just to create a starting hole where you’ll twist the stakes which will go deep to the ground. Before all of this, it is mandatory to pick a good solid ground where you will place the swing itself, just as it’s told in the previous example. The stakes will work as an anchor. Twist them with your hands and if you can’t go any further use a metal bar that you will put through the anchors and twist. That way you’ll be able to apply more pressure and go deeper into the soil.
The next thing you’ll need to do is to connect the anchor you placed to the legs of the swing set. You can do this with a screw or a bolt which you will slide into the “eye” of each anchor and then drill the screw directly into the leg of the swing near the bottom. Connect the leg and the anchor with the cable or chain that you’ll get with the set of ground anchors. You can check on Amazon for these sets since there are a lot of them available. If it’s hard for you to imagine how this looks, you can just check on Youtube similar videos for swing ground anchors. The concept is fairly simple and as in contrast to the first method, you won’t need to dig a lot and use concrete which is sweet. Of course, if you want to be sure that your swing won’t move and that it will stay in place for years to come, concrete option is always better. But ground anchors will work just fine as well.
Don’t Let Your Swing Move Ever Again
We know how important safety really is and therefore, in this article we gave you 2 easy to do by yourself methods which you can utilize in order to keep your swing in place. Now, you just need to decide what you want. Do you want a viable long term solution that will keep your swing in place for years to come or a fast solution that will work like a charm for a couple of years but needs constant touch-ups occasionally.
Matan Feldman, Dad & Swing Expert
My Name is Matan Feldman and I am a dad of a toddler and an infant based out of Atlanta. I manage this website, Baby Swing Hubs, and mostly blog here about baby activity gear including swings, walkers, bouncers, and jumpers, among others. From what I have learned being a parent for over 7 years now, I am very excited to share good tips with other parents especially if it can improve the safety of kids. I work with a baby products testing and review company and over the past 2 years, I have gained deep insight into baby products and am happy to recommend them here. When I am not wasting time learning one or two tricks at home with my two kids, I spend a lot of time blogging on this site or on other sites to assist parents looking for first-hand insight or feedback on different baby products – especially from a dad’s perspective. If you have any questions, you can reach me using my email, firstname.lastname@example.org.