The 10 Best Tree Swings
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in August of 2015. If you're struggling to find a healthy alternative to computer screens, mobile devices, and video games for your kids during the warmer months, look no further than these tree swings. Offering both fun and exercise, they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from classic playground designs to modern spinners. And remember, always supervise your children when they're playing on swings. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 22, 2020:
We have a new top dog with this update, the Pacearth Round, a saucer-style spinner that replaces the Web Riderz Swing N' Spin. The two designs have similar prices and ratings, but the cloth platform and foam edge on the Pacearth Round make it much more comfortable than the woven rope seat - especially during the summertime when everybody's wearing shorts.
We've also added the Classic Heavy Duty, which is budget-friendly and comes with everything you need to hang it (except a ladder). The Little Tikes Snug 'n Secure is also new to the list; it's designed for babies and toddlers and comes from a tried-and-true brand. The cocoon-inspired Outree Pod doesn't just provide a place to play, it may also help children calm down, especially those with special sensory needs.
We removed the M & M Pony Pal, the Summersdream Kickboard, and the Original Swurfer because they are no longer available - but we really hope the Original Swurfer comes back soon because its design is so unique. Finally, we've updated the information for several items, including the Trekassy Giant, the Laegendary Flying Saucer, and the HearthSong SkyCurve.
December 16, 2019:
Before we delve too deeply into our reasoning behind why certain models made our list and others didn't, we'd like to take a minute to remind our readers of how important it is that you supervise your children when playing on swings. Though they are designed for youngsters, a fun activity can quickly become dangerous if they aren't used correctly. So, in addition to supervision, you should also teach your child what is acceptable behavior when using one.
We think that anything that gets a child away from a screen and playing outdoors is a good thing, but we really like the Original Swurfer because it promotes even more activity than a regular swing and does a great job of building core strength and improving balance. In fact, we like this style so much that we dedicated an entire list to surf swings. The Laegendary Flying Saucer is another model that helps increase strength, as it features four small discs on the rope that children can use to practice their climbing skills.
While many of the models on our list can be used by multiple kids simultaneously, such as the Web Riderz Swing N' Spin and Swinging Monkey Tarzan Tire, none offer as much room as the Trekassy Giant and HearthSong SkyCurve, both of which are long enough for an adult to lounge on. Their size also makes them very versatile, since a child could just as easily take a nap or read a book on one as swing.
If you want something that resembles what you might have had as a child, or perhaps what your parents had, you'll want to consider the simple Carolina Custom Swings Rustic American Black Walnut. On the other hand, if you are trying to give your kid's imagination a bit of a boost, you will be better served by the M & M Pony Pal, which will inspire endless hours of cowboy make believe.
During this update we eliminated the Galaxy Glider and HearthSong Deluxe because we felt they really didn't offer anything more than the Web Riderz Swing N' Spin and Swinging Monkey Tarzan Tire, and we thought it better to include variety than too many models that are essentially the same.
Bella Luna Toys Maine Lobster Rope Swing Made entirely from woven lobster trap rope, this model from Bella Luna Toys can easily stand up to rain and snow. It is strong enough to support children or adults, and conforms to the user's bottom for a comfortable swinging experience. bellalunatoys.com
Porchgate Amish Made Roll Comfort Tree Swing Offering the appeal of a wooden swing combined with the curved comfort often found in plastic models, the Porchgate Amish Made Roll is an attractive option that is suitable for long periods of use. It is crafted from hand-selected pine boards, each of which is sanded smooth and has rounded edges. theporchswingcompany.com
How To Prepare For Installing a Tree Swing
Ideally, you'll want any branch - if not any tree base - to show zero flexibility or give.
Having a tree swing in your backyard is much safer than relying on a public swing set in that you can control, test, and adjust the equipment to your needs. That being said, maintaining a tree swing requires a bit of responsibility. First and foremost, you need to ensure that both the tree branch and swing are well-anchored and secure.
When it comes to understanding the weight capacity of your chosen tree branch, it is better to be safe than sorry by testing it using swing equipment and hanging or swaying from it to see how it responds. Your child may weigh less than you do, but chances are that he or she will be in constant motion whenever playing on a swing. Ideally, you'll want any branch - if not any tree base - to show zero flexibility or give.
Once you've found a firm branch, you need to measure an ample clearance. You can start by determining how high off the ground you want a tree swing's seat to rest. More often than not, you'll want that seat to rest just high enough such that the ground won't snag your child's feet. Next, measure the distance from the ground to the tree branch. Using this distance as your baseline, make sure that there aren't any obstructions surrounding the tree.
Ironically, one of the most common swing-set accidents involves a person running into a swing - or tripping over it - in the dark. The simplest way to avoid this is by installing a metal hook into the side of your tree. Doing so will allow your kids to drape the swing much like a sash whenever they're not using it. This will, in turn, prohibit anyone from running into that swing in the dark.
The Myriad Benefits of Teaching Your Child How to Swing
While swings are both simple and fun, they have also been proven to provide an endless stream of developmental benefits. Swinging on a regular basis helps children improve their motor skills, sensory integration (i.e., the mental processes by which a person is able to receive information via the senses), spatial awareness, and depth perception.
Swinging encourages a child to think without distraction; it encourages a child to set aside the video games and put away the phone.
Swinging also helps to curb hyperactivity, while alleviating symptoms that have been associated with certain nervous disorders. Therapists use swinging as a way to help autistic children focus, and, over time, these therapists may also use the swing as a motivational tool.
Swinging in a public setting encourages kids to interact without the activity being confrontational, unlike a lot of other physical activities like sports. Swinging encourages a child to think without distraction; it encourages a child to set aside the video games and put away the phone.
Pushing a child on a swing represents a bonding opportunity, allowing both parent and child to communicate and establish a sense of trust with one another. A backyard swing connects a child with certain lifelong memories about which he or she is bound to reminisce at an older age in, one would hope, an enduring way.
A Brief History of The Swing
The earliest proof that a swing existed comes by way of several ancient Greek etchings along with handmade sculptures that actually predate ancient Rome. As art evolved, swings continued to be depicted via several oil paintings, including The Swing by Nicolas Lancret in 1724, The Happy Accidents of The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard in 1767, and Spring by Pierre Auguste Cot in 1873.
They evoke a timeless sense of excitement, encapsulating some unique aspect of what it means to be young.
Swings have been popular in the United States ever since the early settling days. Tree swings maintained a presence throughout the Colonial Era, becoming even more popular as attention shifted toward the western frontier.
Swings became more standardized in the U.S. toward the end of the 1800s. Both swings and sliding boards represented the foundation of early neighborhood parks. Throughout the Great Depression and World War Two, the U.S. continued to allocate funds toward the building and upkeep of its recreation areas, despite the fact that many other sources of public funding had either been reallocated or stopped during those times.
Most playground swings had been made out of wood and steel up until the 1970s, at which point stricter safety measures led to replacing wood with plastic and heavy chains with ropes. Today, swings remain a constant presence throughout America. They evoke a timeless sense of excitement, encapsulating some unique aspect of what it means to be young.