Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tire Swing Tutorial

In my efforts to keep my kids out of the house... I decided to build a tire swing. My little boy's preschool teacher had one a few years ago and it seemed like a hit at his preschool. We saw a hard plastic one at Home Depot a few weeks ago, but they wanted $65 for it! We decided that we could build one ourselves.
The first thing I did was head to my nearest tire store. I asked them if they had any old tires that I could have (for free). They took me out back and I picked a fairly large one. The 2nd step was to paint it. The nice lady at Home Depot seemed to think that any type of paint would work on rubber. I like the Behr paint that has primer. I wanted something bright. A quart would be plenty for sure. I had a couple of reasons why I wanted to paint it... first, I didn't want the kids turning black from the dirty tire and 2nd I was hoping it would keep it a little bit cooler. (Now, I don't know if the paint will last forever, but that's okay)
The next thing we did was measured the tire's circumference and divide by three. That way we knew where to play our three chains.
We bought 3 U bolts. We drilled holes in the tire to put the bolts through. We cut our 3 chains about 5 feet long. (One thing that I have learned is that the nice employees at Home Depot will cut your chains to length for you). We put the chain through the bolt then secured it to the tire with the nuts on the inside. The bolt comes with a bracket on the back, but we added washers for more strength.

Now, you have a tire with 3 chains coming from it... the top is the tricky part. We wanted our tired to be able to swivel.. that way our kids can make themselves sick spinning in circles. The nice employee at Home Depot was no help. So, my crafty dad came to the rescue and welded me a swivel. Now, if you don't have a super crafty dad, you can visit this site to purchase a ball bearing swivel... or google it and find another site. Or maybe the employees at your Home Depot will be more helpful.

We hung our tire swing from our existing swing set. You could hang it from a large tree or be creative!!! All 3 boys fit on it perfectly and they have created several games that they can play on it. It's been a huge success.... but they still don't like playing on it in 103 degree weather.... please cool down:)

My only concern is that I may need to drill holes in the bottom of the tire for drainage... the sprinklers fill the tire up with water.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.