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bennelson 04-12-12 01:52 PM

5-Gallon Bucket Swing
Hey folks, I wasn't sure where recycled playground equipment fit in, but I thought the "Lawn and Garden" category was going to be as close as anything else I could find!

This past weekend, my wife, 18-month-old daughter, and I went over to my Dad's house. One of my brothers happened to be over there at the time too.

My dad wanted to put up a swing in the yard for the little girl, and took a look at a toddler swing at the store. His complaint wasn't that it was over-priced, but that it was such a fancy, new-fangled thing, with seat-belts and straps in all directions. He thought it would be easier just to make a simple swing.

So, my Dad, brother, and I took a 5-gallon bucket, cut it to the shape of a toddler swing, ran a rope through it, and hung it from a tree.

The little girl swung in it for about an hour and a half. She typically never goes on any of the swings at the park for more than ten minutes!

I didn't get a chance to document making that swing, since I didn't have my camera with me. However, last night I made a second bucket swing to hang in my back yard. I took photos to show how I made it and then made a YouTube video from that as well.

Here's the video for you.
Toddler Swing from a 5-Gallon Bucket! - YouTube

I have a nice long post about all this on my personal blog. Visit over there if you want the long story and "how-to" directions.

I also made a technical drawing showing how to build the bucket swing. I have that posted HERE. I drew it up to fit one 8.5x11" sheet of paper, so you can print it out and take it out to your garage or workshop for when you make your bucket swing.

basjoos 04-19-12 10:06 AM

Be sure to test the plastic for strength every 6 months or so, or better yet replace it every year or two. Those polyethylene buckets weaken and start cracking into pieces after a few years in the sun. Wouldn't want it to come apart while the little girl was riding in it.

bennelson 04-19-12 10:47 AM

I kinda mentioned that in the comments on the YouTube video.

To me, it seems pretty self-evident, but I'm sure there are some people out there who wouldn't even look at quality of materials while starting a project or inspecting it later down the line.

I have some buckets that have been sitting behind the garage for years, and they all appear to be in excellent shape.

I expect my toddler to outgrow this swing LONG before any degradation of materials. On that same note, certain types of ropes hold up to the weather than others, and should be occasionally inspected.

Daox 04-19-12 12:03 PM

Looks pretty cool Ben! Pretty simple to throw together too.

bennelson 04-25-12 08:06 AM

I tried, but I just didn't fit!

I suppose a person could put a few barbell weights in it and give it a push.

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