24 May
Five DIY outdoor swingsets
Posted by Elizabeth Moreno

Across the globe, outdoor swingsets are one of the most popular pieces of playground equipment. Unfortunately, many countries throughout the developing world do not have established playground safety regulations, so local builders often end up constructing poorly designed swingsets. This can lead to swingsets quickly falling into disrepair and children getting hurt on dangerous or unmaintained equipment.

Outdoor Swingsets

For this reason, Playground Ideas has created several outdoor swingset designs that can be built anywhere in the world from locally sourced, low-cost, and recycled materials. These designs are free of common safety hazards and each design comes with downloadable step-by-step pictorial instructions. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor swingset designs from our design library:

1. Swing Double

The “Swing Double” is our DIY version of the classic outdoor swingset. It has been designed to be super low cost and can be built from timber, rope, steel chain, tire tread, and a few bolts and screws. One important note: before building this element, ensure that termites or other wood eating insects are not a problem in your area. If they are, you’ll be better off building the frame from steel. You can learn more about selecting appropriate materials in our “Playground Builder’s Handbook.”


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Click here to get the free DIY step-by-step instructions to build your own “Swing Double.”


2. Swing Seat Best

In areas of the world where rubber swing seats are not easily available for purchase, metal swing seats are often used instead. These are a big safety hazard because young children can easily accidentally run in front of the swing and get hit on the head. Metal swing seats are also heavy and harder for young children to swing on.

The “Swing Seat Best” is a classic rubber swing seat constructed from a recycled tire tread and a few welded steel pieces. It’s very simple to build, safe to play on, and nearly indestructible.


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Click here to get the free DIY step-by-step instructions to build your own “ Swing Seat Best.”


3. Swing Tractor Flat Maxi Hammock

The “Swing Tractor Flat Maxi Hammock” is a fun twist on the classic tire swing. This outdoor swingset can accommodate several children at once, making it a fun group element. Built from a large tractor tire and recycled tire sidewalls, and a motorbike tire, this element can be hung from a constructed frame or sturdy tree branches.

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Click here to get the free DIY step-by-step instructions to build your own “Swing Tractor Flat Maxi Hammock.”


4. Swing Monkey

The “Swing Moneky” is an outdoor swingset designed by Playground Ideas design intern Wayne Tyler Sall, who took inspiration from the palm fronds he remembered swinging on as a kid in Panama. They’d hang down low from coconut trees and Tyler and his brother would swing around and around on them.

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photo by Mathias Dür

Click here to get the free DIY step-by-step instructions to build your own “Swing Monkey.”


5. Swing Truck Tire Hammock

The “Swing Truck Tire Hammock” is one of our all-time favorite elements. Why? The whole thing can be built from just one nylon truck tire and a few bolts and little kids love rocking, swaying, and chatting with their friends in these peaceful hammock swings. Another benefit to the “Swing Truck Tire Hammock” is that since it remains so close to the ground, this element does not require a “safe fall zone” around it like traditional outdoor swingsets do, so it’s a great choice if you’re tight on space. You can learn more about “safe fall zones” and other common playground safety precautions in our “Playground Safety Handbook.”

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Click here to get the free DIY step-by-step instructions to build your own “Swing Truck Tire Hammock.”


More Outdoor Swingset Resources:

– Explore all our swing designs as well as 150 other DIY playground elements in the Playground Ideas Design Library.

– Our “Playground Builder’s Handbook” will teach you everything you need to know to build a playground from start to finish using local tools and materials, and by accessing local skills.

– For all elements, be sure to check that they meet the local safety standards in your country. You can learn more about common playground safety hazards and how to avoid them in our pictorial “Playground Safety Handbook.”


With the right design, quality materials, and knowledge of playground safety, you’ll ensure your swingset will be well loved for years to come!