Quarantine Child Entertainment: A Porch Swing Set
**Our honesty policy: This post may contain affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you. Some are, some aren't--I do some comparison shopping. The important thing is you will know exactly what we are talking about. Ping me if you have any questions on the products as these are materials and tools we use on our own projects.
There are a million different ways to cope during Coronavirus induced quarantine and I’m sure there are a million mom blogs talking about this right now. But this here is a DIY blog–run by a mom, and installing a porch swing set certainly is a DIY project when you start pulling out:
- a drill,
- a drill bit extension,
- safety glasses,
- and ladders
…which I will share with you next week!
This is the backstory and this week I’m sharing a purely fun swing seat unboxing video with the outtakes aimed at the gifters.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Kids are at home 24/7 climbing the walls and we all need entertainment and physical activity. If you have littles, like me, they don’t understand the caution tape wrapped around their favorite park equipment.
My two-year old cried like someone stabbed her on our first visit–the sound of her sadness was piercing. So, after our first traumatic experience, we avoid ANY greenspace near a playground.
Your very own personal porch swing set can be a much needed answer.
My brother has a lovely swing set setup on his front porch we’ve all used over the years (and yes, I mean ALL of us have sat in that swing on occasion). He and his family thoughtfully gifted my girls with a swing seat of their own last week.
Unboxing it has been a fun adventure and a form of entertainment in and of itself with three packages coming over the span of a week.
The first package came in from Amazon: a MONSTER pair of hinges that seemingly weigh as much as a gold brick. With a rating of holding 2,400 pounds, if I had a third hinge IT COULD SWING MY CAR! …with different/extra carabiners–they only hold 600 lbs each. (a 2018 Mazda 3 has a curb weight between: 2,875 to 3,100 lbs)
Giving my daughters no clues, I let them play with them until smashed toes were imminent.
The second package arrived a few days later, containing the swing seat itself. There was a bit of delayed reaction, but once they realized it was a swing the excitement skyrocketed!
You’d think the swing seat would have had the best reaction, but the box containing the structural screws (to attach the hinges to the porch beam) had the best reception. You just can’t beat a box full of glow sticks, a candy puzzle mistaken to be…wait for it…candy (to much disappointment–so funny and so sad at the same time!), and Disney Frozen clothes left behind in my brother’s family’s hamper.
OK, so no one cared about the screws in the box after they saw the rest of the contents.
All together there is now a back porch swing set.
If you are looking for a playground alternative in your backyard you don’t need anything more than a beam with enough space to swing.
They sure didn’t need much space for this mini jungle gym in this postage stamp yard and a swing seat requires even less space.
If you are looking to get a porch swing set started, I highly recommend this swing seat from Menard’s.
- Earlier this month I looked at the offerings on Amazon because of prime shipping. However, I wasn’t thrilled with what I found. Many seats were only seats (I’m not going to a hardware store to get additional links of chain right now with kids in tow).
- The swing seats were also more expensive on Amazon, despite Amazon prime and paying shipping at Menards.
- The chain isn’t just metal. There is a vinyl coating on the length of chain next to the seat so the part you hold on to is easier to grip and harder to pinch small fingers.
- The chain and seat are connected with carabiners for easy removal.
- This swing seat has family testing. My brother’s seat is two years old and it stays out year round (and IS USED year round).
I don’t expect the same performance here in Arizona. It is too dry and the sun may make the plastic seat brittle. However, with fun entertainment like this I’m willing to take down the swing EVERY DAY so the sun doesn’t deteriorate the plastic. Plus, let’s face it. No one wants to sit on a plastic seat when it is blazing hot.
The reason I didn’t buy it myself was because I was not 100% sure how I wanted to attach it to the beam, I ran out of night and then forgot until my sister-in-law asked.
Having read up on it, I also now realize it is only rated for weights below 120. I’m not saying what I weigh, but I will state that I weigh over 120 lbs. I’ve gently swung on my brothers and now mine. YMMV, and I’m not recommending going over the advertised weight, but I plan on sitting on it from time to time–not hang from it like a monkey. And if it breaks I don’t have too far to fall and I’ll just buy a new one.
So fun fact for you, this is not an affiliate link because I’d rather say this swing seat is quality because of the reasons above. And because Menard’s has a special place in my heart.
If you want a swing seat with a higher weight limit, here is a heavy duty one with a 250 lb weight limit at Home Depot I also considered. It doesn’t have carabiners on the seat if that is a more desirable feature than the weight limit.
*Side note on my expected usage: I’m not sure how well the vinyl on the chains will stand up to the sun–and again it is no fun to burn your hands on hot plastic or metal–so I’ll be using the carabiners on the heavy duty hooks and bring both the seat and chains in daily.
Attaching the porch swing seat to a beam.
As for the heavy duty swing hinges…the heavy duty label is no joke! These suckers are HEAVY! After the girls grow a bit more I expect to graduate from a swing to a hammock chair. Maybe I’ll get another set of heavy duty swing hinges and invite a friend over for aerial yoga.
The structural screws are the last key component. These badass screws (GRK Fasteners 5/16″ x 3-1/8″) are going to hold these massive hinges in place, no problem!
Thanks again, brother and sister. The girls love it–we do our pre-nap book and swing session to tire out the smallest after lunch and the older one uses it at quiet time. And I don’t have to hear someone crying, “SWING!” pitifully (
although, as I mentioned before, we entirely avoid that situation now–scratch that–we rode bikes by the park to get the photo of the caution tape on the playground equipment. Both my older daughter and I told our 2-year old that we would come home and swing–and she understood! Total win!)