How to Hang a Swing

How to hang a swing from a frame:

Early Childhood Centres swings and frames should be designed and installed according to the New Zealand Standards NZS 5828:2015.

These standards are designed to make sure children are safe and include requirements like showing the distance two swings need to be apart and the distance from swing to the frame.  The standards also show the amount of free space required in the front and back of the swing.  (This distance is dependant on the height of the frame.) 

The height from the safety surface to the bottom of the swing should be 350mm for your traditional “to and fro” swings and 400mm for your single point pivot swings.

If you are using an eye-bolt make sure the circle part of the bolt is facing the right way. The eye bolt should be at a right angle to the cross beam to reduce the wear on the eyebolt as the swing can move around the eyebolt.

How to hang a swing from a tree:

Tree Swing

If you have a property that has a large tree you maybe able to utilise it instead of building a frame.  Swinging from a tree has a whole different feeling to it and is great fun.

Here are some suggestions.

The first thing to do is to find a branch that as horizontal as possible (different rope length mean it does not swing straight) and thick enough.  It should be strong enough to hold an adult, as you never know who will be using it. I would suggest at least 20cm circumference and ensure it is a live branch. 

You can also install a thick rope between two trees and then attach the swing to the middle of this rope.

The swing should sit at least 1 to 1.5 metres away from the trunk.  Also consider what may get in the way of the swing and what is in the fall zone!

There are several ways to attach the rope to the tree.

  • Tie it directly using a swing hitch knot (may damage the tree over time)
  • Use a strap or chain and D-shackle (see our fittings) these tend to do less damage to the tree over time.
  • Drill straight through the branch and use an eye-bolt and carbine clip (this can kill the branch!)

If you are installing a double rope swing make sure it swings in a straight line, by having your two top fixing points slightly further apart than the width of the swing. The longer the ropes the wider they should be. If you have different length ropes this will also not make it swing straight.

The height of the swing to the ground should be based on the person using it, kids need to be able to reach the swing.  Note some ropes can stretch with weight.

If the branch is very high you can always get an arborist to install it for you.  But if you are going up a ladder yourself, make sure it’s safe, following the normal safety tips.

Or you can try the throw technique, which is a lot of fun, but requires a longer rope.

Tie a ball or stone to a long piece of string. Throw this up and over the high branch, holding on to the other end of the string as you do so.

Tie your rope to the end of the string that you're still holding, then pull the other end of the string downwards, over the branch, so your rope is pulled upwards and over the branch.

Tie a bowline knot in one end of the rope and slip the other end through it, then pull to secure it to the branch.

Note these are only our recommendations.  The installation of any swings and fittings are the responsibility of the buyer and installer.