Written April 21, 2016

Making a Sensory Swing

In a bit of a departure from tech, here’s some instructions on making a slick sensory swing for your sensory starved little one.

Start with a pull-up bar, preferably a bolt together one like this one from Dicks:

We’ll take advantage of the extensive number of bolts used to assemble this bar to provide hanging points for the swing.

The hardware shopping list is pretty straightforward:

(2) 3/16” quick links (2) 1/4” x 2” fully threaded eye bolts (prefer welded or forged) (2) 1/4” nylon nuts (nylocks) (4) 1/4” washers (2) 1/4” lock washers (2) 32lbs long, automotive extension springs (1) 15’ x 1” nylon (or similar) truck strap

Begin assembly by removing the forward and inside carriage bolts from the pull-up bar. Pre-assemble the eye bolts by running a nut up the threads to the seat. Add the lock washer and then one of the flat washers.

Push the eye bolt through the empty hole from the bottom, drop the second washer and then the nylock. To tighten things up, stick a screwdriver through the eye bolt and run the nylock down until there is a thread or two of the eye bolt past the nylon. Follow-up by running the necked nut back the other direction until the lock washer fully closes.

Using a quick link, attach the spring to the eye bolt, and then hang the swing from the spring. Unfurl the truck strap, cut off the hook and seal the fray with a lighter. Fold the webbing in half and cut and seal the midpoint, making (2) 7’ runs of webbing. With both straps in hand, step into the swing and press the bucket to the floor. From the top, slide a length of the webbing down the center of the spring and pull through. Take the tail of the webbing at the top and tie a simple clove hitch with a locking half hitch to the pull-up bar. Now step out of the swing, you look like an idiot ;-)

Load up your little one and watch the magic unfold; don’t forget to show them how to use the webbing to pull themselves up for more bouncy fun.

Assembled Eye Bolt

Tightening the Nylock

Seat the Nylock a thread or two

Webbing exiting spring

Webbing tied off & fished through spring

The swing fully assembled