Cardboard Travel Swing (A Father’s Day Tribute)

Made from about five layers of glued corrugated cardboard and 4 cam straps, we created a  swing, with well, more swing. This is a great kid’s swing to keep in your car or bike bag, particularly if you find that sweet spot near a body of warm water this summer.

If you use cardboard that comes from a box that has a waxy finish, your swing would be water-resistant, and should hold up in the event of an occasional splash.

The design of this swing is a common one, but the inspiration runs deeper.

The whole idea of bringing a swing to the people is one that stems from my father; rope swing builder extraordinaire.

My father actually made a practice of seeking out “rope swing type” people, and convincing them to let him build a rope swing (or zip line) for them in their back yard. He was a kind of “missionary of extreme backyard play” seeking the easy converts of the neighborhood.

I remember my father, one evening, relishing in the fact that he had scored a large pile of tow rope from a local ski hill that had recently gone out of business. He thought it would be enough to make a swing for every family in the neighborhood.

He had extension ladders, tree climbing harnesses, and I seem to remember a pair of spiky shoes for scaling tree trunks.

He was always planning ahead by stockpiling materials. Once he and my mom even moved a massive old hospital fire-escape into our backyard which he reconfigured into an incredible twisting tube slide that launched from our back deck.

I cannot remember a time in my life when we didn’t have some kind of risky swing to swing on or I couldn’t hear my father’s occasional Wheeee! punctuate the silence of a beautiful summer day as he pushed one of us on a swing.

I know it would put a warm feeling in my Dad’s heart to know that we are sharing his enthusiasm for big swings with a few kids in Tokyo.

Thanks for all the fun Dad.

Happy Father’s Day.

6 thoughts on “Cardboard Travel Swing (A Father’s Day Tribute)

    • Thread the swing seat onto the straps and throw it over the branch. The weight makes it easier. Actually it was the work of my 6ft+ tall husband getting it over the branch. If you’re a mom or dad also trying to watch your little one, it’s going to take a few tries.

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  2. What an idyllic image; a kid on a rope swing! My kids have their first swing of their own thanks to your simple tutorial. Your ingenuity with cardboard is amazing.

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