This is a layout of the swing that Sophie made using a PVC pipe and a jump rope. She just wrapped the jump rope around the knob of a cut-off branch. At first, they were just using it with one rope in the middle, putting their legs on either side of the rope, but we re-designed it to be more like a regular swing with two ropes to hold onto. They absolutely love playing on this, although they have come in with some scrapes from hitting the tree (we don’t really have a great tree to put a swing on and this one is really too close to the trunk). Mostly, I think they love it because they made it themselves. I do think that one of our most important jobs as parents is to allow kids to be creative, messy and playful. My kids are always making tents, forts, mud food and castles in the sand. Sometimes, I do have to give a big sigh when I think about cleaning up those messy clothes and shoes, but then I remember what a wonderful time I had making messes outside as a kid. We are going to have a garage sale and will probably get rid of most of the plastic play things we have in the yard. The kids don’t really use them. They would rather have sticks, an old blanket, and some leaves.