Backyard Tightrope

  • Two lengths of soft rope
  • Two trees (or fence posts, deck rails etc.)

Kids of all ages, from toddlers to 8-year-olds, absolutely love balancing on ropes and trying to walk from one end to the other. Find two trees or fence posts or deck rails that are fairly close together.

Start with the lower rope: Position one rope about a foot to a foot-and-a-half off the ground, and secure it to one of your trees/poles. Wrap your rope around the tree or pole several times before tying a knot to secure it in place. With the loose end, pull the rope as tight as you can – this will help to keep your rope as taut as possible when your child stands on it. Secure the other end of the rope around the second tree or pole, using the same method as before.

The higher rope: Position the second rope several feet off the ground. To get a good idea, have your child raise his or her arms slightly above his or her head. This is where you want to position the higher rope. You want it high enough that they have to reach up for it when they’re standing on the ground. To ensure that this activity does not pose a danger, do not leave any ends of the ropes dangling loosely.  

Secure any extra length in place by wrapping and knotting it or by cutting it off. That’s all there is to it!  

Now it’s time to call over those adventurous children! Depending on the age of your child, it may take a few minutes for them to get the hang of it. That bottom rope will be quite wobbly as they work to figure out the mechanics of it all. But just you watch! Before long, it will click, and they’ll be able to balance on the rope like pros.

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