If you have two suitable trees, springtime is awesome for setting up a slackline for the kids (and big people too!) It is simple to do, and we couldn’t believe the difference in muscle tone our kiddo had after about a week of playing on this one. Balance, coordination, and self-esteem are all stimulated in a beautiful way with a slackline. We had a roll of sturdy, nylon rope that we had gotten at a discount tool place (Harbor Freight Tools in CA) for about 8 bucks. We strung one line between 2 trees (it is recommended that they be at least 8″ in diameter) and held Captain’s hand as she would wobble across. It dawned on us that she needed a second line up above her, to hang onto so she could play independently, and voila!, she was ripping across it, bouncing and jumping all by herself. The first few nights after playing on it with the 2nd line she did complain that her sides and legs were hurting, and we realized it was because she was using so many muscles in her legs and torso, neck, arms, well everything. It is truly great exercise and fun, fun fun!
I recommend reading this bit from Wikipedia, if you don’t have another source to look at. They share a lot of of info and ideas and also recommend using a wider strap instead of the rope, as it is easier to walk on and you can build up to doing more tricks etc. For now, we had the rope on hand and are going to stick with it, but we will probably graduate up to a strap when she is ready to play around without holding the upper rope. This is great for body and soul!!
Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line’s tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping the slacker’s footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts.”
Without a lot of research, it looks like slackline kits start at about 45 bucks. Like I said, we may go for the better strap at some point, but for now, it’s a DIY-with-what’s-around thing, and it is working great! If you don’t have the trees available, it would be worth finding a friend or neighbor who does. It is fantastic!
Spring is in the air and getting outside is what it’s all about!