If you have ever suffered from sticker shock after shopping for a swingset or playground equipment for your kids, here is an idea you may want to consider.
I was at a military surplus store one day and they had cargo nets that caught my eye. Having been a pilot for my day job I knew what these things were. The surplus store was selling them for around $30 dollars. The nets were quite large 15 feet by 15 feet and very heavy duty. They are used to secure cargo on military transports so I knew they would hold all the kids that would fit in them.
We built a small tree house in a sprawling oak tree. Having bought two cargo nets we hung one directly below the tree house.
The second cargo net we fastened to the tree by the tree house and tied the other end to heavy duty anchors in the ground. This created a climbing wall that the kids could use to get to the tree house and the other net.
The net hanging below the tree house had almost trampoline qualities as it moves and shifts with the kids as they crawl around. We thought the tree house would be the main attraction but really the kids loved the hanging net best.
We can see the tree house and cargo net from our kitchen window. It did not take long for all the kids in the neighborhood to discover this cool new addition. Sometimes we would see as many as 10 kids in the net at once . We started calling the net the “Kid Catcher”. My wife or I would look out the window an joke that we got another load of kids and it was time to empty the net and troll for more.
This is a really easy and inexpensive project to do. Visit a military surplus store and see what treasures you find.