Pick up, set down Object

I have a character and a sword, I want the character to be able to put down, sheath the sword, and so on. The way I thought of was being able to keyframe the parent of the sword (which in Maya is just a dreadful task) But things in Blender seam to be far easier and just as effective as in Maya. ANYWAY, Essentially what is the easiest most effective way for the character to be able to pick up and set down the sword, and how would O go about doing it?

you put one bone on his hip where his sword goes, and another on his hand, then you give the sword a copy loc constraint to both the hip and the hand bones, and key the influences in the constraint panel. so when he’s holding the sword it’s full influence on the hand, and zero on the hip. and when he’s not, it’s 0 influence on the hand, and full on the hip.