How swing sets can help your child's development

Most people probably consider swinging a childhood staple. From the healthy competition of “highest swinger” to a daredevil’s exhibition of his jump from the highest point of the swing, the free and exciting motion of swinging provided hours of fun. But did you know swinging also benefits your body? Especially as a child?

A few of the many benefits of swinging are:

Sensory integration – There is a reason that swinging is commonly used in Occupational and other sensory therapies. It is full of sensory input. From the rhythmic and consistent motion, to the gentle blowing of the air as you move back and forth, swinging provides light sensory stimulation. The type of swing used for sensory therapy can be determined by the kind and amount of sensory integration desired. Compression swings are wonderful for people who seek deeper/harder sensory input.

Improves core muscles and balance – Swinging, especially in a traditional swing, can give your core muscles a good workout. It can also improve your sense of balance by working your pelvic muscles.

Gross and fine motor skills – Leg and arm pumping help strengthen your gross motor skills, while gripping and finger coordination are working your fine motor skills.

Calming – Chances are, most of your swinging memories are positive. It is very difficult to be stressed or upset when swinging. Overall, it is a very simple and relaxing activity, with its rhythmic motion and soft fresh air.

Encourages social interaction – Almost everyone enjoys swinging, no matter your age or ability. It can create an activity for two or more people, who may not have anything else in common. Swinging is a great stepping stone to help forge new friendships and conversations.

Exercise – Swinging can burn up to 200 calories an hour. The constant moving of your body as you “pump” to keep the swing in motion can give you quite a workout.

ALSO SEE: Indoor Activities That Promote Gross Motor Skills

No matter how you do it, swinging can help both your physical and mental health. But perhaps the most important aspect of going for a good swing, is that it is loads of fun, no matter your age. So, get swinging!

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Go Ahead and Soar: The Countless Benefits of Swinging
Shandy Marso, Contributor

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