A swing set is such a simple piece of play equipment, but can bring hours of joy, and improvements to your child's well-being, making it a great investment for your garden. Physical Benefits Outdoor exercise provides the opportunity to gently increase the heart rate, and breath in plenty of fresh air. Pumping the swing burns calories and works quadriceps and hamstrings as your child's legs pump back and forth. Whether your child is self-powered or is enjoying being pushed by you, the simple act of keeping balance and not falling off, is working their core muscles around the back and abdomen which are essential for maintaining good body posture, as well as working the shoulders, neck and arms.
Encourage your child to stretch their legs right out as they swing, to elongate the muscles which can help with growing pains. They should also hold their back straight to help develop good posture, and allow them to fully expand their lungs, and fill them with fresh air. For much of the day, slumped in a school chair, your child will be using breathing inefficiently, and not using their lungs to their full capacity. Taking deep breaths outdoors, while exercising outdoors on the swing can improve alertness and induce a feeling of relaxation.
By pumping the legs together, your child will be developing their bilateral co-ordination skills, which are essential for enabling both halves of the body to work together to achieve a task. Emotional Benefits The simple, repetitive nature of swinging allows children the opportunity to let their mind wander and process what they have learned throughout the day. It can also be a great way to burn off any frustrations, while enjoying the pleasure of a cool breeze rushing past. If your child does not usually want to talk after time at school, or in childcare, you may find the conversation flows more easily if you are enjoying a swing together.
Social Benefits Since the swing is outside, this exposes the child to nature, and usually to other children, prompting exploration of the world around, them as well as play and interaction with others. Swinging also provides the opportunity for teamwork and sharing, if you have one swing that needs to be shared; or communication and mimic skills, if you have two swings that the children can swing in time, or in opposing time on.
Sensory Stimulation Swinging back and forth provides powerful stimulation for the child's vestibular system, the sense that tells them where their body is in relation to space and gravity. The vestibular system is a vital to a child's development of muscle tone, and movement, and having this system work well helps children feel confident in their physical abilities, and secure in their environment. Further sensory stimulation is provided by the noise in the surrounding outdoor environment, and through the rapid movement of air across the skin. Exposure the this type of stimulation helps your child practice rapid processing of information, which will help them respond to new situations more quickly, and cope with very stimulating environments, such as the school dinner hall, or a crowded public place.
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