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Teaching Your Child How To Pump The Swing

That's quite an American expression, but 'how to swing a swing' didn't sound right either.

Like learning to ride a bike, or tie your own shoelaces, learning to pump the swing is an important milestone on your child's journey to adulthood.

As I've just found out myself, it can be a little heartbreaking to find that you are no longer required to push the swing, and my biceps are certainly going to miss the work out.

Writing a post about the benefits of owning a swing earlier this week had me wondering how children learn to push the swing themselves, and if there is anything their parents can do to help them with that.

Independence Is Good As tempting as it is to keep pushing your child on the swing, maybe because you enjoy the physical connection, or because it's nice to be needed, there are good reasons to step away and allow your child to figure it out themselves. Firstly, they will get lots more physical exercise when they become their own motor and get those legs pumping back and forth. Secondly, the action of moving their legs in unison, helps develop bilateral co-ordination, the skill needed when the two halves of the body need to work together to achieve one goal.

Is Your Child Ready To Go Solo? Pushing your child to do something before they are either physically or mentally ready for it is a real recipe for disaster. If your child is used to swinging in a protective bucket seat, they will need to the used to the sensation of having less support, and the importance of holding on with both hands. Try your child out on the swing seat, with your gently pushing, so they may become accustomed to keeping their balance. This may take a few attempts, and don't push too high, as at some point your child will test the need to hold on by attempting one, or even no-handed swinging, before falling off. Set A Good Example Many children learn best when they have had the chance to watch someone else ride a swing first. Watch some other people in the park, and narrate their swinging motion, or jump on a swing yourself, and call out when you are kicking out and tucking in.

Getting Started For little legs it can be very difficult to get a swing started, and without any support, figuring out the appropriate timing of kicking out and tucking in is pretty much impossible. If the seat is low enough to the ground, show your child how to put their foot out and kick-off to get themselves started. If that's not possible, then offer a gentle push to get them going. Then begin calling out what they should be doing with their legs. Make It A Game You are most likely going to feel pretty stupid standing outside calling out 'kick out, tuck in' over and over again. Take the silliness to a new level by pretending that you are an RAF parachute instructor. Before the swing takes off, ask your child to give you a ground-based demonstration of the moves they will be expected to carry out. Then once airborne issue instructions in your best Queen's English. Throw in the odd 'tally hoh' and 'permission to take=off' and you'll both be in fits of giggles.

Browse or selection of swing sets available to buy online for delivery direct to your home>>>

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