When you’re a child, there’s no greater feeling than when you’re at the top of the world flying high up in the air while sitting on a swing. The soothing breeze, that spanks your face and then again comes down as if you’ve had the best 2-3 seconds of your life, is cherished all over the world. These precious playgrounds and their swings are not only a great source of entertainment, which is of great benefit too, but also aids in the child’s health and development. Several studies have shown that just as much as the classroom courses are important, physical activities are also, if not more, than equally important. Swinging is an excellent way to get the exercise that their mind and body needs. What kids – and most parents – don’t realize is that swinging is more than just entertainment, it also helps to develop physical activeness in the child that helps to grow.
There are several physical as well as cognitive benefits of swinging.
Swinging helps the children in several ways, it teaches them body awareness, motor skills and coordination, spending time outside, reduces stress etc.
- Teaching Body Awareness: one physical benefit that swinging has is that it improves body awareness in which your body knows what movements it can and should make. It also teaches your body about the push and pull movement. Because swinging is a back and forth movement, your body is constantly understanding of where it is positioned.
- Motor skills and coordination: as swinging engages multiple muscles to work simultaneously, it also helps in the development of coordination and control. For example, the abdominal muscles are required to hold the upright position in the center of the swing, and the legs are required to keep the swing moving and the arms are used to hold onto the ropes or chains to hold the swing to its frame. Because multiple muscles are engaged, all those muscles are undergoing their specific exercise making them stronger and flexible. Stronger muscles cater to physical activities. Therefore they are burning a lot of calories in comparison to their sedentary counterparts.
- Spending time outside: commonly swings are in the playground and playgrounds are outside. Those who play outdoors are more likely to be into aerobic and cardio exercises as they run,jump,climb, push and pull. Firstly, their bones and muscles are strenghthened and secondly they burn more energy (calories) which reduces the risk of obesity which can lead to a lot of physical diseases. Those children with outdoor activities must include more Vitamin D to prevent illness and build stronger bones.
- Stress relief: usually kids are not aware of the role it plays in their mental health well-being. Why is swinging calming? The answer to this question would be that the back and forth motion of the swing tends to calm down a hyper-active or anxious kid. Parents usually think that there’s no reason that their child will not be anxious. But that’s not true, overstimulation and a rough day, say at school, can
easily make a child anxious.
COGNITIVE BENEFITS: along with physical, swinging also has cognitive benefits for children which are utmostly important to learn while they’re in their growing age. For example, social development, improved sensory skills and increased attention
- Social development: when children spend unstructured time in the playground, they tend to develop the sense of sharing their belongings with others and interacting with other fellow players. Their brain allows them to discover various aspects like how to interact with people of their age, how to work together to meet a common goal, how to handle conflicts when the playground scuffles ensues and cooperate with your team members if things don’t go according to how they had planned.
- Improved sensory skills: when a child is just confined to television or mobile activities, he/she just develops two senses, sight and hearing. But if he/she is involved in outdoor activities, then all the senses are honed. These include proprioception, the vestibular system, touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste.
- Better moods: children are exposed to sunlight when they’re playing outside which activates them and brightens their mood. Because sunlight triggers the part of the brain which accounts for feelings of happiness.