It’s rare to find a child who doesn’t like to swing. Most people may think it’s just because it’s fun. But there are also some neurological benefits to swinging on a backyard swing set that most people are unaware of.
Swinging on a swing set helps children sleep.
It’s true. Studies have shown that children who swing regularly sleep well (or better anyway) because the spinning motion helps balance neurological activity in the brain. You know those wound up thoughts you have when you’re lying in bed with insomnia, staring at the clock? Well, kids have that stuff too. But they don’t have the logical perceptions to help them lie still. When wiring has gone haywire, neurological focus affects your sleeping patterns. The back and forth motion and spinning motions helps settle immature brains into a restful peace.
Swinging helps children with sensory issues.
Sensory issues have a wide range, but for the most part, it’s very common for young toddlers and preschool aged children to have some sort of sensory issue. It’s part of the developmental patterns.
Some kids don’t like socks on their feet. Some children can’t handle tags touching their skin. Some kids have hot/cold sensitivities. Loud noises can be a hardship for many children. As we age, we tend to grow out of many of these issues.
Swinging helps put the balance back in the system for children. It doesn’t make these issues go away, but it helps calm them down so that they can focus less on their irritants.
Swinging benefits children on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum.
It’s a well-known therapy for children on the Autism spectrum to have a daily swing. Many parents with children on the spectrum even have indoor and outdoor swings so they can benefit from swinging late at night and during inclement weather.
Children who have Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome can also benefit from the soothing motion of a swing set. With these children, atypical swinging patterns often have added benefits. Try twirling; side-to-side motion; and lying on the stomach. See how they react and if they seem to like it, continue on with these soothing methods to help them slow down.
Overall, the benefits of swinging are more than just having a good time. Swinging helps the brain balance. It helps settle. Swinging on a swing set is like meditation or yoga for children. It helps them calm. It helps them soothe. And it aids in balancing the brain’s wiring.
Make Swinging a Part of your Child’s Daily Routine
So, if you’ve got an overactive/hyperactive/hard to settle child, try adding a daily swing activity into your routine and watch them settle down. Best of all, this fun activity can be practiced right on your backyard swing set. Even adults can try this! After a stressful day at work, try swinging along side your child. It may be just what the doctor ordered!
Autism: Learn more about the signs of Autism.
Asperger’s Syndrome & Learning Disabilities: Learn more about learning disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD): Learn more about sensory issues in children.