It’s no surprise that most kids love to swing. There’s something magical about that feeling of flying through the air, wind in your face, toes reached out into the sky trying to tickle the clouds.
But research suggests that swinging may not only be fun, but also help children develop important brain-body connections that they’ll bring into adulthood.
The Vestibular System: Your Child’s Sixth Sense.
You know those five senses we learned about in school: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch? Well, it turns out, there’s more to the story. Two additional, and important, senses are beginning to get the attention they deserve: vestibular and proprioception
While they may be hard to pronounce, both impact body awareness.
Proprioception is the sense of where your body parts are in relation to one another, even with your eyes closed.
But, more importantly for today, the vestibular system, located in the inner ear, is responsible for coordinating movement and balance.
As your child moves around, the fluid in their inner ear moves around as well. The vestibular system records this information and sends it to the areas of the brain that control eye movements and the muscles that control posture.
In other words, it controls your child’s sense of where their body is within the environment.
You know those people who stand so close to you in line that you can feel their breath on your neck? Or people who are always dropping things and running into tables? Their vestibular systems may slightly impaired.
Research also suggests that the vestibular system plays an important role in a child’s ability to learn. Pretty important stuff, no?
So what does all this have to do with swinging?
Well, the only way children can develop the vestibular system is through regular movement. From the time your child is an infant, and even in the womb, their brains are receiving and processing sensory information as they move around in space.
As they grow, children need to experience lots of different types of movement to fully stimulate their vestibular system and grow into adults with strong spatial awareness and coordination.
So all that running, jumping, spinning, and rolling your child does isn’t just for fun (or to give you a heart attack), it’s also crucial to the development of their brain-body connection.
And if you think about it, swinging benefits your child’s brain by providing a kind of sensory input that they can’t get any other way. It’s not the same as spinning in circles on the ground or rolling down a hill or doing cartwheels. That back and forth an up and down, wind-in-your-hair movement that gives your child the sense of flying through space is unique to swinging and it’s an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to child development.
At Horizon Structures, we are swing set experts and can help you find the right backyard swing set for your family so your kids can experience all the benefits of soaring through the air whenever they want to.
Click here to download the playset digital catalog and price list
Or contact us and our play experts will answer your questions and help you design a swing set that meets your family’s wants and needs. Then, they’ll professionally install it on-site to ensure safety and peace of mind.
Call us at 1-888-447-4337 or use our contact form to send us your questions online: https://www.horizonstructures.com/contact-us
Amanda Webster is a freelance writer, parent and play advocate. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two kids and three fur-babies. You can reach her at amandawebsterwrites.com