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Send them to the swings!

Meditation. Mindfulness. Thinking time. Daily reflection. Whatever you want to call it, there is loads of research pointing to the many benefits of spending a little bit of time every day in quiet contemplation. Schools are adding meditation for kids to their curriculums because it improves mental health, behavior, and brain power, too. Silence is an important daily practice in many religions that helps cultivate deeper personal faith and self-reflection. And even highly successful business leaders swear by it as one of the most critical factors in their success. It seems like the pay-off is well worth the time spent alone with our selves. Why wouldn’t we want our kids to experience these rich benefits as well? But sometimes trying to get a particularly wiggly kid to sit still for even 5 minutes is like trying to tame a wild stallion. Some ARE naturals. You know those three-year-olds who yell “I need space!” and run off to their rooms to sit and play quietly? They are naturally introspective. Observers. Deep thinkers. Day dreamers. They make time for quiet because they can’t live without it. I was one of these kids. I know a few of these kids. My daughter is like this. And then there are those who were born with an endless supply of physical and mental energy. The ones who need to bounce and jump and run and spin and wiggle and yell and talk talk talk. All. Day. Long. If you have one, you know what I mean. I love this about my son. His energy is electric. It is constant. He is my little lightning bolt and that will serve him well in life. But I also want him to learn to be quiet with himself. To develop the kind of self-awareness that only comes after shutting off the output and reflecting inward. To allow space and time for ideas and inspiration to strike. To really get to know who he is internally. But turning off his body is nearly impossible. He leaps out of bed in the morning and back into bed at night. I can barely get a hug out of him before he’s off bouncing around again. So why should I force it? Perhaps there is a way to work with his naturally electric energy instead of against it. Perhaps the answer is playtime as meditation with the backyard swing set. Swinging is not only a super fun outdoor activity (that can even help develop a child’s sixth sense), but it also allows a child’s body to be in constant motion while ALSO sitting (mostly) still at the same time AND giving his brain a chance to rest and reflect. Win. Win. Win. I think 15 minutes of daily quiet swinging is a practice of playtime as meditation for kids that we can both get behind.
Need help checking that parenting goal off your list? Never fear, our play experts are here! At Horizon Structures, we 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 1-888-210-5840 or use our contact form to send us your questions online: info and pricing on greenhouses  
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

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