The Benefits of Swings
A simple ceiling hook could turn out to be a valuable investment for your child's therapy program. Swings are not only loads of fun, but great therapeutic tools too! We have used swings with Beth ever since she was a baby.
The benefits of swinging are huge, I will summarise a few of them below:
Swinging can be heaps of fun!
Swinging can also be very calming.
Swinging can be of benefit to the vestibular system.
Swinging can have a huge impact on the brain’s ability to process and use sensory information.
Swinging can be used as part of a sensory diet.
Swinging can be used as a reward for positive behaviour.
I will give you a quick run through of a few of the types of swings that you might like to try for your child.
Babyswing (Image: NoahsDad) We had so much fun with our babyswing. we used it for spinning, back and forth, and generally to make her squeal with delight!
If you click on the link above by NoahsDad there is a lovely article about the proprioception benefits and how swinging can help to benefit the vestibular system.
The hammock swing: Children are able to sit and be ‘cocooned’ as they are pushed around, as well as lying on their backs. The method we used it for was to lie Beth on her stomach to improve her postural strength. This is the best position to incorporate fine motor activities and games, as children can propel themselves by pushing off the floor with their hands, and reach for fine motor instruments, puzzle pieces etc. To read further into hammock swings, please click on this link: Hammock Swing For Strengthening.
Lycra Swing: We have used these in OT therapy sessions and they are lovely for cocooning and cuddling the child. These can be hung from two points or one depending on what stimulus you are hoping to give your child, they are a perfect cuddle swing as well. Click on this link to learn how to make a DIY lycra cuddle swing.
Ikea Ekorre Indoor Swing: child, I love these swings, we don't own one yet, but I am putting it on Santa's list! They are great for creating a lovely safe cocoon for your child when they want a safe place to hide and the gentle rocking will be very relaxing.
Ikea Lomsk Swivel Chair I was very lucky to win two of these on ebay the other week. My girls love them, and they never get left alone! They are great for spinning, but also my daughter loves to go inside with books and teddies and hide away.
Trapeze: Currently our ceiling hooks is being used as a trapeze. My eldest daughter performs all kinds of terrifying stunts. Beth swings of it several times each day and we love that she is getting therapy without even knowing it! Children who use trapeze swings will improve their upper extremity and trunk strength. It can also enhance motor coordination, balance, and muscle tone.
There are lots of other wonderful options for your child. I tend to look on ebay or gumtree for bargains. Swinging is a simple cheap technique to use for your child with lots of benefits and very little cost. If your child has sensory processing issues though it may be worth trying different swinging techniques under the guidance of an occupational or physical therapist.