Know what beats a day out with the kids? Watching them have a blast on our swing set at home. Seeing them happy and active tells us what a fun energy burner a playset can be. But the benefits of this backyard favorite last a lot longer than just, “they’ll sleep great tonight!”
Balance and Coordination:
Swinging helps our kids develop balance and coordination. Just picturing them in motion tells the story: on the “upswing,” they’re leaning back with their legs straight. Then, on the “downswing,” they’re leaning forward and bending their knees. And for our kids who are beginners, simply taking a seat on a swing and becoming comfortable with holding the chains or ropes is a balance builder.
Another idea for the backyard swing set: a knotted rope for climbing promotes balance, coordination and confidence in our kids.
Here’s something else: the same swing set activities that burn energy in our kids also increase endurance—which promotes cardiovascular health.
A swing set with added features, like rock walls and rope ladders, helps build motor skills.
There are two types of motor skills: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve the body’s large muscles, which allow us to walk, kick, sit up, lift, jump and reach. Essential for a child’s development, these skills begin while they’re babies and continue into early childhood. As our kids grow they need regular activity to improve their gross motor skills, which keep developing even into young adulthood.
Swing sets that include slides, climbing walls, ramps, and ladders challenge our kids in their own backyard to tone and strengthen the large muscles in their arms, legs and torso, as well as improve balance.
Fine Motor Skills:
Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body, such as the use of fingers in coordination with the eyes. The term “dexterity” is often used to describe this type of coordination. Examples of fine motor skills include grasping and holding objects, writing, tying shoelaces, using zippers, brushing teeth, turning a key in a lock, and so many more day-to-day activities.
The hand grips on climbing walls, a trapeze, and monkey bars enhance fine motor skills, while giving the large muscle groups a nice workout, too. And look for swing set accessories that promote dexterity—things that turn, open and close, have knobs—they’re all good. Think steering wheels, a mailbox, and something to look through, like a telescope or binoculars.
Play and Be Strong!
Swings, slides, ladders, monkey bars, steering wheels and happy, growing kids! Who knew your backyard swing set also doubles as your own motor skills motivator?