Mom, every backyard needs a tire swing! This is one of the least expensive, almost free, backyard toys around. You can go to just about any auto repair garage or gas station and they will gladly give you a used tire. Then you go to a home store and purchase some rope (the 5/8 inch blue and white kind works well). I found a ball of string and tied it to one end of the rope then, after a few tries, was able to throw the ball of string over the branch I wanted. I pulled it until I had the other end of the rope and tied it off with a slip knot. This swing has been a wonderful investment. They can get in the middle or on top. They can do it by themselves or get pushed really high by a friend. Remember that the higher the branch the more fun it is!
The developmental benefits of swinging have already been covered but I will remind everyone that swinging is essential for childhood.
1. The vestibular center, inner ear, is activated and that is critical for balance, motor control and learning as it helps your child pay attention.
2. The proprioception center is activated; knowing where your body is in space, how all your body parts are related to each other and how they are moving together.
3. Swinging helps balance neurological activity in the brain. You know why an infant falls asleep swinging? Because the back and forth motion settles immature brains (neurological connections) into a restful peace. Your extra active child needs to swing every day – you may notice that they crave swinging.
4. Sensory issue benefits. Swinging helps balance the sensory system in our bodies. Swinging is like yoga for kids, it helps calm, soothe and balance the young brain.
Your child needs to swing a lot! So, take a quick trip to find a used tire and get your boys to help you put up a tire swing this week! You will be so glad you did!