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Swings and things

April 2, 2010

This cloth strung from the beams in our house is probably our most used “toy” or entertainment item. Taiji and Kayo spend hours in it and all visitors to our house, kids and adults, seem to end up in it at one point or another. Taiji often goes to sleep in it in the evening and it’s a way of settling a grizzling baby really quickly. I also realised recently that Taiji hardly ever asks to watch TV or a DVD anymore and that the late afternoon early evening time, when in the past he would want to veg in front of a video (or I would sit him in front of the box in desperation to get stuff done), he now often spends swinging in the hammock.

Recently, my friend who is a paediatric OT, explained to me why kids love swings, trampolines, merry-go-rounds and so on. Our vestibular system is the sensory system that assists our balance and spatial orientation. The vestibular sense helps us to process information about movement, gravity and balance. It is one of the ‘near’ or ‘hidden’ senses along with tactile (skin) and proprioceptive (muscles and joints). These three senses are fundamental in the development of the child and the early years are spent exploring these senses until they operate automatically and efficiently when the child can then turn their attention to the external world.

It seems that “disorders” like Autism, Asperger’s, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and so on are becoming more and more common. I’ve heard many a teacher lament that behaviour management is becoming more and more challenging. I certainly have lots of kids in my classes at school that find it so hard to sit still and focus. I love to blame poor diet but I’m sure it’s also because they spend so much time these days in front of computers and TVs. They’re not running around, jumping on trampolines, spinning, bouncing and doing all the things that help them to develop.

And miss Kayo, would happily spend all her time on the trampoline if she could. I find it a bit nerve-wracking but she always seems to check herself just in time.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2010 8:46 am

    Swinging is such a wonderful way to self sooth too. I think we have a ‘cell memory’ of the rocking motion in the womb. Plus if we were lucky, we have a memory of Mum and Dad providing rocking with warm arms and slings.

    Swinging an jumping (and running and hooping) give us time to process the day, get lost in creativity and focus on them moment and nothing else!

  2. Bec permalink
    April 2, 2010 9:31 am

    Jumping is also very therapeutic for health. It stimulates the intestines and bowels. So good for parents to be getting on the trampoline too!!!

  3. April 2, 2010 3:23 pm

    Now if I can only get my pelvic floor back together post babies, the trampoline would be great!

  4. April 2, 2010 8:10 pm

    the tv or dvd is most commonly on in our home for that late afternoon timeslot too, simply so i can get dinner etc organised. i want one of those enclosed trampolines so i could lock them into it for an hour!

  5. April 2, 2010 8:12 pm

    hey, your floor is like our floor!

    • April 2, 2010 8:58 pm

      Is it really? Yes we LOVE our floor! Very easy maintenance.
      And yes, I often wish for an enclosed trampoline for kayo as she loves jumping on the tramp so much and it’s rather nerve-wracking. I have heard the enclosed ones give a false sense of safety though as I’m not sure they would really hold up if a bigger child fell against them. My friend also believes they encourage kids to take more risks.

  6. April 3, 2010 11:48 am

    yes i’ve seen kids hurl themselves at the sides. it’s hard for me to watch them on trampolines, sasha had a broken arm when she was 2 simply falling off the bed.

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