What is sensory swing??
Sensory swing: by allowing children to see while moving, sensory swings test and develop the functional use of vision. Children also have the option of being completely submerged in the swing, which eliminates visual feedback. One swing that can be used with or without vision is the pod swing.
The 10 Best Benefits of Sensory Swings
Children’s bodies and brains begin to develop from the movement they experience as early as fetal life. The brain uses its vestibular sense to interpret movement while a person is flipping around in amniotic fluid, toddling around as a new walker, leaping on a trampoline, or swinging on the backyard playset.
The five senses are well understood by most individuals, but most parents are unaware of the vestibular sense, which is the perception of movement.
A child’s vestibular sense tells them where they are in space, whether they are moving or not, how fast they are going, and which way they are traveling.
The fluid in your ear canals moves when you move, activating vestibular receptors in your inner ear. This makes it possible for your brain to recognize changes in head position and determine whether you are moving in harmony with or against gravity.
These sensors tell your body of your location in space so that you can move through your surroundings safely.
Your child will develop eye-head coordination, muscle tone, balance, and bilateral coordination if their vestibular sense is well-developed. As your child gets older, consider all the things they will learn to do.
Catching a ball, zipping a coat, cutting with scissors, copying from the board at school, riding a bike, and participating in sports would be difficult without a developed vestibular sense.
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Swings for Vestibular Input
It’s simple to discover outdoor activities that provide vestibular input if you’re fortunate enough to live in a region with year-round sunshine and warmth. There are many enjoyable ways to encourage exercise, including biking, running, climbing, jumping, swinging, and sliding.
Sensory swings are essential for year-round provision of the necessary vestibular stimulation for some children who require higher levels of sensory stimulation or for those of us who are constrained by unpredictable outdoor weather.
There are options you can add to your child’s indoor play area if you are unable to give them outdoor vestibular exercises. A sensory swing should ideally permit both linear and circular movement (in all directions) (back and forth, side to side).
Even some swings include a vertical part that enables up/down swinging.
3 types of sensory swing
- Stretchy Swing: If your youngster enjoys giving huge hugs, climbing into tight areas, and swinging, this is the swing for them. In addition to being able to swing in the elastic fabric and experiencing a ton of vestibular sensations, your child will also feel a ton of soothing proprioceptive feelings as the cloth pushes up against their body.
- The Platform Swing: Every occupational therapy clinic should have this swing because it enables kids to lay down on their bellies with support underneath them. A sensory integration therapy method involves swinging a child back and forth while they are lying on their tummy.
- Disc Swing: The disc swing is fantastic for children ages 3 and above since it stimulates the vestibular system and tests a child’s grip, core strength, and motor coordination. This can be hung from any tree or outdoor swing set. With some additional hardware, it can also be used indoors.
10 Benefits of Sensory Swings
- The vestibular sense provides information about balance, coordination, muscle tone, safety, and body awareness.
- Various swing types use various movement patterns to target particular vestibular receptors:
Vertical, up and down, side to side, and in all directions.
If you want to allow for spinning, a rotational safety device like this one from Southpaw must be added to a fixed mount. It allows for movement in all directions.
- Depending on the design you choose, swings can test your core strength, balance, righting reactions, and motor abilities in various ways.
These skills can be developed in creative, enjoyable ways by incorporating swings into therapeutic activities. For instance, a trapeze swing tests upper body strength, but when you add a crash mat, timing skills are also put to the test as you swing, release, and crash into a target! To add a rotary element to the same activity, convert the simple trapeze into a rope swing.
Another illustration is the use of a platform-style swing that tests balance while seated. Beanbag swinging and beanbag tossing will improve your visual motor, timing, and righting reactions.
See how you may test your muscle strength and endurance to keep yourself up against gravity by using the same swing and activity while lying on your stomach.
- Swings provide a range of movement intensities that may be necessary for children who either under-react or over-react to vestibular stimulation.
Depending on the kind of swing you use—rotary swinging and inverted or upside-down movement are the most intense—you’ll be able to meet different movement goals.
Since linear movement also incorporates proprioceptive input, it is the most well-tolerated vestibular input. Examples of this include jumping and bouncing.
While erratic, arhythmic swinging is alarming, predictable, rhythmic swinging encourages calm and organization.
- Due of the vestibular system’s strong connection to the visual system, processing changes (or deficiencies) are frequently seen in both systems.
We employ functional vision while moving to educate our body awareness, so it is usual to address visual processing disorders with a vestibular or movement component. By allowing children to see while moving, sensory swings test and develop the functional use of vision.
Children also have the option of being completely submerged in the swing, which eliminates visual feedback. One swing that can be used with or without vision is the pod swing.
- Some swings, like the Moon Ball Swing and the Frog Swing, allow for mixed vestibular input. Sometimes all it takes to transform your preferred swing into a mixed input swing is the addition of a vertical stimulation device.
Due to the increased proprioceptive input, some children are able to tolerate combined-input swings better.
- Finding a spare doorway, assembling a pop-up tripod platform, or asking a helpful friend to drill into a ceiling beam can all be done quickly and easily to install a sensory swing in your house.
Visit Southpaw Enterprises for more information about installing swings.
- The preparation of a sensory diet for self-regulation can be supported by sensory swings. There is a sensory swing that can fulfill your child’s demands, regardless of whether the goal of your sensory diet is to soothe and reorganize or alert and stimulate.
- Swings are enjoyable! The possibilities for therapeutic swing use are limitless and intriguing!
- Swinging for 15 minutes can alter the brain for up to 6-8 hours! For more information on how to manage and include spinning in regulated doses, speak with your occupational therapist!