Swinging is an excellent way to stimulate the vestibular and proprioceptive systems. That’s why a sensory swing is a key component in sensory integration therapy.
As many as 20% of children have sensory processing issues. That number increases to 97% for children with autism.
4 Benefits of Swinging For Sensory Kiddos + 10 Sensory Swings for Under $100
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Is your child hyperactive? Do they seem to always be running, jumping, climbing, bouncing, running, spinning, etc.?
If so, your child may be a sensory seeker. Children intuitively know when their bodies need more sensory input, and that’s where these behaviors often stem.
Getting enough stimulation to all the senses helps with sensory integration and can reduce their need for constant motion.
Sensory integration is an ability that we develop over time, starting in the womb. But, people with additional sensory needs often require more (longer, more intense or more frequent) sensory experiences in order to integrate their senses in a way that may seem to come naturally to us.
Benefits Of Swinging
1. Improves Sensory Integration
As I mentioned above, swinging helps with sensory integration. This means it helps to get all the senses to work together. Essentially, this happens through our brain forming connections as multiple senses are stimulated at the same time.
For example, if when you see a picture of broccoli, you can also imagine how it smells and how it tastes and how it feels when you touch it. That’s because your senses are integrated so you can easily remember how broccoli is experienced by all of the senses.
The same happens as you’re swinging because you feel the pressure from the seat around your body, you feel the wind against your face, you hear the swoosh sound as you glide through the hair, you experience the sensation of movement and may even get the feeling of butterflies in your stomach if you go really high.
All of your senses are firing at the same time. The more practice the senses have at doing this, the better they will be at working together.
2. It’s Calming
The repetitive, smooth motion of swinging is calming and helps to ease anxiety.
Additionally, swinging releases endorphins. These boost your mood and help you feel more alert. This is one of the reasons why using a sensory swing is helpful for proactively preventing meltdowns.
Sensory swings also help some children wind down before bedtime and improve sleep.
3. It Improves Focus
Swinging increases blood flow, including flow to the head, which studies show improve focus and attention.
Plus, because your child’s sensory needs are met from swinging, it reduces other sensory seeking behaviors, like hyperactivity and fidgeting. This effect can last for hours after just a few minutes swinging.
This reduction in sensory seeking behavior makes it significantly easier for your child to sit still and focus when it’s important, such as in the classroom. Adding this to your morning routine may help your child do better at school.
4. Improved Motor Planning and Coordination
Swinging is a gross motor activity and learning how to pump a swing actually involves more skill than you might think. It requires motor planning, balance, core strength, and coordination.
Gross motor and praxis challenges can affect a child’s self-esteem and physical health. But, children can practice and improve these skills by swinging regularly. Plus swinging is fun – so your child is developing these skills without realizing they’re also working.
10 Sensory Swings For Less Than $100
Knowing how beneficial swinging is, having a sensory swing in your home can significantly de-stress your life.
When your child is sensory seeking – direct them to the swing.
When they are having a meltdown – direct them to the swing.
If they can’t focus on their homework – direct them to the swing.
However, a lot of sensory swings are super expensive. A quick search will show you that the price range often varies from a couple hundred to over a thousand dollars.
Unfortunately, this is out of a lot of people’s budgets. But, there are affordable sensory swings out there, and here’s ten of them for $99 or less.
Take a seat and relax in the Canvas Seat Swing, or pump those legs to swing away. It’s great for kids who are just learning how to swing because it provides full bottom support. The material wraps around and “hugs” your body, making the swing a relaxing hangout spot for older children, teens and adults.
Sometimes, kids need a quiet, cozy place to escape with a book. But sometimes they need to swing like monkeys! Our Cocoon Swing adjusts for every need. Hang from two suspension points for a calming effect; or hang from a single suspension point for active play, strengthening muscles and imagination. Enjoy the calm or wild rides ahead!
Give your kids a new comfortable place to sit, read, and relax, and reap the benefits of swinging. This sensory swing helps improve body perception and balance.
HappyPie is the perfect therapy tool for calming children with special needs. It provides soothing sensory input through soft swinging. The large size of this sensory swing allows parents to join in with their children.
This sensory swing exposes your child to the kinds of inputs that are necessary for the vestibular system to be trained in order to understand the environment. This is a learning experience for your child’s senses and will make them feel more grounded, and eventually help them walk, run, and perform other actions. It stimulates the body and mind, exposing your child to all kinds of sensory inputs that are not only pleasant but also help train the sense of proprioception.
This Sensory Swing is perfect for both seekers and avoiders. Just 5 minutes of spinning will calm your sensory seeker for up to 4 hours! Avoiders quickly relax and feel more at ease. Use this swing in your child’s bedtime routine for consistent sleep through the night (no more waking up every few hours).
This sturdy net swing provides a full-body sensory ride. It offers gentle pressure around the entire body for a snug, secure feel while you swing, read or just relax.
Lie down completely or sit and swing. You can use this swing to teach early pumping skills while sitting securely in the net. The net stretches to support children, teens, and adults, making it a versatile sensory tool for your home, clinic or classroom.
Swing into adventure with the Sorbus Spinner Swing! This net swing allows kids to safely ride into action for hours of entertainment.
It features a spacious web style rope seat for a super comfy ride and two sturdy suspension points to keep the swing in place. It’s roomy enough to climb inside and spin, bounce, twist, enjoy playtime with friends, or let the entire family take a turn!
Adults can join the fun too making tons of memories with a precious little one.
Let your little acrobat, monkey or circus performer swing away!
The trapeze and ring combo bar provides vestibular input and helps kids develop body awareness, muscle strength, and better posture.
Another surprising benefit? Gripping the bar and rings improves hand strength, which helps improve fine motor skills and handwriting. Great for home, classroom or clinic use.
This swing can be used indoors or outdoors and is adjustable, making it perfect for all ages. It’s durable and easy to install. You can easily remove the fabric and it’s machine washable so this therapy swing will last a long time.