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Swinging on a swing set helps kids relax
Swinging on a swing set helps kids relax.

It’s rare to find a child who doesn’t like to swing. Most people may think it’s just because it’s fun. But there are also some neurological benefits to swinging on a backyard swing set that most people are unaware of.

Swinging on a swing set helps children sleep.

It’s true. Studies have shown that children who swing regularly sleep well (or better anyway) because the spinning motion helps balance neurological activity in the brain. You know those wound up thoughts you have when you’re lying in bed with insomnia, staring at the clock? Well, kids have that stuff too. But they don’t have the logical perceptions to help them lie still. When wiring has gone haywire, neurological focus affects your sleeping patterns. The back and forth motion and spinning motions helps settle immature brains into a restful peace.

Swinging helps children with sensory issues.

Sensory issues have a wide range, but for the most part, it’s very common for young eyes swinging on swingstoddlers and preschool aged children to have some sort of sensory issue. It’s part of the developmental patterns.

Some kids don’t like socks on their feet. Some children can’t handle tags touching their skin. Some kids have hot/cold sensitivities. Loud noises can be a hardship for many children. As we age, we tend to grow out of many of these issues.

Swinging helps put the balance back in the system for children. It doesn’t make these issues go away, but it helps calm them down so that they can focus less on their irritants.

Swinging benefits children on the Autism/Asperger’s spectrum.

It’s a well-known therapy for children on the Autism spectrum to have a daily swing. Many parents with children on the spectrum even have indoor and outdoor swings so they can kids yogabenefit from swinging late at night and during inclement weather.

Children who have Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome can also benefit from the soothing motion of a swing set. With these children, atypical swinging patterns often have added benefits. Try twirling; side-to-side motion; and lying on the stomach. See how they react and if they seem to like it, continue on with these soothing methods to help them slow down.

Overall, the benefits of swinging are more than just having a good time. Swinging helps the brain balance. It helps settle. Swinging on a swing set is like meditation or yoga for children. It helps them calm. It helps them soothe. And it aids in balancing the brain’s wiring.

Make Swinging a Part of your Child’s Daily Routine

So, if you’ve got an overactive/hyperactive/hard to settle child, try adding a daily swing activity into your routine and watch them settle down. Best of all, this fun activity can be practiced right on your backyard swing set. Even adults can try this! After a stressful day at work, try swinging along side your child. It may be just what the doctor ordered!

backyard swings
Swinging is fun and has a great calming affect on the mind.

Helpful Links:

Autism: Learn more about the signs of Autism.

Asperger’s Syndrome & Learning Disabilities: Learn more about learning disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD): Learn more about sensory issues in children.

13 responses to “Swinging on a Swing Set Helps Kids Calm Down

Posted by Beckie Fite

Can you site your research sources for this article? We are trying to get our school district to change their swing policy and I need cold, hard facts! 🙂

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Posted by Brennan

Hi Beckie,

Thank you for visiting our blog. The link to the resources can be found at the bottom of this blog. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

Brennan Deitsch

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Posted by V.McClellan

Is swinging typical for a 12 year old girl who is doing it for hours at a time? We have a neighbor girl who seems to have increased her swinging time in the last year to much longer periods. Is this normal at that age to want to swing for that long? Let me know. Thanks, V. McClellan

Posted on October 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Posted by Brennan

Good Morning V. McClellan,

Thank you for visiting our blog. That might be slightly out of the norm, but I would not be too concerned about it. Swinging often reminds us of childhood and the simpler times of life and it could just be a stress relief for her. Have a great day!

Posted on October 26, 2015 at 9:36 am

Posted by Swinger

V. McClellan,

Not sure where your neighborhood is, but your neighbor girl could very well be me as I swing for hours at a time at a local elementary school playground. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and for me, it is a safe place to relax, listen to music, and organize my thoughts. I usually go for about 30 minutes a day and listen to my playlist. I am a young adult who is doing well in school and is successful at work and is doing well over all in all aspects of life. Swinging to this degree is definitely a quirk in someone of my age, but such is the nature of Asperger’s. It serves me as a free, healthy coping skill, and I hear that it helps with sensory processing too. I’m not one who is able to neurologically analyze it, but I can tell you what it feels like… my safe place. Hope this helps.

Posted on February 27, 2016 at 9:54 pm

Posted by Ang

What suggestions do you have for a 19 year old young woman going off to college. Swinging before bedtime is a routine. Not many swings are available on a college campus and safety is a concern at nighttime. Thanks

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 8:03 am

Posted by Brennan

Good Morning Ang,

Swinging produces a calming effect in people of all ages. Our swing sets can hold up to 250 pounds per swinging position, so you could try out one of our cedar or redwood swing sets. Slides can be fun for adults too! Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with. Have a great day!a


Brennan Deitsch
Online Marketing Manager

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 9:20 am

Posted by Kaitlyn

Hello! I also swing for up to hours at a time. Though when I am swinging I focus less on memories and mostly daydream with a music playlist. Its not different every time though. It connects to a story and a plot made of fictional characters. I was wondering if this was normal or whether I should start seeing someone to get help. I am 14 years of age.

Posted on October 27, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Posted by Scott

I had no idea that swinging on a swing set helps children sleep better before reading this article. After reading about it, it makes sense why the back and forth motion would help calm their mind. I remember there were nights I couldn’t sleep as a child. I’ll definitely keep this in mind in case my children experience something similar.

Posted on January 26, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Posted by Diana Guillot

Thanks. Your info is really valuable to me.
I have a single seat swings that I bought a year ago at and I think it’s safer to be played by my 3-year-old son. For me the swings can be to stimulate his motoric, courage, and teach my son to play alternately with his friends.

Posted on April 25, 2017 at 4:58 am

Posted by Nancy

My daughter just turned 13 and regularly swings on our old cedar swing set/clubhouse system. We have had it since our three children were small and the wood has become soft and we have had to brace it multiple times. My daughter swings for hours outside listening to her music and day dreaming. She is extremely creative and is an A student. She does go to a counselor for anxiety/stress issues and the swing is a huge component of her wellness of body and spirit. If you are a parent, neighbor, teacher or friend of such a teen, Just be supportive and encouraging. We are getting ready to build a new and stronger swing (she likes to swing high—no gentle glider for her) along with a zip line, climbing rope and other motion options for her. She likes to be a bit of a daredevil, so we have to figure out a strong system. If anyone has any advice on modifying systems such as on this site to accommodate a growing teen, I would greatly appreciate the information!

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Posted by William Afton

This is wrong. My son Michael can’t even swing, and he’s eleven already. He gets SOO pissed when he can’t do it. So pissed. This article is wrong.

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Posted by Nancy Wilson

My 15 year old son swings on a tree swing every night in the dark for about 45min. He listens to music while swinging. This has been very beneficial to him the past few years. It definitely soothes him and is how he likes to relax. He does have some sensory issues and swinging really helps him.

Posted on May 23, 2019 at 2:39 pm

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