As adults things like cycling, swinging and sliding down a slide may seem like no-brainers, but for a little child, these tasks are much more daunting! If you want to teach your child to use a swing, you first need to understand how to break down the motion. Let’s look at how your child can learn to pump a swing with ease.
Is Your Child Ready for the Big Swings?
The National Program for Playground Safety recommends that younger children remain in a secured bucket swing until they are three-years-old. Moving up to the “big kid” belt swings requires advanced stability, balance, and coordination; skills that are still developing in toddlers. If you’re thinking of transitioning your older child to a belt swing, it’s also important that she is responsible enough to hold the chains with both hands for the entire ride and NOT let go.
As an added safety precaution, adjust the belt swing on your playset to a lower setting, or choose the lowest hanging swing at the playground, to start. This way if your child tumbles, it will be less of a fall. Remember, though, to leave enough space below the swing for swinging legs.
Teaching Your Child to Swing
Believe it or not, teaching your child how to swing may not be as easy as it seems. It’s not just the motion of pumping your legs, but also shifting your weight at the same time (legs out/ body back, legs in/body forward). The combination of motions may not come naturally to all children, and they may become quickly frustrated.
Start by pushing your child on the swing as normal, then give fewer pushes as you encourage her to pump her legs. You may need to keep her focused on pumping by keeping up a steady chant of “kick…bend…kick…bend.” If your little one begins to lose momentum, give her a few pushes to get her speed up again and continue to practice.
Another way to help encourage your child to propel herself by pumping her legs is to make a game of it. Stand in front of the swing with your hands held out in front of you, providing a target. Your child needs to kick your outstretched hands as she swings forward.
It may take a few sessions for children to master swinging by themselves. So, if you see that playtime is losing all it’s fun, move on to another activity.
Best Techniques and Tips
Here, we list some easy tips that can help you teach your kid to pump a swing in the playground. Scroll down to discover them.
Choose A Low-Hanging Swing
Initially, make your preschooler sit on a low-hanging swing so that he can sit on and get off it all by himself. Being on a low-hanging swing makes it easy for your preschooler to reach the ground to jump off, which otherwise was difficult with a high-hanging swing.
Feel The Motion Of The Swing Alone
Once your preschooler sits on the swing, tell him to hold and pull on the chains or ropes of the swing. Now, ask him to lean forward and backward all by himself by holding onto the ropes. When this motion continues, the swing tends to move with the weight of the child, slowly increasing in speed.
Bend Knees And Kick The Ground Backwards
As your preschooler learns to move the swing slightly by leaning forward and backwards, teach him to enjoy long swings forward and backwards. Tell him to bend his knees and hit the ground with his toes and ball of the foot backwards. This will make his swing propel forward at a greater distance. As your preschooler swings far forward, he is bound to swing back automatically. As he swings back, tell him to bend his knees and continue enjoy swinging.
Use ‘Kick and Bend’ Trick To Pump a Swing
If your kid is finding it difficult to learn to swing easily, try this trick. Stand at a safe distance in front of your preschooler who is sitting on the swing, stretch your hands flat forward, and tell your little swinger to kick your hand. This will make your preschooler put his feet up high in the air and then bend his legs to pump the swing. Make another grownup person to stand at a safe distance behind your swinging preschooler. Tell your little swinger to bend his knees as he swings backwards, after hitting your hand in the front. Repeating ‘Kick and Bend’ trick will train your preschooler to pump a swing on his own and enjoy swinging without your assistance soon.
Watching others swinging and learn to swing simultaneously is a brilliant idea to teach your preschooler pump a swing all by himself. If you find an empty swing next to your preschooler’s swing on the playground, sit on the empty swing and demonstrate step-by-step swinging to your kid. First, demonstrate slow motion swinging and then fast swinging. Tell your preschooler to follow your lead and swing side-by-side to help him understand the technique till he gets it.
Praise Your Child
Make sure you appreciate your preschooler’s efforts to pump a swing on his own. A little encouragement from your side can boost his confidence. Appreciate even the smallest improvement made by your child, it does wonders for overall physical and emotional development.
Pumping a swing is a delightful pastime that your kid is ready to enjoy anytime. As your preschooler enjoys swinging, you can find a pleasant smile and happiness on his face. Pumping a swing is not only a fun activity but also a great way to hone your preschooler’s large muscles of his legs and arms, improve coordination, and promote the development of his gross motor skills as your child learns to pump a swing.