In a perfect world, all playgrounds would have swings. Children love the tummy-tickling movement a swing provides. Go to a school playground setting during recess and you’ll see children race out the school door in hopes of being the first to the coveted swings.
Grown-ups on the other hand might consider the fact that swings can be both a solitary and cooperative play activity. Or, grown-ups might think about how swings help children develop skills of locomotion, balance, and coordination. Or, that swinging helps children respond to movement and gravity and develop vestibular coordination, proprioception, visual perception and more! The Play and Playground Encyclopedia tells us that swinging skills follow a progression of skills that give children confidence and encourage appropriate risk-taking behaviors. https://www.pgpedia.com/s/swinging. WOW! Swings could arguably be the most perfect toy on a playground.
This article will explore the variety of swings you can select for your play area. Let’s start with an example of the perfect public park swing-set found at Lincoln Park, Grantsville City, Utah. See Figure 1. In this example we see the following to-fro swinging activities: the Disk swing, the Playshare™ swing, Full-Seat ADA swings, and standard belt seats.
Manufactured by Playcraft Systems, the DISK swing is a large plastic disk that holds upwards of four users (grown-ups included) and gives a comfortable glide that cradles even those with limited ability to hold themselves erect during the swinging activity. I like to say it’s the perfect swing for all abilities to enjoy the same toy at the same time.
Other examples of this type of shared experience is the super popular and budget-friendly CLOUD 9 swing from Berliner installed at Tuscany Meadows, Syracuse, Utah. See Figure 2.
A more recent development in the art of swinging is Playcraft’s Playshare™ swing. According to the Play and Playground Encyclopedia, multi-user toys like the Playshare™ swing are perfect for attuning infants and toddlers with the care-giver because it allows face-to-face contact. The movement of the swing and the face-to-face contact stimulate brain development, and down-right fun. See Figure 3.
This popular option is seen at nearly every school yard and city park to provide swinging activity to users that may not be able to hold their body erect. The swing seat latches between the user’s legs and the shoulder straps hold the user’s shoulders erect. When you install an ADA swing, either put two of them in the bay or pair them with a full bucket seat. Never put an ADA swing next to a belt seat in the same bay.
FULL BUCKET SEATS and BELT SEATS:
Most everyone is familiar with the fact that Full Bucket Seats are designed for users 2-5 years and Belt Seats are for ages 5 and up. (put 1-Cute Swinger here) Here again, no mixing of Belts with the same bay as the Tot seats should be done. (1-Big NoNo pic)
If space is limited, we recommend this cool solution for tight spaces. See figure 4.
Not-so-fondly referred to as the “vomitator” by some janitors at elementary schools, multi-axis swings, also known as tire-swings, can move in any direction, so the dizzy-making is at its highest. This toy has a different requirement for safety use zone, which you can find here: https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/325.pdf - page 44.
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD VIP SWINGS:
We saved the best for last. The Very Important Person (VIP) swing is an out-of-this world experience that every kid from 5 to 99 should experience. I know you are wanting to know more . . . check it out here. https://www.luckydogrecreation.com/post/experience-the-out-of-this-world-vip-swing
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