Every daycare ought to aim to achieve the highest standards of quality for the children in their care. Young children develop extensively under the age of 5, and it is imperative that they are engaged meaningfully in order to foster proper growth and development throughout each day. An extensive report prepared for the Shasta Children and Families First Commission (SCFFC) states that “The act of play is a crucial component in the successful growth of the brain, body, and intellect.”1
Below we delve into the specifics of why swing sets have been proven to engage children in a relaxed, self-inspired play that advances their physical, cognitive, creative, and social development. Every quality daycare ought to have a quality swing set that promotes extensive times of free play where children can engage fully with their bodies and minds, while learning to work together and foster creativity in their imaginative play with other children.
Swing Sets Aid in Physical Development
In a Scholastic article for pre-K and kindergarten age teachers, Eric Strickland states, “At the very least, children need 30 minutes of active play twice a day.” 2 Strickland says that swings and slides are the best way to accomplish this active play, because children engage in self-directed play naturally without any prompting. Their minds are engaged and creatively used, while their bodies continue developing in this natural environment.
Swing sets aid physical development in numerous ways. Reaching the arms above the head while climbing improves the child’s cardiovascular flow. Stretching improves their flexibility. When a child pulls up on a ladder or climbing wall, they gain strength in their upper body, arms, and grip. Ladders also develop a child’s leg strength and coordination.
Swinging improves a child’s coordination as their bodies naturally learn the pumping motions that create consistent swinging movements back and forth. Strickland points out that this is a motion which cannot be taught through words, but only through actual experience on a swing.
Sliding improves balance. When a child slides down a swing set, there is a stimulation in the ear canal and fluid that begins to improve their balance. The downward pull of gravity helps teach each child how to keep their torso balanced to avoid falling over as they slide.
Swing Sets Engage a Child’s Mind and Creativity
A fundamental desire of a good daycare should be to foster cognitive and creative growth in children, along with good social interaction. An article on Parents.com tells parents to look for “an environment that builds creativity”3 as a sign of a quality daycare. The child learns to think about problem solving through their climbing and creative, imaginative play on a swing set, and learning to do this, informally, with other children advances their social skills.
Playgrounds improve cognitive development due to the interaction between their “sensory impression and motor activities,”1 as the SCFFC report points out. The combined forces of gaining strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance in their bodies through physical action stimulates healthy growth in the child’s brain. Furthermore, the child’s reflexes and common sense are advanced as they begin to understand actions and repercussions in a way that cannot be taught through words.
Playgrounds help children learn social skills. As children engage in the stimulating environment of a playground, training their bodies and brains on swings and slides, they interact with one another in an informal, imaginative play. The creation of unofficial playground “games” teaches children about interaction, self-confidence, and how to function beneficially in a society. As the report for the SCFFC states, on a playground “children learn to negotiate, compromise, work together, and also to control themselves and tolerate their frustrations.” 1
Your daycare should invest in a quality swing set.
Nothing fosters physical, cognitive, and social growth as fully in playfully engaged children as a quality, interactive swing set. In order to boost the desirability and, most importantly, actual value of the daycare service you provide to hard-working parents, consider investing in a swing set.