Are you suffering from “swing-pushing fatigue” in the playground (yes, it’s a thing)? You may or may not be pleased to know that most kids will sort out how to independently swing themselves by the time they’re five. In the meantime, if you’re motivated to fast-track the process, use our three-step method to help them master the skill. You’ll feel liberated (and so will your tired arms!).
Before sitting, it’s important to remind kids not to run around in front of or behind the swings. After that, seat them in something suitable for their age: Bucket swing seats for toddlers and open-backed swing seats for the older ones. Or ease them into the motion of swinging by sitting your child on your lap (extra brownie points for those parents who manage to locate a low-hanging swing for getting on and off easily!). Once you’re seated, remind them to always hold the ropes or chains.
Monkey see, monkey do
Depending on the confidence and age of your child, you’ll want to either swing beside them and give them a play-by-play, stand next to them, or stand in front of them and maintain eye contact to buffer their fear. Let gravity do its work to start with; sway them to and fro until they’re ready to go forward and backward. As they do this, guide them to lean back as they swing forward. Try to simplify the fact that even though it’s counterintuitive, leaning back as they swing forward enables them to fly higher.
Kick the sun, kick your bum
Kids have to coordinate kicking their legs up as they swing forward, and tucking their legs up as they swing back. One tried-and-true method is to stand in front of the swing, arms out and palms up, and coax (or dare) your kids to high-five your hands with their toes. Once they’ve reached your hands, guide their feet back to encourage the downward tuck. A cheeky suggestion to support this action is the little catchphrase, “Kick the sun, kick your bum!” Now, sit back, and watch your handiwork as you enjoy your coffee!