The Ultimate Tool to Encourage Vestibular Activities Indoors
By Michelle Guerrere
There’s a reason your parents made you run around outside when you were a kid—or even suggested we take a few laps around our house in my family’s case. It’s because movement is good for little ones (and let’s be honest, it tires them out, too which makes bedtime that much easier). It’s a scientific fact that kids’ bodies and brains are better able to develop while they’re in motion. That’s why when it comes to tiny sensory seekers, experts encourage the use of indoor sensory swings for kids.
Whether it’s because of the weather or time constraints, sometimes going outside just isn’t an option to get your child’s energy out—but it’s still important that they develop their vestibular sense. “The vestibular sense gives a child information about where their body is in space, if they’re moving or still, how quickly they’re moving, and in what direction,” says Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP. As your child develops, this vestibular ability will help them with coordination, muscle tone, balance, and bilateral coordination. So, now that you know how important sensory swings for kids can be, it’s time to see some of our very favorites you should consider installing in your humble abode.
La Siesta This organic cotton hammock is so comfortable that some have said they actually cuddle up and take a nap in it. We like that there is a safety swivel that makes sure the swing doesn’t over-rotate on your little one. Oh, and did we mention that it’s machine washable? (This should be a parent prereq).
Happy Pie Swing This sweet swing features adorable colored balls reminiscent of those wooden games at the pediatrician’s office. The product is ideal for little ones six months to three years—there are bars that hold them in while they swing and work on their sense of balance.
Lycra Snuggle Swing Finally: a sensory swing for kids that moves along with them. It’s crafted from four-way stretch fabric which means your little one can choose to sit or lay down while swinging. Plus, the swaddling effect makes them feel comfortable and protected.
Joki Planet Koala Your child won’t want to swing if they can’t get cozy. The good news is that this organic cotton kids nest has a padded cushion for extra support and comfort. Plus, the soft gentle swinging this type of hanging nest allows will help your tiny one learn balance.
Kids won’t want to get off of this cool spinner swing that resembles a mini trampoline you can plop down in the middle of. Its construction allows you to bounce, twist, and even spin (just remember that there is a thing as too much spinning).
Trapeze Wooden Bar Sensory swings don’t just have to be the seated version. This circus-inspired trapeze wooden bar helps little ones build core strength while learning to balance. Adventure seekers can even try hanging upside down or doing a flip (but we strongly suggest putting a padded mat underneath as well as spotting them).
Round Disc Plate Swing Seat Totally cramped for space? Now there is no excuse to not install a swing with this compact round disc plate style. Worth noting: the option to adjust the height is great, especially if your child feels more secure being closer to the ground.
Wooden Horse Swing Set An enclosed bucket swing is a good option for little ones who need a little more support while swinging (plus, gripped handles help them feel grounded). A big perk is that its charming pony shape makes your child feel like they’re riding a horse—and will get them comfortable with swinging in the first place.
Find more sensory swings for kids here: