Here’s Why Your Kids Should Be Swinging

Here’s Why Your Kids Should Be Swinging

Open skies and swings: a visit to the playground isn’t just about building muscles and getting fresh air.

It turns out that playing at the park is more than just a source of amusement. Researchers have found that swinging in unison can make kids more collaborative.

It may sound weird but there’s proof to back it up. Psychologists from the University of Washington conducted a strange experiment. Who knows how they thought of the idea, but they built a custom swing set that could made kids swing in unison. It could also have participants swing out of sync.

Here’s how it was used: random pairs of 4 year-olds were chosen to swing at the same time. Some pairs swung out of sync, and others were ‘forced’ to swing in unison.

Part of the Club


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After having some fun doing this, the tykes were then asked to participate in a series of tasks. These were designed to highlight how cooperative the kids now felt. One task had the kids play a simple computer game. If they wanted to see a cartoon figure appear, the kids needed to push buttons at the same time.

A second activity reportedly involved having the kids pass objects back and forth through a puzzle-like device.

Related: 5 Things That Affect How Early Kids Can Read

What was found? Apparently, the kids who got to swing in unison completed their tasks faster than the kids who rode the swings out of sync.


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The researchers attributed this to a greater level of cooperation that was created by swinging in unison.

“For 4-year-olds, moving in sync can create a feeling of “being like” another child that, consequently, may encourage them to communicate more and try to work together,” said the study’s lead author Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, a post-doctoral student.

Researchers said that any ‘in sync’ activities can probably provide the same result for children, and be of benefit. Another great reason to sign your kids up for choir, dance, and band.

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