Category Archives: Swings

Sensory Integration and Swings

Sensory Swings Pre-Made Part 3/3

**Disclaimer:  The following are just ideas and must be used at your own discretion for safety.  Please be sure to use appropriate soft padding, measure for size in your space, and most importantly, provide supervision for your child’s safety.
 
I’d love to have more DIY skills or even a little workshop to build toys and equipment. But alas, I often resort to Amazon!
 
I’ll share some swings, trapezes and other equipment I’ve purchased from Amazon or local shops that kids really like.
 
Firstly, I’ve bought carabiner hooks and rope from a local outdoors climbing shop.  Make sure the carabiners will hold the amount of weight for your child to safely swing.  When looking for rope, consider whether your child will do better with static rope which has no give and will be less unpredictable, or dynamic rope which has some stretch and bounce to it.
 
 
If your child responds to spinning input, a rotary spinner can be found on Amazon.  This is what I use at ot4kids’ clinic:
 
I have also used aerial yoga ‘daisy chains‘ to help adjust the swings either higher or lower if kids need their feet to be close to the ground.
 
Here are some ideas of swings and trapezes from Amazon:
Please note I have included affiliate links below so do receive a little £, however all proceeds go to charity.
 
For hanging and climbing:
Twizzler – this is a fun one that also spins
 
Trapeze with gymnastic rings for hanging by arms and also hanging upside down.
 
Crow nest swing seat – add pillows and blankets here for nice calming deep pressure input.  It appears very similar to the IKEA Ekorre Swing.
 
Hammock swing – There are many different varieties and although I often suggest to parents to go to the fabric shop and feel the material and how stretchy it is (if your child likes bounce, a stretchy one may be great, if they need a calming space, a less stretchy lycra one may be more suitable). I have both a lycra hammock and a Yogapeutics hammock which has no-give for different situations.
 
Flexible Swing Seat – Try this one from different positions such as laying on tummy or sitting forwards or even sideways
 
 
Tire swing – for sitting or standing
 
Nest Platform Swing – This swing looks like it could be used from different positions similar to a platform swing, albeit, not the same. Perhaps a more economical option if you struggle with DIY like myself.
 
 
 

Homemade Sensory Integration Swings – Part 2 / 3

**Disclaimer:  The following are just ideas and must be used at your own discretion for safety.  Please be sure to use appropriate soft padding, measure for size in your space, and most importantly, provide supervision for your child’s safety.
This time I thought I’d share more on how to make some swings.
In my clinic, I mostly use my homemade platform and hammock swings.  Personally, I love the hammock swing after a long day and my toddler would love to nap in it.  I wish I were a bit more handy and could actually sew, I’d create a lot more.
Here are some ideas to guide you to make homemade swings:
1) Platform Swing –
If you’re into DIY, you could make this. Here are a few alternative ways others have made their platform swings.
2) A Hammock Swing
This one is so easy to make and requires no sewing or tools.
For mine I bought 4 yards of Lycra material from Fabrics Galore on Lavendar Hill in London.  I tied a knot on both ends through a ring and then attached it to my swing ropes. Here are some other more detailed guides.
I’d love this one!
3) Inner Tube Swing
I don’t have one but kids I previously treated loved playing bumper cars with these at my first job in California.
4)  Taco Swing
This is on my wish list along with a homemade bolster swing. It looks relatively easy to make if only I could sew.
Next blog post, I’ll share some of the swings easily available locally.

Installing Sensory Integration Swings – Part 1/ 3

**Please note all ideas shared in this blog post are to be done at your own risk or discretion. It’s recommended to have an engineer or contractor assess your ceiling structure to determine whether it is safe and sturdy.

During OT sessions, parents often want ideas they can replicate at home, especially activities their kids really enjoy.  Swinging often falls in this category.
 
Part of classical sensory integration therapy includes using suspended equipment and therapeutic swings. Although there are lots of other effective and fun ways for children to get movement input without swings, swings are an option for the home.
 
The following are some ideas of how to install a swing for your child at home:
 
1) CEILING
 
Here is a great resource explaining different ceiling hooks. This is where an engineer or contractor will help.
 
 
Nice step by step directions from the DIY Network:
 
 
This blog post is written by a parent describing the process:
 
 
 
 
2) DOORWAY
 
This is a good alternative if you can’t access a ceiling for swings, especially if you happen to have a double doorway. 🙂  Prior to my current clinic space, I used the Rainy Indoor Playground Support Bar, however now am fortunate to have a larger area.
 
See how these two parents have used their doorway for swings:
 
 
 
I can personally recommend the Rainy Indoor Playground Support Bar. It’s so easy to install and if you move or rent homes, the holes from the screws can very easily be patched up.  For those in the UK, it can be purchased from Sensory Direct here:
 
 
Many parents have also installed a pull-up bar in their doorway from which they’ve attached a swing or trapeze.
 
 
 
For those in the US, there’s an Indoor Gym which I haven’t tried but looks interesting.
 
 
 
3) LOFT BED 
 
I’d love to do this when my son is ready to sleep in a loft bed.
 
 
 
 
4) A STRONG TREE!
 
My neighbors are so lucky to have a great tree from which they’ve hung a cool IKEA swing for their kids. If you do too, consider attaching swings there.
 
Here’s a tree swing kit on Amazon.
 
 
For all of the above ideas, be sure to put down an old mattress, crash pad or gym mat under and around the swing for safety.
 
Happy Swinging! 🙂
 
Munira