The Swurfer is a new type of swing by combining a traditional tree swing with a curved skateboard-like bottom. Kids can achieve the combined sensation of flying through the air with the “extreme” feel of board sports. For ease of use, the Swurfer is curved to allow better balance as kids swing, and it has two adjustable handles for stability to fit swinging riders of all size. To get started, all you need to do is hang the Swurfer from a tree, or you can also install it on a porch, swingset, or under a deck using eye-bolts. The standard Swurfer comes with 80 feet of rope and one set of handles, with more rope and handles available for other versions. Other accessories include the SwurfGrip—pads for added traction—and extra rope and handles.
- The Swurfer can be a swing that can help children practice shifting their weight to make the swing move in the desired direction of the swinger.
- As children stay upright while standing on the Swurfer, they are practicing balance and coordination. The act of balancing can also engage the skills of foot placement and core strength.
- While on the Swurfer, children incorporate combining lower body strength of legs with upper body strength of holding onto the handles. Use of the Swurfer can help increase both lower and upper body strength through use.
- Have children sit on the swurfer and play a game of catch as they swing from side to side. This increase in difficulty on the much loved game can be enjoyed with any number of balls.
- Build a tower of cardboard boxes within swinging range of the Swurfer, and let the child build up enough swinging momentum to knock over the tower. Once they are all knocked over, work together to build them back up.
- The side to side motion of the swing can stimulate a child’s vestibular system—the part of the inner ear that controls balance.
- As children stand on the swing and hold onto the ropes they are given the opportunity to become aware of their whole body and its relation to itself as they swing, also known as proprioception.
- As the user of the Swurfer swings side to side, visual tracking can be worked on as the user attempts to keep track of a fixed point while swurfin'.
- While swinging side to side or front to back, children can be introduced to the concepts of directionality.
- Incorporate the Swurfer into a sensory storytime. Have a child sit on the Swurfer and make the swinging motion of the Swurfer as a part of the story. For example, if the story has a pirate ship, have the swinging motion mimic the rocking motion of the boat on the open sea.
- For a game of hide-and-seek, have the seeker sit on the Swurfer while the others are hiding. The seeker can either use the pendulous nature of the swurfer as a timer: instead of counting seconds you count swings before going to find them. This way, even while the hiders are off searching for a hidden spot, the seeker is still playing.
- While it might take them a bit to get accustomed to using the Swurfer, as children learn to operate the Swurfer on their own, they can develop confidence through independent use of the swing.
- The Swurfer provides a specific activity in which children can get out some of their energy through physical exercise. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can help concentration and a child’s behavior.
- When using the Swurfer with others, this play product can be used by children to take turns and share.
- While playin with others, use the Swurfer in competitions. Some examples are to see who can pump their legs the fastest, who can jump the farthest, and how many people you can safely fit on the swing
- Fly like a superhero! Lay the child on their tummy and have them gently swing as if they are flying like a caped hero.
Developmental Processes Promoted
- Hand Grasp
- Gross Motor
- Balance & Coordination
- Trunk Strength
- Weight Shifting
- Foot Placement
- Proprioceptive Input
- Vestibular Input
- Turn Taking
- Action Concepts
- Muscle Strength
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