Can Your Kindergartner Swing on A Swing?

I take my Kindergartners out for recess every day of the week except on Mondays.  We have a very fancy playground for the children to climb on, crawl through, slide down, or swing on.  The children are great climbers, crawlers, jumpers and sliders but when it comes to swinging that where their gross motor skills are weak. Kindergartners often need help getting up on the swing and getting started but that is where the help should stop.  5 and 6 year olds should be able to ‘pump’ all alone and be able to keep themselves moving with the back and forth motion of their legs and body.  Every year I have children whose parents are so proud that they are reading, perhaps even reading on a first grade level! Wow! This doesn’t impress me, it just means that this child has made progress in one area of child development and I am looking for the development of the whole child.  Many of these same young readers have never been on a swing before arriving in Kindergarten and are usually frightened of the movement of the swing and most definitely do not know how to pump to sustain their back and forth movement.  Some of these children have been drilled in school work while their peers have been outside developing the entire body by working on large motor activities, not just academics.  Parents, can your child swing on a swing without your assistance? If not, why not?  Now is the time for learning this skill which I can tell you people continue to enjoy right on into adulthood.  Just come by my school yard around 5:00PM every night when children are on the playground with their parents and who will you see on the swings?  Guess!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Can Your Kindergartner Swing on A Swing?

  1. Jane

    Do you understand that not all kids are the same? Well, you should if you are a teacher. If a kid can read before entering kindergarten doesn’t have to be because the poor kid was pressured to study and was not allowed to play. Did it ever occur to you that some kids are smarter than others, and some are physically stronger than others? That is how some of the kids grow up to be basketball players, and some become computer programmers!!

  2. Erin

    Most of the playgrounds around us don’t even have swings any more, including my daughter’s school. They have gone the way of the merry-go-rounds and teeter-totter; deemed to be too much of a legal liability. We live in a townhouse and do not have a backyard, so no my daughter is very timid around swings because it’s not something she gets to experience very often.

  3. kindergartenteacherclaire

    That is unfortunate as learning to ride a swing is such a developmental milestone of young children. Merry go round and teeter totters can be just as dangerous for young children if they are not careful and ride the toys appropriately.

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