OK, now I’m really shaking my head!

I was presenting a preschool seminar yesterday and one of the teachers shared with the class that her preschool denied the teacher’s request for swings for the following reasons: 1. The children might fall off! 2. There would be problems with all being able to access the swings because they would have to take turns!  The outdoor equipment for this schools playground is 3 rocks in the ground and a few little play houses and a track for bike riding. Ok, so please explain to me what those children will do when they go to public school? As an OT, I know swinging builds core muscles, increases fluidity, provides vestibular input for righting ourselves, increases body awareness and is just plain fun! In fact, the more I think about it, this is a lifetime need and a skill set to promote maintaining own bodies as they age. I haven’t seen swing sets for adults in years, other than in a special needs catalog. Hmmm… Now lets think about turn taking (which by the way, is a skill I’m still trying to master, especially when I’m excited) which seems to me to be another one of those lifetime skills we continue to need! If the administrator had said the funding wasn’t there, I’d actually be happier with the response. So what does one do with this information?  I challenge us all to think locally. Look at your playgrounds in your community, in the school your work for or in your city…How can you make a difference? a donation? a suggestion? some research backing up the need? Jump up on one of those community swings if you dare, feel your legs pump, the breeze in your face and calming feeling one gets from linear movement!

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