The quintessential piece of decor in a backyard? A swing set of course! They come in so many sizes and shapes and with so many different possibilities. But once children reach a certain age, the swing set can sit untouched for days at a time. This is the case with ours. My girls have outgrown the fun that they once had and Nikolas, at age 4, barely notices it anymore, preferring to ride his bike or hit golf balls. As I was thinking up posts for our Backyard Activities for Kids theme, I thought I would revive this wooden structure in our yard and come up with some unique gross motor activities that might even entice my 10 year-old! Don’t have a swing set? Any of the activities below will work at the playground too!
1. Strength Challenge: There are so many ways to strengthen the body on a swing set. And, the best part is, your kiddos won’t even realize how hard they’re working because they’ll be having so much fun! See who can hang from the monkey bars or the trapeze bar the longest (shoulder girdle and grip strength), who can climb UP the slide–yes, you read that correctly…up the slide–the fastest (lower body, grip, core strength), who can make it the farthest across the monkey bars (upper body, grip and core strength).
2. Who can swing the highest with the least number of leg pumps?
3. Rev up those vestibular systems and spin on the swing. Twist it up tight and let go and see who can count the most number of revolutions while sitting or on their tummy! Check out these other fun swing activities for kids!
4. Make the swing set the foundation for a super fun obstacle course! Adapt it based on the equipment you have:
- climb up the slide
- go down the ladder
- swing like Superman on your tummy 3x
- hang from the trapeze bar for 5 seconds
- swing on your knees 2x
- climb up the ladder backwards
- slide down the slide on your tummy
- give me a high 5!
This is awesome for motor planning, task sequencing and gross motor skills!
5. Make the structure a work of art! Give your kiddos a bucket of sidewalk chalk and set them loose to create their own market, a graffiti wall, a school….whatever they can dream up! It will encourage fine motor skills AND keep them busy in the backyard for awhile!!
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Looking for more great gross motor activities for kids? Try these!
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