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Fun with the swing

long jump from the swing
long jump from the swing, popular with boys - but not without danger.
For safety's sake, better put mats underneath, or don't play at all.

Most children love swings. Maybe it reminds them of gently moving in mom's tummy, or perhaps they love the feeling of freedom and the tiny moment of weightlessness on the crest of a swing. Games on and with the swing not only add movement and fun to a child's birthday party, but they also train balance and motor skills. However, special attention must be paid to safety when playing on swings. For swings in the home garden, the manufacturer should ensure safe equipment.

Swing Games - small games around the swing...

Tower of Pisa

Instructions: In this game, the swing serves only as an accessory. One to three players are needed per swing. Their task is to build a tower on the seat of the swing using the given material.

Scoring: The winner is the group whose tower either lasts the longest (the time must be stopped) or is the highest (measure with the folding rule or a good eye is required).

Material: The material should be selected depending on the age of the children and their skills. Otherwise, there are no specifications. Materials that can be used are: Toilet paper rolls, balloons, objects folded from paper, empty plastic cups (or filled with water), empty plastic bottles, crumpled up newspaper, balls of wool, pillows. Additional adhesive strips or craft glue suitable for children can be used as tools.

Please note: The material should be such that no one can injure themselves, even if the tower falls on the head of a fellow player.


Instructions: Depending on the number of swings available, groups can be formed to compete against each other. Place an empty laundry tub depending on age up to 4 meters in front of the children. One child sits on the swing and receives a ball. The task is to start swinging and throwing the ball into the tub. The game continues until the tub is hit. Then it is the next player's turn.

Swingball: The task is to start swinging and throwing the ball into the tub.
Swingball: The task is to start swinging and throwing the ball into the tub. | ©

Scoring: The hits are counted

Material: Ball. Other things can be used instead of a ball, e.g., balloons, water balloons, snowballs, balls made of crumpled up newspaper, pillows, juggling balls, stress balls, socks.

Variations: Not one but several balls are used, and the object is to see how many balls the child can throw into the tub in a given time. The child playing can either have a supply of waves with him, or the balls are thrown to him by fellow players. Another variation is to have one child sit on the swing and swing while another faces them, and the two play the ball back and forth between them. There are no winning rules here.

Please note: sports balls or solid rubber balls are inappropriate because of their hardness, and it can hurt quite a bit if a child is hit by a sports ball.

Break the tower

Instructions: The entire group of children builds a tower or pyramid out of empty shoeboxes and places it a short distance from the swing. Next, one child sits on the swing and, while swinging, tries to destroy the tower with their feet.

Scoring: The tower falls over. A stopwatch can be used to determine who destroyed the tower the fastest.

Material: Empty shoe boxes or other cardboard boxes, large plastic play elements such as knight castles, pillows, water-filled plastic cups.

Variations: The child lies on its stomach on the rocking board and is gently nudged by an adult. Instead of using their feet, they must use their hands to topple over the tower.

Please note: The game is somewhat time-consuming because the tower must be rebuilt repeatedly. It involves the entire group in rebuild the tower.

Hide and seek

Instructions: One child sits on the swing and swings. The other children in the group stand in their field of vision. Now they are instructed to close their eyes while continuing to swing and count aloud to five. During this time, the other players quietly move to another position. They are not allowed to hide but should remain visible. After the child has finished counting, they open their eyes again. They must now discover the other players without getting up from the swing. The child can point to the other children or name their position. The child does not have to swing during this phase of the game.

Scoring: If it is a competition, the time is stopped until all those still "hidden" have been discovered. However, the game is simply fun, even without competition.

Material: none

Variations: The other children hide behind the rocking child or stay in their position and change something about themselves. (They put on a hat, take a ball in their hand, etc.)

Please note: For safety reasons, an adult should stand near the swing. The movement with closed eyes can be a challenge to the body, and, of course, a child should be prevented from losing their balance. Also, the adult must take special care in this game to ensure that things are fair and that the other children are not hiding, for example, in a place that is too difficult to see.

Superman / Supergirl

Instructions: A child lies on his stomach on the rocking board. The hands are in the air. An adult gently sets the swing in motion. The child must try to keep balance. It becomes more challenging when the child must try to hold a balloon between his feet. And it is even harder when the child must catch a ball in this position.

Scoring: None. The game is simply fun.

Material: balloon or ball or nothing at all.

Variations: The child does not lie on the swing and only supports himself with the ground's legs and hands. He must try to move the swing with his legs.

Please note: For this game, it is essential that the swing is very close to the ground so that the child can easily support himself with his hands if necessary. If the floor is made of concrete, an air mattress or similar can be placed underneath for safety.

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