For people with sensory disorders, processing everyday events can be difficult. Sensory integration is what helps people understand the sounds, smells, sights and physical feelings of things around them, whether that means someone crunching their food loudly, a bell ringing at school, loud music and bright lights in a store, or kids running at a park. Sensory integration issues can often affect children on the Autism spectrum or with ADHD. For parents, teachers and caregivers looking for a way to help their child, a sensory swing can be a great option.
The vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and communicates information about movement, spatial orientation, and head position with our brain. For children with sensory processing disorders, their vestibular system is not as strong, and the brain has difficulty communicating outside forces that are affecting their senses. By using a sensory swing, the material’s cocoon-like form and the soft rocking motion can neutralize the disruptions in the child’s inner ear and have a calming effect.
It may take some time for children to get used to a new product, but many therapists have found success with sensory swings. Thankfully, the increased use of sensory swings by medical professionals has resulted in more affordable options that can be used in the home and classroom. Check out some of our favorite sensory swings below.
1. OUTREE Kids Hanging Swing Seat Hammock
For a sensory swing that creates a private nook for kids, we recommend the OUTREE Kids Hanging Swing Seat Hammock. Available in several color options, the OUTREE is designed with a soft PVC inflatable seat to raise kids up and provide a cushioned place to rest. Made from 100 percent cotton canvas material, the warm, soft and breathable fabric creates an inviting place to sit, read, play and swing. Safe for both indoor and outdoor use, the OUTREE comes with an expansion bolt, screws, and an adjustable hook strap.
Pros: Inflatable seat cushion, warm cotton canvas material, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Cons: The OUTREE is only suited to younger, smaller children.
2. SENSORY4U Indoor Therapy Swing
Designed for children with special needs, the SENSORY4U Indoor Therapy Swing creates a calming and soothing place for kids with sensory disorders. Made from 95 percent cotton and five percent nylon, the swing hugs the child and creates a safe space to relax. Machine washable, the long lasting fabric can be knotted and hung using the included strap. The stretchy fabric can be lightly pulled by children to help them get into the swing and cover their feet and head. The swing is made in a gentle gray color.
Pros: Stretchy fabric, machine washable, designed for sitting and laying.
Cons: The material stretches and may have to be hung at a height that means younger children require assistance getting in and out of the swing.
3. Aokitec Therapy Swing
Give kids and teens a comfortable place to rock and relax with the Aokitec Therapy Swing. Made from 100 percent nylon, the stretchy fabric of the swing creates a comfortable and calming cocoon. The raindrop-style swing helps with processing and sensory disorders and is also a fun space to play, bounce and swing. With a max load-bearing capacity of 110 pounds, the Aokitec is ideal for kids and small teens. A daisy chain, safety carabiner and connecting rope are included. Kids will enjoy choosing from a wide variety of colors.
Pros: Silk nylon is great for bouncing and swinging, includes carabiner with lock system, available in 12 colors.
Cons: No ceiling mounting hardware is included.
4. DreamGYM Indoor Swing
For a three-in-one product that will help keep kids busy when inside the home, we recommend the DreamGYM Indoor Swing. The kit includes screws, two brackets and a chrome-plated bar designed to fit inside a standard door frame. Using the bar as the main hub for the set, kids can utilize the trapeze bar, gymnastics rings and sensory swing. The sensory swing is made from a stretchy cotton and spandex blend that creates a comfortable and soothing atmosphere. Recommended for ages three and up, the bar is designed with a 220-pound weight capacity. Two hanging straps and two spring clips complete the kit, which comes with everything users will need to set up an indoor home gym.
Pros: Multi-use product, high weight capacity, includes all necessary hardware for installation.
Cons: Instructions are difficult to follow.