Seesaw Playground Benefits in the Backyard.

Seesaws and Teeter-Totters are two of the most classic pieces of playground equipment. Even if they seem similar, there are some crucial differences between them. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Seesaw Playground Benefits and why you need one in your yard. 

I’ll also discuss the history and manufacturers of these famous pieces of equipment. As well as how to keep them safe for your kids. So read on to learn more about Seesaw Playground Benefits and why they’re so important!

Seesaw Playground Benefits

Whenever you accompany your kids to a playground, you will see they often rush to sit on the seesaw. A seesaw is a simple, long narrow board fixed in the middle. The plank or pipe hovers a little over the ground. When one end goes up, another end touches the ground. This simple mechanism makes seesaw suitable playground equipment for young children.

Apparently, the equipment may seem simple, so you may think it has no benefits other than a few minutes of fun. But playing on seesaws has many benefits, such as developing cognitive skills, motor skills, physical, social, and emotional skills. 

Here are the benefits children can get from playing on seesaws:

Physical Benefits 

A seesaw is typically a two-child play toy. One child will sit on one end of the plank and the other on the opposite edge of the plank. They try to lift each other off the ground. Another activity they often try is making balance. To make a balance, they will try different ways. 

 While it might not appear so, a seesaw is a tremendous strength-training workout. Every time a child lifts someone from the ground, they use their leg, buttock, and core muscles. When a child lands on the ground, the impact helps to keep the bones strong. 

Other physical benefits a child gets from playing on a seesaw are:

  • Stronger muscles
  • Learning how to control their physical movement
  • Improve balance
  • Develop motor skills, leg-eye coordination, and dexterity
  • Improve instincts
  • Promotes healthy heart and lung function
  • Improve immune system
  • Helps in strengthening bones

Playing on a seesaw develops a child’s coordination and fine motor skills. Thus, they can synchronize their muscles to perform physical actions. 

Social Development

Playing on a seesaw is not a solitary activity. It requires at least two children to play on it. There are also seesaws where 4 children can play together. So, your child is bound to meet new children and talk to them to play. When a child meets other children, it helps to learn necessary social norms. They will learn how to interact with each other, which is helpful for their adult life. 

2 kids social interaction on slide
Social Interaction on Slide Photo 165881117 / Seesaw © Pannarai Nak-im | Dreamstime.com

The social skills a child learns from playing on a seesaw are:

  • Learning to communicate with new people
  • Overcome shyness and fear
  • Getting along with others
  • Taking turns on activities
  • Deciding on rules and following them
  • Experience conflict and resolve them
  • Sharing and caring
  • Playing with children of different ages and backgrounds

Emotional Impact

The physical and social effects of the seesaw seem to be obvious now. You should know about its emotional impact as well. When a child plays on a playground with others, they go through some dynamic changes. Playing may seem just a fun activity for adults, but children take it seriously. 

A child feels joy when they can lift someone up on the seesaw. It boosts their confidence. When they cannot lift someone, they feel sad and frustrated. They wonder why they failed to do so. They try to figure out new ways to win or get their desired result. 

Thus, a child will learn to deal with challenges healthy. Besides, they learn to cope with different emotions and control themselves in front of others. 

How Are Balance, Coordination, And Fine Motor Abilities Essential?

Children must have the freedom to play on different equipment and toys in a playground. It can be a seesaw, a slider, a climber, or a swing. These activities help the children balance, coordinate, and develop fine motor skills.

So, how are balance, coordination, and fine motor abilities essential for a child’s development? 

Learning how to balance and coordinate at an early age is crucial for a child’s development. Balance is the ability to control the body during different tasks. It can be sitting on a chair, table, walking on a beam, etc. Similarly, a child can learn to balance the body on the plank by using a seesaw. 

Age-appropriate balance and coordination will help your child participate in games and sports at a later age. A child will have a lesser chance of getting injured as they will have proper postural responses. 

So, how does a seesaw affect your child’s balance and coordination skills? People often emphasize hand-eye coordination, but foot-eye coordination is equally important. While playing on a seesaw, a child observes their partner on the other edge of the plank and balances their leg work. 

 Various muscles in the lower region get involved during the activity, such as leg muscles, core muscles, and buttock muscles. Large muscle movements (Gross motor skills) are essential for developing fine motor skills. Fine motor skills involve the use of small muscles. 

The brain of the children becomes much more active after extensive muscle exercise. It becomes easier for children to develop fine motor skills, such as holding or grasping objects, writing, and drawing. 

Thus, children can control their bodies and become more alert by playing on equipment like a seesaw. As their physical skills improve, children become more confident about performing different activities. 

When Should My Child Be Coordinated? 

New parents often wonder about things like when their baby should learn to stand on its own feet. When their child should be able to tie their shoes or develop skills to ride a bike. 

Coordination and motor skills develop at different times for different children. For example, some children learn to walk before the first year, and others may take a few extra months. Some may hold crayons and draw much faster than others. It is not a major problem since children comprehend and learn at various rates, and full comprehension takes time to establish. 

However, children will reach certain milestones at certain ages. For example, a healthy 3 years old should be much more coordinated than 2 years old. They should run and use stairs without falling. By the age of 3 to 5 years, a child should be able to kick a ball forward, catch a bounced ball, and balance on one foot.

Parents should be concerned when their children do not show age-appropriate coordination. If a child does not learn balance and coordination, it will affect their gross motor and fine motor skill development. 

When a child has trouble with balance and coordination, they may fall quickly, the trip often, walks stiffly, cannot hold or grab things properly, avoid physical work and face many other difficulties. 

If the symptoms are noticed early, parents can help their children overcome the problems. They should involve the children in more physical activities that require full bodywork. Each situation should be addressed separately and get treated accordingly. 

Seesaw Physics And Torque, Balance, And Weight Variations.

Seesaws can have various sizes and designs; some even look like aeroplanes, cars, or animals to make things more fun. But the main shape is the same. It has a plank or pipe that is fixed in the centre. To work, the seesaws follow the concept of torque

 In physics, torque is the potential of a force to rotate the body of an object. You can balance a plank or any flat object on some bricks to understand the theory. The bricks will work as the central point. 

When you push down one end of the plank towards the ground, the other end moves up. The more you push down the end of the plank, the more energy is applied to the other edge. If you use force close to the centre, the plank will hardly move. 

A seesaw follows the exact mechanism. When Child A sits on the end of a seesaw’s plank and applies force, Child B on the opposite end of the plank will go up. But if Child A pushes the ground with their leg, the edge of the plank will go up, and Child B on the other end will go down. 

The speed and movement of a seesaw get affected by the weight of the children. If the weight difference between the children is too much, it becomes harder to lift the child with greater weight.

If the players want to balance the torque, the child with less weight should sit on the farther edge of the plank of their side, and the child with more weight has to move a bit closer to the centre. Then they have a chance to play on the seesaw as usual. But if the weight difference is too much, the seesaw will not work correctly. 

Seesaw Vs. Teeter-Totter–What’s The Difference?

You might have heard people calling a seesaw a teeter-totter. So, you may wonder if both of them are the same or different? In some parts of the world, seesaw and teeter-totter are the same playing equipment called by another name. 

Pair of teeter totters
Pair of teeter-totters: Photo 59670898 / Teeter Totters © Fiskness | Dreamstime.com

However, in many other countries, seesaw and teeter-totters are slightly different. Although both playground toys use the same torque method, the teeter-totter design is modified. 

A classic seesaw can only move up and down. It cannot move in any other direction. On the other hand, a teeter-totter can move up-down and move side to side. This is because the central point of a teeter-tooter is rounder than the centre of the seesaw. A seesaw is generally more significant than a teeter-totter.

If you wonder which one is a better choice for your children, you have to consider the age of your children. A small teeter-totter is a better fit for kids of a very young age. You will find teeter-totters that can be fit even in your living room. These are easy to assemble. Your kids can get on a large size seesaw when they get older and more experienced. 

How To Choose The Right Seesaw For Your Yard

You may want your children to enjoy playing on a seesaw. It may not be possible to take your children to the playground every day. So, you can install a seesaw in the backyard of your house. But should you just buy any seesaw? The answer is no. 

To buy or build a seesaw, you must consider several factors. These are:

  • The age of your children
  • The size of your yard and the length of the seesaw
  • The shape and design of the seesaw
  • The cost of buying or making a seesaw
  • Number of seats

Considering the age of your children is one of the critical factors. If they are very young, choose a seesaw with comfortable seats with handles. The size of the seesaw should not be too large. On the other hand, older kids can use a large size seesaw. For a spacious yard, get a large size seesaw. 

You can also consider your child’s presence. Do they like aeroplanes, cars, or animals? You will find seesaws of different shapes. Besides two seated seesaws, there are also four seated seesaws. But they will require more space. 

Lastly, consider your budget. The durability and comfort of a seesaw often depend on the price. If you find it costly, you can build a seesaw from scratch with available materials. Since there is a chance of falling from a seesaw, you should mount it on a soft surface like foam, sand, or wood chips. 

Seesaws: History, Manufacturers, And Suppliers

Many children often wonder when such fun equipment as a seesaw was invented. Unfortunately, there is no origin history of seesaws. It is such a straightforward machine that a child or an adult could have created it for entertainment. 

However, many historians believe that a classic seesaw became popular in South Korea in the 17th century. During that time, young Korean girls could not go outside and play. So, they might have come up with the idea of a seesaw. The girls could move up to glance at the outside world by using the seesaw. 

The name seesaw became popular much later, probably in the 19th century. It was derived from the French word ci-ca, which means this-that. You can also break the name into ‘see’ and ‘saw’, which fits the activity. 

Want to check out some seesaw designs? Here are some of the well-known manufacturers and suppliers of seesaws on Amazon: 

●     TP Toys

●     Dantoy Store 

●     Hedstrom 

Seesaw Safety Tips For Kids

Kids Seesaw
Kids Seesaw
Photo 21525289 / Seesaw © Jovani Carlo Gorospe | Dreamstime.com

Kids love seesaw. You can take your children to a nearby playground to let them play on a seesaw. Or, you can make a seesaw for them in your backyard. Wherever they play, follow some safety measures so that your children can play safely on the seesaw. Although seesaws appear to be harmless, accidents can happen. 

Educate your children on how to be cautious why it is essential to do so on a regular basis, whether interacting on a seesaw or other playground equipment. They should understand that they have to communicate with their partners to play safe. 

Here is want you can do: 

● Ensure an adult is always present when the children play on a seesaw. Children can sometimes get off-balanced and fall on the ground. An adult can monitor the children so that they do not get injured. 

● Before the children play on the seesaw, adults should check the equipment. A rusty seesaw can break down or malfunction. Also, the screws on the centre should be tight to keep the plank in balance. 

● During summer, a metal seesaw can get hot. So, an adult must check the surface of the seesaw before a child sits on it. 

● Your child should not try to jump from the seesaw when high above the ground. 

● Teach your children not to play rough with others. They should not use too much force, which can cause the other children to lose balance and fall. 

● A child must want their partner when they are getting off the seesaw. 

● Typically, seesaws are designed for two children. They have to see on the opposite edges of the plank. So, more than two children can sit on a two-seated seesaw in no circumstances. 

● If the weight difference between two children is too much, they should not play on the seesaw together. Instead, they should find partners of similar weight. 

● Kids waiting for their turns to use an occupied seesaw must stand at a distance. 

Fun Ideas For Seesaw Playtime

Seesaws are a great way to teach your children about balance. You can ask them to find a plank and some bricks to make a temporary seesaw in the yard. Once your children bring the materials, you can explain how things work. 

Ask them to balance the plank on bricks. Tell one child to stand on one end of the plank. Then ask another kid to stand on the other end. If their weight is similar, the plank will stay balanced on the centre, but the plank will topple to that side if one side is heavier. 

You can ask the children a few questions to make things interesting. For example, why did the seesaw lose its balance? What will happen when one kid moves to the centre? Or how can they balance the plank? 

Final Words On Playground Seesaws

As a means of keeping your youngsters engaged while you take care of household chores, nothing beats a high-quality seesaw. “A seesaw for play, keeps children away” – that is literally my new motto for handling children. And the  Seesaw Playground Benefits both physical and mental makes seesaws a worthwhile investment. 

Sources of Infromation

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Playworld. (2022, February 8). Activities to Develop Balance and Coordination Skills. Playworld® Blog. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://playworld.com

Coursera. (n.d.). Why do the Riders’ Weights and Positions Affect the Seesaw’s Motion? Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.coursera.org

Kidz Search. (2021, August 7). Seesaw Facts for Kids | KidzSearch.com. Kidzsearch.Com. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://wiki.kidzsearch.com/wiki/Seesaw

Dallas news Administrator. (2019, August 27). Swings, slides and seesaws: Try little-kid fun for big-kid fitness results. Dallas News. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.dallasnews.com

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KOMPAN. (n.d.). Seesaws for your playground? | Single and multi-use by KOMPAN. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.kompan.com

Team, O. (2021, October 19). All You Need to Know About the Teeter-Totter. OwnPlayground. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://ownplayground.com/

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Ltd, U. C. P. (n.d.). Playground See Saw. Copyright 2022 Uday Creations Pvt Ltd. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from http://www.udaycreations.co.in/playground-see-saw

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