Sensory Processing

Swings and Hammocks

Swings and hammocks at home and for sensory processing or sensory integration therapy


Swings are great for fun and they provide a lot of vestibular stimulation. For all children it is important to have acces to this vestibular stimulation. There are all kinds of swings available in toy stores and stores with articles for outdoor life. There are ample possibilities to be found on the Internet. Look for: swings, therapy swings, or `snoezelmaterials`. For suggestions for games see Provide enough physical exercise

Some special swings:

Bird's nest swing:

A so called bird’s nest swing suitable for all young and older children. You can either sit or lie in it without holding the ropes. Large enough for more than one child or an adult, therefore suitable for older mentally or physically handicapped children enjoy swinging, and of course for all children who like to swing or maybe even find it a bit scary.

huck's bird nest swing

I saw this bird’s nest swing at a children’s farm in Wageningen. The swing can be found in several children’s playgrounds, so have a good look around in your neighborhood. Taking the size and price into consideration it is not exactly something you place in your own backyard. 
It is called a Huck bird’s nest swing. For further information on the Internet:  Huck 

Horse tire swing: 

horse tire swing is made of a recycled used tire. This swing is suitable for indoors and outdoors. Playing  with it provides a lot of fun. Another funny game is to drag on or to catch the 'horse'. This requires to be very firm on your legs. This swing is not easily found in toy stores and stores with articles for outdoor life. There are ample possibilities to be found on the Internet. Look for: horse tire swing or tire swing. 


Horse tire swing.


Dragging or catching the 'horse' is fun. You have to be really sure-footed to drag or catch the 'horse'.

On the Internet you can find descriptions of how to make a horse swing tire and other tire swings.

How to make a recycled tire horse

How to make a pony tire swing

How to make a fun tire swing

Ikea swings: 



At Ikeas you will find a large selection of swings also suitable for using indoors. New is a round swing with a diameter of 92 cm,on which you can either sit or lie. Suitable for nearly all children age 3 and up. They also have a swing in which you can hide away completely and do not fall out of easily. This swing is especially suitable for children not yet able to sit properly. For older children there is a hanging chair made of cane, with which you can sit and swing at the same time. At Ikeas they also supply all the necessary equipment for suspending the swings. For suggestions for games see Provide enough physical exercise


Hammocks are for sale in the regular trade, especially in summer and spring. If you look for a hammock in winter, or look for a wider range of products, you can look on the Internet for stores specialized in hammocks. Look under: hammocks. For suggestions for games see Provide enough physical exercise

Therapy swings

Swings and hammocks are frequently used for a therapy based on sensory processing or sensory integration. This kind of swings and hammocks are for sale in firms specialized in sensory integration or sensory processing materials. You also can make your own therapy swing or hammock.

Platform swings

I made a rectangular platform swing and a square one. You can sit, lay down, crawl, walk and even slide on it. You can also use these swings as 'table' or 'chair'.

Platform swing utilized as a table

Rectangular platform swing used as a 'table'.

square platform swing to provide vestibular stimulation

Square platform swing used to provide vestibular stimulation.

Bolster swing and elastic hammock

Esther Fleurbaay
a physiotherapist specialized in treating children made a bolster swing and an elastic hammock for her therapy room. She said about it: 'I use the bolster swing and the elastic hammock frequently. It applies to the fantasy of children. It can be a boat, a train, a plane or whatever. Together with the story the activity changes and varies. It becomes play and provides a lot of fun.  With these two devices you can realize different forms of play, together with a large amount of vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive stimulation.'

Large bolster swing for lineair vestuibular stimulation.lneniailineair-vestibular-

Large bolster swing.

Elastic Hammock for vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile stimulation.
Elastic hammock.

See also therapy possibilities and how to make your own bolster swing

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