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I'm talking about the swingset variety, and "pumping" themselves. You know, as opposed to mom standing there behind the swing for an HOUR AT A TIME unless I really want to be a party pooper and say I'm tired <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It's fun now, but it'll be even more fun when I can park my butt on the deck and let him tire himself out! Seriously, I'm going to have a newborn in a couple of months, and it would be marvelous for him to be self-propelled by then. I'm just not sure where on the development continuum swinging lands, so I thought I'd ask the older ones' moms.
 

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My daughter learned by watching her slightly-older cousin swinging. She gained confidence that way because it was someone closer to her own size, rather than someone my size telling her how to do it.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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What I found works pretty well is to give them a big push and then stand in front of the swing with your hands in front of you.<br><br>
Tell them to stretch their feet out and push against your hands (so, when they are coming towards you they will stretch their legs out). Then, when they reach your hands push their legs back (so they bend as they go backwards). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> Seems to work.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TiredX2</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What I found works pretty well is to give them a big push and then stand in front of the swing with your hands in front of you.<br><br>
Tell them to stretch their feet out and push against your hands (so, when they are coming towards you they will stretch their legs out). Then, when they reach your hands push their legs back (so they bend as they go backwards). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> Seems to work.</div>
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What a good idea. I will try that with my dd.<br>
My ds learned fromone of our friends older daughters. My dd has the idea but seems unable to coordinate and then proceeds to be frustrated and want me to push.
 

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Fortunately for me, ds doesn't like being pushed much but I've done the same as TiredX2; giving a starter push, then standing in front and saying "touch my hands with your feet." But your dc isn't even 2.5 so I wouldn't expect him to get self propelled soon. I'm guessing 3 would be the youngest that it might happen but maybe not til 4. I think my ds could if he wanted to (he is 4.5) but he'd rather lean on his belly and run up, then swing back.
 

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IME, it's a hard skill to 'teach.' It's just something that kids have to figure out on their own through trial and error.
 

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Lots and lots of coaching. I was pg last summer and not really supposed to be at the park. Ds learned pretty quick. I started him with a big push and then yelled "out" and on the way back down "and in". After about 500 out's and in's he finally got the hang of it. He still wasn't able to get himself started, but he could keep going really well by the end of the summer.
 

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dd learned by me telling her to stretch her legs in front of her as far as she could like reaching for the sky,and then folding them back.She also watched the bigger kids do it.She still likes to be pushed to start and then just kinda goes with it.From your sig yours is a few months younger,but with summer on the way he'll be able to practice.Happy swinging
 

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<span style="color:#0000FF;"><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">Instead of a huge up-in-the-air push, start slowly, gradually getting higher. I noticed that it is the instant gratification of already going high the instant ds is on the swing that discouraged him. I used to say "Going to the moon? outer space?", then *I* got him there quickly. That's all fun, but then he felt he couldn't do it like I could (so high, so quickly) that he gave up, felt hopeless..... So now, I give them about five minutes to climb in the swing themselves. And with our original game, I add: Ready for lift off? I swing slowly, gradually getting higher, while we count down from 20 or 10. They naturally swing their legs, I describe how *they* are now doing it. "You are keeping the swing going! er, The rocket ship in space!" Our little rhyme is: Feet high to the sky, down to the ground.<br><br>
good night~<br><br>
Lori</span></span><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah">
 

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Well, I'm relieved to read this, because my nearly-5yo doesn't swing/pump yet. I've tried to talk him through it, like telling him to kick his legs when he goes up. Glad to know it's not unusual...
 

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Spider! Seriously! Get on the swing, and get your child to sit in your lap, facing you with one leg on each side, their legs behind you. You both hold on to the swing's ropes/chains. This is the "spider" position - so named because together you have 8 arms and legs.<br><br>
Then get going on the swing, and pump. Your child will be doing the opposite of you - when you lean back, he leans forward, etc. Tell them when to stretch out their legs at (or just before) the appropriate time.<br><br>
This really made a difference with dd. She knew the mechanics of pumping, but just couldn't make it work. So we did spider a few times so she could FEEL the rhythm.<br><br>
By the way, DD was a "late" pumper. I pushed her on the swing for SO long. Then one day, I had the idea to try Spider - not just for fun, but to help teach her pumping.<br><br>
But even after she learned to pump, she still wanted to do spider with me, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Jennifer - my oldest daughter couldn't really get herself going on the swing till she was around 5. My son is just starting to look like he'll get the hang of it pretty soon. My youngest daughter who is about your son's age is nowhere near being able to! My suggestion - go to a toddler friendly park with other toddler moms - bring a blanket - sit under a tree - let the kiddos learn to play with each other on the toddler jungle gyms! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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put your child on your lap!! if you can, swing with them on your lap and they will pick up the motion so they can copy you. I did this with the kids a lot when i worked at a daycare. Also, if you have swings at home, lower them enough so they can climb on and off on their own and teach them how to step back back back and then pick up their feet. I had some two year olds at my daycare that were pumping bc i taught all the kid how to do this, and they would swing themselves that way until they picked up pumping.
 
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