So many video games these days are sedimentary in nature. While I am a big fan of video games as many of you know from my past posts I also am very concerned by seeing my kids just sitting around all of the time playing the games (even though they are fun!). You might ask, why am I concerned? Well, so many studies have shown that high amounts of screen time equates to children being overweight and inactive. Seeing that 3/4 of all kids have access to mobile devices at home and the time spent on these screens has TRIPLED from 2011 to 2013, as parents e have to be diligent and find ways for our kids to keep the active lifestyle that we know they need.
So it was exciting to hear about Swingy . Swingy combines the idea that kids love technology and games as well as physical activity. Take a look at the video below!
Being the world’s first wireless balance board for playing games on tablets and smartphones it truly is redefining screen time by turning digital gaming into a beneficial physical activity. I had the chance to have my girls try it for themselves and after doing so I have to say that I am impressed.
The Swingy device is handmade wood and well crafted and constructed. The concept was sound and it connects through Bluetooth technology to your tablet or smartphone. I had no problems connecting it to my Apple IPad and once I did and we got the game itself the kids were all over it.
The game itself did take some coordination. It reminded me a bit of the old game Pong with much better graphics and the ability to control things with your feet. It is a bit more challenging than it sounds but I could easily see ages 7 and up for sure being able to handle this and with adult supervision you might even be able to go younger (a bit).
I think there is a lot of opportunity for future games to be developed with this too, so I am looking forward to seeing where it is going next!
As I mentioned, the first game is called Swing Pong. In his game each sensor controls one of the sliders on the screen. The goal of the game is to keep the ball in play by intercepting it with one of the sliders. Power-ups randomly appear on the screen in the shape of forest fruits and animals. Forest fruits give lives, increase the size of the ball or the sliders, or decrease the speed of the ball. The animals either shrink the ball, or increase the speed of the ball.
Balance. It matters
Child’s play is an important source of physical activity and motor development, especially in the first years of life. And balance is the pillar beneath every motor skill we have. Children develop their vestibular system, also known as the balance system, up to the age of 15.
This is why the people who developed Swingy cooperated with doctors, teachers, and exercise physiologists to develop Swingy. With its curved form and back and forth movement, Swingy strengthens the core muscles required for a healthy posture and improves balance and coordination. Improving balance helps children in everyday life as well as at sports such as rollerblading, biking, skating, climbing, and skiing.
For me the device was very cool and the girls loved it. If this sounds like something that you would like your own kids to try, support them over at Kickstarter and make this product a consumer reality!
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