Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cool NEW Kickstarter on Our Radar: Swingy Fights Obesity With Fun


Here at ChiIL Mama we're elated to introduce our readers to the Kickstarter for Swingy, a wooden balance board, video game hybrid for kids through adults! My kids both took gymnastics from the age of 18 months through childhood. And my daughter has been a competitive team gymnast from the age of 7, so we know the benefits of balance and exercise! Our family also loves video games and screen time. Enter, the new kid on the block... Swingy.

Disclosure: We're pleased to partner up with Swingy and have been sent a sample for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

As a Montessori family, we love natural materials versus plastic. Swingy's beautiful Beechwood design is sure to last, and a tactile pleasure to exercise with.

One of the most alarming consequences of the explosive rise of modern technology and associated screen time is that children are rapidly becoming overweight and inactive.

Studies show 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.
  • 72 % of children age 8 and under have used a mobile device for some type of media activity such as playing games, watching videos, or using apps
  • 38 % of all kids under the age of 2 have already used a mobile device. 
Consequently, there’s not a parent around who doesn’t feel slightly guilty about seeing their kids veg out on their smartphones or tablets. We know children love digital games and we would like them to know their way around the devices of the future, but we still want them to be active and play and... well... be kids. 

Children who spent at least 60 minutes in front of the screen were 39% more likely to become overweight and 86 % more likely to become obese. 

So instead of going against the grain, the developers of Swingy wanted to provide them with the gaming aspect that entertains them and add a physical feature that turns pointless gaming into a beneficial activity. 

Swingy is the world's first wireless balance board for playing games on tablets and smartphones. It is made of wood and designed for children aged 4 to 12, but strong enough to support adults as well! 

Swingy stimulates children to move while playing digital games, enhances their sense of balance, and improves their coordination. In short, Swingy helps children become active and agile. 

Active screen time 
The Swingy balance boards are equipped with sensors that wirelessly connect to a tablet or smartphone. Each balance board then controls one of the parameters on the screen. This means children are playing digital games with their legs. Swingy combines entertainment with a beneficial exercise important for your children’s balance and healthy posture fitness habits by integrating active time into playtime. 

Swing Pong 
The Swingy application is the tech upgrade of the Swingy balance boards. The boards are equipped with inertial sensors which connect with the application and enable the Swingy app user to play games with their feet. The first game is called Swing Pong. 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 the sliders, 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 we 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. 

Check back with ChiIL Mama. We'll be running a photo and video filled review of Swingy shortly. In the meantime check out The Swingy Kickstarter here. It's a fabulous idea and this project will only be funded if at least $20,000 is pledged by Thu, Nov 26 2015 10:17 AM CDT.

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Disclosure: Once again, we're pleased to partner up with Swingy and have been sent a sample for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

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