Time on the swings can develop kids' collaborative skills, study finds

A new UW study shows that spending time on the swings can increase kids' cooperation skills. Video courtesy of the University of Washington.

Spending time on a swing set can help kids learn to cooperate in other activities, a study released Tuesday by University of Washington researchers revealed

At UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), children participated in synchronized movement exercises. Researchers said it helped the kids collaborate with each other in other activities afterward.

“Synchrony enhances cooperation because your attention is directed at engaging with another person, at the same time,” Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, a postdoctoral researcher at I-LABS, said in a statement.

Rabinowitz and I-LABS codirector Andrew Meltzoff conducted the study by first having pairs of 4-year-olds swing together, out of sync, and then not at all, UW said. Afterward, the groups of children participated in activities that required collaboration, such as a two-player computer game and a "give and take" puzzle.

Researchers found that the children who had swung together had significantly higher levels of cooperation with each other in each activity than the children who has swung independently or not at all.

“We didn’t know before we started the study that cooperation between 4-year-olds could be enhanced through the simple experience of moving together," said Meltzoff in a statement.

Rabinowitch also said that for 4-year-olds, doing activities with another child can create a feeling of togetherness and similarity, which can translate into better communication and work ethic. 

The full study can be found online in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

© 2017 KING-TV


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