Swings are for Whee

Swings (rope swings, tire swings, chain swings, porch swings, hammock swings) are for fun. That’s all they’re for. And all they’ve been for for a very long time. The sculpture in the picture, according to our local Wikkipediaist, was made sometime between 1450-1300 B.C.

Swings are for sitting and rocking and dreaming and exercising and sometimes doing really scary, stupid things, like for example Kiiking, an example of what one one might call extreme swinging. There are lots of other examples. Here’s one more.

Swings are for making us say “whee” and for sharing that experience with our kids (an experience we so much love that we’re willing to push and push until our arms are weigh ten times normal just so we can hear them say “whee,” just so we can get that occasional glimpse of glee. When visiting my inner playground, I my inner swingset is usually the first thing I play on.

Swings are for being alone, and for sharing, for acts of bravery and contemplation and sweet, loving awe.

A couple of days ago, PinkNinya Yammer-BlastLil reminded me what swings can be for. She sent me this:

With this explanation:

“We like to invite people to play in different ways, and see what happens. This video shows two simple invitations: swing on our long, rad swing out back, and play around in making a song. The two go together kinda, well, swingingly.” ThePlayNexus

Like I said, swings are for whee.


  1. Lily on July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Yes, swings are for whee, and we are drawn to them for what seems like the fun of it. Have you ever thought about whether fun has the purpose of making us do things that are good for us? Swinging is one of those things.

    Swinging is actually a way for the body to regulate it’s sensory systems and learn about where the body is in space. My autistic son (and many out there like him) uses swinging (and rocking in a rocking chair, and being spun in circles and jumping on a trampoline) to help keep himself from sensory overload. When he was much younger, we used swinging as a way to get language out of him. We would sing while he was swinging, and then I would stop the swing and wait for him to finish the next line of the song.

    The beauty of swinging is that it’s like a cheap fair ride. A couple of ropes and a secure place to tie them, and you have hours (perhaps years even) of fun in store.

    Love and laughter,

    • Bernie DeKoven on July 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Yes, I’ve thought alot about how fun takes us to places that are good for us. Not all fun. But the best kinds.

      • Lily on July 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

        Yes, most definitely the best kinds.

        My computer has not been buffering videos well lately, so sometimes I give up on watching a video and open a new tab to go onto something else. Then the sound surprises me when it does buffer. That’s what happened with the video on this page, and I got thinking, we should put together an audio file of simply the sounds of people having fun. I think it would be uplifting for the spirit. The squeals and whees from this video certainly uplifted mine today.

        Love and laughter,

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