• This entry was posted in Toys on September 14, 2016

  • Swingsets have always been one of the most popular pieces of playground equipment for kids. Swinging also tends to be one of the more challenging skills for children to master. The task of teaching your child is tricky as well. It’s not until around age 5 that most children will have mastered the abilities needed to fully develop this gross motor skill; however it is never too early to start laying out the groundwork. According to experts at Baby Center children as young as 3 may be ready to start learning the basics of swinging. Once children understand how to pump their legs, swinging by themselves comes naturally. Here is a method to try with your child to help them learn to safely swing on their own.

    1. Before beginning the teaching process, let your child watch you swing so they can see the motion of pumping your legs and how your body makes the swing move back and forth.

    2. Have your child sit on the swing and grab hold of the ropes for security. Let them experiment with their balance, shifting their center of gravity and using their bodyweight to slide around to find a comfortable position.

    3. Give them a push to get started and then move to the front of the swing. Hold out your hands and stand back far enough that your hands are a few inches away from their feet.

    4. Encourage your child to pull their legs in as they move back on the downswing and extend them forward on the upswing. This in and out movement is the basic pumping motion. Challenge your child to lean back some and extend their legs when coming forward to try to touch their feet to the palms of your hands.

    5. Repeat “in and out” as they swing.  The spoken words will register with the motion and they will begin sensing the changes in momentum.

    6. As they learn that pumping their legs back and forth will make them go faster and higher teach them to slow down gradually by keeping their legs still.

    7. Once they are swinging slowly enough have them place their feet on the ground to completely stop and step down.

    As with any activity your child’s safety is number one priority. Here are a few safety tips for your children and you to take into consideration when playing on and around a swingset.

    - Give swingers enough room, do not stand or walk too close in front or behind the swingset.

    - Have a soft impact-absorbing surface underneath your swingset.

    - Only one person per swing at a time.

    - Swing only when sitting down.

    - Follow any specific directions for the weight limit and maximum number of children the equipment can support.

    - For toddlers and younger children, use swings with enclosed sides and safety bars.

    - Lower hanging swings work best so that children can get on and off safely on their own.

    - Actively supervise your children’s outdoor playtime.

    Find additional playground safety tips!


  • This entry was posted in Fitness on September 06, 2016

  • Making sure your kids grow up healthy and fit is every parent’s top priority. As important as encouraging active healthy behavior is, finding a balance between work, family, school, and physical activity can be tough. Setting a healthy example and getting kids excited about getting active is a good place to start. Here are some tips and fun ways to engage your kids in physical activity.

    Bike Ride

    Bike rides can be relaxing and also a great strengthening and aerobic workout. Riding a bike works all the major muscles groups of the body.

    At KETTLER we make bicycles of all types and sizes to best suit each member of your family.


    Weekly Sports Nights

    Whether it’s Tuesday night or Sunday afternoon, get the whole family in the backyard or at a neighborhood park for a ball game. Take turns choosing what sport or game to play that week. From soccer to table tennis, you’ll get a good workout in and make lasting memories with your family.


    Charity Runs

    Give back to community while getting active. Team up with your children for a fundraising race. Walk or run races and have fun training with fitness games and challenges in the weeks before an event. Children will enjoy seeing their progress from race to race and earning medals and certificates.


    Family Fitness Classes

    Swimming, biking, canoeing and hiking are great in the summer and into the early fall, while sledding, ice skating, building a snowman or skiing are winter fun. Depending on the season find fun mini adventures your family can plan and look forward to. Many gyms and community centers offer family fitness classes designed for parents and children. Or create your own backyard regiment on the swing set or in the grass.


    Even chores around the house or something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood can be turned into fun games and a chance to get active, even if only for a few minutes. Nature walks are great in any season. For fall make a game out of catching leaves on a windy day - see who can catch the red, yellow, and green leaves. Let the kids help out in the yard by having them rake the leaves into piles – then have fun jumping in them or taking turns covering one another in leaves.