It is common practice among children between the ages of 1 and 3 to occasionally spin in circles and roll around. They can keep at this until they get temporary dizzy spells and then go at it again. Are you wondering what you should do when they just won’t seem to stop doing this?
Toddlers’ bodies crave the stimulation of the dizzying effect they get from spinning, rolling, and swaying. This helps to improve their senses. These movements help them to organize and improve the functioning of their bodies.
Keep reading to learn more about why toddlers enjoy making themselves dizzy, how it helps them, and how to keep them safe while at it.
Why Do Toddlers Keep Making Themselves Dizzy?
Toddlers are rapidly growing and steadily getting more acclimated to their surroundings and more coordinated. Even seemingly out-of-place behaviors, like spinning and swinging to make themselves dizzy, have a purpose in their maturation.
Three major reasons toddlers engage in these seemingly ridiculous activities are:
- It’s a new challenge for them
- It helps them understand their bodies
- Their bodies crave stimulation
Spinning Is a New Challenge for Toddlers
When toddlers find themselves in a group with their peers, they seek out a game to play. These games are usually the kinds that test them in strength, balance, or stamina. It is very normal for the toddler to want to find their limits and try and push past them.
The temporary dizziness that spinning and rolling brings is a fairly new experience to toddlers. They can’t wait to show their parents, their friends, or whoever will watch and listen.
Spinning Helps Toddlers Understand Their Bodies Better
Toddlers are just starting to become aware of their environment and bodies. The first time they spun, swung, or rolled around and got dizzy was exciting to them. Unlike adults that usually avoid the feeling at all costs, they relish the temporary funny feeling in their head.
Toddlers feel the constant need to explore. When they discover a new thing, they tend to keep using it until they get bored.
Toddlers Crave the Stimulation From Spinning
Stimulating the five senses of a toddler is essential to their growth and development. Spinning and rolling are forms of sensory play (source). Sensory play consists of activities that stimulate certain senses in a child, which include the senses of:
New sensory experiences create the brain networks that help the toddler take on more complex mental and physical tasks. (source).
How Is Spinning Good for Toddlers?
Mentally and psychologically, on the playground and in the classroom, spinning has positive effects, including muscle building, balance, focus and memory, and social interaction.
Spinning is one of the most effective sensory inputs a toddler’s brain can process, as there is a combination of many different actions in the same period. (source).
Let’s look at some of these benefits in more detail.
While spinning around in circles, toddlers try as much as possible to hold their stance. Their leg and core muscles are strengthened.
Toddlers have often just learned how to run or jump, so spinning is a new skill for them. The first few times they try it out, they probably won’t last for more than a few seconds before losing balance.
They’ll keep spinning until they can figure out their center and how to coordinate movement so they can spin without falling.
It’s difficult enough for toddlers to focus and even a harder challenge to do it just after they’ve spun around. They usually fall on their bums and enjoy the temporary dizzy experience.
However, they do not realize that they also gain better concentration power as they keep practicing. It also helps brain function because both sides of the body are being used while spinning.
Toddlers can spin on the playground or at other places with their friends.
Playing helps toddlers improve their social skills, which is an essential life skill for them to hone.
Precautions To Take When Toddlers Are Spinning
While spinning is fun and beneficial to toddlers, it’s important for adults to take safety precautions. Toddlers should always play and spin in safe open areas and playgrounds for minimal risk of injuries. Adults should always monitor toddlers closely while playing.
Toddlers will always want to spin around and make themselves dizzy. You don’t need to stop them when they do this because it helps them. Just enjoy watching your toddler grow and have fun!
Teresa is a Registered Nurse in the State of Texas and the mother of two. Opinions and insights on childcare are based on professional knowledge, academic research, and personal experience.
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