18 - 48 Months+

Why do children love feeling dizzy?

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As adults, some of us might not like the feeling of dizziness. We might feel unsettled, maybe even nauseous and sick, and need to sit down for a bit until it passes. Children, on the other hand, often adore the feeling. They will spin themselves around and around until they fall on the ground and then do it all over again 🙃

So why do children tend to love it so much? One reason might be that spinning around and the resulting dizziness are significant tools children use to learn about their bodies!

Most people are familiar with the 5 senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. In reality, we actually have many more ways of perceiving the world through our senses. We have a whole other category called the “vestibular system,” which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation, or how our bodies move around in space and where our center of gravity is.

Research shows that spinning around activates tiny, fluid-filled cavities in the inner ear, which helps children know where their head is in relation to the rest of their body, to the ground, and to other people and objects. Being dizzy is not only fun, it’s also a way children study and learn about their bodies and how they work.

Here are some dizzying activities your toddler and young child might enjoy:

  • Spinning around with their forehead on a bucket or stool—for extra fun, you might have them try to run in a straight line afterward and see how far they can get
  • Riding on a merry-go-round or carousel
  • Going on a swing, rocking-horse, teeter-totter…or pretty much any playground apparatus
  • Rolling down a gently-sloped, soft hill
  • Using a hula hoop
  • Tumbling, somersaulting, and other gymnastics activities

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Posted in: 18 - 48 Months+, Gross Motor, Sensory Play, Child Development

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