Thursday, 19 January 2012

Do You Rock?

Rocking is such a natural and soothing motion. From the very first days of cradling your new born babe and soothing them to sleep, comforting them when they cry, or rocking from one foot to the other as you hold them against your shoulder.
Cradles, traditionally, were mounted on rockers. In medieval times they were just a box on rockers. The rockers were placed across the foot and head of the box and the cradle was rocked from side to side. Some Scandinavian cradles had the rockers placed lengthwise along the box and the child was rocked with the head and foot rising and falling. I wonder which is the most soothing motion – gently from side to side or gently up and down?
Lying in a hammock and swinging gently, or sitting in a garden swing seat – both are pleasing and relaxing. Especially if you add the sound of sea gulls, warm sunshine and a cooling drink…… The pace of the swing, smooth, slow and rhythmic is what is so soothing; almost mesmeric. In fact hypnotists in dramas are often depicted using a swinging pendulum to lull their patient into a state of receptive somnolence.
Swings are a favourite part of playgrounds and a garden swing at home can amuse a child for hours. This time the swing can become not just soothing, but exhilarating as well. Standing on the swing instead of just sitting, swinging as high as possible or leaping off the swing at the height of the forward arc all add to the experience.
Another well known childhood favourite, the rocking horse, provides the same soothing motion. Rocking toys have never been in such abundance as now. Even tiny toddlers have rocking animals and rocking seats. I confess that I rode our rocking horse even more than my daughter and was so sad to see it leave us.
And so to rocking chairs. There have been rocking chairs in the UK since medieval times, but they have not become part of our culture as they have in America, and the tropics. Perhaps our climate has something to do with that. Here the chair was associated with the elderly sitting by the fire, and now as nursing chairs mounted on gliders rather than rockers. Yet if you search under “Rocking Chairs” and then click on “Images” in the top left hand section of the browser bar you will be shown pages and pages of innovative designs.
As adults it would seem that we are a sedentary, but still nation. We loll, lie, sprawl but not rock; either in the garden or the house. It is as children that we enjoy the rocking chair the most.

The founder of Fairy Tale Children's Furniture, Zandra Johnson is a passionate advocate of imaginative play for children. Studies reveal free time spent playing make-believe helps children develop critical cognitive skills. Fairytale Furniture helps build those skills through imaginative play. Download your free guide to Imaginative Play at FAIRYTALECHILDRENSFURNITURE.CO.UK

1 comment:

  1. This serves as a good addition to a play room. Kids will love playing on the chair.

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