Swimming Lessons & Child Development
Swimming Lessons & Child Development
At H2O we believe swimming is an essential life skill, but did you know it provides many different benefits for child development? Let’s dive in and explore some…
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Children who learn to swim at a young age are found to develop fine and gross motor skills quicker than children who receive no introduction to swimming. Movement in water is distinctly different form movement on land and creates new pathways in young children’s brains which show added benefit throughout all aspects of their development.
Swimming is an activity that helps children gain greater control of fine more skills, like picking up toys, or holding a equipment, as well as gross motor skills, like jumping, kicking, or climbing out of the pool.
Did you know there really is a 6th sense! The vestibular sense comes from the inner ear and is the movement, gravity and balance sense which allows children and adults to stay balanced and upright during physical activity. Children who learned to swim before the age of 5 show a heightened vestibular sense and better balance than children who’ve had no swimming experience. Strengthening this sense while learning to swim has lifelong benefits and helps advance kids in all areas of physical activity, both in and out of a water environment.
Improved Social Skills
Although our curriculum focuses on improving the skills of each student based on their individual progression, swimming lessons are also a social experience! Classes are taught in small groups, allowing children to socialize with their peers while building their own confidence. All un-parented classes start with a welcome circle on the pool deck, a dedicated time for students to share fun facts about themselves and learn more about their friendly instructor. Swimming is a great time to develop social skills and meet new friends.
All parented baby and toddler classes have planned social time to help children learn the difference between swimming lessons and the bathtub, while helping them become more comfortable and confident in the busy pool environment. This is also a great time for the parents and adults to get to know each other as well!
While learning to swim, children are using their entire bodies to move through the water which is why it’s such a great activity to help develop coordination. As children learn to swim, they’re learning to use their legs for kicking, arms for strokes and lifting their heads for breathing, all in sync to a coordinated rhythm, creating movement with full body coordination. Students practice each piece individually and are taught how to put all movements together in coordination to successfully master swimming. Babies and toddlers are able to move their whole bodies in new ways while buoyant in the water. Just like many of the skills developed while learning to swim, increased coordination can be applied to all other areas of physical activities, in and out of the water.
Swimming supports a child’s mind-body connection, strengthening their physical awareness and presence. Babies and toddlers begin to learn body awareness during their time spent in the water and are easily able to practice a wide range of movement of their limbs while in the water. A child who has developed a strong body awareness has a better sense of their body position and coordinated movements which will help them to perform tasks out of the water with much more ease, such as getting dressed or riding a bike.
Possibly one of the most basic benefits of learning to swim is the benefit of a better sleep! Many of our baby parents will attest their babies sleep longer and deeper after time spent in the water. The physical exertion felt during lessons by all students, from babies to adults, helps to promote healthy sleep habits. Sleep is critical for proper brain development and essential for physical and mental functions and is another added benefit from learning to swim.