Bec Parry, Manager of Kingswim, Wantirna, recommends kids start swimming lessons from three months old. While it may sound ludicrous to take a child to swimming lessons before they can crawl, here are four pretty amazing benefits of getting little ones in the water as soon as possible.
Learning to swim early has a powerful impact on children’s motor skills, and helps them exercise muscle groups that would normally be ignored. This can help kids balance, jump, run, and walk earlier than their non-swimming peers.
“Babies are like sponges!” says Bec. “I have found through teaching parent and child classes, that kids learn to reach, grasp, crawl out of the pool, and blow bubbles. The thrill of the first crawl or walk on the mat is just as exciting for the teachers as it is for the parents!”
Kids who participate in swimming lessons have been found to hit language and numerical milestones earlier than expected.
“Our swimmers quickly learn to count breaths and kicks,” explains Bec. “Certain exercises also require them to recognise colours and objects and follow detailed instructions. Our little swimmers thrive on the routine of their lessons.”
Having a child that is skilled at moving through the water, and confident around water, is the best way to reduce the risk of accidental drownings. Particularly here in Australia, where recreational water activities are extremely popular, this is an even greater priority.
A US study found that children aged 1 to 4 who had participated in formal swimming lessons could have a reduced drowning risk of 88 per cent.
Listening to teachers, following instructions, and self-regulating their behaviour are all skills that children learn at swimming, and then take into the classroom.
“Generally, they are more confident at an earlier age. They will put their face in the water and already understand and comprehend what skills we are asking them to do. Water confidence from an early age will certainly promote the love and enjoyment of learning.”
Kingswim offer learn to swim programs to babies from 12 weeks of age through to graduate level swimmers, providing a dedicated learn to swim environment and purpose built learning areas. Find out more at www.kingswim.com.au.