Swimming is fun and it's great exercise, but did you know that it can also help your child's brain development? According to a study by Griffith University in Australia, a study of kids ages 3,4 and 5 found that children who had swimming lessons from a young age achieve a variety of milestones faster than their non-swimming counterparts.
The two higher groups of more well off children in the study tested better than those with less money, all of the children in the study tested higher than the average population. The source went on to say that in addition to being physically stronger, the swimmers were better skilled in reading, math and tasks that require hand-eye coordination such as cutting paper with scissors. The study also found that swimming lessons can help ease the transition for kids from home to school.
The study says that while the upside of learning to swim early is clear, a child needs to be enrolled in a good swim program that will allow them to reap the benefits. Choose your swimming lessons carefully and make sure that the classes are consistently high quality.
The only setbacks were among 3-year-old children in the study, and were found in their spelling skills and in their abilities to throw, kick and catch balls.
Start with the basics and keep it simple
Learning in the pool doesn't mean buying water proof flashcards or an underwater calculator. Some of the games you probably played in the pool as a child can help your little one's brain develop as they play. One game is the invisible bottle. Fill a clear bottle with water, have the kids turn around and toss it in the pool. When the kids hear it splash, that's their cue to jump in and look for it. Call and response games such as "Marco Polo" can also help your toddlers learn. Just remember that safety always comes first, so when dealing with new swimmers make sure they're properly supervised and stay in the shallow end of the pool until they're ready for the deep end.