As your child interacts with the water and their instructor at Sea Otter Swim Lessons, a lot of activity is happening inside their brain.
In addition to learning water safety and swimming techniques, they are also learning how to learn! The experiences they have in the water allow their motor and sensory system to work together, increasing their capacity and ease of learning.
Touch is the first sensory system to develop in the womb and is a baby’s strongest sense. Touch begins to develop even before sight and sound.
Swim lessons allow children to experience water through touch. Movements such as splashing and kicking, moving toys under and through the water, and feeling the water touch their toes, ears, and face, all help with the growth of neural pathways and connections in a child’s brain.
Spatial awareness is the knowledge of objects and oneself in a given space. Children gain spatial awareness by exploring their surroundings and discovering their relationship to them. Good spatial awareness is often linked to artistic creativity and success in math. It is also critical in the development of abstract thought.
Some of the activities we do with your child in swim lessons that help develop spatial awareness include: letting your child move hand-to-hand around the walls of the pool, climbing in and out of the pool, allowing them to swim to and from the wall at various distances, teaching them to jump or dive into the pool, and practicing floating on their back.
Eye movements and eye tracking skills are developed throughout childhood. Eye muscles are strengthened and neural connections increase as eye movement experiences are practiced.
The cross patterning movements of the freestyle stroke helps develop eye-hand coordination and visual perception which helps reading skills. Diving also helps reading skills by practicing eye movements and tracking control.
A study from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research followed swimmers over four years and found that “those who learned how to swim at a young age tended to…score significantly better in visual-motor skills tasks such as drawing lines and cutting paper.”
Your child’s language skills begin to develop at birth and children continue to learn language as they interact with others and their environment.
When children listen to directions and then have an action to follow, their language development is stimulated as they begin to understand what is being asked of them.
For example, when your child hears their swim teacher count to 10 while floating, or is told to jump in the pool three times, they begin to understand and decipher numbers.
When they hear directions such as, “climb up,” or “push up with your elbows,” they see which parts of their body are working.
The act of doing while learning reinforces their knowledge, and connects new neural pathways in the brain.
Setting the Groundwork
At Sea Otter Swim Lessons, we want to care for the whole child and the whole family. We offer a unique focus on each individual swimmer and their developmental abilities.
Through swim lessons your child is learning life-saving water skills and you are setting the groundwork for them to learn language, numbers, and reason!