Throughout 2014 we have focused on nurturing the whole child. We are not only committed to teaching your child lifesaving swim skills, we also care about your child’s whole development. There are so many benefits swim lessons have to your child’s social, emotional, and physical health and neurological and early childhood development. We pulled out our top ten favorites to share with you once more!
1. Nurtures Attachment
Encouraging positive attachment is one of the reasons why our Parent Tot classes are so great at helping extend the wonderful parent/infant bonding that happens at home. In our Parent Tot class, we encourage you to hold your baby in the water in a way that creates a positive learning environment where your baby feels secure. When your baby feels secure, they feel comfortable exploring and learning new skills, like turning back to the wall or floating on their backs.
2. Neurological Development
Studies show that children who participate in swim lessons early in life tend to do better in school and have improved problem solving abilities. As a baby moves and interacts with their world, the neurons in their brain develop connections or synapses. The more communication that there is between neurons, the more capable the child becomes of learning. A baby’s brain can be molded by the growth of these new connections. Learning swim skills early on can impact your child for years to come!
3. Social Benefits
In private swim lessons, kids learn to try new things with the safety net of a trained and caring instructor. Emotional growth is exponential in this phase, as students bond with their instructor and continue to develop water safety and swimming skills. Teaching little swimmers how to overcome frustration with perseverance and a positive attitude is such an important life lesson.
4. Spatial Awareness
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. Some of the activities we do in swim lessons that help develop spatial awareness include: letting your child move hand-to-hand around the pool walls, climbing in and out of the pool, allowing them to swim to and from the wall at various distances, and floating on their back.
5. Self Discipline & Perseverance
Mastering a new skill takes time and practice. Our swimmers learn that working toward a goal takes determination and patience. We offer positive encouragement and help swimmers work through their lessons to listen, absorb, and think about how they will tackle the next task and how they’ll overcome the obstacles. This helps develop great learning skills, and the discipline needed to persevere in the face of adversity.
6. Language Development
Research has shown that swimming helps with intellectual skills, like counting and following instructions. Your swimmer can make a connection between language and action sometimes even before they are able to verbally communicate. When swimmers hear instructions such as “kick, kick, kick” they link the instruction to language and it furthers their comprehension.
7. Injuries and Pain
Exercise can be frustrating for those who suffer from injuries or illnesses. But swimming is a great activity for individuals with asthma, arthritis, and certain types of aches and pains. Swimming uses all of the major muscles and reduces joint pain without putting weight on the joints.
8. Builds Trust
We incorporate games into our lessons to help your child feel safe while they discover the foundations of swimming. Having fun and games helps your swimmer build trust and develop a connection with their instructor. Instructors also build trust by following through with what they say to their swimmers. The ability to trust can help students in the future by allowing them to engage in more fulfilling and rewarding relationships.
9. Physical and Emotional Health through Our Adaptive Program
Simply being in the water can be soothing for individuals with special needs. Individuals with special needs experience a physical and emotional freedom from being in the water. Being able to move your body in water, in a way it won’t otherwise, is liberating. Imagine being able to move your limbs freely in a way you never could before.
10. Physical Fitness
Teaching children healthy exercise habits now impacts them as an adult. For adults and children, participating in regular physical activity prevents or delays the development of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and promotes overall health.
We have enjoyed sharing all of the benefits of learning swim skills with you this past year. There are so many benefits of learning to swim as a child! In 2015, we will continue our dedication to nurturing the whole child and providing the best swim lessons here at Sea Otter!