It’s no secret that kids find great joy in water splashing and other such games. You only have to think about how many toys they gather around them when it’s bath time and how hard it is to get them to finish the bath in a reasonable amount of time. Water-themed adventure parks are also one of the main attractions kids want their parents to take them to and many tantrums have been thrown upon refusal.
Swimming lessons are among the most popular extra-curricular activities children partake in. There are many reasons why parents enrol their kids in a course. The most obvious one is safety, but it’s also a great way for small children to improve their coordination, get some much needed exercise to burn off that excess energy they’re so famous for, socialize with other kids, learn to follow instructions and also have a lot of fun.
If you’re still not convinced here is our list on top five reasons why you should take your kids to swimming lessons.
Kids need to learn how to be safe around water. You might think this could never happen to you, you’re very careful and always keep an eye on them but drowning is actually the second biggest cause of death for children under 14. Especially if you have a swimming pool or your kids go to play dates where there’s access to a swimming pool you want to take all the precautionary measures to ensure your child’s safety.
It’s never too early to teach your kids how to swim. You can look for toddler swimming lessons and you’ll know that they learned not only the basics of swimming and gotten a great workout, but also important safety techniques like:
- how to tread water or float
- how to pull themselves out of the water when there’s no ladder
- how to rise to the surface when submerged
- common sense behaviors like walking instead of running when near water.
Most importantly, they’ll get used to swimming and won’t panic. They get a lot of practice and if something happens they know how to signal for help and how to locate an exit.
Swimming Is an Important Life Skill
Swimming is an important life skill not only for safety reasons. Think of all the activities they won’t be able to join if they don’t know how to swim: boat trips, snorkeling, water sports, pool parties, some school trips.
When they’re small, that’s when they learn the fastest. Many kids who learn as teenagers and adults become very anxious around water, especially if they hand an accident in which they fell in a pool and somebody else had to pull them up.
Knowing that they can swim well gives them confidence and expands their social opportunities. They no longer have to avoid attending some events because they’ll be left out. It can happen that one day they might have to pull someone out.
Strength and Fitness
Swimming lessons are also a good opportunity for your kids to get some exercise. Their bodies are always changing as they develop and grow and they need activities to strengthen their muscles, bones and joints. When they start young they’re more likely to get very good at it and develop a strong fondness for swimming as a sport. They can join their school’s swimming team or take up water polo, they’ll have an activity they enjoy and that keeps them fit for the rest of their lives.
Swimming improves coordination, lung capacity and cardiovascular health. The resistance from water build strength and endurance, helps maintain a healthy weight, engages several muscle groups at once, and improves posture and balance. It’s also far more relaxing than many other forms of exercise so even if you’re getting a great workout, you don’t feel as tired. It’s very easy on the joints and improves flexibility.
Having a means to burn off excess energy, have some fun and relax all at once, also means that your kids will sleep better at night which improves their academic skills and also gives you some peace and quiet around bedtime.
Mental Health and Cognitive Development
We already mentioned how swimming improves coordination, but it also improves the mind body connection through sensory stimulation. This further improves their emotional balance and brain development.
Besides being a fun and relaxing physical activity, learning to swim teaches your child to set goals and persevere until they are achieved. They get motivated by their trainer, they develop a healthy sense of competition with the other kids and with each achievement they learn that patience and dedication leads to success in their endeavours. This is a good way to instil them with a sense of confidence.
Swimming lessons are also a good chance to socialize with peers. They can make friends and help each other improve their technique. Next summer, when they want to cool off by the pool, they’ll have a list of new friends who can join them. You’ll be glad to have more parents there since you can take turns keeping an eye out on what the kids are doing and have some times to enjoy the day.
Socializing is very important to the cognitive and emotional development of kids. During their lessons, they’ll learn to observe their peers, take turns, follow directions and the difference between acceptable behaviour and rough play that might upset or annoy the other kids. In short they learn to relate to others and integrate in a group.
Did We Mention It’s Fun?
When your kids are asking you to take them to swimming lessons or come back excited to tell you how it went they’re probably not thinking of how this helps their cognitive development, academic potential and social skills. They like it because it’s fun, it’s something they enjoy doing, they like being in the water, moving around, learning something new and meeting the other kids.
For you this is another advantage, you won’t struggle to convince them that taking swimming lessons is good for them, but you’ll know that you’re ensuring their safety, teaching them an important life skill and giving them a great opportunity to exercise, relax and socialize.