The significance and value of games and learning through play are well known. The word play is applied to all the things children do for the joy of it.
From these playful experiences in the water the child is able to develop many added benefits:
So, what are the added benefits?
- Strengthens postural alignment
- Strengthens muscles
- motor skill development
- Prevents childhood obesity
- Swimming also puts less strain on joints and connective tissues than other forms of exercise
- Improved range of motion
- Develops functional movement
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Improves blood circulation
- Improves respiration
- Neurologic Benefits
- Sensory integration
- Improves cognitive functioning -stimulating all 5 senses (taste, smell, touch, sight and sound).
- Improves spatial awareness
- Full body awareness
- Decreases tactile stimulus overload
- Improves neural response
- Recent studies have shown the amount a child’s moves affects the size and memory capacity of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is an area of the brain primarily associated with memory and learning.
- The more cross patterning movements, the more nerve fibres develop in the corpus callosum in the brain. The corpus callosum facilitates communication, feedback and modulation from one side of the brain to the other.
- Cross patterning movements like swimming activate both cerebral hemispheres and all 4 lobes of the brain simultaneously, which can result in heightened cognition and increase ease of learning.
- Good communication in the cerebral hemispheres leads to overall efficiency in brain processes.
- Psychological benefits
- Reduce anxiety with parent in the pool
- Emotional outlet
- Builds confidence
- Improve self-image and self-esteem
- Psychologically and physically motivating
- Contributes to a feeling of well-being
- Releases stress and tension
- Renews energy
- Social benefits
- Introduction to new surroundings
- Variety of learning experiences
- Development of relationships
- Community integration
- Opportunity for recreation
- Developmental benefits
- Provides motor learning sequencing
- Mental adjustment to environment
- Water provide a 3-dimensional environment
- Developmentally appropriate activities
- An environment of continuous learning
- Exploration of movement
- Language Development
Added benefits for later in life
- The Early Years Swimming Project at Griffith University found that by the time children start school, children who swim in the early years are ahead of non-swimmers by 6 to 15 months when it comes to solving maths problems, counting, language and following instructions.
- In one German study, children who had taken swim lessons from the age of 2 months to 4 years were better adapted to new situations, had more self-confidence, and were more independent than non-swimmers.
They also had:
- had greater self-control
- had a stronger desire to succeed
- had better self-esteem
- were more comfortable in social situations than non-swimmers
- Baby swimmers have better balance and are also better at grasping at things than non-swimmers.
Cross-patterning movements build neurons throughout the brain, but especially in the corpus callosum, which facilitates communication, feedback, and modulation from one side of the brain to another. Down the road, this improves:
- reading skills
- language development
- academic learning
- spatial awareness
Several studies have shown that “babies who have been swimming during the first two years of their lives develop a greater sense of their surroundings, and thus are already learning to be more creative and observant. “
Sigmundson and Brian Hopkins determined children who were taught to swim by 5 years of age had statistically higher IQs.
The AQUATOTS swim program provide all of this with the biggest benefit being, improving their chances of survival in water. Call us for more info on 011 8697979