When it comes to picking classes or activities to do with your baby or toddler, there is a huge amount of choice with everything from music and dance, to massage and circus skills(!). The choice can be baffling but we think that swimming with your baby or toddler is one you don’t want to miss out on…
The stats on children learning to swim in the UK make sorry reading. A few months ago, the STA (Swimming Teachers Association) released figures during their International Learn to Swim week that despite 9 out of 10 parents agreeing that swimming is a life skill, 1 in 3 children aged 10-16 cannot currently swim. We are also seeing local councils cutting funding for swimming in schools, which puts the emphasis back onto parents to introduce their child to water.
So, why should people grab their swim kit and head to the pool?
Safety has to be up there with the top reasons. In the UK, you are never far away from lakes, rivers, ponds or the sea and with all the best intentions, accidents can and do happen. In our lessons we teach vital water safety skills and most of all, water confidence. This means that should your little one fall into water unexpectedly, they are less likely to panic and instead use the skills they have learned and practised.
Getting your child into the pool nice and early means that they quickly become comfortable in an aquatic environment and there is no learned fear of water. Through modelling and taking a child-led approach, your little one can explore the water and learn how to be safe and confident in it right from the start.
The physical benefits of swimming are another reason to get to the pool. Swimming has heaps of benefits including improving your child’s cardio-vascular system, building strength and can aid early walking, co-ordination and associated motor skills. It also allows small babies to use muscles that they can’t yet use on land. All of this instils good practices early on and is something that can form part of a healthy lifestyle.
Our classes are also planned with the carer’s health in mind and each class burns around 250 calories.
When our customers sign up for lessons, one benefit they don’t often expect is the bonding time it provides. Having a set time each week to spend in the pool means that you can look forward to dedicated bonding time with your little one. It means that you can zone out from the housework, leave your phone in the locker and just enjoy some one-on-one time with them. So much about our lessons is about the trust relationship between and child and their carer and the water really helps to enhance and build that trust.
Swimming with your child can also be great for building your own confidence in water. We have a good number of parents who swim with us who have a fear of the water or aren’t confident swimmers. They come with the intention of not passing this on to their child and it is always interesting to watch them grow in confidence teaching their baby to blow bubbles in the water or doing a face dip.
You really don’t need to be confident yourself as you can learn together and your teacher will always be willing to step in if you are not comfortable doing something.
Most of all, swimming is fun!! Getting in the water, splashing, playing games all creates memories and laughter. It is a really sociable activity and we see some lovely friendships formed over a splash and bubbles!
Whichever way you choose to introduce your little person to the water, whether that be in lessons or by taking them to the pool yourself, the benefits are numerous. Try and get yourself to the pool this Summer and bring on the smiles!
If you would like to know more about our classes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org