Early Swimming Lessons and Developmental Milestones: What’s the Connection?

As a parent, you want to give your kids the tools and resources to succeed, prepare them to take advantage of opportunities, and do what’s best for them.

You also want to protect them, and a common way parents do this is by enrolling their kids in early swimming lessons with the primary goal of water safety.

We fully support this as the National Institute of Child Health and Development reports that formal and continuous swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning among children ages one to four by 88%.

But what if we told you the benefits of early swimming lessons spanned beyond water safety?

What if we told you early swimming lessons could help your child achieve development milestones?

The Research

A famous Griffith Institute for Educational Research study surveyed parents of 7,000 children under five from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States over three years.

In that time, lead researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen found that young children who participate in early swimming achieve a wide range of skills sooner than the average population.

In addition to hitting physical milestones faster, the children scored significantly better in visual-motor skills like cutting paper, coloring, and math-related tasks.

Jorgensen shared, “The children were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem-solving in mathematics, counting, language, and following instructions.”

Physical Development

Swimming is a full-body workout that uses different muscle groups, promoting coordination, flexibility, and strength.

Kids develop fine motor skills and improve their spatial awareness through kicking, floating, and paddling.

Swimmers also have to synchronize their body movements to stay above water. This coordination of arm and leg movements and maintaining proper body positioning helps kids refine their coordination and balance.

Cognitive Development

Swimming is a skill that involves practice, following instructions, and problem-solving to improve.

Cognitive stimulation enhances brain development and strengthens must-have skills such as focus, concentration, and memory retention.

Swimming is also a multi-sensory experience. Children can feel the water on their skin, hear the splashing water, and see the movement of the water in the pool.

These experiences happen simultaneously, strengthening neural pathways and enhancing the child’s understanding of their bodies and environment.

Social and Emotional Development

As children age, they progress from Parent Tot 1 and 2 classes, where their parents are in the pool, to our Learn to Swim classes, which allow them to form their independence and build social skills.

These social interactions with their peers and instructors help them develop and nurture social skills such as communication and empathy.

Our supportive, warm, welcoming, and safe environment helps kids overcome challenges and master new skills, positively impacting their self-confidence and self-esteem, two foundational pillars of emotional development.

8 Tools and Equipment We Use at Watermelon Swim

How will you help my child experience these positive benefits?

We are proud of the extensively trained team of swim instructors we’ve assembled at all our Watermelon Swim locations.

Our Team Melon instructors participate in continuous education training, so they’re always on top of the latest teaching trends and techniques to improve our swimmers’ experiences and outcomes.

We pair our extensively trained staff with amazing tools and equipment to bring our lessons to life and help your child hit physical, mental, and emotional milestones.

Here’s a list of what we use at Watermelon Swim:

Platform — This helps children work on their balance and independence.

Turtle (AKA Kickboard) – With this piece of equipment, swimmers can focus on their lower body and confidently correct their body position.

Barbell — A barbell helps keep a swimmer’s body in the correct position, increases flexibility, and strengthens the abdomen and upper back.

Elmo — Instructors use this tool to demonstrate an activity.

Diving Rings — These are fun tools to help our swimmers work on their breath control.

Flippers — Kicking is an essential movement for swimming. Flippers allow swimmers to swim further while correcting their form and increasing their confidence.

Mats — This piece of equipment helps swimmers build their core strength.

Pull Buoy — Upper-level swimmers use the pull buoy to isolate their legs and focus on their upper bodies.

Keep Swimming, Keep Growing

Join us at your local Watermelon Swim and dive into a year-round journey of water safety and endless aquatic fun!

Find a Watermelon Swim location near you to get started.