Developmental Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Swim

Kids who learn to swim before they turn four gain significant developmental advantages over peers who don’t learn the activity at this age. A large-scale study revealed that children who started swimming early experienced faster physical and cognitive skill development compared to their non-swimmer peers.

Cognitive Skills 
The study showed that children who had learned how to swim were more proficient in identifying numbers, solving arithmetic problems, and counting. Their language skills, both written and oral, were more advanced. They were also better able to identify objects in illustrations and name shapes correctly.

The scientists were particularly impressed by the fact that the swimmers were almost two years ahead of the non-swimmers on average in terms of being able to understand and follow instructions. These children also showed better abilities in recalling short stories than their non-swimming peers.

Visual-Motor Skills 
Young swimmers generally had better large and fine motor skills than their non-swimming counterparts. They were better able to grasp objects and gained developmental advantages in both self-propelled movement and balance.

Children who learned to swim before age four were also more skilled in tasks such as drawing lines, coloring inside shapes, and cutting paper.

Socioeconomic Factors
It is commonly assumed that babies and toddlers whose parents can afford swimming lessons come from more beneficial backgrounds.

The researchers looked at this factor and separated the groups into four distinct social and economic levels. All four groups showed more advanced skills compared to peers in the general population.