Girl jumps from pier into water

4 Unexpected Benefits of Learning to Swim Early

Frolicking on the beach, swimming carnivals, and days spent at the public pool are iconic scenes of Australian life, especially in the hotter months. Making sure our kids learn to swim is a no-brainer. But how soon should kids be learning to swim?

“We recommend you start swimming lessons from three months old. The earlier the better, it gets children conditioned to the water,” says Jackie Zandveld, a learn to swim expert.

While it may sound ludicrous to take a child to swimming lessons before they can crawl, here are four pretty amazing benefits of getting little ones in the water as soon as possible.

  1. Kids who swim can potentially hit physical milestones sooner

Learning to swim early has a powerful impact on children’s motor skills, and helps them exercise muscle groups that would normally be ignored. This can help kids balance, jump, run, and walk earlier than their non-swimming peers.

“Babies are like sponges!” says Jackie.

“I have found through teaching parent and child classes, that kids learn to reach, grasp, crawl out of the pool, and blow bubbles. The thrill of the first crawl or walk on the mat is just as exciting for the teachers as it is for the parents!”

  1. Swimming lessons teach kids number and language skills

Kids who participate in swimming lessons have been found to hit language and numerical milestones earlier than expected.

“Our swimmers quickly learn to count breaths and kicks,” explains Jackie. Certain exercises also require them to recognise colours and objects and follow detailed instructions.

“Our little swimmers thrive on the routine of their lessons.”

Kingswim mum with baby

  1. Swimming lessons can help prevent drownings

Having a child that is skilled at moving through the water, and confident around water, is the best way to reduce the risk of accidental drownings. Particularly here in Australia, where recreational water activities are extremely popular, this is an even greater priority.

A US study found that children aged 1 to 4 who had participated in formal swimming lessons could have a reduced drowning risk of 88 percent.

  1. Learning to swim early helps kids prepare for school

Listening to teachers, following instructions, and self-regulating their behaviour are all skills that children learn at swimming, and then take into the classroom.

“Generally, they are more confident at an earlier age. They will put their face in the water and already understand and comprehend what skills we are asking them to do. Water confidence from an early age will certainly promote the love and enjoyment of learning.”