Learning to swim is not only a lifesaving skill but one with some additional benefits. According to a 2009 study conducted at Griffith University, children under the age of five who participate in swim lessons achieve a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population.

While some skills you would expect to see increase with swim lessons, such as better balance and coordination, children in swim lessons also showed social and cognitive development as much as 15 months ahead of the normal population.

Young swimmers in the study were found to understand direction better, which helps them be better prepared to respond to teachers as they move into the classroom. They were also more comfortable interacting with their peers, as well as adults who were not their caregivers.

Learning to swim at a young age can also help children develop deeper usage of language. They are exposed to important speech elements and useful concepts like shapes and colors. As they continue to work in swim lessons with new words, it can improve their own use of language.

The increased cognitive development found in young swimmers are the building blocks for skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic, setting the stage for lifelong learning.

And if being smarter and better prepared for the school years was not a great enough benefit, swimming is also good for the health and development of a growing body. Swimming uses all parts of the body for development of gross motor skills. And we can’t forget to share with parents one of the best benefits swimming can offer, improved quality of sleep. Yes, learning to swim is both fun and a great way to help tire out those little ones by burning off some energy.

Swimming lessons are a great choice for young children to teach them a lifesaving skill as well as set the stage for lifelong learning.