Benefits of Swimming for Kids
Summertime can be filled with hot days and long afternoons. Swimming is an activity that allows children to cool off, expel their energy, and have lots of fun. Though some parents may have concerns about water safety or other aspects of swimming, it’s important to recognize the lasting, positive impact this activity can have for kids and the whole family.
Here are just some of the benefits of swimming for kids:
Swimming is an important life skill. When kids learn to swim and continue to improve their water safety skills, their risk for drowning is reduced significantly. Parents who provide the opportunity and encourage their children to take swimming lessons further increase such levels of prevention and protection as they learn safety fundamentals such as floating, treading water, and basic swim strokes. Swimming not only benefits children as a life skill, but it also teaches them awareness, responsibility, and respect for water.
No Athleticism Required
Though at a certain level swimming is definitely considered a sport, for most kids it is a recreational activity. This means that your child can enjoy swimming even if they aren’t otherwise athletically inclined. In addition, participating in swim lessons or just swimming for the fun of it may inspire your kids to pursue it as more of an athletic sport or competitive activity in the future.
Ultimately, whether your kids are just playing in the pool or competing as a sport, swimming is great exercise. It offers the following health benefits for kids of all ages:
- Builds endurance
- Enhances balance
- Improves muscle strength
- Increases flexibility
- Enhances cardiovascular health and lung capacity
- Improves sleep quality
- Develops coordination
Since swimming is a low-impact activity and non-contact sport, there is a very low risk of injury as well.
If you were to limit your senses to strictly hearing, you would notice sounds of joy, happiness, and excitement—almost exclusively—in the vicinity of any area where kids are swimming. Playing and having fun in water is a wonderful opportunity for kids to interact with others and learn social skills. No matter where children gather to swim, new friends and great memories are often made.
Of course, most people associate swimming with warm weather and spending time outdoors near a lake, pool, or ocean. However, most communities have indoor pools that can be accessed year-round for just a nominal fee. This allows your child to participate in swimming no matter what the weather is like outside, so they can continue to refine their water skills and/or just enjoy the experience.
As kids improve their swimming skills, they gain confidence through perseverance and resilience. Learning new swim strokes, water games, diving, and even just making it across the pool allows children to see tangible and rewarding signs of their progress and hard work. This confidence in their abilities can also encourage kids to expand their goals and strive for greater achievements.
Whereas some physical activities and sports aren’t conducive to aging, swimming is unique in that it can be enjoyed across a lifetime. The ability to swim will serve your child well at all ages and stages of life. In addition, they may find that knowing how to swim opens up opportunities for meeting new people and/or having meaningful experiences, such as traveling to interesting coastal areas.
Swimming is almost always a relaxing activity that enhances physical health through exercise. It can also provide stress relief and boost mood levels, which are important emotional benefits as well.
What If My Child Is Not Interested in Swimming?
As with any new experience, your child may be reluctant at first to wade into the pool, lake, or ocean. Therefore, it’s essential for parents to be supportive and understanding. Forcing a child to “sink or swim” is dangerous, scary, and counterproductive. A far better strategy is to let your child explore being in the water at their own pace, without parental pressure but always with parental supervision.
Some methods for encouraging your child to enjoy swimming are:
- Allowing them to use “floaties” and other pool toys
- Playing in the water with them
- Joining a swim group with other beginners and/or children of a similar age
- Signing them up for lessons with professionals who are used to working with kids and potentially reluctant swimmers
Ultimately, swimming should be a fun, enjoyable, and worthwhile experience for kids. Exposing your kids to the benefits of swimming will add to their health and well-being as well as give them a lifelong appreciation of water.
At Cognisprings, we understand parents who are searching for family experiences that develop life skills for children and create lifetime memories. We support parents who are looking for educational toys and materials that inspire children to explore who they are and build confidence through stories, imagination, and critical thinking. That’s why we provide books, puzzles, games, and toys that are thoughtfully designed for creativity, curiosity, and inspiration for the entire family. In addition, Cognisprings prioritizes fun and educational activities that are screen-free, promote healthy cognitive development, and encourage personal growth through independent play and lifelong learning.