If you think that, you’re not alone. In fact, many parents complain of being bored in a baby swim lesson mostly due to the repetition of activities and songs that we do.
But if we take a closer look at how children learn and the methodology surrounding that, perhaps it helps to understand that play-based learning and repetition is super important and super effective in our under 3 age groups, and that running lessons in this way will actually increase learning and brain power in our children.
Play is something in which humans of all do, although as we get older, our need (and the social acceptability) of learning through play drops off, and life gets a little more boring! I’m sure adult ball pits and play centres would be fun though!
In recent times, parents and care-givers have been pressured into reducing play in order to increase outcomes, but whilst short-term this may help, the long-term benefits of repetition and play based learning are lost. So, whilst you may see a short-term improvement in skills, have you lost the brain and social development that would have been associated with that skill if it was learned through play?
Children are hard-wired to learn through play.
Play is associated with the development of intellectual skills and understandings. In play, children establish neural connections critical to effective brain functioning. Early play experiences between adults and very young children also help develop strong attachments in children(Lester & Russell, 2008)*
Play is also associated with physical health. Physically active play is related to the development of physical skills and increased health benefits.
(Lester & Russell, 2008; Frost, Wortham & Reifel, 2006)*
When we developed out baby swim program, we developed all the songs, games and activities around three central tenements of swimming development. They are:
• Breath control (breath holding and controlled inhalation and exhalation)
• Body positioning (floating, turning and diving)
• Propulsion (kicking and paddling)
All of the songs you sing, and games you and your child play have been created to focus on the introduction, development and skill acquisition of these three skill groups. Plus, we add layers of safety skill and strategy to this to help make your child safer in the water, sooner.
Considering these things will help when you feel bored at that ‘same song again’ in your lesson. Knowing that each swim lesson will foster a greater attachment between you and your child, improve their swim skills AND boost their neural pathways makes each ‘humpty dumpty’ just that little more bearable!
*Kennedy and Barblett, 2010. Learning and Teaching through play. Early Childhood Australia.